"Spirituality is the master key of the Indian mind. It is this dominant inclination of India which gives character." - Sri Aurobindo
HomeBharateeyaNational HeroesInspirationalChanakya NeetiSubhashitasEnvironmentYogaSukshma YogaMudrasPranayamaHealthSewaeZine
Bookmark and Share Live Telugu TV Live Hindi TV    
Lokahitam -- Medicine Plant
Articles - 1947 Partition
Articles - Caste
Articles - Nepal
Articles - Scams
Articles - North-East
Articles - Ramsethu
Maha Bharat
Chanakya Videos
Sci & Tech
Manthena Recipes
Common name Botanical name Posture Description Medicinal uses
Common name: Chameleon Plant, Toningkhok (Manipuri) Botanical name: Houttuynia cordata Family: Saururaceae (lizard-tail family)   Chameleon Plant is a perennial ground cover plant. It is been marketed as a creeping ornamental garden plant, which has heart shaped leaves up to 75 mm long and almost as wide. The leaves are comprised of a mixture of colors from green through yellow to red, the brighter colors being more prominent when grown in full sunlight. The leaves are opposite along thin erect stems which arise from slender rhizomes. The minute flowers are densely clustered on short spikes. At the base of each spike are four white petal-like parts. The leaves of Chameleon Plant are heart-shaped, usually green, but take on various colors like variegated cream, bronze, scarlet, and have a peppery scent when crushed. The leaves make a marvelous flavoring in salads. In Manipur, people love it and consume it in various ways, as salad, also in pakodas. Medicinal uses: Leaf-extract is used in dysentry, rhizome is used i stomach ulcers. Boiled extract of rhizomes is taken for muscular pains due to overstrain.
Common name: Shiny Bush, Slate pencil plant, pepper elder, rat's ear, shiny bush, silverbush • Malayalam: Mashitandu chedi • Assamese: Pononoa • Sanskrit: Toyakandha, Varshabhoo

Botanical name: Peperomia pellucida Family: Piperaceae (Pepper family)

  Shiny bush is a common fleshy annual herb, growing by roadside and in wasteland. Stems are translucent pale green, erect or ascending, usually 15-45 cm long, internodes usually 3-8 cm long, hairless. Fleshy leaves are heart shaped, shiny light green, 1.5-4 cm long, 1-3.3 cm wide. It has very small bi-sexual flowers growing in the form of cord-like spikes, 3-6 cm long, arising from the leaf axils. The fruits are also very small, round to oblong, ridged, first green later black. They have one single seed. Shiny bush has a mustard like odor.The plant can be utilized as a vegetable and in salads. Shiny Bush is native to south America, but widely naturalized and cultivated. Medicinal uses: In South America, Shiny Bush is used medicinally. A solution of the fresh juice of stem and leaves is used against eye inflammation. It is also been applied against coughing, fever, common cold, headache, sore throat, diarrhea, against kidney - and prostate problems and against high blood pressure. Shiny bush is also used in Ayurvedic medicine.
Common name: Tailed Pepper, java pepper, cubeb • Hindi: Kabab-chini, kabachini, Sheetal-chini • Kannada: Balmenasu, Gandha menasu • Malayalam: Val-milaku • Marathi: Mothi, Pimpli • Oriya: Sugandhamaricha • Sanskrit: Renuka, cinatiksna, Chinorana, Kakkola • Tamil: valmilaku, kanakamilaku, takkolam • Telugu: halava-miriyalu, toka-miriyalu • Urdu: Kabab-chini, Shital-chini Botanical name: Piper cubeba Family: Piperaceae (Pepper family)   Tailed pepper is a plant cultivated for its fruit and essential oil. It is mostly grown in Java and Sumatra, hence sometimes called Java pepper. It is a perennial plant, with a climbing stem, round branches, about as thick as a goose-quill, ash-colored, and rooting at the joints. The leaves are from 4-6.5 inches long, 1.5-2 inches broad, ovate-oblong, long pointed, and very smooth. Flowers are arranged in narrow spikes at the end of the branches. Fruit, a berry rather longer than that of black pepper. Tailed pepper is native to SE Asia, introduced in India by Arabian traders. Medicinal uses: Sanskrit texts included cubeb in various remedies. Charaka and Sushruta prescribed a cubeb paste as a mouthwash, and the use of dried cubebs internally for oral and dental diseases, loss of voice, halitosis, fevers, and cough. Unani physicians use a paste of the cubeb berries externally on male and female genitals to intensify sexual pleasure during coitus. Due to this attributed property, cubeb was called "Habb-ul-Uruus".
Common name: Long Pepper, Indian long pepper • Hindi: Pipli • Marathi: Pimpli • Tamil: Tippili • Malayalam: Tippali • Telugu: Pippallu • Kannada: Kandan Lippili • Konkani: पिपली Pipli • Urdu: Pipul پیپل • Gujarati: પીપરી Pipari • Sanskrit: पिप्पली Pippali, Magadhi Botanical name: Piper longum Family: Piperaceae (Pepper family)   Long Pepper is a climber, of South Asian origin (Deccan peninsula), cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. Long pepper is a close relative of the black pepper plant, and has a similar, though generally hotter, taste. The word pepper itself is derived from the Sanskrit word for long pepper, pippali. It is a slender, aromatic, climber with perennial woody roots, creeping and jointed stems, and fleshy fruits embedded in the spikes. Leaves are numerous, 6.3 to 9.0 cm, broadly ovate or oblong-oval, dark green and shining above, pale and dull beneath. The older leaves are dentate, dark in color and heart shaped. The younger leaf is ovate in shape and contains 5 veins on them. Flowers are monoceous and male and female flowers are borne on different plants. Male flower stalk is about 1 to 3 inch long and female flower stalk is ½ to 1 inch long. Fruit is long. When it ripes it attains red color and when it dries it attains black color. It is one inch in diameter. The plant flowers in rains and fruits in early winters. Medicinal uses: Pippali is certainly one of the most widely used of all Ayurvedic herbs. It is one of the best herbs for enhancing digestion, assimilation and metabolism of the foods we eat. It is also highly prized for its ability to enhance assimilation and potency of herbs in a synergistic formula (this is called the Yogavahi effect).
Common name: Sugar Apple, Custard apple • Hindi: Sharifa , Sitaphal • Manipuri: Sitaphal • Assamese: Katal • Tamil: Sitapalam Botanical name: Annona squamosa Family: Annonaceae (sugar apple family)   A small tropical tree, indigenous to the Amazon rainforest, growing up to 20' tall. The leaves are thin, oblong while the flowers are greenish - yellow. Flowers are oblong, 1 to 1 1/2 in long, never fully open, with 1 in long, drooping stalks, and 3 fleshy outer petals, yellow-green on the outside and pale-yellow inside with a purple or dark-red spot at the base. The avoid or conical fruit, with a purple knobby skin, is very sweet and is eaten fresh or can be used for shakes. The fruit is juicy and creamy - white; it may contain up to 40 black seeds. These seeds are poisonous. From delicious fruits of Sitaphal, jelly, jam, conserves, sharbets, syrup, tart and fermented drinks are prepared. The peelings and pulps contain oil that is useful in flavouring. Medicinal uses: The bark and leaves contain annonaine, an alkaloid. In tropical America, a decoction of the leaves is used as a cold remedy and to clarify urine. A bark decoction is used to stop diarrhea, while the root is used in the treatment of dysentery.
Common name: Nepal Yam • Hindi: Shingli-mingli, Baniatakari, Harvish, Janj, Jung kinch • Nepali: Bhyakur tarul Botanical name: Dioscorea deltoidea Family: Dioscoreaceae (Yam family)   Nepal Yam is a hairless vine, twining clockwise. Tubers are ligneous, irregular. Alternately arranged leaves are simple, 5-11.5 cm long, 4-10.5 cm broad, ovate or triangular-ovate, often heart-shaped, the basal lobes rounded or sometimes dilated outwards, 7-9-nerved, long-pointed, hairless above, velvety on the nerves beneath. Leaf-stalks are 5-10 cm long, slender. Male flower spikes occur solitary in leaf axils, simple or sometimes branched, slender, lax, 7.5-25 cm long. Flowers are in small distant clusters; stamens 6, antheriferous. Female spikes are solitary, slender, up to 15 cm long, few-flowered. Capsule is 2 cm long, 3 cm broad, obovate or obcordate. Seeds are winged unequally all round. Nepal Yam is found in the Himalayas, from Kashmir to Assam, Indo-China and W. China, at altitudes of 450-3100 m. Flowering: May-July. Medicinal uses: The juice of the root tuber istaken in the evening in the treatment of roundworm. It is also used to alleviate constipation. The roots of most, if not all, members of this genus, contains diosgenin. This is widely used in modern medicine in order to manufacture progesterone and other steroid drugs. These are used as contraceptives and in the treatment of various disorders of the genitary organs as well as in a host of other diseases such as asthma and arthritis. The roots of this species contain an average of 4.8% diosgenin.
Common name: Wild Yam, Colic Root Botanical name: Dioscorea villosa Family: Dioscoreaceae (Yam family)   ative to North America, Wild Yam is a perennial vine which can reach a height of 10 ft. The stem is slender, rarely branched and tends to twine right to left or counterclockwise. Alternately arranged leaves are heart- shaped. The lowest leaves may appear whorled. Leaves have 7-11 parallel veins, and may be hairy on the underside. Wild yam has separate male and female flowers, yellow-green, in loose straggling clusters. Female flowers sit on top of winged green fruits. Flowering time: June-August. Medicinal uses: Native Americans and early herbalist had many uses for this plant including the treatment of many female and childbirth related problems. It was also used to treat various gastrointestinal problems, muscle spasms, various painful conditions such as arthritis and rheumatism. There seems to be no scientific evidence of its effectiveness for these conditions. Nonetheless, plants of this genus are valuable to modern medicine. Many of our modern steroids are manufactured from diosgenin extracted from them.
Common name: Fiji Arrowroot, batflower, East Indian arrowroot, Polynesian arrowroot, Tahiti arrowroot • Hindi: Bagh-moochh, devkanda • Marathi: devkanda • Tamil: cenai, kakanam, kattu-k-karunai • Telugu: అడవిదుంప adavidumpa Botanical name: Tacca leontopetaloides Family: Dioscoreaceae (Yam family)    Fiji Arrowroot is a perennial herb naturally distributed from western Africa through southeast Asia to northern Australia. The leaf's upper surface has depressed veins, and the under surface is shiny with bold yellow veins. Greenish purple flowers are borne on tall stalks in clusters, with long trailing whisker-like bracts. The plant is usually dormant for part of the year and dies down to the ground. Later, new leaves will arise from the round underground tuber. The tubers are hard and potato-like, with a brown skin and white interior. The tubers of Polynesian arrowroot contain starch that was an important food source for many Pacific Island cultures, primarily for the inhabitants of low islands and atolls. Polynesian arrowroot was prepared into a flour to make a variety of puddings. Medicinal uses: In traditional Hawaiian medicine the raw tubers were eaten to treat stomach ailments. Mixed with water and red clay, the plant was consumed to treat diarrhea and dysentery. This combination was also used to stop internal hemorrhaging in the stomach and colon and applied to wounds to stop bleeding.
Common name: Jewels of Opar, Panicled Fameflower Botanical name: Talinum paniculatum Family: Dioscoreaceae (Yam family)   Jewels of Opar is a somewhat succulent herb, up to 3 ft tall, growing from tuberous roots. Leaves are elliptic to obovate, up to 12 cm long, much smaller below the inflorescence, slightly fleshy. Flowers are borne in lax, many-flowered branched inflorescences, bright pink, up to about 1.2 cm in diameter. Fruit a glossy dark red capsule, 3-5 mm in diameter. The individual flowers, on airy stalks, are small, but are nice massed together, especially with the red bead-like buds and fruits. A favorite with bees. jewels of Opar is native to Africa. Medicinal uses: Naturalized globally, Jewels of Opar has a long Chinese medicinal history. Sweet and neutral, used for loss of energy, and problems associated with lungs and spleen.
Common name: Crested Coelogyne • Hindi: Gondya • Nepali: Chandi gabha Botanical name: Coelogyne cristata Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)   Crested Coelogyne is a very common orchid found growing on forest trees in the Himalayas, from Uttarakhand to Sikkim, at altitudes of 1000-2000 m. Joseph Hooker, who collected orchids and other plants in 1848-1850, recorded that "On the ascent from Darjeeling the straight shafts of many of the timber trees are literally clothed with a continuous garment of white-flowered coelogynes, which bloom in a profuse manner, whitening their trunks like snow". Flowers are white, in hanging clusters, with a white lip with 4 yellow ridges at the base between the lateral lobes, and with 2 broad crenulate yellow plates on the mid-lobe. Flowers are 5-9 cm across, borne in 3-10 flowered clusters 15-20 cm long. Sepals and petals are 4-5 cm long, oblong blunt with wavy margins. Bracts are oblong and persistent. Spur is absent. Leaves are paired, linear-lanceshaped 15-30 cm long, 2-3 cm broad. Pseudobulbs are oblong ovoid, 5-8 cm, arising from a stout rhizome. Flowering: March-April. Medicinal uses: Juice of the pseudobulb is applied to boils. This juice is also put in the wound on the hooves of animals.
Common name: Himalayan Marsh Orchid, Marsh Orchis, Spotted Heart Orchid • Kumaon: Hatajari • Kashmiri: Salem Panja • Ladakhi: Ambolakpa • Urdu: Salap • Nepali: Panch aonle Botanical name: Dactylorhiza hatagirea Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)   Himalayan Marsh Orchid is a medicinal herb which is now considered critically endangered. It is a perennial herb with erect, leafy, stout and hollow stem. Leaves are oblong-lance-shaped, with sheathing base. Pink purple flowers are borne in an upright spike. Flowers are purple and the bracts green, narrowly lance-shaped, lower longer than the flowers, upper slightly shorter. Flowers are about 1.8 cm long, including the curved spur. Sepals and petals are nearly equal. Three of them form a hood, and the two side sepals spread outwards. The lip is rounded and shallowly 3-lobed, spotted dark purple. Marsh Orchis is found in shrubberies, open slopes and marshes, in the Himalayas, from Pakistan to SE Tibet, at altitudes of 2800-4000 m. Flowering: June-July. Roots are tuberous, divided into 2 or 3 lobes. Medicinal uses: The tuber yields salap and is reputed as expectorant, aphrobisiac and as nervine tonic. Locally it is used as a nervine tonic and aphrodisiac.
Common name: Tiny Dendrobium • Marathi: Jambhli dande amri Botanical name: Dendrobium microbulbon Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)   Tiny Dendrobium is a small epiphytic rare orchid native to peninsular India, which can be often seen growing out of bark of trees. Pseudobulbs are small, crowded, ovoid. The plant has 2 leaves which are linear-oblong and pointed. Flowering stem is leafless, solitary, erect, 4-8 flowered. Bracts are nearly as long as the stalk. Flowers are white, tinged with purple. They are small, about 1-1.2 cm across, stalked. Lateral sepals are obtuse, petals narrowly nearly spoon-shaped, mentum long incurved , lip thick, side lobes broad acute, midlobe small round crenulate, disk with a channelled ridge thickened at the end . Medicinal uses: Tiny Dendrobium is used in stomachache by the tribal people of Gujarat.
Common name: Edgeworth's Habenaria • Hindi: Riddhi • Tamil: Riddhi • Malayalam: Riddhi • Telugu: Riddhi • Kannada: Riddhi • Sanskrit: Riddhi Botanical name: Platanthera edgeworthii Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)   Edgeworth's Habenaria is a tuberous terrestrial orchid, growing up to 75 cm tall. It has somewhat twisted leafy stem covered with hairs. Leaves are sheathed, 2-4 in number, ovate to lance-shaped. Flowers are yellowish green deflexed in buds, in cylindrical spike. Lip is bright yellow, entire, strap-shaped, base forming slightly channeled claw, spur longer than ovary, spreading and directed upwards usually hooked downwards towards the tip, column 2-3 mm in height. Edgeworth's Habenaria is found in the Himalayas, from Uttarkhand to Nepal, at altitudes of 2500-3000 m. Medicinal uses: The tubers of Edgeworth's Habenaria are used in Ayurvedic medicine. The medicine goes by the name Riddhi.
Common name: Jeevak • Hindi: Jivak • Tamil: Jivakam • Malayalam: Jivakam • Telugu: Jivakamu • Kannada: Jivaka • Sanskrit: Jivakah Botanical name: Malaxis acuminata Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)   Found in India, China, and South-East Asia, at elevations up to to 1400 m, Jeevak is a small to medium sized, hot to warm growing terrestrial or lithophytic orchid. It occurs on highly eroded, stratified limestone cliffs and bluffs with horizontal rhizomes giving rise to rather thin, short stems, each bearing 3-5 , broadly lance-like, acuminate and acute, leaves. The plant blooms in summer on an erect, 4-12 inches long, several to many flowered inflorescence with lanceolate acute floral bracts. Flowers minute, pale-yellowish green, tinged with purple, in terminal racemes. Sides of the lip produced upwards into auricles, apex notched. Medicinal uses: The pseudobulbs are sweet, refrigerant, aphrodisiac, febrifuge and tonic. They are useful in haematemesis, fever, seminal weakness, burning sensations, dipsia, emaciation, tuberculosis and general debility.
Common name: Kumarika • Hindi: Kumarika, Jangli aushbah, Bhitura • Mizo: Kaitha • Marathi: Ghotvel • Tamil: ayadi, malaittamarai, tirunamappalai, kal tamarai • Malayalam: kaltamara, karivilanti • Telugu: Kondadantena • Kannada: kaadu hambu, kaadu hambu thaavare • Bengali: কুমাৰিকা Kumarika • Oriya: mootrilata • Sanskrit: Vanamadhusnahi Botanical name: Smilax ovalifolia Family: Smilacaceae (Smilax family)   Kumarika is an armed or unarmed climber. Leaves leathery, shining, 7-15 x 4-11 cm, broadly ovate to elliptic, base rounded or shortly wedge-shaped; 3-5-nerved. Leaf stalk 1.5 cm long, base sheathing, with tendrils at the end. Flowers white, in dense umbels in leaf axils, 1-3 on a common peduncle. Bracts ovate. Perianth recurved in mature flowers, outer 3 segments, 4 mm long, oblong, inner narrower. Stamens about as long as the perianth. It is found from the Himalayan region in the north to Peninsular India. Flowering: January-April. Medicinal uses: The roots of Kumarika are used for veneral diseases. Also applied in rheumatic swellings and given in urinary complaints and dysentery.
Common name: White Himalayan Lily, Many-leaved lily • Hindi: kalihari, ksirakakoli • Kannada: ksirakakoli • Malayalam: ksirakakoli • Sanskrit: kakoli, क्षीरकाकोली ksirakakoli • Tamil: ksirakakoli • Telugu: ksirakakoli Botanical name: Lilium polyphyllum Family: Liliaceae (Lily family)   White Himalayan Lily is a rare Himalayan lily with 1-10 pendant, fragrant, large, waxy, bell shaped with the lower half of the tepals strongly recurved. Tepals are white or pink with many dark pink or purple spots and stripes. Anthers are large, yellow to orange. Stem is 2-4 ft tall, stiff. Leaves are small, lanceshaped, scattered. Bulb is long and narrow, white, forming long roots - it is said to grow up to 60 cm deep in the soil. The three angled capsule is 4-7 cm long with many winged seeds. White Himalayan Lily is found in the Himalayas, from Afghanistan to Nepal, at altitudes of 1800-3700 m. Flowering: June-July. Medicinal uses: The tuberous roots are used as a tonic in emaciation and as a source of energy, after dry roasting.
Common name: Golden Eye Grass, Orchid palm grass • Hindi: Kali musli• Oriya: Tala-muli • Kannada: Nela tengu • Malayalam: Nelppana • Tamil: Nilappanaikkilanku • Bengali: Talamuli Botanical name: Curculigo orchioides Family: Hypoxidaceae (Star Grass family)   Golden Eye Grass is a herbaceous tuberous perennial with a short or elongate root stock bearing several fleshy lateral roots. The plant can grow up to 10-35 cm tall. Leaves sessile or petiolate 15-45x1.3-2.5 cm, linear or linear lanceolate, tips sometimes rooting, scape very short, clavate. It has hardy leaves and can take shade: the leaves will just get a bit longer in the shade than in full sun shine. During flowering period it open a golden yellow flower at the leaf base every day. This can form a cute miniature plant pot in your room. Flowering: July-August. Medicinal uses: The rhizomes of the plants are used for the treatment of decline in strength, jaundice and asthma. According to Ayurveda, root is heating, aphrodisiac, alternative, appetizer, fattening and useful in treatment of piles, biliousness, fatigue, blood related disorders etc. According to Unani system of medicine, root is carminative, tonic, aphrodisiac, antipyretic and useful in bronchitis, ophthalmia, indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea, lumbago, gonorrhea, gleet, hydrophobia, joint pains etc.
Common name: Krantz Aloe, Tree Aloe, Candelabra Aloe Botanical name: Aloe arborescens Family: Asphodelaceae (Aloe family)   Krantz Aloe is a large treelike multi-headed shrub. The common name krantz aloe refers to its habitat, a krantz being a rocky ridge or cliff. The species name arborescens is due to its stem forming habit. Typical height for this species ranges from 2-3 m. Its leaves are succulent and green with a slight blue tint. Its leaves are armed with small spikes along its edges and are arranged in rosettes situated at the end of branches. Flowers are arranged in racemes. The racemes are not branched but two to several can sprout from each rosette. Flowers are cylindrical in shape and are a vibrant red-orange color. Krantz Aloe is mostly native to the south eastern coast of the African continent. It is now a popular garden plant. Medicinal uses: As with Aloe vera, Krantz Aloe has strongly medicinal sap. In the parts of Ecuador where it is cultivated. it is considered the first treatment for any type of scratch, bite, or burn, and is used in hospitals as a primary treatment for burns up to the third degree. The sap of Krantz Aloe contains much higher concentrations of the primary compounds present in other aloes, and this higher concentration is responsible for the faster and more effective action of the sap against skin conditions. Like the sap of all aloes, that of Krantz Aloe can be drunk as a liver and digestive tonic.
Common name: Aloe vera, Medicinal aloe, Burn plant • Hindi: Gheekumari• Marathi: Khorpad • Tamil: Kathalai • Malayalam: Chotthu kathalai Botanical name: Aloe vera Family: Asphodelaceae (Aloe family)   Aloe, a popular houseplant, has a long history as a multipurpose folk remedy. Commonly known as Aloe vera, the plant can be snapped off and placed on cuts and burns for immediate relief. Aloe vera is a clump forming succulent whose fleshy gray-green leaves are arranged in a vase shaped rosette atop a very short stem. The leaves are up to 18 in long and 2 in wide at the base, slightly grooved on top, and terminating in a sharp point. The leaves have small grayish teeth on the margins. The main rosette gets up to about 2 ft high, and the plant continually produces little offset rosettes. In winter and spring, medicinal aloe bears small tubular yellow flowers on branched stalks up to 3 ft tall. The real Aloe vera has yellow flowers, but many of the clones available have orange flowers. Although Aloe Vera is a member of the Lily family, it is very-cactus like in its characteristics. Medicinal uses: Aloe Vera contains over 20 minerals, all of which are essential to the human body. The human body requires 22 amino acids for good health -- eight of which are called "essential" because the body cannot fabricate them. Aloe Vera contains all of these eight essential amino acids, and 11 of the 14 "secondary" amino acids. Aloe Vera has Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C and E. In India, Aloe vera is believed to help in sustaining youth, due to its positive effects on the skin. Hence it is called ghee kunvar or ghee kumaari.
Common name: Chives • Hindi: Chhoti pyaz• Manipuri: Tilhou macha Botanical name: Allium schoenoprasum Family: Alliaceae (onion family)   Chives are a species of flowering plant in the onion family Alliaceae, native to Europe and Asia. They are referred to only in the plural, because they grow in clumps rather than alone. Chives are hardy, draught tolerant, perennials, eight to twenty inches tall, that grow in clumps from underground bulbs. The leaves are round and hollow, similar to onions, but smaller in diameter. In June or July, chives produce large round flower heads consisting of purple to pink flowers. The flowers, which bloom for two months in midsummer, form round deep purple or pink globes that make an attractive garnish. Chives are grown for their leaves, which are used as a vegetable or a herb; they have a somewhat milder flavour than onions, green onion or garlics. Among the latter three Allium plants, chives resemble most the ordor of green onions. Medicinal uses: The ancient Chinese are the first documented to be using chives, as long ago as 3000 years B.C. The Romans believed chives could relieve the pain from sunburn or a sore throat. They believed that eating chives would increase blood pressure and acted as a diuretic.
Common name: Alpine Leek, Victory onion • Hindi: Pangari Botanical name: Allium victorialis Family: Alliaceae (Onion family)   Alpine Leek is interesting onion-like plant, with cylindrical bulb 4-6 cm long, coat net-veined, fibrous. Leaves are 3-6, stalked, broadly lanceshaped to elliptic, 10-20 cm long, 4-6 cm broad, shorter than the flowering stem. Flowers are borne in an umbel, atop a long leafless stem. Flower-stalks are 1-2 cm long. Tepals are white to yellow-white, 5 mm long, oblong, pointed to blunt. Filaments are longer than the tepals, entire, outer narrower, subulate, inner broader, lanceshaped. Style is protruding. Seeds are almost spherical. Bulb is eaten raw or cooked, as sn onion substitute. The plants are as pungent as garlic. The bulbs are rather small, about 1-2 cm in diameter, and are produced in clusters on a short rhizome. Leaves are eaten raw or cooked. The stems and leaves are eaten, they are much favoured in Japan. Flowers are eaten raw or cooked. The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles. Alpine Leek is found in the Himalayas, C. Asia and E. Asia, at altitudes of 600-2500 m. Flowering: June-August. Medicinal uses: The root is antiscorbutic, carminative, diuretic and vermifuge. Used in the treatment of profuse menstruation.
Common name: Himalaya Onion, Jimbur Botanical name: Allium wallichii Family: Alliaceae (onion family)   Himalaya Onion is a deciduous bulb that grows to 1.0 meters high by 0.5 meters wide. It grows in Himalyan foothills between 2300-6600 m. It sports hemispheric umbels of purple flowers. In Nepal, Himalaya onion is often used for cooking, especially for flavouring dal (दाल) boiled legumes. Rather uniquely, jimbu leaves are usually employed in the dried state and fried in butter fat to develop their flavour. Medicinal uses: The bulbs, boiled then fried in ghee, are eaten in the treatment of cholera and dysentery. The raw bulb is chewed to treat coughs and colds. It is said that eating the bulbs can ease the symptoms of altitude sickness. Members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.
Common name: Milk and Wine Lily, Ceylon swamplily, Pink striped trumpet lily • Hindi: Sudarshan • Marathi: Gandani-kanda, Gadambhikanda, Golkamdo • Tamil: Vishamungil • Kannada: Vish mungli • Bengali: Sukhdarshan • Konkani: Golkando • Sanskrit: Madhuparnika, Vrishakarni Botanical name: Crinum latifolium Family: Amaryllidaceae (Nargis family)   This old fashioned crinum lily is a low maintence plant that produces lovely, large, striped, lily-like flowers. The stripes are alternately wine pink and white. The flowers also have a wonderful faintly sweet fragrance. The tall bloom stalk stands about 18-24 inches above the abundant foilage and hold 5+ blooms at a time! These will produce several flower stalks during the warmer months with the majority of blooms coming in the spring and fall. These lilies will multiply by producing bulbs underground as well as from the seeds that form after the blooms. You'll have a lovely large group of these in no time. Milk and Wine Lily is native to India. Flowering: June-August. Medicinal uses: Bulbs are extremely acrid. When roasted, they are used as a rubefacient in rheumatism. Crushed and toasted bulb is applied to piles and abscesses to cause suppuration. The juice of the leaf is used in earache.
Common name: Asparagus, Garden asparagus Botanical name: Asparagus officinalis Family: Asparagaceae (Asparagus family)   Asparagus is believed to be native to the east Mediterranean and the Middle East. It thrives along sandy riverbanks, shores of lakes and wet, salty coastal areas. It is very salt tolerant. Today it grows “wild” across many of the areas around the world where it is grown for food. Asparagus grows into a tall upright bush. It’s hard to say what the asparagus flower means. It’s totally discrete. Hard to see, hard to study. Flowers are small, with two yellowish-green rings of petal-like tepals. Still, the asparagus flower is looked fro by the bees, the asparagus being honey-bearing. The leaves of the asparagus are even harder to define. They can’t even remind of what usually defines a plant. The leaves barely have the shape of scales. Medicinal uses: Vegetable eaten raw or boiled, the asparagus has surprising medicinal properties. The asparagus is indicated in some general illnesses like asthenia, anemia, rheumatism, diabetes as well as renal lithiasis. It is firstly a fortifier. From the asparagus offshoots decoction, juice, syrup and tincture are prepared. Very often used is the asparagus juice, a preparation practically accessible to anyone.
Common name: Satawari, Wild Asparagus • Hindi: satawari, bojhidan, shatavir • Manipuri: Nunggarei • Marathi: Satavari-mul, Asvel • Tamil: Sadavari, Tannir-muttan-kizhangu, Kilavari • Malayalam: Chatavali, Satavali • Telugu: challa-gaddalu, challagadda, ettavaludutige • Kannada: aheruballi, ashadhi, halarru-makkal • Bengali: সতমুলী Satamuli, সতমূল Satamul • Oriya: ବରୀ Vari • Urdu: ستاور Satawar, شقاقل مسری Shaqaqul misri • Assamese: সতোমূল Satomul • Sanskrit: Abhiru, शतावरी Shatavari, हिरण्यस्रिंगी Hiranyasringi • Mizo: Arkebawk Botanical name: Asparagus racemosus Family: Asparagaceae (Asparagus family)   Satawari is a woody climber growing to 1-2 m in height, with leaves like pine needles, small and uniform and the flowers white, in small spikes. It contains adventitious root system with tuberous roots. Stems are climbing, branched, up to 2 m; branches usually distinctly striate-ridged. Leaves are just modified stems, called cladodes. Branches contain spines on them. Inflorescences develope after cladodes, axillary, each a many-flowered raceme or panicle 1-4 cm. Pedicel 1.5-3 mm, slender, articulate at middle. Flowers are white with a pink tinge, 2-3 mm, bell-shaped with 6 petals. Stamens equal, ca. 0.7 mm; anthers yellow, minute. Within India, it is found growing wild in tropical and sub-tropical parts of India including the Andamans; and ascending in the Himalayas up to an altitude of 1500 m. Flowering: October-November. Medicinal uses: In Ayurvedic medicine, the root of Satavari is used in the form of juice, paste, decoction and powder to treat intrinsic haemorrhage, diarrhoea, piles, hoarseness of voice, cough, arthritis, poisoning, diseases of female genital tract, erysipelas, fever, as aphrodisiac and as rejuvinative.
Common name: Sabal palm, palmetto palm, cabbage palm • Manipuri: Kona Botanical name: Sabal palmetto Family: Arecaceae (Palm family)   Cabbage palm is a beautiful and versatile palm, is hence quite popular. It is recognized by its tan-gray, unbranched trunk, and large crown with fanlike leaves. The large leaves have a dull finish and are a medium green, sometimes yellow-green, in color depending on the individual and situation. Each leaf is up to 12 ft long overall including the spineless petioles (leaf stems) which measure about 5-6 ft in length. Leaves emerge directly from the trunk which is often covered with old leaf stem bases that are arranged in an interesting criss-cross pattern. Depending on the individual these may persist to the ground even in very old palms. Cabbage palm grows to a height of 10 - 25 m (32-82 feet), with a stem diameter of approximately 30 - 60 cm. In mid-summer the cabbage palm bears creamy white flowers on a long branched inflorescence that is held completely within the crown. Flowers are followed in late fall or early winter by black and fleshy spherical fruit that is about one third of an inch in diameter. Medicinal uses: Roots are cooling, restorative. Juice of plant is diuretic, stimulant, antiphlegmatic, useful in dropsy. Cabbage palm is native to the Americas.
Common name: Grass of the Dew Botanical name: Cyanotis arachnoidea Family: Commelinaceae (Dayflower family)   Grass of the Dew plant has furry violet blooms, dotted with yellow stamens. It is a perennial her with fibrous roots. Main stem is undeveloped, short. Fertile stems arise from below the leaf rosette, diffuse, creeping, 20-80 cm. Leaves are in a basal rosette and cauline. Rosulate leaf blade linear, 8-35 × 0.5-1.5 cm; cauline leaf blade on fertile stems much shorter, to 7 cm, abaxially rather densely arachnoid. Flowers arise in often several, both terminal and axillary heads, stalkless or on a stalk up to 4 cm. Bracts are 7-8 mm. Sepals are fused at base, linear-lanceshaped, about 5 mm, webby on the underside. Petals are blue-purple, blue, or white, about 6 mm. Filaments are blue, cobweb-like. Capsules are broadly oblong, trigonous, about 2.5 mm, densely hairy at the tip. Flowering: June-September. Medicinal uses: Grass of the Dew was used to cure the rheumatic infections in the China Imperial. The roots are used as medicine for stimulating blood circulation, as a muscle and joint relaxant, and for relieving rheumatoid arthritis.
Common name: Arrow Leaf Pondweed, arrow-leaf monochoria, hastate-leaf pondweed, monochoria • Hindi: Launkia • Bengali: Nukha Botanical name: Monochoria hastata Family: Pontederiaceae (Pickerel weed family)   Arrow-leaf Pondweed is an emergent aquatic herb with stems approximately 0.7-1.2 m long. The basal leaves are arrow-shaped. The inflorescence of 25- 60 flowers is in a dense spike 6-9 cm long. The flowers are 13-16 mm long, purple or whitish. One anther is coloured blue, c. 6 mm long, the other 5 anthers are yellow and c. 4 mm long. The seed capsule is 7 mm long, and 5-6 mm diameter. This species occurs in India, Sri Lanka and SE Asia, extending to New Guinea and Australia. Arrow-leaf Pondweed is often grown as an ornamental in water gardens, and the entire plant except its roots is eaten in India. Flowering: March–June. Medicinal uses: Plant is considered alterative, tonic and cooling. Juice of leaves is applied to boils. Rhizomes are powdered with charcoal and used for scurf.
Common name: Oval Leaf Pondweed, Oval Leaf Monochoria, Marshy betelvine • Hindi: Nanka, Indivar • Marathi: Nelat-phal • Tamil: Karimkuvalam • Malayalam: Karinkuvvalam • Telugu: Nirakancha • Kannada: Neelothpala • Bengali: nukha • Assamese: nara meteka • Sanskrit: इंदीवरः Indivarah Botanical name: Monochoria vaginalis Family: Pontederiaceae (Pickerel weed family)   Oval Leaf Pondweed is an attached aquatic annual or perennial herb with emersed leaves, to 50 cm tall. More widespread than M. hastata, it is a serious weed of rice fields. Leaves variable - 2-12.5 cm long, 0.5-10 cm wide, in very young plants without lamina; leaves of somewhat older plants with a floating linear or lanceolate blade; leaves of still older plants, ovate-oblong to broadly ovate, sharply acuminate, the base heart-shaped or rounded, shiny, deep green in color. Inflorescence spikelike, basally opposite the sheath of the floral leaf, with a large bract arising from a thickened bundle on leaf stalk, about two-thirds of the way up the stalk from the base. Flowers 3-25, opening simultaneously or in quick succession, on pedicels 4-25 mm long. Petals six, violet or lilac blue, spreading at flowering, afterwards spirally contorted. As is typical of many aquatic annuals, plant size, leaf shape, and flower number are highly variable in relation to the amount of water. The entire plant (except the roots) is eaten as a vegetable in India, and the roots are used medicinally. Flowering: August-March. Medicinal uses: Oval Leaf Pondweed is used in Ayurvedic, Unani and folklore medicine. The root is used for toothache and the bark is eaten with sugar for asthma.
Common name: Painted Spiral Ginger, Spotted Spiral Ginger Botanical name: Costus pictus Family: Costaceae (Spiral Ginger family)   Painted Spiral Ginger is a perennial herb, native to Mexico. It has long narrow leaves with a characteristic wavy edges. The bases of the sheaths are mottled with markings that have earned the plant the synonym of Costus hieroglyphica. The inflorescences form both at the end of a leafy stem, and less often radically on a short nearly leafless stem. Painted Spiral Ginger can be recognized by its yellow flowers with red spots and stripes. In India it is grown in gardens as ornamental plant especially in Kerala in every home. The major attraction of this plant is its stem with spiral leaves and light airy and tissue paper like flowers. Red painted stem enhances the beauty of the glossy leaves and strongly spiralling canes. Medicinal uses: The Costus pictus is valued mainly for its tonic, stimulant and antiseptic properties. It is said to be aphrodisiac and to be able to prevent the hair turning grey. Its root is anodyne, antibacterial, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, carminative, skin, stimulant, stomachic, tonic and vermifuge.
Common name: Shell Ginger, Light galangal, Pink porcelain lily • Manipuri: Kanghoo • Bengali: Punnag champa Botanical name: Alpinia zerumbet Family: Zingiberaceae (Ginger family)   Native to India, Shell ginger is a tall and dramatic landscape or container plant. The leaves are about 2 ft long and 6 in across and strikingly variegated with irregular stripes of green and yellow in some varieties. The habit is upright and does not require staking as do some other members of the ginger family. The flowers are white, tipped in pink, and borne in long pendant arches. In some varieties, there is no pink in the tip. The individual flowers are reminiscent of small seashells, which accounts for the common name "shell ginger".Typically, shell ginger grows to about 6 ft, but it can grow up to 12 ft high. Medicinal uses: In Manipur, fresh rhizome is applied to ringworms and other skin diseases. Rhizomes are stimulant, carminative; used in rheumatism and bronchial catarrh.
Common name: East Indian Arrowroot, Bombay arrowroot • Hindi: Tikhur• Bengali: Keturi halodhi • Manipuri:Yaipan • Marathi: Tavakeera, Tavakhira, Tavakila • Malayalam: Koova, Kuva-kizhanna • Tamil: Ararutkilangu, Kua, Ararut-kizhangu • Kannadai: Koove-hittu • Telugu: Ararut-gaddalu • Sanskrit: Tavakshira Botanical name: Curcuma angustifolia Family: Zingiberaceae (Ginger family)   East Indian Arrowroot is an attractive ginger with stout underground rhizomes which lie dormant in winters. In early spring the flowers are produced before the leaves. Very colourful bracts make this a showy species. The shape and colour of the bracts are very variable. The inflorescence lasts in full bloom on the plants for about three weeks and more. Good for cut flower use with a vase life of 10 days and more for fresh cut blooms. Leaves grow to about 2ft tall and die down in autumn. This species is found in the Eastern Himalays and inhabits bright open hillsides and woods. In Manipur, pakodas made using these flowers, are considered a delicacy. Medicinal uses: East Indian Arrowroot is recognized as a medical herb. It is nutritive, and is used as an agreeable, non-irritating diet in certain chronic diseases, during convalescence from fevers, in irritations of the alimentary canal, pulmonary organs, or of the urinary apparatus, and is well suited for infants to supply the place of breast-milk, or for a short time after having weaned them. It may be given in the form of jelly, variously seasoned with sugar, lemon-juice, fruit jellies, essences, or aromatics. Its jelly has no peculiar taste, and is less liable to become acid in the stomach, and is generally preferred by young infants to all others, except tapioca.
Common name: Wild turmeric, Aromatic turmeric • Hindi: Jangli haldi• Manipuri: Lam Yaingang • Gujarati: Zedoari • Tamil: Kasturimanjal • Malayalam: Kattumanna • Telugu: Kasthuri Pasupa • Kannada: Kasthuri Arishina Botanical name: Curcuma aromatica Family: Zingiberaceae (Ginger family)   Wild tumeric is an aromatic and pretty ginger with stout underground rhizomes. Foliage dies down in late in autumn and the rhizomes remain dormant in winter. The inflorescence appears in early spring from the base of the rhizome. Flowers are pinkish white in color, with an orange lip. The stalk grows to about 8 to 10 inches tall, and is crowned with enlarged colored bracts tipped with pink. Leaves appear after the flowers. When in full growth the plants can reach a height of about 3ft tall. Leaves are broad and very decorative, elliptic, 3-4 ft long, and 20 cm wide, leaf-stalk being as long as the blade. Good for cut-flower use with a vase life of about 10 days for a fresh stem. This species is found in the eastern Himalayas and inhabits warm forest areas. Grows fast and vigorously during the summer monsoon months. Rhizomes used to a limited extent in villages for flavouring curries. Medicinal uses: Wild turmeric is recognized as a medical herb with strong antibiotic properties. It is believed to play a role in preventing and curing cancer in chinese medicine. In an effort to remove cell accumulations such as a tumors, curcuma is often utilized. There are two species commonly used in cancer therapy that, like ginger, have a spicy taste.It contains aromatic volatile oils that help to remove excessive lipids from the blood, reduce aggregation of platelets (sticking of the blood cells to form masses), and reduce inflammation.
Common name: Black Turmeric • Hindi: Kali Haldi, Nar Kachura, Krishna kedar • Manipuri: Yaingang Amuba • Marathi: Kala-haldi • Telugu: Nalla Pasupu, Manupasupu • Kannada: kariarishina, naru kachora • Bengali: Kala haldi • Mizo: Aihang, Ailaihang • Assamese: kala haladhi • Nepali: कालो हलेदो Kaalo haledo Botanical name: Curcuma caesia Family: Zingiberaceae (Ginger family)   Black Turmeric is a perennial herb with bluish-black rhizome, native to North-East and Central India. The leaves have a deep violet-red patch which runs through the length of the lamina. Usually, the upper side of the leaf is rough, velvety, but this character may vary. Flowering bracts are green with a ferruginous tinge. Flower petals may be deep pink or red in color. The rhizome is bitter, hot taste with pungent smell. Black Turmeric is used in Tantrik Sadhana. The dried leaves are used as a source for fuel. Northern tribes use Black Turmeric as a talisman to keep the evil spirits away. Presently Black Turmeric is on the verge of extinction. Medicinal uses: Claimed to be useful in treating Piles, Leprosy, Bronchitis, Asthma, Cancer, Epilepsy, Fever, Wounds, Impotency, Fertility, Menstrual disorders, tooth ache, vomiting etc.
Common name: Turmeric • Assamese:, Halodhi • Bengali: হলুদ Halud • Gujarati: Haldar • Hindi: Haldi • Kannada: Arishina, Arisina • Malayalam: ‍, Manjal • Marathi: हळद Halad • Nepali: हल्दी Haldi • Oriya: Haladi • Sanskrit: Haridra, Marmarii • Tamil: மஞ்சள் Manjal • Telugu: హరిద్ర, Haridra • Urdu: Haldi, ہلدی Botanical name: Curcuma longa Family: Zingiberaceae (Ginger family)   Turmeric is a rhizomatous herb, native to tropical South Asia. Turmeric is a very important spice in India, which produces nearly the whole world’s crop and uses 80% of it. The plant grows to a height of 3-5 ft. It has oblong, pointed leaves and bears funnel-shaped yellow flowers, peeping out of large bracts. The rhizome is the portion of the plant used medicinally. It is usually boiled, cleaned, and dried, yielding a yellow powder. Dried Turmeric root is the source of the spice turmeric, the ingredient that gives curry powder its characteristic yellow color. Turmeric is used extensively in foods for both its flavor and color.  Medicinal uses: Turmeric has a long tradition of use in the Chinese and Ayurvedic systems of medicine.
Common name: Hill Turmeric • Hindi: Kachura • Marathi: raan halada, shindalavana or shindalavani • Tamil: Kattu manjal • Malayalam: Kattu manjal Botanical name: Curcuma pseudomontana Family: Zingiberaceae (Ginger family)   Hill Turmeric is an erect herb, growing to 75 cm tall, found on moist, shaded areas of wet forests and along sluggish grassy slopes of higher altitude. It has stout rootstock bearing small almond like sub-globose tubers at the ends of the_fibrous roots. The tubers are fleshy and white inside, aromatic. Leaves 3-5, oblong-lancelike, 20-30 x 6-9 cm, base acute, tip sharp, margin entire, hairless; shiny; leaf stalk and the leaf sheath up to 20 cm long. Flowering spikes seen in the center of the previously formed tuft of leaves, 10-25 cm long, bearing numerous compactly arranged flowers; flowering bracts conspicuous, inverted eggshaped to lancelike, 3-5 x l.5-2,cm, apex rounded to acute, hairless; gr,een with a pinktip. Non-flowering bracts (coma) oblong-lancelike, conspicuous, purple below and pinkish purple above. Flowers 2-4 in each fertile bract, bright yellow, 3 cm long and 4 cm broad. Capsules spherical, splitting by 3-valves, smooth. Seeds ovoid or oblong, usually covered with arils. Flowering: June-Septermber. Medicinal uses: The Savara tribes in the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh use tuber extracts to cure jaundice. Jatapu and Kaya tribes apply warm tuber paste to treat body swellings. Women of Jatapu and Savara tribes eat boiled tubers to increase lactation. Khand tribes apply tuber paste on the head for cooling effect.
Common name: Red Ginger Lily • Manipuri: Takhellei angangba Botanical name: Hedychium marginatum Family: Zingiberaceae (Ginger family)   Red Ginger Lily is a very uncommon ginger with beautiful bright red flowers. In form, the flowers look similar to those of Butterfly Ginger Lily. Flowers appear in spikes. It is found in NE India, particularly Manipur. Medicinal uses: Decoction of rhizomes is given in bronchitis and stomach complaints.
Common name: Spiked Ginger Lily • Hindi: Sandharlika , Kapur kachri• Manipuri: Takhellei• Nepali: Seto saro Botanical name: Hedychium spicatum Family: Zingiberaceae (Ginger family)   Spiked Ginger Lily is a smallish hardy ginger, growing to around 1-1.5 m, with leafy stems. Flowers are fragrant, white with an orange-red base, appearing in a dense spike, 15-25 cm, at the top of the stem. Flower tube is 5-6.5 cm long, much longer than the sepal cup, with white narrow petals spreading outwards. Lip is white with two elliptic lobes with an orange base. Filaments of the stamens are red. Leaves are oblong, up to a foot long and 4-12 cm broad, much like Haldi leaves. A perfume Abeer is obtained from the root stock. Spiked Ginger Lily is found from Himachal Pradesh to Arunachal Pradesh, at altitudes of 1800-2800 m. Flowering: July-August. Medicinal uses: Rootstocks are used in medicine.
Common name: Shampoo Ginger, Pinecone ginger • Assamese: gathian • Bengali: kulanjan, mahabari bach, narkachur • Hindi: Banadrak, Mahabari-bach, Nar-kachur • Kannada: agale shunti • Malayalam: kathu-inshi-kua • Manipuri: যাইমু Yaimu • Marathi: काली हळद Kaali halad, narakchora • Oriya: viranam • Sanskrit: ahava, avanti, karpuraharidra • Tamil: araniyacaranai • Telugu: kaarallamu • Urdu: Kapur kachri کپورکچری Botanical name: Zingiber zerumbet Family: Zingiberaceae (Ginger family)   Shampoo Ginger is a perennial herb characterized by pinecone-like heads of bracts from which white flowers emerge. On maturity the heads turns bright red and exude a wonderfully thick liquid with an equally wonderful fragrance. And, in fact, the liquid makes an excellent shampoo, thus its common name Shampoo Ginger. The 10-12 elliptic-lanceshaped leaves, 15-20 cm long, grow in an alternate arrangement on thin, upright stem. Among the leafy stems the conical or club-shaped flower heads form on separate and shorter stalks. These appear in the summer, after the leafy stems have been growing for awile. The flower heads are reddish-green 3-10 cm long with overlapping scales, enclosing small yellowish-white flowers that poke out a few at a time. The flowers are inconspicuous, 3-petaled, and creamish in color. The flower stalks usually remain hidden beneath the leaf stalks. This plant, originating in India, was distributed eastward through Polynesia and introduced to the Hawaiian Islands in the canoes of early Polynesian settlers. Shampoo Ginger grows in moist, shaded, forested areas. Medicinal uses: In Hawaii the spicy-smelling fresh rhizomes were pounded and used as medicine for indigestion and other ailments. In traditional use, the rhizome was ground in a stone mortar with a stone pestle, was mixed with a ripe Noni fruit and then used to treat severe sprains. The pulp was placed in a cloth and loosely bound around the injured area. For a toothache or a cavity, the cooked and softened rhizome was pressed into the hollow and left for as long as was needed. To ease a stomach ache, the ground and strained rhizome material is mixed with water and drunk.
Common name: Umbrella Sedge, Nutgrass, Nutsedge, Purple Nutsedge • Hindi: Nagarmotha • Marathi: lawala • Tamil: koraikkilangu, nakamuttakkacu • Malayalam: korakizhanna • Telugu: kolatungamuste, tungagaddalaveru • Kannada: konnarigadda, nagarmusthe • Urdu: Nagarmotha, Sadkofi • Sanskrit: chakranksha, charukesara, chudalapindamusta, kachharuha, kalapini, nadeyi, nagar-mustaka Botanical name: Cyperus scariosus Family: Cyperaceae (Sedge family)   Umbrella Sedge is a perennial herb, about a meter tall, arising from rhizomes and tubers. The stems are 3-sided and triangular in cross section and there is an umbrella-like tuft of long narrow leaves at the top. The leaves are yellow to green in color with a distinct ridge. The plant has red-brown flower spikelets with up to 40 individual flowers. The dried tuberous roots are collected, dried and used in traditional medicine. Nutgrass is used in hair - and skin care products. It stimulates sebaceous glands near hair roots. Also interesting is that the oil, an amber viscous liquid, extracted from this plant is used in perfumery. Medicinal uses: The tubers are credited with astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, dessicant, cordial and stomachic properties. A decoction of the tuber is used for washing hair, treating gonorrhea and syphilis. It is also given in diarrhea and for general weakness.
Common name: Crowfoot Grass, beach wiregrass, coast button grass, comb fringe grass, Duck grass, Durban crowfoot, Egyptian fingergrass, Egyptian grass, finger comb grass, four-finger grass • Hindi: मकड़ा Makra • Manipuri: পুঙফাঈ Pungphai Botanical name: Dactyloctenium aegyptium Family: Poaceae (Grass family)   Crowfoot Grass is a slender to moderately robust, spreading annual herb, with wiry stems, that bend and root at the lower nodes, with tips that may rise to about 2 ft in height. It is a very common weed of open spaces and wasteland. Leaves are typically grass-like,2-30 cm long, 2-9 mm wide, with blades and sheaths that are without hair. Leaf margins have long, stiff hairs. Flowers arise in 1-7 spikes, 1-6.2 cm long, 3-7 mm wide, at the tip of stems. Seed head resembles a crow's foot, hence the common name. Crowfoot Grass is native to Africa, but naturalized world-wide. Medicinal uses: In Manipur, juice of fresh plants is prescribed in fevers. Decoction of the plant is given in small pox.
Common name: Indian Fumitory • Garo: Pid-papra, Shahtra • Hindi: Papara, Pit papra • Malayalam: Parpatakam • Nepali: Dhukure • Sanskrit: Parpata, Parpatakah • Telugu: Chatarashi Botanical name: Fumaria indica Family: Fumariaceae (Fumitory family)   Indian Fumitory is a delicate much-branched annual herb with clusters of tiny pale-pinkish to whitish flowers, each 5-6 mm long. Sepals are minute. Upper petal has short, somewhat down-curved sac-like spur. Flower-stalks are erect, as long or slightly shorter than the laceshaped bracts. Leaves are 2-3 times cut into narrow pointed segments, about 1 mm broad. Stems are glaucous, leafy, 5-30 cm long. Fruit is round, about 2 mm. Indian Fumitory is found throughout the Himalayas, up to altitudes of 2400 m. Flowering: April-May.

Medicinal uses: The plant is sold under the name pitpapra in Ayurvedic bazaars. It is also used in the Unani system of medicine and incorporated into trifala shahtara. Indian Fumitory is used in aches and pains, diarrhoea, fever, influenza and liver complaints. The herb mixed with honey mar be taken internally to prevent vomiting. A cold infusion of the plant is used to treat wasting diseases of children and to help cooling during fever and in the treatment of constipation and dyspepsia. It is used as a blood purifier for skin diseases and applied externally in leucoderma and as a fomentation for swollen joints. The dried plant is also used as an anthelmintic, diuretic and diaphoretic and, in combination with black pepper, for jaundice.

Common name: Opium Poppy • Bengali: Pasto • Hindi: Aphim, Khash-khash • Kannada: afirm, biligasgase, gasagase, kasakase • Malayalam: afium, avin, karappu, kasakasa • Marathi: afu, aphu, khuskhus, posta • Sanskrit: aaphuka, ahifen, ahiphena • Tamil: abini, gashagasha, kasakasa, postaka • Telugu: abhini, gasagasala, gasagasala-chettu • Urdu: Aphim, Khashkhash Botanical name: Papaver somniferum Family: Papaveraceae (Poppy family)   Opium poppy is the plant from which opium and poppy seeds are extracted. It is an annual herb, 1-2 ft tall (up to 1.5 m in cultivation). Taproot is erect, almost conical. Stems are erect, glaucous, hairless. Alternately arranged leaves are ovate or oblong, 7-25 cm, both surfaces hairless, glaucous and rather waxy, with veins distinct, slightly raised, base heart- shaped, margin irregularly wavy-toothed, tip long pointed to blunt. Lower leaves are shortly stalked but upper ones are stalkless and stem-clasping. Flowers occur singly, deeply cup-shaped, 5-12 cm in diameter, born on long stalks up to 25 cm. Flower buds are nodding at first, erect when the flower opens fully, oval-oblong or broadly ovoid, 1.5-3.5 × 1-3 cm. Sepals are 2, green, broadly ovate, margin membranous. Petals are 4, white, pink, red, purple, or various, often with a dark basal blotch, roundish, 4-7 × 3-11 cm, margin wavy or variously lobed. Stamens are many, with white filaments 1-1.5 cm. Ovary is green, spherical, 1-2 cm in diameter, capped by stigmas united into compressed star-like disk. Capsule are brown when mature, spherical or oblong-elliptic, 4-9 × 4-5 cm. Seeds are many, black or deep gray. Poppy seeds are commonly used in both North and South Indian Cusine. They are called "khuskhus" in Hindi, "gasagasalu" in Telugu, "gasagasa" in Kannada, and "posto dana" in Bengali. Poppy seeds can be dry roasted and ground to be used in wet curry (curry paste) or dry curry.  Medicinal uses: Poppy is one of the most important medicinal plants. Traditionally, the dry opium was considered an astringent, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, diaphoretic, expectorant, hypnotic, narcotic, and sedative. Poppy has been used against toothaches and coughs. The ability of opium from poppy to serve as an analgesic is well known. Opium and derivatives of opium are used in the pharmaceutical industry as narcotic analgesics, hypnotics, and sedatives. Opium and the drugs derived from opium are addictive and can have toxicological effects.
Common name: Raj Patha • Hindi: Raj Patha • Kannada: paduvala balli, phalani • Malayalam: pada-kelengu, patakkilannu • Marathi: थोरली पाडावळ Thorali Padval, मोठी पहाडवेल Mothi pahadvel • Sanskrit: बृहत् पाठा Bruhat Patha, akaisika, ambastha, ambasthaki • Tamil: malaitanki, ponmucuttai • Telugu: patatige, paatathige  Botanical name: Cyclea peltata    Family: Menispermaceae (Moonseed family)  

Raj Patha is a slender twining shrub, frequently climbing up on tall trees. Leaves are alternate, heart shaped, 2.5-10 cm long, 2.5-3.75 cm broad, stipule 5-10 cm long and nerves 7-11. The flowers are unisexual, pale yellow, in panicles occurring in leaf axils. The fruits are ovoid drupes, brown or scarlet in color. The seeds are covered. The roots are tuberous, cylindrical, irregularly curved, with grayish brown surface. The plant blooms in the rainy season.

Medicinal uses:  The roots of patha have great medicinal value and are used for medicinal purpose, both, internally as well as externally. External application of the paste of its roots and leaves is extremely beneficial, in infected wounds, sinuses, and skin diseases like erysipelas and pruritus. The external application of this paste is said to be useful in serpant bite also. The root juice is salutary in headache, as nasal drops. The roots have anti-inflammatory activity and hence alleviated the edema. Patha is a valuable wound healer and antidermatosis herb.
Common name: Tape Vine • Assamese: Tubuki lota • Bengali: Akanadi, Kanadi, Chhotopard • Garo: Khaarkha • Malayalam: patakkilannu • Manipuri: থংগা উরী অঙৌবা Thangga-uri angouba • Nepali: Batule paat • Sanskrit: Rajapatha  Botanical name: Stephania japonica Family: Menispermaceae (Moonseed family)  

Tape vine is a climber found in India, S. China and SE Asia. Leaves are ovate, long pointed, with a rounded base, and the stalk joining the leaf away from the edge. Leaf stalk is about 6 cm long. Leaves are 12-16 cm long, 2-11 cm wide. The leaves show 4 pairs of secondary nerves which are reddish. Flowers are minute, borne in flat-topped clusters in leaf axils. Fruits are red, obovate to almost round, 6-8 mm. 

Medicinal uses: In Japan and Taiwan, decoction of the plant is used as a drink to treat malaria. In Indonesia, the roots are used to provide relief in stomach aches.
Common name: Gulbel, Indian Tinospora • Hindi: गिलोय Giloy, गुलांचा Gulancha, गुलबेल Gulbel • Manipuri: Ningthou khongli • Marathi: गुलवेल Gulvel • Tamil: Kunali • Telugu: Manapala • Kannada: Madhuparni • Bengali: Nimgilo • Konkani: Amritvel • Assamese: Hoguni-lot • Sanskrit: Guruchi  Botanical name: Tinospora cordifolia Family: Menispermaceae (Moonseed family)  

Gulbel is a native plant from India, also known to be found in Far East, primarily in rainforests. The plant is climbing shrub with heart-shaped leaves. It has stems about 6 cm in diameter, with light grey, papery bark. The leaves are 7.5-14 cm long, 9-17 cm broad, broadly ovate or orbicular, deeply heart shaped at the base. Tiny greenish yellow flowers occur in racemes 7-14 cm long. Flowers have 3+3 sepals in 2 layers, the outer ones are small, the inner large large. Six stamens prominently protrude out. The plant flowers during the summer and fruits during the winter. Gulbel prefers acid, neutral or basic alkaline soil. It can grow in semi-shade or no shade. Requiring moist soil. Gulbel grows easily without chemical fertilizers, and use of pesticides. 

Medicinal uses: The herb has a long history in use by practitioners of Ayurved. Known by its practitioners to treat convalescence from severe illness, arthritis (or joint diseases), liver disease, eye diseases, urinary problems, anemia, cancer, diarrhea, and diabetes. Also, help remove toxins from the body. The plant is cultivated by stem cutting in the month of May-June and used in Tibetan medicine. The herb is known to have a sweet, bitter and acid taste. Extracted from the stem and root is a nutrient starch used to treat chronic diarrhea and dysentery. According to a legend, the herb is known locally as giloya or "heavenly elixir": Kept the angels eternally young.
Common name: Chitra, Indian barberry, Tree turmeric, Nepal barberry • Hindi: चित्रा Chitra • Tamil: Mullukala • Malayalam: Maramanjal • Bengali: Darhaldi  Botanical name: Berberis aristata/chitria Family: Berberidaceae (Barberry famil)  

Chitra is an evergreen shrub found commonly in Garhwal and Himalayas. It grows to 4 m high and 0.5 m wide. Leaves, in tufts of 5-8, lance-like, simple spiny, toothed, leathery, stalkless, pointed, 4.9 cm long, 1.8 cm broad, deep green on the dorsal surface and light green on the ventral surface. Spines (which, in fact, are modified leaves) are three-branched and 1.5 cm long. Flowers, stalked, yellow, in simple to corymbose raceme, with 11-16 flowers per cluster. The average diameter of a fully opened flower is 12.5 mm. Six yellow sepals (3 small, 3 large), with 6 petals, yellow, 4-5 mm long. 

Medicinal uses: It is one of very important medicinal plants. Almost every part of this plant has some medicinal value. A bitter tonic antiperiodic and diaphoretic An infusion is used in the treatment of malaria, eye complaints, skin diseases, menorrhagia, diarrhoea and jaundice. Berberine, universally present in rhizomes of Berberis species, has marked antibacterial effects. Since it is not appreciably absorbed by the body, it is used orally in the treatment of various enteric infections, especially bacterial dysentery.
Common name: Indian Barberry, Boxthorn Barberry • Hindi: Darhaldi, Chatrol • Kumaon: Kirmora • Urdu: इशकीन Ishkeen, Kushmul, Zarch • Gujarati: કસમલ Kasmal  Botanical name: Berberis lycium Family: Berberidaceae (Barberry family)   Indian Barberry is a semi deciduous shrub, 2-4 m high, leaves lanceolate or narrowly obovate-oblong, entire or with a few large spinous teeth, arranged alternately on stem. Inflorescence a raceme, flowers yellow born in axillary clusters longer than the leaves. Fruit, berries, black. Flowering: March-June. Medicinal uses: Indian Barberry's roots are used as remedy for swollen and sore eyes, broken bones, wounds, gonorrhea, curative piles, unhealthy ulcers, acute conjunctive and in chronic opthalmia, also used as bitter tonic astringent, diaphoretic and febrifuge. Leaves are given in jaundice.
Common name: Nepal Mahonia, Indian barberry Botanical name: Mahonia napaulensis Family: Berberidaceae (barberry family)  

Indian barberry is an evergreen shrub growing to 2.5m by 3m, with large, pinnately compound leaves. The leaves are about 18 in (46 cm) long with 9 to 13 stiff, sharply spiny, hollylike leaflets. The fragrant lemon-yellow flowers, appearing in late winter, are borne in erect racemes 3-6 in (7.6-15 cm) long. The fruit is a berry, first green, then turning bluish black with a grayish bloom. They are about a half inch long and hang in grapelike clusters. It is in leaf all year, in flower from March to April. Fruit is eaten raw or cooked. An acid flavour, but it is rather nice raw especially when added to muesli or porridge. Unfortunately, there is relatively little flesh and a lot of seeds. The fruit can also be dried and used as raisins. 

Medicinal uses: The fruits are said to be diuretic and demulcent. They are used in the treatment of dysentery. Berberine, universally present in rhizomes of Mahonia species, has marked antibacterial effects and is used as a bitter tonic.

Common name: Gaping Monkshood, Gaping Flower Aconite • Hindi: mohri, mohru, patis kauri • Sanskrit: amrta, sthavaravisa, vajranaga, vatsanabha  Botanical name: Aconitum chasmanthum Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family)   Gaping Monkshood is a perennial herb 1-2 ft cm tall, with leafy stem. Leaves are regularly distributed, the upper leaves only slightly smaller than the lower ones. They are deeply cut, pentagonal-circular in outline, 4.2-4.8 × 4-5.6 cm, both surfaces hairless or nearly so. Central segment is rhombic, base narrowly cuneate, 3-parted nearly to base; lobes dissected; lateral segments obliquely flabellate, unequally 2-parted. Flowers are borne in racemes up to 30 cm long or longer. Flowers have a gaping open mouth, compared to other Monk's hood flowers. Sepals are blue or white with blue veins, rarely pale purple, lateral ones circular to nearly square, not contiguous with helmet. Claw of petals is 5-7 mm. Filaments are often almost hairless, winged, wings not ending in tiny teeth. Carpels are generally 5, straight, hairless or with a few hairs along the back and near the style, sometimes hairy. Follicles are oblong, 1-1.6 cm. Seeds have unequal wings. Gaping Monkshood is found in the meadows of the Himalayas, from Pakistan to Nepal, at altitudes of 2300-4300 m. Flowering: August. Medicinal uses: The dried pulverized roots are mixed butter and given as ointment on abscess and boils also mixed with tobacco and uses as “Naswar”. The whole plant is highly toxic - simple skin contact has caused numbness in some people.
Common name: Indian Atees • Hindi: arand, ateicha, atis, atvika • Kannada: athibaje, athivisha • Malayalam: ativitayam • Marathi: atavish, athivish • Nepali: Atis, bikh • Sanskrit: amrita, aruna, ataicha, atisaraghni, ativisa • Tamil: adhividayam, adivitaiyam, akuculapu • Telugu: athivaasa, atirasa, ativasa • Urdu: atees, atis shirin, beesh  Botanical name: Aconitum heterophyllum Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family)   Indian Atees is a perennial herb, 1-4 ft tall, distinguished by its rather large greenish-purple, prominently darker-veined flowers, and its coarsely toothed but otherwise entire leaves. Flowers are 2.5-3 cm across, usually in lax, spike-like clusters with very variable bracts which are either small linear, small ovate, or large ovate and enclosing the lower part of the flower and fruit. They are hooded, rounded, broader than long. Leaves are ovate-heart-shaped to rounded, 4-8 cm, the upper ones stem-clasping, all with large rounded teeth. Lowest leaves are deeply lobed and long-stalked. At higher altitudes, sometimes plants are smaller in size. Seed pods are 1.6-1.8 cm, shortly hairy, erect. Indian Atees is found in the Himalayas, from Pakistan to C. Nepal, at altitudes of 2400-400 m. Flowering: August-September. Medicinal uses: The dried root of Indian Atees is the part which is believed to have analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, anti-periodic, aphrodisiac, astringent properties according to Ayurveda.
Common name: Travellers Joy • Marathi: सोन जाई Son-Jai  Botanical name: Clematis wightiana Family: Ranunculaceae (buttercup family)   Travelers Joy is a perennial climber, over bushes, and often simply trailing in the grass. The stems are hairy when young, but become fluted and wiry when old. The leaves are compound and opposite. The plant climbs by means of its petioles, which on coming in contact with some support, soon make one or two coils around it. The inflorencences are shorter than the leaves. The sweetly-scented flowers are borne in great profusion and present a common sight in autumn, along the roadsides. The colour of the flowers range from cream-coloured to white; they are without any petals, but have four crown-shaped sepals with a powderbrush of stamens. The seeds are greenish brown in colour and each bears a persistent feathery style, by means of which it is wind-dispersed. The masses of fruit of the Travellers Joy are feathery in appearance. Flowering: January-April.  Medicinal uses: The name traveller's joy must have come about because of all its wonderful medicinal properties that were useful to the traveller in days gone by when they stuffed the leaves into their shoes to ease blisters, aches & pains. It’s still used to soothe muscles, by boiling up a strong brew from the leaves and adding it to your bath water.
Common name: Kashmir Larkspur  Botanical name: Delphinium cashmerianum Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family)   Kashmir Larkspur is a perennial herb found in the Himalayas, from Pakistan to Uttarakhand, at altitudes of 2700-4500 m. It is characterized by woolly- haired, conspicuously veined bluish-purple flowers, 2-3 cm acrossm clustered in a dense flat-topped head. Flowers have a stout spur 1.5 cm long. Leaves are rounded in outline, deeply lobed, 3-5 cm across. It is quite similar to Musk Larkspur which is found only above altitudes of 4500 m, and has larger, more inflated flowers.  Medicinal uses: Roots of the plant are used medicinally.
Common name: Jadwar • Hindi: Jadwar, Judwar, Nirbishi, Nirbisi, Nirvisi • Kannada: nirvishi • Malayalam: nirvasi • Marathi: nirvishi • Nepali: निरबिशी Nirbishi • Sanskrit: apavisha, avisa, avisha, nirvisa, nirvisha • Tamil: nirbasi • Urdu: jadwar  Botanical name: Delphinium denudatum Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family)   Jadwar is critically endangered Himalayan herb, which was once commonest species. It is distinguished by its relatively small blue or violet flowers, borne in a widely branched inflorescence with a few spike-like clusters. Flowers are about 2.5 cm, with the upper outer petals about 1.2 cm and a spur 1.4-1.5 cm. Upper inner petals are white, the others blue. Leaves are 5-15 cm across, rounded in outline, cut into 3-5 broadly obovate segments, segments pinnately cut into oblong lobes or teeth 2-3 mm wide. Jadwar is found in the Himalayas, from Pakistan to C. Nepal, at altitudes of 1500-2700 m. Flowering: June-August. Medicinal uses: It is one of the important drugs used as indigenous medicine in India, especially in Unani medicine. The roots of the plant are reported to be useful in a variety of ailments such as aconite poisoning, brain diseases, fungal infection, piles and toothache as analgesic and astringent. A number of studies have been done on its phytochemical and pharmacological properties. Its use in opium addiction is mentioned in some classical literature, which has been verified and validated in morphine induced physical dependent de-addiction studies.
Identification credit: Krishan Lal
Common name: Cursed Buttercup, Poisonous buttercup, Celery-leaved buttercup, Blister buttercup • Hindi: Shim, Aglaon, जलधनिया Jaldhaniya • Manipuri: Lalukaoba • Marathi: khajakollathi, Kulagi • Nepali: नाककोरे Nakkore • Sanskrit: Kandakatuka, Kandira, नससंवेदना Nasasamvedana  Botanical name: Ranunculus sceleratus Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family)   Cursed Buttercup is a fast growing annual herb which produces a multitude of small yellow flowers. The flowers have three to five yellow petals 2-5 × 1-3 mm and reflexed sepals as long as petals. The leaves have small blades each deeply lobed or divided into usually three leaflets, and look like coriander leaves. They are borne on long stalks. The fruits arise in heads 5-13 × 3-7 mm and make the plant easy to identify. Cursed Buttercup is a very poisonous plants. Bruised and applied to the skin, it raises a blister and creates a sore which is by no means easy to heal. When chewed, it inflames the tongue and produces violent effects. Cursed Buttercupis found at altitudes up to 1700 m in Europe, C. Asia, Himalayas, N. India, Siberia, Mongolia, China, Japan, N. America. Flowering: February-June.  Medicinal uses: When made into a tincture, given in small diluted doses, it proves curative of stitch in the side and neuralgic pains between the ribs.
Common name: Karmal, Dog Teak, Dillenia, Nepali elephant apple • Hindi: करमल karmal • Marathi: पिवळा करमळ piwala karmal • Tamil: நாய்த்தேக்கு nay-t-tekku, புன்னை வகை punnai vakai • Malayalam: കുടപ്പുന്ന kutapunna, പട്ടിപ്പുന്ന pattippunna, വാഴപ്പുന്ന vaazhappunna • Telugu: చిన్న కళింగ chinna kalinga, రేవడ revada • Kannada: ಕಾಡು ಕಣಿಗಲು kaadu kanigalu • Bengali: বন চালতা ban chalta • • Oriya: railgatcho • Konkani: लहान करमल lahan karmal • Assamese: okshi • Gujarati: કરમલ karmal • Khasi: dieng soh bar • Mizo: kaihzawl, kawrthing-dengte • Sanskrit: अक्षिकीफल aksikiphal, पुन्नाग punnaga • Nepalese: राम फल ram phal, तानतारी tantari  Botanical name: Dillenia pentagyna Family: Dilleniaceae (Karmal family)   Karmal is a large deciduous tree grows up to 40 meters in height. Leaves are large, 1-2 ft, alternate, ovate-rhomboid, obtuse or acute. Flowers yellowish, fragrant, 2-3 cm across, arise from the nodes of fallen leaves, on panicles. Fruits 2.5 cm in diameter, globose contain single seed. The flower-buds and young fruits have a pleasant, acid flavor and are eaten raw or cooked in Oudh and central India. The ripe fruits are also eaten.Dillenia, named in honour of J. J. Dillenius (1684-1747), a noted botanist. Pentagyna in allusion to the flower having five styles. Flowering: March-May.  Medicinal uses: According to Ayurveda, the plant pacifies vitiated vata, kapha, anal fistula, wounds, diabetes, diabetic carbuncle, neuritis, pleurisy, pneumonia, and burning sensation.
Common name: Air Plant, Donkey Ears, Life Plant, Leaf of Life, Resurrection Plant, Canterbury Bells, Cathedral Bells, Mexican Love Plant, Floppers • Hindi: Amar poi अमर पोई • Malayalam: Elamarunna • Tamil: Runakkalli • Bengali: Kop pata • Urdu: Zakhmhaiyat ज़ख़्महयात • Manipuri: , মনাহিদাক Manahidak  Botanical name: Kalanchoe pinnata Family: Crassulaceae (sedum family)   Native Hawaiian plant. Easy to grow just from one leaf set on top of moist soil. Very fast growing, drought tolerant small shrub. Tolerates almost any conditions. Spectacular bloomer. Air Plant grows to about 3-6 feet tall. The erect, thick, succulent stems bear large, fleshy leaves, each with 3 or 5 oval leaflets with round-toothed edges. Young plantlets develop along the margins of the mature leaves. The attractive, drooping blooms are borne on large panicles. The flowers have purple or yellowish-white tinged calyxes and reddish corollas. Kalanchoe is a genus of about 125 species of tropical, succulent flowering plants in the Family Crassulaceae, mainly native to the Old World but with a few species in the New World. These plants are cultivated as ornamental houseplants and rock or "cactus" garden plants. They are popular because of their ease of propagation, low water requirements, and wide variety of flower colors typically borne in clusters well above the vegetative growth. The "Air plant" Kalanchoe pinnata is a curiosity because new individuals develop vegetatively at indents along the leaf, usually after the leaf has broken off the plant and is laying on the ground, where the new plant can take root.  Medicinal uses: Bahamians call it Life Leaf or Ploppers. In the Bahamas it is mostly used for Asthma or shortness in breath.
Common name: Bush Grape, fox-grape, three-leaved wild vine, threeleaf cayratia • Hindi: अमलबेल amalbel, gidardrak, ramchana, tamanya • Marathi: अंबटवेल ambatvel, अंबोशी amboshi, sarbarival • Tamil: காட்டுப்பிரண்டை kattuppirantai • Malayalam: amarcakkoti, corivalli, kattuperanta, tsjori-valli, vatakkoti • Telugu: కనుపుతీగె kanupu tige, పులిమడ puli mada • Kannada: ಹೆಗ್ಗೊಲಿ heggoli • Bengali: অমল লতা Amal-lata • Assamese: চেপেতা লতা Chepeta-lota • Sanskrit: अम्लवेतस amlavetasah, अत्यम्लपर्णी atyamlaparni, gandirah  Botanical name: Cayratia trifolia Family: Vitaceae (Grape family)   Native to India, Bush Grape is a vine that climbs by means of tendrils which are found opposite the leaves. The leaves are trifoliolate with petioles 2-3 cm long. The leaflets are ovate to oblong-ovate, 2-8 cm long, 1.5-5 cm wide, pointed at the tip, and coarsely toothed at the margins. The flowers are small greenish white and borne on solitary cymes in leaf axils. The fruit is fleshy, juicy, dark purple or black, nearly spherical and about 1 cm in diameter. Flowering: December.  Medicinal uses: The root, ground with black pepper, is applied to boils. The root is also used as an astringent medicine.
Common name: Banchalita • Hindi: बनचलिता banchalita • Manipuri: কোকনাল Koknal • Bengali: বনচলিতা Banchalita  Botanical name: Leea asiatica Family: Vitaceae (Grape family)   Banchalita is an erect gergarious shrub with angular stem swollen above the nodes and internodes. Petioles and peduncles usually have narrow crisped wings. Leaves are pinnately compound - not double-pinnate like Bandicoot Berry. Leaflets are 3-5, laterals opposite, ovate or ovate-oblong, serrate, tip sharp, base rounded or heart-shaped. Flowers, 5-6 mm across, greenish white, are borne in short, cymes at the end of branches. Calyx united, cup-like, teeth 5, obscure, often glandular-tipped. Petals 5, connate, 2-3 mm long, ovate, acute. Stamens 5, united; staminal tube 5-lobes, 2-celled. Ovary inserted on the disc; style short; stigma 2-lobed. Leaf extract is mixed with water and used for washing hair by Chiru tribe in NE India. Flowering: September. 

Medicinal uses: Root tuber is used against guineaworms. The root with bark of Boswellia serrata is made into paste which is prescribed in case of snake-bite by the tribes of Hazaribag district of Bihar.

Common name: Bandicoot Berry • Hindi: कुकुर जिह्वा Kukur jihwa • Manipuri: Koknal • Marathi: Karkani • Tamil: Nalava, Ottannalam • Malayalam: Nakku • Telugu: Amkador • Kannada: Gadhapatri • Bengali: Kurkur • Assamese: Ahina • Sanskrit: Chatri  Botanical name: Leea indica Family: Vitaceae (Grape family)   Bandicoot Berry is a shrub with straight branches. The leaves are double compound or triple compound, 90-120 cm long. The leaflets are extremely variable in size and shape. The flowers are greenish-white. The fruit is small. It is found in India to Indo-China, the Malay Peninsula, Java, Sumatra, and Borneo.  Medicinal uses: A decoction of the root is given in colic, is cooling and relieves thirst. In Goa, the root is much used in diarrheal and chronic dysentery. The roasted leaves are applied to the head in vertigo. The juice of the young leaves is a digestive.
Common name: Desert Date, Egyptian myrobalan, heglig, Jericho balsam, simple thorned torch tree, simple-thorned torchwood, soap berry tree • Hindi: हिंगोट hingot, हिंगन hingan, हिंगन का पेड़ hingan-ka-per, इंगुदी ingudi, हिंगोर hingor • Kannada: ingala, ingalarade, ingalare • Malayalam: namunta, nanchunta • Marathi: hingalbet, hingam • Sanskrit: तापसद्रुमः tapasadruma, angaravrksa, हिंगुपत्र hinguputra • Tamil: nanchundan, nancuntan • Telugu: gara, gara-chettu • Urdu: hingot  Botanical name: Balanites aegyptiaca Family: Zygophyllaceae (Caltrop family)   Desert Date is a thorn tree growing up to 30 ft tall, with a generally narrow form. The branches are thorny. The dark green compound leaves are made up of two leathery leaflets which are variable in size and shape. Leaf-stalk is channeled, 0.5-2 cm with a short rachis. Leaflets are entire, generally up to 6 cm long, 4 cm broad, although can be smaller (1-3 x 0.3-1.5 cm). Greenish stalkless flowers are borne in few-flowered fascicles. Flower buds are ovoid and velvety. Individual flowers are 8-14 mm in diameter and generally greenish-yellow. Flower-stalks are densely greyish, velvety and rarely reaching 1 cm in length. Fruit is ellipsoid, up to 4 cm long, green. Ripe fruit is brown or pale brown with a brittle coat enclosing a brown or brown-green sticky pulp and a hard stone seed. The name Balanites come from the Greek for acorn, referring to the fruit. This speices is probably native to Egypt and is globally distributed from Tropical Africa to India and Myanmar. Within India, it is found throughout the drier parts from Punjab to West Bengal, Rajasthan and Peninsular India. Medicinal uses: The fruits have been used in the treatment of liver and spleen diseases. The fruit Desert Date is known to kill the snails which carry schistosomiasis and bilharzia flukes. The roots are used for abdominal pains and as a purgative. Gum from the wood is mixed with maize meal porridge to treat chest problems. The fruit can cure mouth ulcer, whooping cough, sleeping sickness and skin diseases. Fruit kernel has been found as a mild laxative, an antidote to arrow poison, and also acts as a vermifuge.
Common name: Harmal, Syrina Rue, Turkey red • Hindi: Harmal, Isband, Isband Lahouri • Kannada: eeme goranti • • Ladakhi: སེཔན Sepan Marathi: Harmala • Sanskrit: haramala, soma • Tamil: simaiyalavinai, simaiyaravandi, cimai alavanam • Telugu: shima-goranti-vittulu • Urdu: Ispand, Aspand, Tukhm kunch hi maing  Botanical name: Peganum harmala Family: Zygophyllaceae (Caltrop family)   Harmal is a perennial plant which can grow to about 2.5 ft tall, but normally it is about 1 ft tall. The roots of the plant can reach a depth of up to 6.1 m, if the soil it is growing in is very dry. Leaves are stalkless, 4-8 cm long, irregularly and pinnately cut into 3-5 cm long, 2-5 mm broad, linear-lanceshaped or subelliptic, pointed segments. The flowers are yellowish-white and are about 2.5–3.8 cm in diameter. Petals are obovate-oblong, 1.5-2 cm long, 6-9 mm wide. The round seed capsules measure about 1–1.5 cm in diameter, have three chambers and carry more than 50 seeds. A red dye, "Turkey Red," from the seeds is often used in Western Asia to dye carpets. It is also used to dye wool. When the seeds are extracted with water, a yellow fluorescent dye is obtained. If they are extracted with alcohol, a red dye is obtained. The stems, roots and seeds can be used to make inks, stains and tattoos. Harmal is found in the Himalayas, from Afghanistan to Kashmir, and also in C. and W. Asia, Europe and N. Africa. It is prominent in Ladakh and Kashmir valley, at altitudes of 300-2400 m. Flowering: April-October. 

Medicinal uses: Harmal is used as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent. In Yemen it was used to treat depression, and it has been established in the laboratory that harmaline, an active ingredient in Peganum harmala, is a central nervous system stimulant and a "reversible inhibitor of MAO-A (RIMA)," a category of antidepressant.

Common name: Puncture Vine, Caltrop, Yellow Vine, Goathead • Hindi: Gokharu गोखरू • Urdu: Gokhru • Bengali: Gokhru kanta • Telugu: Cinnpalleru • Tamil: பல்லேரு முள்ளு palleru-mullu • Malayalam: Nerinnii  Botanical name: Tribulus terrestris Family: Zygophyllaceae (Caltrop family)   Puncture Vine is an obnoxious weed whose seeds are incredibly painful to step on, they easilly puncture your bicycle tires, and sometimes have to be pulled out of your pets' paws. It is a taprooted herbaceous perennial plant that grows as a summer annual in colder climates. The stems radiate from the crown to a diameter of about 10 cm to over 1 m, often branching. They are usually prostrate, forming flat patches, though they may grow more upwards in shade or among taller plants. The leaves are pinnately compound with leaflets less than a quarter-inch long. The flowers are 4-10 mm wide, with five lemon-yellow petals. A week after each flower blooms, it is followed by a fruit that easily falls apart into four or five single-seeded nutlets. The nutlets or "seeds" are hard and bear two sharp spines, 10 mm long and 4-6 mm broad point-to-point. These nutlets strikingly resemble goats' or bulls' heads; the "horns" are sharp enough to puncture bicycle tyres and to cause considerable pain to unshod feet.  Medicinal uses: Tribulus is mentioned in ancient Indian Ayurvedic medical texts dating back thousands of years. Tribulus has been widely used in the Ayurvedic system of medicine for the treatment of sexual dysfunction and various urinary disorders. The Greeks used Tribulus Terrestris as a diuretic. In China and Vietnam it has been used in the treatment of post-partum hemorrhage, epistaxis and gastro intestinal bleeding. Tribulus terrestris is being promoted as a testosterone booster for the purpose of building muscle and increasing sex drive. It does not work like DHEA and androstenedione 100, which are progenitors of testosterone. Instead, claims have been made that it enhances testosterone levels by increasing luteinizing hormone levels.
Common name: Shikakai, Soap-pod • Hindi: Kochi, रीठा Reetha, शिकाकाई Shikakai • Marathi: रीठा Reetha • Tamil: Shika, Sheekay, Chikaikkai • Malayalam: Cheeyakayi, Chinik-kaya, Shikai, Cheenikka • Telugu: Cheekaya, Chikaya, Gogu • Kannada: Sheegae, Shige kayi, Sigeballi • Oriya: Vimala • Urdu: Shikakai • Assamese: Amsikira, Kachuai, Pasoi tenga, Suse lewa • Sanskrit: Bahuphenarasa, Bhuriphena, Charmakansa, Charmakasa, Phenila  Botanical name: Acacia concinna Family: Mimosaceae (Touch-me-not family)   Shikakai is a climbing, most well-known for the natural shampoo derived from its fruit. Thorny branches have brown smooth stripes - thorns are short, broad-based, flattened. Leaves with caducous stipules not thorn-like. Leaf stalks are 1-1.5 cm long with a prominent gland about the middle. Leaves are double-pinnate, with 5-7 pairs of pinnae, the primary rachis being thorny, velvety. Each pinnae has 12-18 pairs of leaflets, which are oblong-lanceshaped, 3-10 mm long, pointed, obliquely rounded at base. Inflorescences is a cluster of 2 or 3 stalked rounded flower-heads in axils of upper reduced leaves, appearing paniculate. Stalk carrying the cluster is 1-2.5 cm long, velvety. Flower-heads about 1 cm in diameter when mature. Flowers are pink, without or with reduced subtending bracts. Pods are thick, somewhat flattened, stalked, 8 cm long, 1.5-1.8 cm wide.  Medicinal uses: Shikakai is a commonly used herb that has many remedial qualities. It is popularly referred as "fruit for the hair" as it has a naturally mild pH, that gently cleans the hair without stripping it of natural oils. Shikakai is used to control dandruff, promoting hair growth and strengthening hair roots. Its leaves are used in malarial fever, decoction of the pods are used to relieve biliousness and acts as a purgative. An ointment, prepared from the ground pods, is good for skin diseases.
Common name: Gum Arabic Tree, Gum Acacia, Gum Senegal Tree • Hindi: कुम्ट्ठा Kumttha, Kumatiyo, Kumat, Kumatio • Marathi: खैर Khair • Sanskrit: Babul, Shvetakhadira  Botanical name: Acacia senegal Family: Mimosaceae (Touch-me-not family)   Gum Arabic Tree is a small deciduous acacia tree, native to semi-desert regions of Sub-Saharan Africa, Pakistan, and northwestern India. It grows to a height of 5-12m, with a trunk up to 30 cm in diameter. Thorns are placed just below the nodes, either in threes up to 7 mm long, with the middle one hooked downwards and the lateral ones curved upwards, or solitary with the laterals absent. Leaves are double-compound, up to 2.5 cm long. Leaf-axis is finely downy with 2 glands; pinnae are 6–20 pairs; leaflets are small, 7–25 pairs, rigid, leathery, smooth, linear to elliptic-oblong, ciliate on margins, pale glaucous-green, tip blunt to somewhat pointed. Flowers are borne in not very dense spikes 5–10 cm long, carried on stalks 0.7–2 cm long. Flowers are normally produced with the leaves. Sepal cup is bell-shaped, glabrous, deeply toothed. Flowers are white to yellowish, fragrant, stalkless. Pod is straight or slightly curved, retrap-shaped, 7.5–18 cm long, 2.5 cm wide, thin, light brown or gray, papery or woody, firm, smooth. The tree produces gum arabic, which is used as a food additive, in crafts, and as a cosmetic. The gum is drained from cuts in the bark, and an individual tree will yield 200 to 300 grams. Seventy percent of the world's gum arabic is produced in Sudan. Flowering: January–March.  Medicinal uses: The gum is used for soothing mucous membranes of the intestine and to treat inflammed skin. It is also reportedly used as for its astringent properties, to treat bleeding, bronchitis, diarrhea, gonorrhea, leprosy, typhoid fever and upper respiratory tract infections.
Common name: Red Sandalwood, Coral-wood, Peacock flower fence, Red beadtree • Hindi: रक्तचंदन Rakt chandan, बड़ी गुम्ची Badi gumchi • Marathi: थोरला गुंज Thorla goonj • Tamil: Ani kundamani, Manjadi • Malayalam: Sem, Manchadi • Telugu: Gurivenda, Enugaguruginji • Kannada: Ane golaganji • Bengali: Ranjana • Oriya: Sokakainjo • Konkani: Odlygunji • Assamese: Chandan • Gujarati: બડી ગુમ્ચી Badigumchi • Sanskrit: Ksharaka, kunchandana, Tamraka  Botanical name: Adenanthera pavonina Family: Mimosaceae (Touch-me-not family)   Red Sandalwood is a timber tree. This plant is found in the wild in India. Leaves are compound bipinnate, green when young, turning yellow when old. The small, yellowish flower grows in dense drooping rat-tail flower heads, almost like cat-tail flower-heads. Fruits are curved, hanging, green pods that turn brown, coil up and split open as they ripen to reveal small bright red seeds.These attractive seeds have been used as beads in jewellery, leis and rosaries. They were also used in ancient India for weighing gold. The seeds are curiously similar in weight. Four seeds make up about one gramme. Children love the hard red seeds and few can resist collecting the brightly coloured seeds usually littered under the tree. The young leaves can be cooked and eaten. the wood is extremely hard and used in boat-building and making furniture. 

Medicinal uses: A red powder made from the wood is also used as an antiseptic paste. In Ancient Indian medicine, the ground seeds are used to treat boils and inflammations. A decoction of the leaves is used to treat gout and rheumatism. The bark was used to wash hair.

Common name: Black Siris, Ceylon rosewood, fragrant albizia, tea shade tree • Assamese: কৰৈ koroi • Bengali: কাকুর সিরিস kakur siris • Garo: khelbi • Gujarati: કાળો શિરીષ kalo shirish • Hindi: काला सिरिस kala siris • Kannada: ಕಾಡು ಬಾಗೆ kaadu baage • Khasi: dieng krait • Konkani: काळी शिरस kali siras • Malayalam: കരുവാക karuvaka, കുന്നിവാക kunnivaka, നെല്ലിവാക nellivaka, പുളിവാക pulivaka • Manipuri: uil • Marathi: चिंचवा chinchava • Mizo: kangtekpa • Nepali: कालो शिरिश kalo shirish • Oriya: tiniya • Sanskrit: शिरीष shirisha • Tamil: சிலை cilai, கருவாகை karu-vakai • Telugu: చిందుగ cinduga 

Botanical name: Albizia odoratissima Family: Mimosaceae (Touch-me-not family)

  Black Siris is a medium sized tree up to 22 m tall, diameter 120-150 cm, and a short trunk. Bark is dark grey to light brown with horizontal warts. Crown is spreading, relatively dense with drooping leaves. Branching habit is uniform, but irregularities occur when the tree is damaged. Leaves are dark green, double compound; rachis 7-20 cm long, bearing 1 lower gland 1-2 cm above the base, and 1 upper gland between the 2 distal pairs of side-stalks. Side-stalks are 3-5 pairs, 7-14 cm long; per side-stalks, 10-16 pairs of oblong to obovate leaflets, 1.1-3.5 cm x 0.6-1.2 cm. Inflorescence is clustered into hairy panicles 8-20 cm long, at branch ends. Flowers are 10-15 per head, dimorphic, pale yellowish white, fragrant. Pods are thin, flat, 13-30 cm long, 2.5-3.5 cm broad, leathery, brown when ripe, dehiscent, each containing 8-14 seeds. Seeds ovoid, 9 mm x 6 mm x 1.5 mm. The black siris occurs naturally in Southern China, Myanmar and peninsular India. It is extensively grown in its native range and has been introduced in Eastern Africa. Medicinal uses: The bark of the tree is useful in ulcers, leprosy, skin diseases, cough, bronchitis, diabetes and burning sensation.
Common name: Tree Bean • Hindi: सपोटा sapota, Khorial • Manipuri: যোন্গচাক Yongchak • Kannada: Shivalingada mara • Marathi: Unkampinching • Assamese: Khorial 

Botanical name: Parkia timoriana Family: Mimosaceae (Touch-me-not family)

  Tree Bean is a very large tree, 25-40 m in height, found in North-East India. The leaves are evenly bipinnate and 30-80 cm long. The pinnae are 40-60 in number, and 8-20 cm long. The leaflets are 60-140, linear-oblong, 6-12 mm long, close-set, shining above, and pointed at the tip. The flower-heads are dense, obovoid or perform, up to 6 cm long, hanging from leaf axils like old-fashioned electric bulbs, on long cable-like stalks. The flowers are white and yellow, about 1 cm long. The pods are 25-30 cm long, about 3.5 cm wide, rather thick, pendulous, and black and shinning when mature, and contain from 15-20 seeds. The pods are edible, and are considered a delicacy in Manipur. Their pulp is golden yellow, with a sweetish taste and an odor like that of violets. The roasted seeds are used in certain parts of Africa to make an infusion like coffee, for which reason they have been called soudan Coffee.  Medicinal uses: Pods are used in bleeding piles. Bark extract is given in diarrhoea and dysentery. Bark and leaves are employed for making lotion applied to sores and skin affections.
Common name: Yellow Nicker, Gray nicker, nicker seed, bonduc nut, Fever nut, nicker bean • Hindi: कांटकरंज Kantkarej, कांटीकरंज Kantikaranja, कुबेराक्षी Kuberakshi • Marathi: सागरलता Sagarlata • Tamil: Kalichchikkai • Malayalam: Kalanchi • Telugu: Gachchakaya • Kannada: Gajikekayi • Sanskrit: लताकरंजः Latakaranjah, कुबेराक्षी Kuberakshi, कंटकीकरंजः Kantakikaranjah 

Botanical name: Caesalpinia bonduc Family: Caesalpiniaceae (Gulmohar family)

  Yellow Nicker is a large, thorny, straggling, shrub which behaves like a strong woody climber, taking support of trees. The branches are armed with hooks and straight hard yellow prickles. Leaves are large, double compound, with 7 pairs of pinnae, and each with 3-8 pairs of leaflets with 1-2 small recurved prickles between them on the underside. Flowers are yellow, in dense long-stalked racemes at the top. Fruits are inflated pods, covered with wiry prickles. Seeds are 1-2 per pod, oblong or globular, hard, grey with a smooth shiny surface. The hard and shiny seeds are green, turning grey.They are used for jewellery.  Medicinal uses: Fruits are tonic and antipyretic. Seeds yield a fatty oil used as a cosmetic and for discharges from the ear. Leaves and bark are febrifuge.
Common name: Coffee Senna, coffeeweed, Negro coffee • Hindi: Kasunda, Bari kasondi • Marathi: ran-takda, kasivda, kasoda, rankasvinda • Tamil: Nattam takarai, Payaverai • Malayalam: Mattantakara • Telugu: Thangedu • Kannada: Kolthogache • Bengali: Kalkashunda • Oriya: Kasundri • Urdu: Kasonji • Assamese: Hant-thenga • Gujarati: Kasundri • Sanskrit: Kasamarda, Vimarda, Arimarda  Botanical name: Cassia occidentalis Family: Caesalpiniaceae (Gulmohar family) Coffee Senna is a smooth annual that can grow up to 2 m tall. The leaves are compound, leaflets, in 4-6 pairs, have a sharp tip. These leaflets are 2-9 cm long and 2-3 cm wide with a distinct gland 3-5 mm from the base of the stalk. Flowers occur in leaf axils. Sepals are green and 6-9 mm long. The petals are yellow and 1-2 cm long. The 6-7 stamens are of two different lengths. The seed pods are dark brown, 8 to 12 cm long, 7-10 mm wide and curve slightly upward. The seeds are dull brown, 4-5 mm long and flattened on both ends. The seeds can be roasted and made into a coffee-like drink. 

Medicinal uses: The seed is bitter and has purgative properties. It is also used as a diuretic, liver detoxifier, as a hepato-tonic (balances and strengthens the liver). Further, used in whooping cough and convulsion.

Common name: Sita Ashok, Sorrowless tree • Hindi: सीता अशोक Sita Ashok, Ashok अशोक • Gujarati: Ashopalava • Kannada: Achenge • Malayalam: Hemapushpam • Marathi: Jasundi • Tamil: அசோகம் Asogam • Telugu: Asokamu  Botanical name: Saraca asoca Family: Caesalpiniaceae (Gulmohar family)   Ashoka is one of the most legendary and sacred trees of India, and one of the most fascinating flowers in the Indian range of flower essences. Ashok is a Sanskrit word meaning without grief or that which gives no grief. Indigenous to India, Burma and Malaya, it is an erect tree, small and evergreen, with a smooth, grey-brown bark. The crown is compact and shapely. Flowers are usually to be seen throughout the year, but it is in January and February that the profusion of orange and scarlet clusters turns the tree into an object of startling beauty. Pinned closely on to every branch and twig, these clusters consist of numerous, small, long-tubed flowers which open out into four oval lobes. Yellow when young, they become orange then crimson with age and from the effect of the sun's rays. From a ring at the top of each tube spread several long, half-white, half-crimson, stamens which give an hairy appearance to the flower clusters. In strong contrast to these fiery blooms is the deep-green, shiny foliage. The foot-long leaves each have four, five or six pairs of long, wavy-edged, leaflets. Young leaves are soft, red and limp and remain pendent even after attaining full size. 

Medicinal uses: As one would expect from a tree of the country it has many useful medicinal properties. The juice obtained from boiling the bark is a cure for some ailments of women, and a pulp of the blossoms is one of the remedies used for dysentery.

Common name: Tanner's Cassia • Hindi: Tarwar तरवड़ • Marathi: Tarwad तरवड • Kannada: Tangedi • Telugu: Tagedu • Tamil: Avaram • Gujarati: Awala • Malayalam: Avaram  Botanical name: Senna auriculata Family: Caesalpiniaceae (Gulmohar family)   Tanner's Cassia is a branched shrub, growing upto 1-1.5 m high. It has a smooth reddish brown bark. It has many ascending branches and 8-10 cm long pinnate leaves. There are 8-12 pairs of leaflets, each 2-3 cm long. Bright yellow flowers appear in recemes at the end of branches. The flowers are 4-5 cm across. Upper three stamens are reduced to stamenoides. Fruit is a 7-12 cm long, flat brown pod. 

Medicinal uses: In Ayurveda, the root of this plant is used in a decoction for fevers, diabetes, diseases of the urinary system and constipation. The leaves have laxative properties. The dried flower and flower buds are used as substitute.

Common name: Stinking Cassia, Chinese senna, foetid cassia, Java bean, low senna, peanut weed, sickle senna, sicklepod • Assamese: Bon medelua, Dari diga, Medeluwa • Bengali: Panevar, Chakunda • Hindi: Panwar, Chakunda, Chakvat • Kannada: Sogata • Malayalam: Sakramardakam • Manipuri: থৌনম নমথীবী Thaunum namthibi • Marathi: Takla, Tankala • Mizo: Kelbe-on • Oriya: chakunda • Tamil: சேநாவு Senavu • Urdu: Panwar, Panevar, Tarota  Botanical name: Senna tora Family: Caesalpiniaceae (Gulmohar family)   Stinking Cassia is a small erect hairlesss shrub, about 1 m tall, commonly found growing wild on roadsides. True to its name, foetid/stinking cassia has a disagreeable smell. It is widely spreading with numerous ascending, hairless branches. The compound leaves are arranged spirally and usually have three pairs of symmetrically egg-shaped leaflets up to 2 inches long. One to three yellow flowers appear on short axillary stems. The linear pods grow to 8 inches long, curve downward and contain many shiny, angular seeds. It occurs abundantly in open pastures, and is very common on roadsides and wasteland. In organic farms of India, Stinking Cassia is used as natural pesticide.  Medicinal uses: According to Ayurveda, the leaves and seeds are useful in leprosy, ringworm, flatulence, colic, dyspepsia, constipation, cough, bronchitis, cardiac disorders.
Common name: Red Bush Tea, Rooibos Tea, South African red tea  Botanical name: Aspalathus linearis Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)   Rooibos or Red Bush Tea is a shrub which can grow up to 2 meter in height. The erects red coloured rooibos stems contain many dark green needle shaped leaves. The rooibos shrub produces small yellow flowers in spring through early summer. Each flower produces a one seeded small bean. Roobos has a long tap root, sometimes up to 2 m in length, enabling the plant to survive periods of drought. Rooibos grows only in South Africa. Rooibos tea is much appreciated because it does not contain caffeine and is low in tannins. The seed have been recently brought to South India also by some plant lovers.  Medicinal uses: Rooibos has anti-carcinogenic and antimutagenic effects. Tea made with it is used for its anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties. Consumption of rooibos tea may relief fever, asthma, insomnia, colic in infants and skin disorders. Rooibos extracts are used in ointments against eczema.
Common name: Takoli • Hindi: टकोली Takoli • Telugu: Nagulapachari • Assamese: Meda-luwa • Malayalam: Mannavitti • Tamil: Erigai • Marathi: Dandus • Oriya: Dodilo • Rajasthani: parbati • Urdu: Dandous  Botanical name: Dalbergia lanceolaria ssp. lanceolaria Family: Fabaceae (pea family)   Takoli is a very conspicuous and handsome tree when flowering, which appear very protusely during the months of May and June. Large tree with smooth bark, branches glabrous. Leaf compound 7.0-15.0 cm long; leaflets 11-17, 2.5-5.0 cm long, ovate or obovate or elliptic, often emarginate, glabrous, glaucous. Inflorescence large axillary or terminal panicles flowers unilaterally arranged. Calyx silky pubescent, upper teeth obtuse, lower 3 longer and acute. Flower tube dull white or pinkish. Vexillum c. 5-10 mm long. Stamens 10, in 2 groups of 5 stamens each. Fruit c. 5-8 cm long, narrowed at both ends, glabrous, usually 1-seeded.  Medicinal uses: The sweet blackish pulp of the seedpod is used as a mild laxative.
Common name: Indian rosewood, Shisham शीशम (Hindi), Sissu (Manipuri), Sitral (Bengali)  Botanical name: Dalbergia sissoo Family: Fabaceae (pea family)   Shisham is a medium to large deciduous tree, native to India, with a light crown which reproduces by seeds and suckers. It can grow up to a maximum of 25 m in height and 2 to 3 m in diameter, but is usually smaller. Trunks are often crooked when grown in the open. Leaves are leathery, alternate, pinnately compound and about 15 cm long. Flowers are whitish to pink, fragrant, nearly sessile, up to 1.5 cm long and in dense clusters 5-10 cm in length. Pods are oblong, flat, thin, strap-like 4-8 cm long, 1 cm wide, and light brown. They contain 1-5 flat bean-shaped seeds 8-10 mm long. They have a long taproot and numerous surface roots which produce suckers. It is primarily found growing along river banks below 900 m elevation, but can range naturally up to 1300 m. Shisham is best known internationally as a premier timber species of the rosewood genus. However, Shisham is also an important fuel wood, shade, and shelter. With its multiple products, tolerance of light frosts and long dry seasons, this species deserves greater consideration for tree farming, reforestation and agro forestry applications. After teak, it is the most important cultivated timber tree in India, planted on roadsides, and as a shade tree for tea plantations.  Medicinal uses: Decoction of leaves is useful in gonorrhoea. Root is astringent. Wood is alterative, useful in leprosy, boils, eruptions and to allay vomiting.
Common name: Sandan • Hindi: सन्दन Sandan, तिन्नास Tinnas • Kannada: bettahonne, huli, karimutale, karimuttala • Malayalam: malavenna, nemi, totukara • Marathi: kalapalas, tanach, tewas • Nepali: सन्दन Sandan • Oriya: bandano • Sanskrit: Akshaka, Ashmagarbhaka, Atimuktaka, Bhasmagharba • Tamil: Naநரிவெஂகை vengai, atimuttam, cakkirini • Telugu: తెల్లమొతుకు Tellamotuku atimuktamu, badanegi  Botanical name: Desmodium oojeinense Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)   Sandan is a medium sized deciduous tree, 6-12 m tall, with a short crooked trunk and dark brown, deeply cracked bark. Leaves are trifoliate, with large, rigidly leathery leaflets. Central leaflet is broadly elliptic or roundish, sometimes trapezoidal, with 4-8 pairs of main nerves. Flowers are numerous, white or pink, borne in short racemes fascicled from the nodes of old branches. Fruit is a linear, flat pod, light brown in color, with 2-5 seeds per pod.  Medicinal uses: Juice of the root, mixed with the powder of two fruits of black pepper is taken in cases of eye trouble. A paste of bark is applied to cuts and wounds.
Common name: Licorice, Liquorice, Sweetwood • Hindi: jethi-madh, kubas-susa, mithilakdi • Kannada: atimadhura, jestamaddu • Malayalam: atimadhuram, erattimadhuram • Marathi: jashtimadh • Sanskrit: jalayashti, klitaka, madhu, madhu-yashtikam • Tamil: adimaduram • Telugu: athimathuram • Urdu: mulhatti, mulathi  Botanical name: Glycyrrhiza glabra Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)  
The licorice plant is a perennial herb, growing up to 1 m in tall, with pinnate leaves about 7-15 cm long, with 9-17 leaflets. The flowers are 0.8–1.2 cm long, purple to pale whitish blue, produced in a loose inflorescence. The fruit is an oblong pod, 2-3 cm long, containing several seeds. The flavor of liquorice comes mainly from a sweet-tasting compound called anethole, an aromatic, unsaturated ether compound also found in anise, fennel, and other herbs. Additional sweetness in liquorice comes from glycyrrhizic acid, an anti-viral compound sweeter than sugar. Liquorice flavouring is also used in soft drinks, and in some herbal teas where it provides a sweet aftertaste. The flavour is common in medicines to disguise unpleasant flavours. 

Medicinal uses: Liquorice may be useful in conventional and naturopathic medicine for both mouth ulcers and peptic ulcers. In traditional Chinese medicine, liquorice is commonly used in herbal formulae to "harmonize" the other ingredients in the formula and to carry the formula to the twelve "regular meridians" and to relieve a spasmodic cough.

Common name: Cassia Indigo • Hindi: Saknya, Kathi • Kannada: Chennaata • Konkani: चिमनाती Chimnati • Marathi: चिमनाती Chimnati, Baroli • Oriya: Girel • Telugu: Karkandi  Botanical name: Indigofera cassioides Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)   Cassia Indigo is an erect shrub, 1-1.5 m tall. Leaves are compound 7-15 cm long, with 11-21 leaflets, 1.1-2.4 cm long, 7-15 mm broad, oblong to elliptical, blunt, truncate to slightly retuse, apiculate, velvety on both sides. Stipules are 2-4 mm long, deciduous. Inflorescence is a 5-17 cm long raceme, covered with sterile scales at the base. Bract are 2-10 mm long. The stalk carrying the raceme is 1-2 mm long. Sepal cup is 2-3 mm long, teeth nearly equal, 1-2 mm long. Flowers are bright pink, fading to violet, shaped like pea flowers. Vexillum is 1.2-1.8 cm long. Fruit is 2.4-4.3 cm long, 4 mm broad, straight, hairless, 8-12-seeded. Flowering: March-May.  Medicinal uses: A decoction of the roots is used in the treatment of coughs. The root is dried, ground into a powder and applied externally in the treatment of pains in the chest.
Common name: West Indian Indigo, anil, small-leaved indigo, Guatemalan indigo, wild indigo • Hindi: विलायती नील vilayati nil • Marathi: निळंबी nilambi • Tamil: சீமைநீலி chimai-nili • Sanskrit: नीलिका nilika, नीलिनी nilini, विषशोधनी vishashodhani  Botanical name: Indigofera suffruticosa Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)   West Indian Indigo is an erect, branched, half-woody shrub, growing to 1 m tall. The stems are sparsely covered with short hairs. The leaves are 5-8 cm long. The leaflets are 9-11, oblong to oblong-elliptic, 1-2 cm long, pale, and hairy beneath. The flowers are red, about 5 mm long, and borne on axillary and solitary racemes 2-3 cm long. The pods are numerous, crowded, reflexed, strongly curved, and 1-1.5 cm long, and contain 6-8 seeds. This species is one of the sources of natural indigo, and along with Indigifolera tinctoria, represents the chief commercial indigo. It is cultivated as green manure in Malaya and Java. It is used as a perennial cover crop for coffee. West Indian Indigo is a native of Tropical America, but widely naturalized in India. 

Medicinal uses: In Brazil, West Indian Indigo is one of the reputed remedies for snake bites, and in the United States it is often applied to the stings of bees and other insects. In Mexico, the leaves as a cataplasm or in decoction are applied to the forehead of children with fever and to any painful area. The seeds in powder form are a cure for ulcers.

Common name: Yellow Sweet Clover, kings-clover, sweet clover, sweet lucerne, yellow melilot • Hindi: aspurk • Sanskrit: sprkka • Urdu: akleel-ul-mulk, aspurk, haleenothus  Botanical name: Melilotus officinalis Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)   Yellow Sweet Clover is an annual or biennial plant, 2-7 ft tall. Larger plants branch frequently and are somewhat bushy in appearance, while shorter plants are less branched and rather lanky. The stems are usually more or less erect, although sometimes they sprawl across the ground. They are hairless, furrowed, and angular, sometimes the lower stems are ribbed light red. Alternately arranged trifoliate leaves are hairless. Each leaflet is about 1.8 cm long and 6 mm across. It is oblong, oblanceolate, or obovate in shape, and toothed along the middle or upper margin. The terminal leaflet has a short stalk, while the lateral leaflets are nearly stalkless. The leaf-stalks are about 1.2 cm long, and there are a pair of small linear stipules at its base. Spike-like racemes of yellow flowers are abundantly produced from the axils of the middle to upper leaves, while the upper stems eventually terminate in such racemes. Each raceme is up to 6 inches long and has dozens of flowers. These flowers are loosely arranged along the raceme and somewhat drooping. They may occur along one or two sides of the raceme, or in whorls. Each flower is about 8 mm long and has a tendency to droop downward from the raceme, although curving upward toward its tip. The corolla has 5 yellow petals and is rather slender, consisting of a standard, keel, and two side petals. The tubular calyx is light green and has 5 pointed teeth. The blooming period can occur from late spring to early fall, peaking during early to mid-summer; a colony of plants will bloom for about 2 months. There is a mild floral fragrance. Each flower is replaced by a small seedpod with a beak that is flattened and contains 1-2 seeds. There are usually transverse ridges on each side that are somewhat curved. The tannish yellow seeds are somewhat flattened and ovoid-reniform in shape. Yellow Sweet Clover spreads by reseeding itself, and it often forms colonies at favorable sites. The sweet hay-like aroma of the foliage is caused by coumarin. In India, Yellow Sweet Clover is found in Kashmir and N. Punjab.

Medicinal uses: Yellow Sweetclover is considered to be an antibacterial, anticoagulant, astringent, laxative, carminative and emollient. The plant is very helpful in removing gas from the digestive system and in inducing urination. It can improve blood circulation, and be of great help in treatments of varicose veins and hemorrhoids. It can also be helpful in treatments of wounds, cuts and bruises. Used in form of a tea, Yellow Sweetclower is beneficial in cases of nervous tensions, painful menstruation, insomnia and palpitations.

Common name: Velvet bean, Cowitch, Cowhage, Kapikachu, Nescafe, Sea bean • Hindi: Kiwach • Marathi: खाज कुइरी Khaj-kuiri • Malayalam: Naicorna • Telugu: Pilliadugu • Kannada: Nayisonanguballi • Bengali: Akolchi • Tamil: Punaippidukkan  Botanical name: Mucuna pruriens Family: Fabaceae (bean family)   Velvet bean is an annual, climbing shrub with long vines that can reach over 15 m. Leaves are trifoliate, gray-silky beneath; petioles are long and silky, 6-11 cm. Leaflets are membranous, terminal leaflets are smaller, lateral very unequal sided. Dark purple flowers (6 to 30) occur in drooping racemes. Fruits are curved, 4-6 seeded. The longitudinally ribbed pod, is densely covered with loose orange hairs which cause a severe itch if they come in contact with skin. The beans are shiny black or brown. It is found in tropical Africa, India and the Caribbean.  Medicinal uses: Velvet bean can be beneficial, since it is high in levodopa which helps maintain healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels. The seed powder of Mucuna pruriens has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine for diseases including parkinsonism, and has proven in medical tests to have equal or superior effectiveness in the treatment of parkinsons disease over conventional, synthetic levodopa medications. Another benefit of Mucuna is that it can increase the production of human growth hormone, and extracts are commonly sold as body-building supplements.
Common name: Showy Desmodium • Assamese: Ursi • Hindi: Jatsalpan • Kannada: Jenukaddi, Kadumuduru, Kadunhuralite • Malayalam: Kattumutira, Katumudura • Oriya: Salaparni • Sanskrit: Lodhrah, Lodram • Tamil: Vellalothi • Telugu: Karrantinta, Kondontinta, Sarivi  Botanical name: Phyllodium pulchellum Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)   Showy Desmodium is an erect undershrub, 0.5-1.5 m tall. Leaves are 3-foliate. Leaflets are finely hairy beneath, the middle one being oblong, 8-13 cm long and more than twice as large as the lateral ones. Flowers are white and about 6 mm long, hidden by large circular green bracts which are 1-1.5 cm in diameter. Stamens are 10, upper one free, other 9 united. Inflorescence is 8-25 cm long, and occurs in leaf axils and at the end of branches. Pods are oblong, hairy and usually of 2, rarely 1- or 3 jointed.  Medicinal uses: Showy Desmodium is used in folk medicine in cold and fever, malaria, excessive menstrual flow. Leaves are applied to ulcers. Decoction of bark is used for diarrhea, eye afflictions. Decoction of flowers is used for bile and liver afflictions. Flowering: September-October.
Common name: Pongam Tree, Indian Beech Tree, Pongame Oil Tree • Hindi: Karanj करंज • Tamil: புன்னை Punnai • Malayalam: Ponnu, Unnu • Oriya: Koranjo • Kannada: Honge • Marathi: करंज Karanj • Telugu: Pungu • Gujarati: કરંજ Karanja • Bengali: করংজ Karanj • Assamese: Karchaw • Sanskrit: करंजः Karanjah  Botanical name: Pongamia pinnata Family: Fabaceae (pea family)   A fast-growing deciduous tree up to 20 metres tall that is thought to have originated in India and is found throughout Asia. It is a deciduous tree that grows to about 15-25 meters in height with a large canopy that spreads equally wide. The leaves are a soft, shiny burgundy in early summer and mature to a glossy, deep green as the season progresses. Small clusters of white, purple, and pink flowers blossom on their branches throughout the year, maturing into brown seed pods. The tree is well suited to intense heat and sunlight and its dense network of lateral roots and its thick, long taproot make it drought tolerant. Flowering: March-April.  Medicinal uses: A thick brownish oil can be extracted from the large seeds, and is used industrially and in medicine, notably for the treatment of rheumatism.
Common name: Salaparni • Hindi: चपकनो Chapakno • Tamil: நீர்மல்லி Nirmalli • Malayalam: മൂവിലാ Muvvila, Moovila • Telugu: Nayakuponna, Muyyakuponna • Sanskrit: Salaparni, Sanaparni  Botanical name: Pseudarthria viscida Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)   Salaparni is a perennial under shrub which grows all over India up to 1000 m altitude. It attains the height about 60-120 cm. The branches are slender and covered with minute white hair. The leaves are 7.5-15 cm long and 2.5-5 cm broad, trifoliate, ovate-oblong, hairy and densely grey-silky beneath. The flowers purplish or pink, in 15-30 cm long axillary racemes. The fruits, pods, oblong, flattened, covered with sticky hairs. The seeds 4-6, compressed and brownish black in color. The plant flowers in May.  Medicinal uses: The whole plant of salaparni is used for medicinal purpose in Ayurvedic medicine. The herb is seldom used externally. Internally it is useful in vast range of diseases. It is used in the treatment for asthma and nervous dysfunction. It is also used in the treatment of insect bites and used against inflammations, vomiting, etc.

Related Categories: Health Save this Article as PDF Previous / Next

Vedic Maths
Learn Sanskrit
Learn Hindi
Buddhist Tales
Jataka Tales
Tenali Rama Tales
Toys from Trash
Arts & Crafts
Online Shopping
Calling Cards


Contact us: lokahitam@gmail.com