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Traditional medicines of Gonds and Bharias - 28 - Herbal medicine for Paralysis

Dr Acharya and friends have documented the primitive herbal knowledge of tribals of the Patalkot valley. A digital library or database has also been prepared for further studies. The present communication deals with a herbal formulation for curing Paralysis.

The ethnobotanical knowledge systems among the Gonds and Bharias of Patalkot valley in Central India have traditionally been very rich and catering to the medicinal needs of the community since times immemorial. But the youth in the region have been losing interest in these plant based traditional knowledge systems.

Such traditional knowledge systems are therefore in threat of extinction, much like the plants that make it up. Dr Acharya and friends have documented the primitive herbal knowledge of tribals of the Patalkot valley. A digital library or database has also been prepared for further studies. The present communication deals with a herbal formulation for curing Paralysis. We have not yet validated the formulation but feedback from various patients has revealed that the formulation is really effective. We suggest you to consult your family doctor before any application of this formulation.

This ethnobotanical survey was carried out among the medicinal plant practitioners using the questionnaire method. Feedbacks from patients have also been documented. Information like the medicinal plants and their usage for the particular kind of medicines were delved into. The study revealed a storehouse of information on medicinal plants. Bhumkas perform herbal healing practices in the valley and they are real herbal hunters.

Combination of herbs viz., Curcuma zedoaria, Withania somnifera, Tribulus terrestris, Zingiber officinale, Piper longum, Crataeva nurvala and Plumbago zeylanica.

Drug Preparation: Curcuma zedoaria roots (2 tbsp), Withania somnifera roots (2 tbsp), Tribulus terrestris fruits (2 tbsp), Zingiber officinale roots (2 tbsp), Piper longum fruits (1/2 tbsp), Crataeva nurvala leaves (1 tbsp), Plumbago zeylanica roots (1/2 tbsp).

Dosage: About 1 teaspoon powder should be given to the patient, twice a day with water or milk or honey.

Plant Profiles:

1. Curcuma zedoaria Rosc. (Zedoary)

Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Kannada & Gujarati- Kachura; Tamil- Kichili-kizhanghu; Telugu-Kachoram; Malayalam- Pula-kizhanna.

A species growing wild in eastern Himalayas and in the moist deciduous forests of the coastal tract of Kanara. It is a native of north east India and is widely cultivated in many parts of India, Ceylon and China (WOA, 1997).

2. Withania somnifera Dunal (Ashwagandha)

Sanskrit- Ashwagandha, Turangi-gandha; Hindi- Punir, Asgandh; Bengali- Ashvaganda; Marathi- Askandha tilli; Gujarati- Ghodakun, Ghoda, Asoda, Asan; Telugu- Pulivendram, Panneru-gadda, Panneru; Tamil- Amukkura, Amkulang, Amukkuram-kilangu, Amulang-kalung, Aswagandhi; Kannada- Viremaddlinagadde, Pannaeru, Aswagandhi, Kiremallinagida, Punjabi- Asgand, Isgand; Trade--Aswagandha.

An erect, evergreen, tomentose shrub, 30-150 cm. high, found throughout the drier parts of India in waste places and on bunds; also cultivated to a limited extent for the medicinal roots. Roots stout fleshy, whitish brown; leaves simple ovate, glabrous, those in the floral region smaller and opposite; flowers inconspicuous, greenish or lurid-yellow, in axillary, umbellate cymes; berries small, globose, orange-red when mature, enclosed in the persistent calyx; seeds yellow, reniform (WOA, 1997).

3. Tribulus terrestris Linn. (Land-caltrops, Puncture-vine)

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).

4. 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).

5. Piper longum Linn. (Indian Long pepper)

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

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).

6. Crataeva nurvala Buch.- Ham. syn. C. religiosa Hook. f. & Thoms.

Sanskrit- Varuna, Asmarighna; Hindi- Barna, Bilasi; Bengali- Barun; Marathi- Vayavarna, Haravarna; Tamil- Maralingam.

A moderate sized deciduous tree, upto 5 m high. Leaves 3-foliate; leaflets 3-6 x 1-3 cm, ovate-lanceolate, acute to acuminate, narrowed to base; petioles upto 6 cm long. Flowers greenish-white, in few-flowered, terminal and lateral corymbs. Stamens numerous, white, turning purplish. Stigma knob-shaped. Berries upto 4 cm in diam., subglobose or ovate-oblong, smooth, yellow or red (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.

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