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Traditional medicines of Gonds and Bharias - 25 - Herbal medicine for Throat Diseases

The tribals in Patalkot believe in magic, witchcraft, and sorcery, along with their many tribal gods and Hindu deities. They believe that the supernatural world contains both good and evil. Their constant fear of the spirits keeps them revolving around a circle of prayers, rituals, offerings, and sacrifices.

The Bhumkas (priest and medicine man) is thought to be the ultimate "good man." He is believed to be a spiritual man who communicates with the gods. He is considered a friend, a philosopher, a guide, and a healer. They know the hidden secrets of medicinal plants found in the valley. During the extensive documentation in between 1997- 2004, authors have compiled a digital database of herbal practices performed by the tribals. This team is now engaged in validation of potential herbal practices. Traditional Medicines of Gonds and Bharias is a series of articles, which focuses on indigenous knowledge of Bhumkas of Patalkot.

The current articles deals with Throat Problems. This herbal formulation is very effective and cures almost all common disorders related to throat. Have a great reading and do visit links (our previous articles) given at the bottom of this article.

Combination of herbs viz., Glycyrrhiza glabra, Terminalia chebula, Solanum virginianum, Piper longum, Sida cordifolia, Emblica officinalis and Terminalia bellirica

Drug Preparation: Glycyrrhiza glabra roots (3 tbsp), Terminalia chebula fruits (1 tbsp), Solanum virginianum whole plant (2 tbsp), Piper longum fruits (1 tbsp), Sida cordifolia roots (1 tbsp), Emblica officinalis fruits (1 tbsp) and Terminalia bellirica fruits (1 tbsp).

Dosage: One teaspoonful powder should be given to the patient, twice a day (morning and at bed time) with water or honey.

Plant Profiles:

1. 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).

2. 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).

3. Solanum virginiaum L. Solanum xanthocarpum Schrad & Wendle, S. surattense Burm. f. (Yellow berried, Nightshade)

Hindi- Kateli; Sanskrit- Kantkari, Duhusparsha, Nidigdhika

A very prickly perennial herb, somewhat woody at base. Stem: much branched, clothed with dense, stellate and tomentose hairs when young; prickles compressed, straight, glabrous, shining, often 1-3 cm long. Leaves: ovate or elliptic, sinuate or sub pinnatifid, obtuse or sub acute, stellately hairy on both sides, armed on the midrib and often on the nerves with long yellow sharp prickles; petiole long, stellately hairy and prickly. Flowers: in cymes or some times reduced as solitary; calyx tube short, globose; lobes linear-lanceolate, acute, densely hairy and prickly; corolla purple; lobes deltoid, acute, hairy outside; filament long, glabrous; ovary ovoid, glabrous. Fruit: berry yellow, green-blotched and surrounded by enlarged calyx. Seeds: glabrous (WOA. 1997).

4. 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).

5. Sida cordifolia L. (Country- mallow).

Hindi- Kungyi; Bengali- Swetberela, Brela, Bala; Gujarati- Bala baldana, Mahabala, Khapat; Telugu- Tella antisa, Tellagorra, Chirwbenda, Suvarnamu; Tamil- Nila-tutti, Paniar-tuthi; Kannada- Hettuthi, Hettugigada, Kisangi, Chittuharalu; Malyalam- Kurunthotti, Vellurum, Kathuram; Oriya- Badianaula, Bisvokopari; Punjab- Kowar, Simak.

A small, downy, erect shrub, 1.5 m high, with long branches, sometimes rooting at the nodes. Bark light yellowish brown. Leaves cordate-oblong, ovate, or ovate-oblong, very downy on both surfaces. Flowers tawny-yellow or white. Fruit with a pair of awns on each carpel (WOA. 1997).

6. 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).

7. 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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