Central India is covered with tropical forests, which are supposed to be wealthy in biodiversity. On the other hand, subtropical hill forests are also found in few areas. About 500 species of medicinal plants are found. The endemic and rare flora is also found in the region. Tribals use these plants for curing their disorders. Here, in this series of article, we aim to bring common practices performed by Gonds and Bharias of the region. The current article is on the use of herbs for curing leucorrhoea. Follow guidelines from your family doctor before using any of the formulation we mention. Our aim is to document the indigenous knowledge and present it for the modern world.
Combination of herbs viz., Symplocos racemosa, Asparagus racemosus, Pueraria tuberosa, Adhatoda zeylanica, Aegle marmelos, Emblica officinalis and Azadirachta indica
Drug preparation: Symplocos racemosa (3 1/2 tbsp), Asparagus racemosus (1 1/2 tbsp), Pueraria tuberose (1 tbsp), Adhatoda zeylanica (1 tbsp), Aegle marmelos (1 tbsp), Emblica officinalis (1 tbsp) and Azadirachta indica (1 tbsp).
1. Symplocos racemosa Roxb.
Sanskrit- Lodhra, Marjana, Tillaka; Hindi- Lodh; Bengali- Lodh; Marathi- Lodh, Lodhra; Gujarati- Lodar; Telugu- Lodduga, Erralodduga; Tamil- Velli-lethi; Kannada- Balalodduginamara, Pachettu; Malayalam- Pachotti; Oriya- Ludhu, Nidhu; Bombay- Lodhra, Lodh, Hura; Assam- Kavirang, Bhomroti
An evergreen tree or shrub, 6-8.5 m. tall, abundant in the plains and lower hills throughout North and East India, ascending in the Himalayas up to an elevation of 1,400 m.; southwards it extends up to Chota Nagpur. Leaves dark green above, orbicular, elliptic oblong, 12.5 cm.x5 cm., coriaceous, glabrous above; flowers white, turning yellow, fragrant, in axillary, simple or compound racemes; drupes purplish black, subcylindric, smooth, 1-3 seeded (WOA. 1997).
2. Asparagus racemosus Willd.
Bengali- Shatamuli; Gujarati- Ekalkanto, Satavari; Hindi- Chatwal, Satawar, Satmuli, Shakakul; Kannada- Aheruballi, Ashadhi, Majjigegadde, Sipariberuballi; Malayalam- Chatavali, Satavari; Marathi- Asvel, Shatavari, Shatmuli; Oriya- Chhotaru, Mohajolo, Sotabori; Sanskrit- Satavari; Tamil- Ammaikodi, Inli-chedi, Kadumulla, Shimai-shadavari; Telugu- Pilli-gaddalu, Toalb-gaddalu; Madhya Pradesh- Narbodh, Satmooli; Rajasthan- Norkanto, Satawar
An extensively scandent, much-branched, spinous under-shrub, with tuberous, short rootstock bearing numerous fusiform, succulent tuberous roots 30-100 cm long and 1-2 cm thick, found growing wild in tropical and sub-tropical parts of India including the Andamans; and ascending in the Himalayas up to an altitude of 1,500 m. Stems woody, whitish grey or brown armed with strong, straight or recurved spines 5-13 mm long; cladodes more or less acicular, 2-6 nate, falcate, finely acuminate; leaves reduced to sub-erect or sub-recurved spines; flowers white, fragrant, small, profuse in simple or branched racemes up to 7 cm long; berries globose, scarlet, triobed, 4-6 mm in diam (WOA. 1997).
3. Pueraria tuberosa DC. (Indian Kudzu)
Hindi- Sural, Bilaikand, Bharda, Tirra, Bankumra; Bengali- Shimia batraji; Marathi- Ghorbel; Gujarati- Vidarikand, Phagvelo, Khakarvel; Telugu- Darigummadi; Kannada- Gumadigida; Punjabi- Siali; Kumaun- Sirala, Bisalu
A large perennial climber with very large tuberous roots, distributed nearly throughout India, except in very humid or very arid regions, and ascending up to l,200 m. Stems woody, up to 12 cm. in diam., leaves trifoliolate; flowers blue or purplish blue, in racemes 15-30 cm. long; pods flat, 5-7 cm. long; densely clothed with long, silky, bristly brown hairs; seeds 3-6 (WOA. 1997).
4. Adhatoda zeylanica Medic. syn. A. vasica Nees (Malabar nut, Vasaka)
Bengali- Basak; Gujarati-Aradusi; Hindi- Arusa, Bansa; Kannada- Adusoge, Kurchigida, Pavate; Malayalam- Adalodakam; Oriya- Arusa, Basung; Sanskrit-Shwetavasa, Vasa, Vasaka; Tamil.--Adhatodai, Pavettai; Telugu- Addasaramu, Garhwal- Bangra; Kashmiri- Bahekar, Baikar, Basuth, Bhenkar; Kumaun- Arus, Basinga; PunjabI-Bansa, Basuti, Bhekar, Vasaka.
An evergreen, gregarious, stiff, perennial shrub, 1.2-6.0 m in height, distributed throughout India, up to an altitude of 1,300 m. Leaves elliptic-lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate, entire, 5-30 cm long, hairy, light green above, dark below, leathery; flowers large, white with red-or yellow-barred throats, in spikes with large bracts; capsules clavate, longitudinally channelled, 1.9-2.2 cm x 0.8 cm; seeds globular (WOA. 1997).
5. Aegle marmelos (Linn.) Correa ex Roxb. (Bael Tree, Bengal Quince)
Bengali, Hindi & Marathi- Bael, Bel; Gujarati- Bili; Kannada- Bela, Bilva; Malayalam- Koovalam, Vilvam; Oriya-Belo; Sanskrit- Bilva, Sriphal; Tamil- Bilva, Vilvam; Telugu- Bilavamu, Maredu; Urdu- Bel; Assam- Bael, Bel
A moderate-sized, slender, aromatic tree, 6.0-7.5 m in height and 90-120 cm in girth, with a somewhat fluted bole of 3.0-4.5 m, growing wild throughout the deciduous forests of India, ascending to an altitude of c 1,200 m in the western Himalayas and also occurring in Andaman Islands. It is extensively planted near Hindu temples for its leaves and wood which are valued in indigenous medicine. Branches armed with straight, sharp, axillary, 2.5 cm long spines; bark soft, corky, light grey, exfoliating in irregular flakes; leaves attenuate, trifoliolate, occasionally digitately five-foliolate, leaflets ovate or ovate-lanceolate, crenate, acuminate, lateral sessile, terminal long-petioled; flowers large, greenish white, sweet-scented, in short axillary panicles; fruits globose, grey or yellowish, rind woody; seeds numerous, oblong, compressed, embedded in sacs covered with thick orange-coloured sweet pulp (WOA. 1997).
6. 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).
7. Azadirachta indica A. Juss. syn. Melia azadirachta Linn. (Indian Lilac, Margosa Tree, Neem Tree)
Bengali- Nim; Gujarati- Limbado; Hindi- Nim, Nimb; Kannada- Bevinamara; Malayalam- Veppa; Marathi- Limba; Oriya- Nimba; Sanskrit- Arishta, Nimba; Tamil- Vembu, Veppam; Telugu- Veepachettu, Yapachettu; Urdu- Nim
A large, evergreen tree, 12-18 m in height and 1.8-2.4 m in girth, with a straight bole and long, spreading branches forming a broad crown, commonly found throughout the greater part of India, and often cultivated. Bark grey or dark grey, rough, reddish brown inside, with numerous oblique furrows and scattered tubercles; leaves imparipinnate, alternate, 20-38 cm long: leaflets 8-19, alternate or opposite, ovate-lanceolate, oblique or sub-falcate, falcate-lanceolate, glossy, bluntly serrate; flowers white or pale-yellow, small, scented, numerous, in long, slender, very lax, axillary panicles; drupes green, turning yellow on ripening, aromatic, oblong, or ovoid-oblong, smooth, 1.3-1.8 cm long, with a single exalbuminous seed (WOA. 1997).
WOA. 1997. Wealth of Asia (AHEAD).
About the Authors:
Dr Deepak Acharya - He is the Head of Pistiss Herbal Research Lab Pvt Ltd, Ahmedabad, India.
Dr Anshu Shrivastava- A Botanist, he is a PhD from Botanical Survey of India- Jodhpur. He is now working with SRISTI (sristi.org) as a Plant Taxonomist.
Dr Sanjay Pawar- He is a Botanist from Chhindwara, currently involved in scouting and documentation of herbal wealth in the district.