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Traditional medicines of Gonds and Bharias - 17 - Medicine for Chronic Fever

In the southern part of Madhya Pradesh, there is a district called as Chhindwara. Green and fine-looking ranges of Satpura encircle the whole district. Chhindwara is not only known for oranges, cotton and coal but its natural and scenic beauty also attracts everyone who comes here first time. Chhindwara district is separated into four forest zones. In all, Chhindwara is a forest district. Patalkot is positioned in the Tamia block of Chhindwara district. It is 2750 to 3250 feet up above the mean sea level. Patalkot valley is well-heeled in flora and fauna.

Start your drive to Patalkot from Chhindwara. It is just 70 km away from Chhindwara. Patalkot is a very scenic, deep valley in the northern part of the district. Patal means "very deep" and Kot is "a place to live." Patalkot is simply a unique but natural place enclosed by hills all around. Patalkot is the origin place of Dudhi Gayni river. Deep inside the valley, there lives tribals. Main villages of Patalkot are: Rated, Chimtipur, Gujja Dongri, Sahra Pachgol, Harra-ka-Char, Sukhabhand, Dhurni malni, Jhiram, Palani Gaildubba, Ghatlinga, Gudichattri, Gaildubba, Kareyam, Ghana, etc. Gonds and Bharias are the main inhabitant of this gorge.

This valley is known as treasure of medicinal plants. Few important and highly effective medicinal plants of this valley includes: Addhajira (Chaff Tree), Bach(Sweet Flag), Adusa (Malabar nut), Ajgandha, Soorankand (Corm), Kalmegh (Andrographis), Narbod/ Satavar (Wild Asperagus), Kachnaar (Variegated mountain ebony), Punarnava (Spreading Hogweed), Shivlingi, Khatua (Sprout leaf plant), Van Karonda, Van kela, Maida Lakdi, Brahmi (Indian pennywort), Safed musli, Hadjori, Jangali Piyaz (Indian squill), Jaljamani, Sankhpusphi, Kalimusli, Kalihaldi, Baichandi (Wild Yam), Dudhi, Gular, Anantmul (Indian sarparilla), Chandrajot, Musakani, Ban Karela (Bitter gourd), Bach (Cowhage), Chitavar (Rove colour leadwort), Sarpagandha, Shitaab, Patharchata (Indian rockfoil), Bhilwa, Cheeval, Pithkarenti, Makoy (Black night shade), Sahdehi, Arjun (Arjuna), Baheda (Beleric-myrabolam), Harra (Myrabolam), Giloy/Guduchi, Banda (Vanda/orchid), etc. Over-exploitation of plants like safed musli, chironji, sarpagandha and bach has made them endangered species.

Dr Acharya and friends have extensively documented the indigenous knowledge of the tribals of Patalkot. These tribals are experts in curing health disorders. They use herbs in the treatment of various ailments. But, so far, just like so many, biodiversity of Patalkot is also threatened. It is need of the hour to prepare a plan for conservation of medicinal plants as well as documentation of indigenous knowledge of tribes.

We urge people to come forward and rescue the unique creation of God and save the biodiversity and culture of a virgin land called "Patalkot. The present article is part of series "Traditional medicines of Gonds and Bharias". We discuss about a formulation used in curing Chronic Fever. Kindly recommend your family doctor before using any of suggested herbal formulations. Scientific validation of all those formulation is yet to be done.

Combination of herbs viz., Tinospora cordifolia, Ocimum sanctum, Adhatoda zeylanica, Azadirachta indica, Holarrhena antidysenterica, Piper longum, Zingiber officinale and Terminalia bellirica.

Drug preparation: Tinospora cordifolia stem (1 1/2 tbsp), Ocimum sanctum leaves (1 1/2 tbsp), Adhatoda zeylanica leaves (1 1/2 tbsp), Azadirachta indica leaves (1 1/2 tbsp), Holarrhena antidysenterica bark (1 tbsp), Piper longum fruits (1 tbsp), Zingiber officinale rhizome (1tbsp) and Terminalia bellirica fruits (1 tbsp).

Dosage: About one teaspoon powder should be given to the patient, twice daily before meals with water or honey.

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. Ocimum sanctum Linn. (Sacred Basil, Holy Basil)

Sanskrit- Ajaka, brinda, manjari, parnasa, patrapuspha, suvasa tulasi; Hindi- Tulsi, baranda, kala tulsi; Bengali- Tulsi; Marathi- Tulasa, tulasi chajadha; Gujarati- Tulsi; Telugu- Tulasi, brynda, gaggera, krishna tulasi, nalla tulasi; Tamil- Thulasi; Kannada- Vishnu tulasi, kari tulasi, sri tulasi; Malayalam- Trittavu

An erect, herbaceous, much-branched, softly hairy annual, 30-75 cm. high, found throughout India ascending up to 1,800 m. in the Himalayas, and in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Leaves elliptic-oblong, acute or obtuse, entire or serrate, pubescent on both sides, minutely gland-dotted; flowers purplish or crimson, in racemes, close whorled; nutlets sub-globose or broadly ellipsoid, slightly compressed, nearly smooth, pale brown or reddish, with small black markings.

3. 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).

4. 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).

5. 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).

6. Piper longum Linn. (Indian Long Pepper)

Hindi- Pipal, Pipli, Piplamul; Bengali- Piplamor; Marathi- Pimpli; Gujarati- Pipli; Telugu- Pippuloo; Tamil- Tippali; Pippili, Sirumulam, Kandan, Tippili; Malayalam-Tippali, Pippali, Amgadhi.

A slender aromatic climher with perennial woody roots occurring in the hotter parts of India, from Central Himalayas to Assam, Khasi and Mikir hills, lower hills of Bengal, and evergreen forests of western ghats from Konkan to Travancore: it has been recorded also from Car Nicobar Islands. Stems creeping; jointed; young shoots downy; leaves 5-9 cm. long, 3-5 cm. wide, ovate, cordate with broad rounded lobes at base, subacute, entire, glabrous; spikes cylindrical pedunculate, male larger and slender, female 1.3-2.5 cm. long and 4-5 mm. diam.; fruits ovoid, yellowish orange, sunk in fleshy spike (WOA, 1997).

7. Zingiber officinale Rosc. (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).

8. 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).


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. Contact him on

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