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Traditional medicines of Gonds and Bharias - 22 - Herbal medicine for Hair Problems


Patalkot valley is situated at Chhindwara- Tamia road about 79 km away from Chhindwara. Gonds and Bharias are the main inhabitants of the valley. These tribals still practice herbal medicines. The knowledge of these medicines is age old. For them, use of herbs is the cheapest way for cure of various health disorders.

So far, there is no Government clinic in the valley. Tribals are expert in treating various health ailments. In this article, we report the herbal formulation for treating Hair Problems.

Combination of herbs viz., Eclipta alba, Centella asiatica, Terminalia chebula, Terminalia bellirica, Emblica officinalis, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Tinospora cordifolia, Tribulus terrestris

Drug Preparation: Eclipta alba leaves (11/2 tbsp), Centella asiatica leaves (11/2 tbsp), Terminalia chebula fruits (1 tbsp), Terminalia bellirica fruits (1 tbsp), Emblica officinalis fruits (11/2 tbsp), Glycyrrhiza glabra roots (11/2 tbsp), Tinospora cordifolia stems (1 tbsp), Tribulus terrestris fruits (11/2 tbsp).

Dosage: One teaspoonful powder should be given to the patient, twice daily (morning and evening) with milk or honey.

Plant Profiles:

1. Eclipta alba (Linn.) Hassk. E. prostrata (Linn.) Linn. syn E. erecta Linn.

Sanskrit- Bhringaraja, Kesaraja, Ajagara; Hindi- Bhangra, Mochkand, Babri; Bengali- Kesuti, Keshukti, Keshori; Marathi- Bhringuraja, Maka; Gujarati- Bhangra, Kaluganthi, Dodhak, Kalobhangro; Telugu- Galagara, Quntagalijeru; Tamil- Garuga, Kayanthakara; Kannada- Garagadasoppu; Malayalam- Kyonni; Oriya- Kesarda.

An erect or prostrate, much branched, strigosely hirsute, annual, often rooting at the nodes; leaves opposite, sessile, oblong-lanceolate, 1-4 in. long; flower-heads white, 0.25-0.35 inch in diam. This plant is a common weed in moist situations throughout India, ascending up to 6,000 ft. on the hills. E. alba is commonly known as safed bhangra (Hindi) when in flower and as kala bhangra when in fruit. Pila bhangra is the name given to the closely related plant, Wedelia chinensis Merrill syn. W. calendulacea Less., which is used, to some extent, vicariously for E. alba (WOA. 1997).

2. Centella asiatica (L.) Urban syn. Hydrocotyle asiatica Linn. (Centella, Indian Pennywort)

Bengali- Thankuni, Tholkuri; Gujarati- Moti brahmi; Hindi- Brahma-manduki, Khulakhudi, Mandookaparni; Kannada- Brahmisoppu, Vandelaga-illikiwigidda; Malayalam- Kodangal, Muyalchevi; Marathi- Karinga, Karivana; Oriya- Thalkudi; Sanskrit- Mandukaparni, Mutthil; Tamil- Vallarai; Telugu- Brahmi, Saraswataku; Assam- Manimuni; Bihar- Chokiora; Meghalaya- Bat-maina; Tripura- Thankuni, Thunimankuni

A prostrate, faintly aromatic, stoloniferous perennial herb, up to 2 m long, commonly found as a weed in crop fields and other waste places throughout India up to an altitude of 600 m. Stem glabrous, pink and striated,rooting at the nodes; leaves fleshy, orbicular-reniform, crenate-dentate, base cordate and often lobed, long-petioled, smooth on the upper surface and sparsely hairy on the lower; flowers red, pink or white, in fascicled umbels; fruits oblong, dull brown, laterally compressed, pericarp hard and thickened, woody, white (WOA, 1997).

3. Terminalia chebula Retz.; C. B. Clarke (Fl. Br. Ind.) in part (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).

4. 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).

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. 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).

7. 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).

8. Tribulus terrestris L.

Sanskrit- Gokshura, Ikshugancdha; Hindi- Gokhru; Bengali & Oriya- Gakhura, Gokshra; Marathi- Lahangokhru, Sarala, Sharatte; Gujarati- Betagokhru, Mithagokhru, Nahanagokhru; Telugu- Chinnipalleru, Chirupalleru, Pallerukayalu (fruits); Tamil & Malayalam- Nerunji, Nerinjeekai (fruits); Kannada- Sanna neggilu; Ladakh- Rasha, Kokulla; Punjabi- Lotak, Bakhra; Rajasthani- Gokhatri, Gokhru-bara, Kanti, Gokhrusdesi

A variable, prostrate annual, up to 90 cm. in length, commonly found throughout India, up to an altitude of c 5,400 m. Roots slender, cylindrical, somewhat fibrous, 10-15 cm. long, light brown and faintly aromatic; leaves paripinnate: leaflets 5-8 pairs, subequal, oblong to linear-oblong; flowers leaf-opposed, solitary, pale-yellow to yellow; fruits globose, consisting of 5-12 woody cocci, each with 2 pairs of hard, sharp, divaricate spines, one pair longer than the other; seeds several in each coccus with transverse partitions between them (WOA, 1997).

References:

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 dracharya.tripod.com or contact via email on deep_acharya@rediffmail.com

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 garimasancheti@rediffmail.com

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 ansh24@gmail.com

Dr Sanjay Pawar: He is a botanist in Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh. Contact him on drpawar@rediffmail.com

Do Visit Patalkot on:
dracharya.tripod.com/patal/ and patalkot.tripod.com

Meet Dr Deepak Acharya on:
dracharya.tripod.com

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