Treating various health ailments by using locally available herbs. Authors have extensively documented hundreds of herbal practices performed by Bhumkas. In this article, authors report a herbal treatment applied by these tribals to cure hair falling/ loss, dandruff and baldness.
Tribals from Gond and Bharia communities in Central India are actively engaged in traditional system of medicines for curing various common ailments.
The knowledge of these medicines is age old. For them, use of herbs is the cheapest way to cure many health disorders. Patalkot valley, situated in Chhindwara district of Madhya Pradesh, is an abode of these tribals. The 'Bhumkas' (herbal healers) of these tribes are expert in treating various health ailments by using locally available herbs. Authors have extensively documented hundreds of herbal practices performed by Bhumkas. In this article, authors report a herbal treatment applied by these tribals to cure hair falling/ loss, dandruff and baldness.
Combination of herbs viz., Centella asiatica, Eclipta alba, Emblica officinalis, Azadirachta indica, Balanites roxburghii and Nardostachys jatamansi.
Drug Preparation: Take 250 ml coconut (Cocos nucifera) oil in an earthen pot and pour dried powder of Centella asiatica leaves (11/2 tbsp), Eclipta alba leaves (11/2 tbsp), Emblica officinalis fruits (11/2 tbsp), Azadirachta indica leaves (1 tbsp), Balanites roxburghii leaves (11/2 tbsp) and Nardostachys jatamansi rhizome (1 tbsp) in it. Boil it for 15-20 minutes. Filter the oil after cooling and store in a glass bottle.
Dosage: Massage approximately 10 ml of this oil with finger-tips for 10 minutes at least 1 hr before taking bath. Avoid using soap or shampoo during bath. Take dried fruits of Reetha (Sapindus emarginatus), Shikakai (Acacia concinna) and Aonla (Emblica officinalis) in equal amount and boil in water for 10-20 minutes. After cooling filter it with cotton cloth and use this water for shampoo the hairs.
1. Centella asiatica (L.) Urban syn. Hydrocotyle asiatica L. (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-petaled, 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).
2. Eclipta alba (L.) Hassk. syn. E. prostrata (L.) L.
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. Emblica officinalis Gaertn. syn. Phyllanthus emblica L. (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).
4. Azadirachta indica A. Juss. (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. Balanites roxburghii Planch. syn. B. aegyptiaca (L.) Del. var. roxburghii Duthie (Desert Date)
Bengali- Hingol, Hingon; Gujarati- Ingoriyo; Hindi & Marathi- Hingan, Hingoli; Kannada- Ingalore; Malayalam- Nanjunta; Oriya- Ingudihala; Rajasthani- Hingorni, Hingoto; Sanskrit- Angavriksha; Tamil- Nanjundan; Telugu- Gara.
A spiny, evergreen tree, up to 9 m in height, distributed in the drier parts of peninsular India, western Rajasthan and from South-East Punjab to West Bengal and Sikkim. Bark grey, 6 mm thick; leaves 2-foliolate, leaflets elliptic or obovate; flowers small, greenish white, fragrant, in axillary, few- or many-flowered fascicles; drupes ovoid, woody, 2.5-6.0 cm long, 5-grooved, enclosing an oily seed (WOA. 1997).
6. Nardostachys jatamansi DC. (Spikenard, Indian Nard)
Sanskrit- Jatamansi; Hindi- Jatamansi, Bal-chir; Bengali- Jatamansi; Gujarati- Jatamasi, Kalichhad; Telugu, Kannada & Malayalam- Jatamamshi; Tamil- Jatamashi.
An erect perennial herb, 10-60 cm. high, with long, stout, woody rootstock found in the alpine Himalayas from Punjab to Sikkim and Bhutan, at altitudes of 3,000-5,000 m. Radical leaves elongate spathulate, cauline leaves sessile, few, oblong or sub-ovate; flowers rosy, pale pink or blue, in dense cymes (WOA. 1997).
WOA. 1997. Wealth of Asia (AHEAD).
Note: Readers should consult their family doctors before any application of the practice mentioned in this article. The aim of the current article is to share the Bhumkas knowledge about treatment of human health disorders.
Authors are from Abhumka Herbal Pvt Ltd. The company is deeply engrossed in scouting and documentation of traditional tribal therapies and formulation/ product development. Authors are extensively documenting traditional herbal knowledge from various remote areas of Central and Western India.
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