List of Medicinal Plants & their uses: Emphasis on herbs in India

Medicinal plants are valuable resources for our health care system since ancient period. These natural herbs are important source of drugs for alternative medicine systems like Ayurveda, homeopathy, Unani and even allopathy. They are thought to constitute 80% of total drugs used by humans.

These natural healing herbs are used in treatment of many diseases and disorders. Their specialty is advantages like better compatibility in the body, easy metabolism, low side effects and also less expensive than synthetic drugs.

Further they are not harmful to environment after disposal. They don’t require heavy manufacture, expensive analysis and storage facilities. They retain their potency for long period if stored well.

Many of them can be used as home-made preparations, during emergency or can be bought as over the counter drugs without physician prescription.

These medicinal plants come under different types of plants and not restricted to one family or type of plants..

So  below chart gives an idea of the List of Medicinal Plants and uses..

List of Medicinal Plants, their uses & growth places in India

Sl.No.Name of plantSource(scientific)UsesPlace of growth
1.AconiteAconitum ferox –plant rootLeprosy, cholera,catarrhPresently used in homeopathy only. Himalayas
2.AshwagandhaWithania somnifera-roots & stem bases.Rheumatism, gout, hypertension, cancer Subtropics of India
3.BelladonnaAtropa accuminata-leaves & flowersAnti-spasmodic, anticholinergic, antidote for chloral hydrate & opium poisoning Jammu Kashmir
4.Castor oilRicinus communis-seed’s fixed oilCatharatic (in constipation), hair growth promoter AP, Gujarat and Karnataka
5.CorkwoodDuboisia myoporoides-dry leavesParasympatholytic, antidote in physostigmine and pilocarpine poisoning. India
6.Egyptian HenbaneHyoscyamus niger-leaves & flower tipRelieve spasm of urinary tract & gripping effect of purgatives India
7.Indian SennaCassia angustifolia-dried leafletsFor purgation of bowels. Madurai, ramanthapur-TN, cudapa-AP, Kutch of Gujarat & rajasthan
8.IpecacCephaelis ipecacuanha-dried roots & rhizomesTo induce vomiting (emetic) Darjeeling of West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam
9.IsapgolPlantago ovate-To relieve constipation (laxative) Gujarat, Punjab, southern Rajasthan
10.Opium poopyPapaver somniferum-dry latex having Morphine , codeine etc.To relieve severe pains, cough, & also as hypnotic MP,UP,Rajasthan
11.PapinCarica papaya (papaya plant-unripe fruit latex.One of anti inflammatory herbs Maharashtra
12.Peruvian barkCinchona ledgeriana-dried barkAnti-malarial drugAnnamali-coimbatore, nilgiri hills-TN, Darjeeling-WB
13.PyrethrumChrysanthemum cineraria folium-flower headsAs an insecticide to kill insects (All Out) mosquito repellantJammu & Kashmir
14.Rheumatism rootDioscorea composite-dried tubersFor rheumatic arthritisJammu Kashmir, Goa, Karnataka, TN
15.SerpentinaRauwolfia serpentine-Dry rootsAs a Anti-hypertensive agentBihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa, TN, WB
16.Solanum khasianumSolanum-dried berriesFor steroid production Maharashtra, Assam, Manipur, Sikkim
17.TurmericCurcuma longs-dry rhizomesAnti-septic, anti-oxidant, condiment AP, TN
18.VincaCatharanthus roseus-entre plant medicinal plants for cancer treatment, anticancer herbs AP, TN, Maharashtra, Karnataka
19.YewTaxus baccataDry leaves, bark & roots. Himalaya
20.BenafshaViola odorataAnti-bacterial, anti-fungal, in fever, as expectorant (to remove phlegm)Chamba-himachal, Kangara-Kashmir
21.Black pepperPiper nigrum-unripe fruitsAs stomachic (enhances hunger), carminative (enhances eructation) South India
22.CardamomElettaria cardamomum-dry-ripe fruitsExpels gas by eructation (carminative)Karnataka, Kerala, TN
23.carawayCarum carvi-dry-ripe fruitsExpels gas by eructationNorth Himalaya, Uttaranchal, Kashmir
24.Ceylon CinnamonCinnamomum zeylanicumcarminative (enhances eructation)Malabar coast of India
25.CloveEugenia caryophyllus-dry flower budDental analgesic, anti-septic, carminativeTN, Kerala
26.CorianderCoriandrum sativum-dry fruitscarminativeAP, Jammu Kashmir, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, WB
27.Eucalyptus oilEucalyptus citriodara-leaf oilHas essential oils uses like Expectorant (removes phlegm), counter-irritant. Kerala, TN
28.FennelFoeniculum vulgare-dry ripe fruitExpels gas by eructationGujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, UP, WB
29.GarlicAllium sativum-bulbsTo enhance libido, expel phlegm, for eructation India
30.JiraCiminum cyminum-dry ripe fruitStimulant, carminativeWB, Assam, Gujarat, Rajasthan
31.Lemon grass oilCymbopogin flexuousus-volatile oil from leaves & plant partsVitamin-A precursor India
32.Citronella oilCymbopogan nardus-volatile oil from leavesMosquito repellant Kerala
33.Sandal wood oilSantalum album-volatile oilDecreases frequent urination tendency. Karnataka, TN.
34.Palmarosa oilCymbopogan martini-volatile oil from leavesInsect repellant AP. Gujarat, Kashmir, MP, Maharashtra, TN, UP
35.Vetiver oilVetiveria zizanoides-volatile oil from rootRelive prickly heat and itching Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab, Rajasthan, TN, UP
36.Mentha oilMentha piperita-volatile oil from flowersExpels gas by eructation Jammu Kashmir, UP
37.TulsiOcimum sanctum-fresh & dry leavesUses Of tulsi are Anti-bacterial, insecticide and immune modulator India
38.Turpentine oil.Pinus roxburghii-volatile oilCounter irritant (for pain) India

This big list of uses indicates the importance of plants. So we need to take efforts to prevent them from eradication in the name of development.

Conservation of medicinal plants is very important for future use. Due to heavy use, large plants and those plants which take long time for germination and growth are chopped off. Hence the conservation of medicinal plants be done by  obtaining the medicinal plant material by agriculture methods of cultivation instead of relying on the plants grown naturally in forests. Further we need to take steps for conservation of medicinal plants by obtaining these medicinal plant drugs by tissue culture method where possible.


  1. Mrs. Htar
  2. thinesh kumar

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