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

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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. 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 plant Source(scientific) Uses Place of growth
1. Aconite Aconitum ferox –plant root Leprosy, cholera,catarrh Presently used in homeopathy only. Himalayas
2. Ashwagandha Withania somnifera-roots & stem bases. Rheumatism, gout, hypertension, cancer  Subtropics of India
3. Belladonna Atropa accuminata-leaves & flowers Anti-spasmodic, anticholinergic, antidote for chloral hydrate & opium poisoning  Jammu Kashmir
4. Castor oil Ricinus communis-seed’s fixed oil Catharatic (in constipation), hair growth promoter  AP, Gujarat and Karnataka
5. Corkwood Duboisia myoporoides-dry leaves Parasympatholytic, antidote in physostigmine and pilocarpine poisoning.  India
6. Egyptian Henbane Hyoscyamus niger-leaves & flower tip Relieve spasm of urinary tract & gripping effect of purgatives  India
7. Indian Senna Cassia angustifolia-dried leaflets For purgation of bowels.  Madurai, ramanthapur-TN, cudapa-AP, Kutch of Gujarat & rajasthan
8. Ipecac Cephaelis ipecacuanha-dried roots & rhizomes To induce vomiting (emetic)  Darjeeling of West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam
9. Isapgol Plantago ovate- To relieve constipation (laxative)  Gujarat, Punjab, southern Rajasthan
10. Opium poopy Papaver somniferum-dry latex having Morphine , codeine etc. To relieve severe pains, cough, & also as hypnotic  MP,UP,Rajasthan
11. Papin Carica papaya (papaya plant-unripe fruit latex. One of anti inflammatory herbs  Maharashtra
12. Peruvian bark Cinchona ledgeriana-dried bark Anti-malarial drug Annamali-coimbatore, nilgiri hills-TN, Darjeeling-WB
13. Pyrethrum Chrysanthemum cineraria folium-flower heads As an insecticide to kill insects (All Out) mosquito repellant Jammu & Kashmir
14. Rheumatism root Dioscorea composite-dried tubers For rheumatic arthritis Jammu Kashmir, Goa, Karnataka, TN
15. Serpentina Rauwolfia serpentine-Dry roots As a Anti-hypertensive agent Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa, TN, WB
16. Solanum khasianum Solanum-dried berries For steroid production  Maharashtra, Assam, Manipur, Sikkim
17. Turmeric Curcuma longs-dry rhizomes Anti-septic, anti-oxidant, condiment  AP, TN
18. Vinca Catharanthus roseus-entre plant  medicinal plants for cancer treatment, anticancer herbs  AP, TN, Maharashtra, Karnataka
19. Yew Taxus baccata Dry leaves, bark & roots.  Himalaya
20. Benafsha Viola odorata Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, in fever, as expectorant (to remove phlegm) Chamba-himachal, Kangara-Kashmir
21. Black pepper Piper nigrum-unripe fruits As stomachic (enhances hunger), carminative (enhances eructation)  South India
22. Cardamom Elettaria cardamomum-dry-ripe fruits Expels gas by eructation (carminative) Karnataka, Kerala, TN
23. caraway Carum carvi-dry-ripe fruits Expels gas by eructation North Himalaya, Uttaranchal, Kashmir
24. Ceylon Cinnamon Cinnamomum zeylanicum carminative (enhances eructation) Malabar coast of India
25. Clove Eugenia caryophyllus-dry flower bud Dental analgesic, anti-septic, carminative TN, Kerala
26. Coriander Coriandrum sativum-dry fruits carminative AP, Jammu Kashmir, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, WB
27. Eucalyptus oil Eucalyptus citriodara-leaf oil Expectorant (removes phlegm), counter-irritant.  Kerala, TN
28. Fennel Foeniculum vulgare-dry ripe fruit Expels gas by eructation Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, UP, WB
29. Garlic Allium sativum-bulbs To enhance libido, expel phlegm, for eructation  India
30. Jira Ciminum cyminum-dry ripe fruit Stimulant, carminative WB, Assam, Gujarat, Rajasthan
31. Lemon grass oil Cymbopogin flexuousus-volatile oil from leaves & plant parts Vitamin-A precursor  India
32. Citronella oil Cymbopogan nardus-volatile oil from leaves Mosquito repellant  Kerala
33. Sandal wood oil Santalum album-volatile oil Decreases frequent urination tendency.  Karnataka, TN.
34. Palmarosa oil Cymbopogan martini-volatile oil from leaves Insect repellant  AP. Gujarat, Kashmir, MP, Maharashtra, TN, UP
35. Vetiver oil Vetiveria zizanoides-volatile oil from root Relive prickly heat and itching  Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab, Rajasthan, TN, UP
36. Mentha oil Mentha piperita-volatile oil from flowers Expels gas by eructation  Jammu Kashmir, UP
37. Tulsi Ocimum sanctum-fresh & dry leaves Anti-bacterial, insecticide and immune modulator  India
38. Turpentine oil. Pinus roxburghii-volatile oil Counter irritant (for pain)  India

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 is important for future use of these natural herbs. So this can be done by  conservation of medicinal plants and also by obtaining these medicinal plant drugs by tissue culture method.

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  1. Mrs. Htar
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