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Traditional Medicines of Gonds and Bharias (9): Medicine for Chronic Constipation

The current article deals with a formulation made by the tribals to cure chronic constipation. It is suggested to consult your doctor before applying this formulation for yourself. Central India is rich in floral diversity. Patalkot is a deep valley in Southern part of Madhya Pradesh. Patalkot valley is an abode of tribals mainly Gonds and Bharias. These tribals perform traditional practices to cure several health related disorders. Authors during their work in the valley, documented their herbal practices.

Traditional medicines of Gonds and Bharias is a series of popular articles on the web. By this, Authors aim to focus important medicinal herbs and practices performed in the central India with special reference to Patalkot valley in Chhindwara district.

Combination of herbs viz., Holarrhena pubescens, Plantago ovata, Terminalia bellirica, Emblica officinalis, Terminalia chebula, Cassia senna and Glycyrrhiza glabra

Drug preparation: Holarrhena pubescens Bark (1 tbsp), Plantago ovata Husk (2 tbsp), Terminalia bellirica Fruits (1 tbsp), Emblica officinalis Fruits (1 � tbsp), Terminalia chebula Fruits (1 � tbsp), Cassia senna Leaves (2 tbsp) and Glycyrrhiza glabra Roots (1 tbsp).

Plant Profiles:

1. Holarrhena pubescens (Buch.- Ham.) Wall. ex DC. syn. H. antidysenterica (L.) Wall.

Sanskrit- Kutaja, Kalinga; Hindi- Kurchi, Karchi, Karra, Kora, Kuar, Kureya, Kura; Bengali- Kurchi; Marathi- Kodaga, Kuda, Dola- Kuda, Pandhara- Kuda; Gujarati- Dhowda, Kuda, Kari; Telugu- Pala, Kodaga; Tamil- Veppalei, Kodagapalei, Indrabam; Kannada- Beppale, Koodsaloo, Korchie; Malayalam- Kodagapala; Oriya- Kherwa, Pita Korwa, Patru kurwa; Punjab- Keor, Kewar; Nepal- Khuria; Bihar- Dudhiari; Assam- Dhutkhuri, Dudkhuri.

A deciduous laticiferous shrub or small tree upto 8 m high. Bark rather rough, pale brownish or greyish, peeling off in irregular flakes. Leaves opposite, subsessile, elliptic or ovate-oblong, 10-25 x 3-6 cm, membranous. Flowers white, in terminal corymbose cymes. Follicles divaricate, cylindric, 15-40 cm long, usually white spotted. Seeds light brown; coma brownish, spreading (WOA. 1997).

2. Plantago ovata Forssk. (Blond psyllium, Ispachula, Spogel seeds).

Persian- Isabghul; Hindi- Isubgol; Bengali- Eshopgol; Marathi- Isabgola; Gujarati- Isapghol, Ghoda jeeru, Umto jeeru; Telugu- Isapgola vitulu; Tamil- Iskolvirai; Kannada- Isafgolu, Visamagolu; Malyalam- Karkatasringi.

A stemless or sub-caulescent softly hairy or woolly annual herb. Leaves narrowly linear or filiform, entire or distantly toothed. Flowers in cylindric or ovoid spikes. Capsules ellipsoid, 8 mm long, obtuse, the upper half coming off as a blunt conical lid, membranous, glabrous. Seeds ovoid-oblong, 3 mm long, boat-shaped, smooth, yellowish brown (WOA. 1997).

3. 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).

4. Emblica officinalis Gaertn. syn. Phyllanthus emblica L. (Emblic myrobalan, Indian gooseberry).

Sanskrit- Adiphala, Dhatri, Amalaka; Hindi- Amla, Amlika, Aonla; Bengali- Akla, Amlaki; Gujarati- Amali, Ambala; Telugu- Amalakamu, Usirikai; Tamil- Nelli; Kannada- Amalaka, Nelli; Malyalam- 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, upto 2.5 cm in diam., fleshy and obscurely 6-lobed, containing 6 trigonous seeds (WOA. 1997).

5. 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).

6. Cassia senna L. syn. C. acutifolia Delile, C. angustifolia Vahl (Alexandrian, Bombay or Tinnevelly senna).

Bengali- Sannamakki, Sonpat; Gujarati- Middiawal, Senamakki; Hindi- Bhuikhakhasa, Hindisana; Kannada- Nelavarike, Soonamukhi; Malyalam- Nilavaka, Sunnamukhi; Marathi- Bhuitarvada, Shonamakhi; Oriya- Shonamukhi; Sanskrit- Bhumiari, Pitapushpi, Swarnamukhi, Swarnapatrika; Tamil- Nattunelavarai, Nelavagai, Sooratnilla avarai; Telugu- Neelaponna, Neelatangeedu; Rajasthani- Senna.

A variable, branching, erect shrub, up to 1.8 m in height. Leaves pinnate, pubescent; leaflets pale green to bluish green, 3-9 pairs, lanceolate or elliptic, varying on the same plant, 1.5-5 x 0.4-2 cm. Flowers brilliant yellow, in erect, terminal racemes. Pods light green when young to dark brown or black when mature, flat, thin, oblong, pubescent, 3.5-7 x 0.2-2.5 cm. Seeds obovate-oblong, 5-7, dark brown (WOA. 1997).

7. Glycyrrhiza glabra L. (Licorice)

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).


WOA. 1997. Wealth of Asia (AHEAD).

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