From the time immemorial, medicinal plants are being used for alleviating human suffering from disea
From the time immemorial, medicinal plants are being used for alleviating human suffering from diseases and also for revitalizing body systems in almost all ancient civilizations. Medicinal plants are local heritage with global importance. World is endowed with a rich wealth of medicinal plants. According to WHO, over 21,000 plant species are useful for preparation of medicines against several diseases. In India, plants have been in use for treating diseases since ancient times. Many of the plants used in the “Rigveda” have been successfully used in “Ayurvedic” system of medicine. Herbal medicines are becoming popular throughout the developed world as people strive to stay healthy in the face of chronic stress and pollution, and to treat illness with medicines that work in concert with the body’s own defence. Medicinal plants also play an important role in the lives of rural people, particularly in remote parts of the developing countries with few health care facilities.
Most of us are not aware about the usefulness of the plants growing around us that possess enormous medicinal properties with high potential to cure different ailments. However, these plants are popularly being used by the tribal people in the North Eastern part of India as home remedies against several day to day ailments as well as for curing some of the diseases.
Some of the plants with proven medicinal properties and readily available in the surroundings are described in the following for creating awareness and utilization with expert suggestions.
1.Mohaneem মহানীম(Azadiracta indica):– Family- Meliaceae. This plant is known for its medicinal value. It is used as anti malarial and anti diabetic. Continuous use of mohaneem controls the blood sugar level in diabetics. Fifteen milli litre root extract taken orally three times a day is useful in diarrhoea and ten milli litre root extract taken in empty stomach for three days is effective against worms. Leaf extract is also very effective cure to skin diseases.
2. Lai jabori লাই জাবৰি(Drymeria cordata):- Family- Caryophyllaceae. It is a common annual herb. It generally grows in shady places and waste land. The leaf juice is very effective for sinusitis and other nasal troubles. Two to three drops of leaf juice is applied inside nose twice/thrice to cure sinusitis. The decoction of whole plant is used in vomiting and diarrhoea.
3. Mosundari মচন্দৰি(Houttuynia cordata):- Family- Houttuyniaceae. A very common perennial herb found in entire N.E. region. The juice of the plant is very effective against stomachache and dysentery. It is also used for skin diseases.
4. Nephaphu নেফাফু(Clerodendrum colebrokianum):– Family- Verbenaceae. The young leaves are very effective against hypertension. Three to four fresh leaves taken in empty stomach for control of high blood pressure. The young leaves are also used as anthelmentic. Leaf paste is used for massage in rheumatism.
5. Dupar tenga দোপৰ টেঙা(Bryophyllum pinnatum):- Family- Crassulaceae. The plant is a perennial herb. Leaves are used for urinary tract diseases and also to dissolve stone from kidney and gall bladder. Slightly toasted leaves are used in wounds and bruises.
6. Bhedailota ভডাই লতা(Paederia foetida):– Family- Rubiaceae. The plant is a creeper growing on roadside plant and forest trees. Plant leaves are used against diarrhoea and dysentery. Curry prepared from leaves is used for contraction of uterus after child birth. Leaf paste is applied to alleviate rheumatism.
7. Matikanduri (Alternanthera sessile):- family- Amaranthaceae. It is a common herb, growing in kitchen garden. The whole plant is used to cure stomach disorder, blood dysentery. Young twigs are generally used in piles.
8. Narasingha নৰসি়্হ (Murraya koenigii):– Family- Rutaceae. It is a small tree with strong aroma. Root, leaf and barks are used as medicine. Leaf decoction is used in diarrhoea and dysentery. Leaf juice mixed with garlic and black pepper can be used for body pain (30ml thrice a day). Leaf decoction is also used for piles. Ten-twelve fresh leaves taken on empty stomach in the morning, continuously for three months can control blood sugar in diabetics. Root and bark pastes are used in skin eruption. Leaf juice mixed with lemon can be used against insect bite. Persons having hypertension should not take Narasingha continuously.
9. Bormanimuni (Centella asiatica):- Family- Apiaceae. The plant is an annual creeping herb, found on roadside, garden and crop fields. The whole plant is used for medicinal purpose. It is diuretic, local stimulant and sedative. The plant is used against fever, diarrhoea, and dysentery and stomach pain. Leaf decoction is taken in cough, cold and fever and as an anthelmentic. Plant paste is applied on boils and tumors. It is very effective against leprosy and skin diseases and also to improve memory. The plant is also used in peptic ulcer
10. Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum):– Family- Lamiaceae. The juice of the fresh leaves is used against fever and cough. Fresh leaf juice mixed with honey is very effective to infants in fever. Dried leaves mixed with a little amount of salt are used to treat cholera, dysentery and stomachache.
11. Doron(Leucus linifolia):- Family- Lamiaceae. Leaf and root decoction mixed with black pepper is used in cough, tonsillitis and pharyngitis. It is also used as vermifuge and stomachache. Crushed leaves are used externally for dermatitis. Decoction of leaves is used as a sedative in nerve disorder. Flowers mixed with honey are given to children to cure cold and cough.
12. Brahmi (Herpestis monniera):- Family- Scorphulariaceae. The plant is a small herb and whole plant is useful as medicine. It is well known as brain tonic. Leaf juice is used to treat bronchitis in children. It is also used in piles, urinary disorder and seminal debility. It is also a blood purifier.
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13. Sojina (Moringa Oleifera):- Family- Moringaceae. Commonly it is known as drumstick. The leaf extract is used against asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory diseases. Leaf paste is applied in wound and swellings.
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14. Podina ( Mentha arvensis) :- Family- Lamiaceae. The plant is a strong aromatic perennial herb, usually grown throughout N.E. region. Leaf juice is used for stomach ailments. It is anthelmentic and also used in ear infection. The dried plant is diuretic and stimulant.
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15. Lajuki Lota/ Nilaji bon (Mimosa pudica):- Family- Mimosaceae. It is a common weed growing throughout N.E. region on wasteland. Decoction of leaf is used for diarrhoea and skin diseases also to dissolve kidney and gall bladder stones. Root is aphrodisiac and also blood purifier. Raw leaves along with a small quantity of butter taken on empty stomach in the morning for treatment of piles.
16. Tengeshi (Oxalis corniculata):– Family- Oxalidaceae. Whole plant is used as medicinal. Leaves are used for dysentery and diarrhoea. Leaf juice is taken with honey to cure chronic cough and as stomachic.
The above mentioned medicinal plants are only a glimpse on the vast ocean of medicinal resources growing around us. In recent years, we find a renewed interest in traditional medicine because of the widespread belief that ‘green medicine’ is healthier than synthetic products. But care should be taken that without proper knowledge of appropriate doses, traditional medicine should not be used as it may invite undesirable complications. Hence, in the long run it is expected to scientifically evaluate the traditional remedies to ensure safety, efficacy, stability, standards and dosage formulation.
–Sanjib Ranjan Borah