To understand the value of Biodiversity for providing health services through medicinal plant utilization and conservation in the Patalkot valley, systematic ethno-medico-botanical studies have been carried out with the herbal practitioners of the area.
The medicinal plants used by these herbal practitioners for the treatment of various diseases have been documented. Herbal healers in this valley claim to treat ailments ranging from mere fever to serious illnesses as cancer. The method of treatment and the rules followed during the collection of medicinal plants by the herbal practitioners were also studied during the documentation.
The current article is on a formulation applied in case of Liver Problems. It is said to be a good liver tonic.
Combination of herbs viz., Holarrhena antidysenterica, Eclipta alba, Tephrosia purpurea, Tinospora cordifolia, Azadirachta indica, Phyllanthus niruri and Plumbago zeylanica.
Drug Preparation: Holarrhena antidysenterica bark (1 tbsp), Eclipta alba leaves (2 tbsp), Tephrosia purpurea Leaves (2 tbsp), Tinospora cordifolia stem (1 tbsp), Azadirachta indica bark (1 tbsp), Phyllanthus niruri whole plant (2 tbsp) and Plumbago zeylanica roots (1 tbsp).
Dosage: About 1 teaspoon powder should be given to the patient, twice a day with water or milk or honey.
1. Holarrhena 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; Punjabi- Keor, Kewar; Assamiya- Dhutkhuri, Dudkhuri.
A deciduous laticiferous shrub or small tree 30-40 ft. high and up to 4 ft. in girth, with a clear bole of 10-20 ft., occurring almost throughout India up to an altitude of 4,000 ft., often gregariously in deciduous forests and open waste lands ; it is especially abundant in the sub-Himalayan tract. Bark rather rough, pale brownish or greyish, peeling off in irregular flakes; leaves opposite, subsessile, elliptic or ovate-oblong, 4-12 in. x 2-5 in., membranous : flowers white, in terminal corymbose cymes : follicles divaricate, cylindric, 6-18 in. long and 0.2-0.4 inch in diam., usually white spotted ; seeds light brown, 0.3-0.5 in. long, 900-1,000 seeds weighing one oz., 25-30 in a follicle : coma brownish, spreading,1-2 in. long (WOA, 1997).
2. 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).
3. Tephrosia purpurea Pers. (Wild Indigo)
Sanskrit- Sharapunkha; Hindi- Dhamasia, Sarphonka; Bengali- Ban-nil-gachh; Marathi- Sirapakha, udhadi, Un- hali; Gujarati- Ghodakan, Jhila, Sarphankho; Telugu-Vempali, Neelavempali, Bontavempali; Tamil- Kolingi, Paavali, Kat kolingi, Kolluk-kay-velai; Kannada- Empali, Vajaraneeli, Koggili; Malayalam- Kozhenjil, Kaata miri; Oriya- Kolothiyapokha, Mohisiakolothiga, Pokha, Soropokha, Punjabi- Bansa-bansu, Jhojhru.
A polymorphic, much-branched, suberect, perennial herb, 30-60 cm. high, found throughout India, ascending to an altitude of 1,850 m. in the Himalayas. Leaves imparipinnate, 5-15 cm. long: leaflets 9-21, narrow, oblanceolate, glabrous above, obscurely silky below; flowers red or purple, in leaf-opposed racemes; pods slightly recurved, 3.7-5.0 cm.x 4.0 mm., glabrescent; seeds 5-10, greenish grey, smooth (WOA, 1997).
4. 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).
5. Azadirachta indica A. Juss. syn. Melia azadirachta Linn.
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).
6. Phyllanthus niruri Hook. f. P. fraternus Webster
Sanskrit- Bhumyamalaki, Bahupatri; Hindi- Jaramla, Jangli amli, Bhuinanvalah, Bhonyabali; Bengali- Bhui amla, Sadahazur-mani; Marathi- Bhuivali; Gujarat- Bhonya anmali; Telugu- Nela usirika; Tamil- Keela nelli; Kannada- Nela nelli, Kiranelli gida; Malayalam- Kizha nelli; Oriya- Bhui aola, Badianla
A herb, up to 60 cm. in height, occurring as a winter weed throughout the hotter parts of India, particularly on cultivated land. Stem angular; leaves distichous elliptic-oblong, or linear-oblong; flowers axillary, yellowish, greenish or whitish, male flowers 1-3, females solitary; capsules depressed-globose, smooth, scarcely lobed; seeds 3-gonous, pale brown, longitudinally ribbed (WOA, 1997).
7. Plumbago zeylanica L.
Hindi & Bengali- Chita, Chitarak, Chitra; Marathi- Chitramula, Chitraka; Gujarati- Chitaro, Chitrak; Telugu- Agnimata, Chitramoolam; Tamil- Cithiramulam; Kannada- Chitramula, Vahni; Malayalam- Tumba koduveli, Vellakoduvel; Oriya- Chitamulo, Chitapru, Krisanu, Ongi
A perennial, sub-scandent shrub found wild in peninsular India and West Bengal and cultivated in gardens throughout India. Leaves ovate, glabrous; flowers white, in elongated spikes; capsules oblong, pointed, contained in viscid glandular persistent calyx (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.
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.
Dr Anshu Shrivastava: He is a Botanist and PhD from BSI- Jodhpur, currently working as Research Associate in SRISTI- Ahmedabad.
Dr Sanjay Pawar: He is a botanist in Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh.