List of Medicinal Plants & their Uses for Health

Medicinal plants are valuable resources for our health care system since ancient period.

These natural herbs are important source of drugs for alternative medicine systems.

These systems include Ayurveda, homeopathy, Unani and even allopathy.

They are thought to constitute 80% of total drugs used by humans.

These natural healing herbs are used in treatment of many diseases and disorders.

Their specialty is advantages like better compatibility in the body, easy metabolism, low side effects and also less expensive than synthetic drugs.

Further they are not harmful to environment after disposal.

They don’t require heavy manufacture, expensive analysis and storage facility.

They retain their potency for long period if stored well.

Many of them can be used as home-made preparations, during emergency or can be bought as over the counter drugs without physician prescription.list of medicinal plants

These medicinal plants come under different types of plants and not restricted to one family or type of plants..

So  below chart gives an idea of the List of Medicinal Plants and uses..

List of Medicinal Plants, their uses & growth places in India

Sl.No.Name of plantSource(scientific)Uses
1AconiteAconitum ferox –plant rootLeprosy, cholera,catarrh
2AshwagandhaWithania somnifera-roots & stem bases.Rheumatism, gout, hypertension, cancer
3BelladonnaAtropa accuminata-leaves & flowersAnti-spasmodic, anticholinergic, antidote for chloral hydrate & opium poisoning
4BenafshaViola odorataAnti-bacterial, anti-fungal, in fever, as expectorant (to remove phlegm)
5Black pepperPiper nigrum-unripe fruitsAs stomachic (enhances hunger), carminative (enhances eructation)
6carawayCarum carvi-dry-ripe fruitsExpels gas by eructation
7CardamomElettaria cardamomum-dry-ripe fruitsExpels gas by eructation (carminative)
8Castor oilRicinus communis-seed’s fixed oilCatharatic (in constipation), hair growth promoter
9Ceylon CinnamonCinnamomum zeylanicumcarminative (enhances eructation)
10Citronella oilCymbopogan nardus-volatile oil from leavesMosquito repellant
11CloveEugenia caryophyllus-dry flower budDental analgesic, anti-septic, carminative
12CorianderCoriandrum sativum-dry fruitscarminative
13CorkwoodDuboisia myoporoides-dry leavesParasympatholytic, antidote in physostigmine and pilocarpine poisoning.
14Egyptian HenbaneHyoscyamus niger-leaves & flower tipRelieve spasm of urinary tract & gripping effect of purgatives
15Eucalyptus oilEucalyptus citriodara-leaf oilHas essential oils with uses like Expectorant (removes phlegm), counter-irritant.
16FennelFoeniculum vulgare-dry ripe fruitExpels gas by eructation
17GarlicAllium sativum-bulbsTo enhance libido, expel phlegm, for eructation
18GinsengPanax ginsengAs immunomodulator. See more health benefits of ginseng.
19SennaCassia angustifolia-dried leafletsFor purgation of bowels.
20IpecacCephaelis ipecacuanha-dried roots & rhizomesTo induce vomiting (emetic)
21IsapgolPlantago ovate-To relieve constipation (laxative)
22JiraCiminum cyminum-dry ripe fruitStimulant, carminative
23Lemon grass oilCymbopogin flexuousus-volatile oil from leaves & plant partsVitamin-A precursor
24Mentha oilMentha piperita-volatile oil from flowersExpels gas by eructation
25Opium poopyPapaver somniferum-dry latex having Morphine , codeine etc.To relieve severe pains, cough, & also as hypnotic
26Palmarosa oilCymbopogan martini-volatile oil from leavesInsect repellant
27PapinCarica papaya (papaya plant-unripe fruit latex.One of anti inflammatory herbs
28Peruvian barkCinchona ledgeriana-dried barkAnti-malarial drug
29PyrethrumChrysanthemum cineraria folium-flower headsAs an insecticide to kill insects mosquito repellent
30Rheumatism rootDioscorea composite-dried tubersFor rheumatic arthritis
31Sandal wood oilSantalum album-volatile oilDecreases frequent urination tendency.
32SerpentinaRauwolfia serpentine-Dry rootsAs a Anti-hypertensive agent
33Solanum khasianumSolanum-dried berriesFor steroid production
34TulsiOcimum sanctum-fresh & dry leavesUses of tulsi are Anti-bacterial, insecticide and immune modulator
35TurmericCurcuma longs-dry rhizomesAnti-septic, anti-oxidant, condiment
36Turpentine oil.Pinus roxburghii-volatile oilCounter irritant (for pain)
37Vetiver oilVetiveria zizanoides-volatile oil from rootRelive prickly heat and itching
38VincaCatharanthus roseus-entre plantmedicinal plants for cancer treatment, anticancer herbs
39YewTaxus baccataDry leaves, bark & roots.

This big list of uses indicates the importance of plants. So we need to take efforts to prevent them from eradication in the name of development.

Conservation of medicinal plants is very important for future use.

Due to heavy use, large plants and those plants which take long time for germination and growth are chopped off.

Hence the conservation of medicinal plants be done by  obtaining the medicinal plant material by agriculture methods of cultivation instead of relying on the plants grown naturally in forests.

Further we need to take steps for conservation of medicinal plants by obtaining these medicinal plant drugs by tissue culture method where possible.

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