Traditional medicines of Gonds and Bharias - 20 - Medicine for Hyper Acidity

Deep in the heart of Central India there is a wild, forest surrounded by sheer, 3000 foot cliffs. The Patalkot forest is so well hidden that people on the outside didn't even know it existed.

It is a very special place, rich with plants and animals. The natives who live there know how to collect and grow the plants they need for food, clothing and building their homes. They also have a special skill that has been passed down every generation. They know the secrets of the medicine plants. But, so far, just like so many, biodiversity of Patalkot is also threatened. Over-exploitation of plants like safed musli, chironji, sarpagandha and bach has made them endangered species.

This present series articles deals with the indigenous knowledge of the tribals viz., Bharia and Gonds of Patalkot. The aim of the current communication is to document and validate the healing practices of these tribal. In this article we are discussing about herbal formulation for Hyper Acidity.

Combination of herbs viz., Tinospora cordifolia, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Zingiber officinale, Terminalia chebula, Emblica officinalis, Achyranthes aspera, Cyperus rotundus

Drug Preparation: Tinospora cordifolia stems (2 tbsp), Glycyrrhiza glabra roots (4 tbsp), Zingiber officinale roots (1/2 tbsp), Terminalia chebula fruits (1 tbsp), Emblica officinalis fruits (1 tbsp), Achyranthes aspera leaves (1/2 tbsp), Cyperus rotundus roots (1 tbsp).

Dosage: One teaspoonful powder should be given to the patient, twice a day (morning and evening, after meals) with water.

Plant Profiles:

1. Tinospora cordifolia (Willd.) Miers ex Hook. f. & Thoms. (Gulancha, Tinospora)

Sanskrit- Amrita, Guluchi, Jwarari; Hindi- Amrita, Giloe, Gulancha, Gulbel, Guloh, Gurcha, Jiwantika; Bengali- Golancha; Marathi & Gujarati- Gulvel; Telugu- Tippateege; Tamil- Amudem chindil; Kannada- Amrutoballi, Madhuparne, Uganiballi; Malayalam- Amrytu, Chittamritam; Oriya- Culochi.

A large, glabrous, deciduous climbing shrub found throughout tropical India, ascending to an altitude of 300m. Stems rather succulent with long filiform fleshy aerial roots from the branches. Bark grey-brown or creamy white, warty; leaves membranous, cordate with a broad sinus; flowers small, yellow or greenish yellow, appearing when the plant is leafless, in axillary and terminal racemes or racemose panicles; male flowers clustered and females usually solitary; drupes ovoid, glossy, succulent, red, pea-sized; seeds curved (WOA. 1997).

2. Glycyrrhiza glabra L. (Licorice)

Sanskrit- Madhuka, Yashti-madhu; Hindi- Mulhatti, Jethi-madh; Bengali- Jashtimadhu, Jaishbomodhu; Marathi- Jeshta madha; Gujarati- Jethi Madha; Telugu- Yashtimadhukam, Atimadhuramu; Tamil- Atimaduram; Kannada- Yashti Madhuka, Atimadhura; Malayalam- Iratimadhuram

G. glabra, the principal source of the commercial drug, is 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. The underground part in some varieties consists of a rootstock with a number of long, branched stems; in others, the rootstock, which is stout, throws off a large number of perennial roots. The dried, peeled or unpeeled underground stems and roots constitute the drug, known in the trade as Liquorice (WOA, 1997)

3. Zingiber officinaleRosc. (Ginger)

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

A herbaceous, rhizomatous perennial, reaching up to 90 cm. in height under cultivation. Rhizomes are aromatic, thick-lobed, pale yellowish, differing in shape and size in the different cultivated types. The herb develops several lateral shoots in clumps which begin to dry when the plant matures. Leaves narrow, distichous, sub-sessile, linear-lanceolate, 17.0 cm. 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).

4. Terminalia chebula Retz.; C. B. Clarke (Chebulic Myrobalan)

Hindi- Harra; Bengali- Haritaki; Marathi- Hirda; Gujarati- Hardo; Telugu- Karakkai; Tamil-Kadukkai; Oriya- Haridra; Punjabi- Har, Harar; Assamia- Silikha

A tree 15-24 m. in height and 1.5-2.4 m. in girth, with a cylindrical bole of 4-9 m., a rounded crown and spreading branches, found throughout the greater parts of India. 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. Emblica officinalis Gaertn. syn. Phyllanthus emblica Linn. (Emblic Myrobalan, Indian Goosberry)

Sanskrit-Adiphala, Dhatri, Amalaka; Hindi- Amla, Amlika, Aonla; Bengali- Akla, Amlaki; Gujarati- Amali, Ambala; Telugu- Amalakamu, Usirikai; Tamil- Nelli; Kannada-Amalaka, Nelli; Malayalam- Nelli.

A small or medium-sized deciduous tree with smooth, greenish grey, exfoliating bark. Leaves feathery with small narrowly oblong, pinnately arranged leaflets. Fruits depressed globose, 1/2-1 inch in diam., fleshy and obscurely 6-lobed, containing 6 trigonous seeds. The tree is common in the mixed deciduous forests of India ascending to 4,500 ft. on the hills. It is often cultivated in gardens and homeyards. A type bearing comparatively larger fruits than the wild plant is known in cultivation (WOA. 1997).

6. Achyranthes aspera L. (Prickly-Chaff flower)

Bengali- Apang, Chirchiti; Gujarati- Aghedo, Anghedo; Hindi- Chirchira, Chirchitta, Latjira; Kannada- Utranigida, Uttaraanne; Malayalam- Kadaladi; Marathi- Aghada, Aghara; Oriya- Apamaranga, Apamargo; Sanskrit- Apamaraga; Tamil- Chirukadaladi, Naayurivi; Telugu- Apamargamu, Uttareeni; Assam- Chik-kai-rek, Non-phak-pe, Soh-byrthied; Bombay- Agarda, Aghedia, Kharmanjari; Himachal Pradesh- Puthkanda; Madhya Pradesh- Agya, Circita Korroci; Punjabi- Chichra, Kutri; Rajasthan- Andhi-jalo, Andi-jaro, Katio-bhuratio, Undo-kanto, Unta-ghada

An erect or procumbent, annual or perennial herb, 1-2 m in height, often with a woody base, commonly found as a weed of waysides and waste places throughout India, up to an altitude of 2,100 m, and in the South Andaman Islands. Stems angular, ribbed, simple or branched from the base, often tinged with reddish purple colour; leaves thick, ovate-elliptic or obovate-rounded, but variable in shape and size; flowers greenish white, numerous in axillary or terminal spikes up to 75 cm long; seeds sub-cylindric, truncate at the apex, rounded at the base, reddish brown (WOA. 1997).

7. Cyperus rotundus L. (Nut Grass)

Sanskrit- Mustaka, Musta; Hindi & Bengali- Mutha, Mtha; Marathi & Gujarati- Motha; Tamil- Korai; Telugu- Tungamuste; Kannada- Tungegadde

A pestiferous perennial weed with dark green glabrous culms, 0.5-2 ft. high, arising from a system of underground tubers. Almost ubiquitous, it is found throughout India up to an elevaation of 6,000 ft. It is variable, and is often confused with C. esculentus, C. bulbosus, C. scariosus and Scirpus grossus var. kysoor C.B. Clarke. The plant has an elaborate underground system consisting of tubers, rhizomes and roots. The tubers are white and succulent when young, and hard and black when mature. It thrives on all kinds of soils under varying climatic conditions. Once established the plant spreads rapidly. Regeneration is mainly through underground rhizomes (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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