MEDICINAL PLANTS IN KERALA/INDIA
The richness of Medicinal plants in Kerala is in Agastyagoodam/Agastyamala is famous and which lies in Western Ghats, South India. Agastyagoodam in the name of sage Agastya situated at a height of about 1900 Meters above sea level and the second highest peak in Kerala. Here the rare Medicinal herbs and plants are available.
Importance of preservation and protection of these plants both flowering and medicinal deserves high priority as some of them are becoming endangered. These plants have a vital role in the development of human culture. Recent analysis shows that out of estimated 4600 plants Kerala, about 900 possess medicinal values. Out of these, 540 species are reported in ecosystems lying in forest .Some of these species are having medicinal value in ayurveda & Yoga. Right from ancient days these plants herbs and leaves are being utilized by tribal and rural people regularly and this became a custom in their day to day life in Medicinal reasons regularly. About 65% varieties of plants are being utilized for Ayurvedic medicine and 80% of plants are used for siddha medicine.
Some of the medicinal plants which are being used in Ayurveda are given below;
Scientific Name : Acacia catechu
Common Name: Karingali
Medicinal Properties: The tree’s seeds are a good source of protein. The extract of the plant called catechu is used to treat sore throats and diarrhea. In Ayurveda, plant pacifies vitiated pitta, kapha, skin diseases, cough, pruritus, and obesity. Useful in tooth ache, increases the strength of teeth.
Scientific Name: Acorus calamus
Common Name: Vayambu
Medicinal Properties: Vayambu is being used in Modern herbal medicine as an aromatic stimulant and mild tonic. The root has been used as a rejuvenator for the brain and nervous system and as a remedy for digestive disorders. The root is anodyne, aphrodisiac, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, hypotensive, sedative, stimulant, stomachic, mildly tonic and vermifuge. It is used internally in the treatment of digestive complaints, bronchitis, sinusitis etc. In Ayurveda, plant pacifies vitiated vata, kapha, insomnia, insanity, other mental diseases, epilepsy, mania, stomatitis, hoarseness of voice, colic, flatulence, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, neuropathy, renal calculi, cough, inflammation, arthritis, kidney diseases, hemorrhoids, skin diseases and general debility.
Scientific Name: Adathoda beddomei
Common Name: Adalodakam
Medicinal Properties: The extraction of leaf is a good medicine for Asthma and cough. It is a good medicine to stop internal and external bleedings like bleeding gums, piles and peptic ulcers. According to Ayurveda, it is a good ingredient in decoctions for all types of fever due to kapha and pitta doshas. It is expectorant, antispasmodic and good blood purifier. It speeds up the child birth.
Scientific Name: Aegle marmelos
Common Name: Koovalam
Medicinal Properties: The tree is one of the most useful medicinal plants of India. Its medicinal properties have been described in the ancient medical treatise jn Sanskrit, Charaka Samhita. All parts of this tree-stem, bark, root, leaves and fruit at all stages of maturity have medicinal virtues and have been used as medicine for a long time. The fruit’s medicinal value is very high when it just begins to ripen. The fruit is aromatic, cooling and laxative. It arrests secretion or bleeding. The unripe or half-ripe fruit is good for digestion. It is useful in preventing or curing scurvy. It also strengthens the stomach and promotes its action. In Ayurveda, plant pacifies vitiated kapha, vata, body pain, poison, diarrhea, dysentery, vomiting, and intermittent fever. Pulp of unripe fruit is constipating whereas that of ripened fruit is laxative. Leaves cure diabetes, cough, inflammation and asthma.
Scientific Name: Alpinia galangal
Common Name: Kolinji
Medicinal Properties: The rhizome has been shown to have antimalarial activity in mice. The rhizome contains the flavonol galangin. It is used against rheumatism, bronchial catarrh, bad breath and ulcers whooping colds in children, throat infections, to control incontinence and fever. Alpinia species show promise as anti-fungals, hypotensives, enhancers of sperm count and motility. Anti-tumor and anti-dementia effects have been observed in rodents. It is a stimulating aromatic and has been successfully employed to aid the digestive process, preventing fermentation and removing flatus. It is useful in case of dyspepsia, preventing vomiting or sickness of the stomach and facilitating digestion. It may be used in all cases in which a stimulating aromatic is indicated. It is used against nausea, flatulence, dyspepsia, rheumatism, catarrh and enteritis. It also possesses tonic and antibacterial qualities and is used for these properties in veterinary and homeopathic medicine.
Scientific Name: Anisochilus carnosus
Common Name: Karimthumba
Medicinal Properties: The leaves of Anisochilus carnosus are used traditionally in the treatment of gastric ulcers and stomachache.
Scientific Name: Aphanamixis polystachya
Common Name: Chemmaram
Medicinal Properties: The plant specially the bark is used as astringent and applied on swelling after a fall. It is also used in spleen, liver diseases, tumour and abdominal complaints. Seed-oil is used in rheumatism. In recent times anti carcinogenic ingredients are found from this plant.
Scientific Name: Aristolochia indica
Common Name: Karalakam
Medicinal Properties: The plant has a number of historical medicinal uses. This plant contains Aristolochic acid is a rodent carcinogen found in Aristolochia and Asarum, both in the Aristolochiaceae family of plants. In addition to its carcinogenicity, aristolochic acid is also highly nephrotoxic and may be a causative agent in Balkan nephropathy. However, despite these well-documented dangers, aristolochic acid still is present sometimes in herbal remedies (such as for weight loss), primarily because of substitution of innocuous herbs with Aristolochia species. In Ayurveda, plant pacifies vitiated kapha, vata, poison, skin diseases, intestinal worms, colic, arthritis and ulcers.
Scientific Name: Asparagus racemosus
Common Name: Sathavari
Medicinal Properties: The healing qualities of Asparagus racemosus are useful to a wide array of ailments. The plant has been used in Ayurveda for various conditions. Its main use has been as a galactagogue to increase milk secretion during lactation. It is known as the Indian ‘Female Rejuvenative’, as it is helpful in cases of low milk production, low sex drive, menopause, PMS, and infertility. It helps to balance hormonal system of women and regulates menstruation and ovulation. It is also useful for decreasing morning sickness, infertility, menopause, leucorrhoea, inflammation of sexual organs, and general sexual debility. The male reproductive system will also benefit from sathavari. It can be used in cases of sexual debility, impotence, spermatorrhoea, and inflammation of sexual organs. The powdered dried root of sathavari is also used in Ayurveda for dyspepsia. The herb is also useful in gastric ulcers, hyperacidity, dysentery, bladder infections, chronic fevers, rheumatism, inflamed membranes of the lungs. It also used as a nervine tonic and is good for heart. It also strengthens and increases muscle tone and increases general body strength and used as an Aphrodisiac in India.
Scientific Name: Cassia fistula
Common Name: Kanikonna
Medicinal Properties: It is a popular ornamental plant and is an herbal medicine. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is known as aragvadha, meaning “disease killer”. Its fruit pulp is used as a mild laxative, against fevers, arthritis, vatavyadhi (nervous system diseases), all kinds of rakta-pitta (bleeding, such as hematemesis or hemorrhages), as well as cardiac conditions and stomach problems such as acid reflux. The root is considered a very strong purgative, and self-medication or any use without medical supervision is strongly advised against in Ayurvedic texts.
Scientific Name: Coscinium fenestratum
Common Name: Maramanjal
Medicinal Properties: Eye and skin diseases, inflammation, wounds, ulcers, abdominal disorders, jaundice, diabetes, fever, general debility, skeletal fractures. In Ayurvedic medicine, plant pacifies vitiated kapha, vata, skin diseases, diseases of the eye, inflammations, wounds, jaundice, diabetes, fever and general debility.
Scientific Name: Crateva magna
Common Name: Neermathalam
Medicinal Properties: Roots, leaves and the skin of the bark are used for edema, cervical adenitis, rheumatism and spleen enlargement. The bark acts as an appetizer, cholegogue, laxative, vermicide, tonic, anti-inflammatory and its decoction is taken internally for the same diseases above, plus tumors, liver disorders, anorexia, fever and also mixed with ghee for flatulence. In Ayurvedic medicine, plant pacifies vitiated vata, kapha, renal and vesical caliculi, asthma and bronchitis.
Scientific Name: Curcuma zedoaria
Common Name: Manjakoova
Medicinal Properties: It is used in some traditional eastern medicines, where it is reputed to be an aid to digestion, a relief for colic and an agent for purifying the blood. It is also used as an antivenom for the Indian cobra. This has been used to treat coronary heart disease, liver cancer, anemia, chronic pelvic inflammation and helps prevent leukopenia due to cancer therapies. In Ayurvedic medicine, plant pacifies vitiated pitta, kapha, indigestion, flatulence, dyspepsia, skin diseases, cough, bronchitis, urinary retention, allergy, leucoderma, and as general tonic. The rhizomes are a source of Shoti Starch, used as a food for babies and convalescents, recovering from chronic stomatitis. It is cooling and demulcent.
Scientific Name: Cyperus rotundus
Common Name: Muthanga
Medicinal Properties: In modern ayurvedic medicine uses the plant for treating fevers, digestive system disorders, dysmenorrhea and other maladies. Plant pacifies vitiated kapha, pitta, diarrhea, indigestion, anorexia, fever, and urinary retention. Increases and purifies breast milk. Recent studies recommend the plant to treat nausea, fever and inflammation; for pain reduction; for muscle relaxation and many other
Scientific Name: Desmodim gangeticum
Common Name: Orila
Medicinal Properties: It is a general tonic and aphrodisiac, has a calming, sedative effect and also used control inflammation, fever and neurological imbalances. The plant has unique medicinal value to regulate the function of the nervous system, venous system and arterial system.
Scientific Name: Emblica officinalis
Common Name: Nelli
Medicinal Properties: Emblica officinalis is aperient, carminative, diuretic, aphrodasiac, laxative, astringent and refrigerant. It is the richest known source of vitamin ‘C’. It is useful in anaemia, jaundice, dyspepcia, haemorrhage disorders, diabetes, asthma and bronchitis. It cures insomnia and is healthy for hair. It is considered as one of the most rejuvenating drugs, imparting a long healthy life and weight gain. It also acts as an antacid and antitumorganic agent. All parts of the plant are used in various herbal preparations, including the fruit, seed, leaves, root, bark and flowers. According to Ayurveda, it is specific to pitta due to its sweet taste and cooling energy.
Scientific Name: Gloriosa superba
Common Name: Menthonni
Medicinal Properties: Plant pacifies vitiated kapha, indigestion, fever, arthritis, obstructed labor, cardio-myopathy, skin diseases, in higher dose or without purification, it is highly poisonous.
Scientific Name: Gmelina arborea
Common name: Kumizhu
Medicinal Properties: The root and bark of Gmelina arborea are stomachic, galactagogue laxative and anthelmintic; improve appetite, useful in hallucination, piles, abdominal pains, burning sensations, fevers, ‘tridosha’ and urinary discharge. Leaf paste is applied to relieve headache and juice is used as wash for ulcers. In Ayurveda it has been observed that the fruit is acrid, sour, bitter, sweet, cooling, diuretic tonic, aphrodisiac, alternative astringent to the bowels, promote growth of hairs, useful in ‘vata’, thirst, anaemia, leprosy, ulcers and vaginal discharge.
- Red Listed Medicinal Plants
- Acorus calamus L.
- Adenia hondala (Gaertn.) de Willde
- Aegle marmelos (L.) Correa
- Baliospermum montanum (Willd.) Muell.-Arg.
- Canarium strictum Roxb.
- Celastrus paniculatus Willd.
- Coscinium fenestratum (Gaertn.) Colebr.
- Embelia ribes Burm. f.
- Gloriosa superba L.
- Holostemma ada-kodien Schult.
- Strobilanthes ciliatus Nees
- Oroxylum indicum (L.) Benth. ex Kurz
- Piper longum L.
- Pseudarthria viscida (L.) Wight & Arn.
- Pterocarpus santalinus L.f.
- Rauvolfia serpentina (L.) Benth. ex Kurz
- Salacia fruticosa Heyne ex Lawson
- Saraca asoca (Roxb.) de Wilde
- Santalum album L.
- Symplocos cochinchinensis (Lour.) Moore ssp. laurina (Retz.) Nooteb.
- Terminalia cuneata Roth
- Tinospora cordifolia (Willd.) Miers.
In connection with Ayurveda treatment , totally in Kerala/India is giving a wonderful treatment by Ayurveda efficient Doctors. In Kerala, the Govt. itself is taken initiation to promote Ayurveda treatment and Medicine all over Kerala. Once, people entered in taking Ayurveda treatment will not be having a second thought that of going back to allopathy or any other treatment. Generally the nature’s gift that of Ayurveda medicine’s with the existing Medicinal plants which are all available in and around Kerala is a boon to this treatment . In Ernakulam District,(Kochi), one of the best treatments given to our Nationals and people who are all coming from abroad are having utmost satisfaction with the treatments which we are giving at Elephant pass Ayurveda & Yoga Retreat Kodanad near Airport Kochi.