Traditional Medicines of Gonds and Bharias 10 - Medicine for Thyroid Problems

Medicinal plants are part of social life of tribals of Patalkot valley in Central India. Since ages, tribals in Patalkot have been using medicinal plants for curing various disorders. For them, these herbal remedies are less expensive. It is indeed true that the herbal medicines are harmless, easy to access, eco-friendly and cheaper.

In the present communication, we aim to focus upon a practice for curing thyroid problem. Tribals of Patalkot use the following herbal formulation to cure this disorder.

Combination of herbs viz., Crataeva nurvala, Bauhinia variegata, Sida cordifolia, Terminalia chebula, Terminalia bellirica, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Zingiber officinale

Drug preparation: Crataeva nurvala bark (2 tbsp), Bauhinia variegata bark (2 tbsp), Sida cordifolia leaves (1 1/2 tbsp), Terminalia chebula fruits (1 tbsp), Terminalia bellirica fruits (1 tbsp), Glycyrrhiza glabra roots (1 1/2 tbsp), Zinziber officinale roots (1 tbsp).

Dosage: About 2 tbsp powder should be given to the patient, twice daily
with lukewarm water.

Plant profiles:

1. Crataeva nurvala Buch.- Ham. syn. C. religiosa Hook. f. & Thoms.

Sanskrit- Varuna, Asmarighna; Hindi- Barna, Bilasi; Bengali- Barun; Marathi- Vayavarna, Haravarna; Tamil- Maralingam.

A moderate sized deciduous tree, upto 5 m high. Leaves 3-foliate; leaflets 3-6 x 1-3 cm, ovate-lanceolate, acute to acuminate, narrowed to base; petioles upto 6 cm long. Flowers greenish-white, in few-flowered, terminal and lateral corymbs. Stamens numerous, white, turning purplish. Stigma knob-shaped. Berries upto 4 cm in diam., subglobose or ovate-oblong, smooth, yellow or red (WOA. 1997).

2. Bauhinia variegata L. (Buddhist bauhinia, Mountain ebony, Orchid tree).

Bengali & Marathi- Raktakanchan; Gujarati- Kovindara; Hindi- Kachnar, Kaniar, Kannada- Arisinatige; Malyalam- Chuvannamandaram; Sanskrit- Kovidara; Tamil- Shemmandarai; Telugu- Devakanchanamu; Himachal Pradesh- Karal; Santal- Jingya.

A medium-sized, deciduous tree. Bark grey with longitudinal cracks, pale pink inside. Leaves rather broader than deep, rigidly sub-coriaceous, deeply cordate. Flowers variously coloured, in few-flowered, lateral sessile or short-peduncled corymbs. Pods long, hard, flat, glabrous, dehiscent, 10 to 15-seeded (WOA. 1997).

3. Sida cordifolia L. (Country- mallow).

Hindi- Kungyi; Bengali- Swetberela, Brela, Bala; Gujarati- Bala baldana, Mahabala, Khapat; Telugu- Tella antisa, Tellagorra, Chirwbenda, Suvarnamu; Tamil- Nila-tutti, Paniar-tuthi; Kannada- Hettuthi, Hettugigada, Kisangi, Chittuharalu; Malyalam- Kurunthotti, Vellurum, Kathuram; Oriya- Badianaula, Bisvokopari; Punjab- Kowar, Simak.

A small, downy, erect shrub, 1.5 m high, with long branches, sometimes rooting at the nodes. Bark light yellowish brown. Leaves cordate-oblong, ovate, or ovate-oblong, very downy on both surfaces. Flowers tawny-yellow or white. Fruit with a pair of awns on each carpel (WOA. 1997).

4. Terminalia chebula Retz. (Chebulic myrobalan).

Hindi- Harra; Bengali- Haritaki; Marathi- Hirda; Gujarati- Hardo; Telugu- Karakkai; Tamil- Kadukkai; Oriya- Haridra; Punjab- Har, Harar; Assam- Silikha; Trade- Myrobalan, Chehulic myrobalan.

A tree 15-24 m in height and 1.5-2.4 m in girth, with spreading branches. Bark dark-brown, often longitudinally cracked, exfoliating in woody scales. Leaves ovate or elliptic with a pair of large glands at the top of the petiole. Flowers yellowish white, in terminal spikes. Drupes ellipsoidal, obovoid or ovoid, yellow to orange-brown, sometimes tinged with red or black and hard when ripe, 3-5 cm long, become 5-ribbed on drying. Seeds hard, pale yellow (WOA. 1997).

5. Terminalia bellirica Roxb. (Belliric myrobalan)

Hindi- Bahera; Bengali- Bhairah; Marathi- Beheda; Telugu & Tamil- Tani; Malyalam- Thani; Oriya- Bhara; Trade- Belliric myrobalan, Bahera.

A handsome tree, with characteristic bark, up to 40 m high and a girth of 1.8-3 m. Stems straight, frequently buttressed when large. Leaves broadly elliptic, clustered towards the ends of branches. Flowers in solitary, simple, axillary spikes. Fruits globular, 1.3-2 cm in diam., obscurely 5-angled (WOA. 1997).

6. Glycyrrhiza glabra L.

Sanskrit- Madhuka, Yashti-madhu; Persian- Bikhemahak; Hindi- Mulhatti, Jethi-madh; Bengali- Jashtimadhu, Jaishbomodhu; Marathi- Jeshta madha; Gujarati- Jethi madha; Telugu- Yashtimadhukam, Atimadhuramu; Tamil- Atimaduram; Kannada- Yashti madhuka, Atimadhura; Malyalam- Iratimadhuram.

A hardy herb or undershrub attaining a height up to 6 ft. Leaves multifoliolate, imparipinnate. Flowers in axillary spikes, papilionaceous, lavender to violet in colour. Pods compressed, containing reniform seeds (WOA. 1997).

7. Zingiber officinale Rosc. (Ginger).

Sanskrit- Ardraka; Hindi- Adrak, Ada; Bengali- Ada; Marathi- Ale; Telugu- Allamu, Sonthi; Tamil- Allam, Inji; Kannada- Hasisunti; Malyalam- Andrakam, Inchi.

A herbaceous, rhizomatous perennial, reaching up to 90 cm in height. Rhizomes are aromatic, thick-lobed, pale yellowish, differing in shape and size. Leaves narrow, distichous, sub-sessile, linear-lanceolate, upto 17 x 1.8 cm, dark green, evenly narrowed to form a slender tip. Flowers in spikes, greenish yellow with a small dark purple or purplish black tip (WOA. 1997).


WOA. 1997. Wealth of Asia (AHEAD).

About the Authors:

Dr Deepak Acharya: He is the Director of a herbal formulation company in Ahmedabad, India. He has been documenting ethnobotanical knowledge of tribals of Central and Western India. He has written 30 research papers in National and International journals of repute. He writes popular articles for web and magazines. Meet him on his homepage or contact via email on

Ms Garima Sancheti: She is a research scholar, working in the field of Radiation and Cancer Biology from Department of Zoology (University of Rajasthan, India). She has to her credit various research papers in scientific journals as well as articles on web. Contact her on

Dr Anshu Shrivastava: He is a Botanist and PhD from BSI- Jodhpur, currently working as Research Associate in SRISTI- Ahmedabad. He can be contacted on

Dr Sanjay Pawar: He is a botanist in Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh. Contacted him on

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