Common ailment: अक्सर लगातार शारीरिक विकार या बीमारी; शिकायत का कारण
01. Curcuma longa Linn.
Synonym: C. domestica Valeton.
Habitat: Cultivated all over India, particularly in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
Ayurvedic: Haridraa, Priyaka, Haridruma, Kshanda, Gauri, Kaanchani, Krimighna, Varavarnini, Yoshitapriyaa, Hattavilaasini, Naktaahvaa, Sharvari.
Unani : Zard Chob.
Action: , inﬂammatory, cholagogue, hepatoprotective, blood-puriﬁer, oxidant, detoxiﬁer and regenerator of liver tissue, antiasthmatic, tumour, cutaneous, protozoal, stomachic, carminative. Reduces high plasma cholesterol. platelet activity offers protection to the heart and vessels. Also protects against DNA damage in lymphocytes.
Key application: In dyspeptic conditions. (German Commission E, ESCOP, WHO.) As, inﬂammatory, stomachic. (Indian Herbal Pharmacopoeia.) the rhizomes gave curcuminoids, the mixture known as Curcumin, consisting of at least four phenolics diaryl-heptanoids, including Curcumin and monodesmethoxycurcumin; volatile oil (3–5%), containing about 60% of turmerones which are sesquiterpene ketones, and bitter principles, sugars, starch, resin. Curcumin related phenolics possess antioxidant , inﬂammatory, gastroprotective and hepatoprotective activities. The antioxidant activity of curcumin is comparable to standard , oxidants—vitamin C and E, BHA and BHT. The volatile oil, also curcumin, exhibited inﬂammatory activity in a variety of experimental models (the effects were comparable to those of cortisone and phenylbutazone). Used orally, curcumin prevents the release of inﬂammatory mediators. It depletes nerve endings of substance P, the neurotransmitter of pain receptors. Curcumin’s cholesterol-lowering actions include interfering with intestinal cholesterol uptake, increasing the conversion of cholesterol into bile acids and increasing the excretion of bile acids via its choleretic effects. Curcuminoids prevent the increases in liver enzymes, SGOT and SGPT; this validates the use of turmeric as a hepatoprotective drug in liver disorders. Curlone, obtained from the dried rhizome, is used against hepatitis. Turmeric and curcumin increase the mucin content of the stomach and exert gastroprotective effects against stress, alcohol, drug-induced ulcer formation. (Curcumin at doses of 100mg/kg weight exhibited ulcerogenic activity in rats.) The ethanolic extract of the rhizome exhibited blood sugar lowering activity in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Piperine (a constituent of black and long pepper) enhances absorption and bioavailability of curcumin.
Dosage : Cured rhizome—1–3 g powder. (API Vol . I .)
02. Ela; Elettaria cardamomum Maton.
Habitat : Cultivated either as pure plantation crop, or as subsidiary to coffee and areca nut in hilly forests regions of Western Ghats in Karnataka and Kerala, and in parts of Madurai, the Nilgiris and Tirunelveli in Tamilnadu.
English : Lesser Cardamom.
Ayurvedic : Elaa, Sukshmailaa, Kshudrailaa, Bhrngaparnikaa, Tutthaa, Draavidi, Prithvikaa, Triputaa, Truti, Upkunchikaa. Unani : Heel Khurd.
Siddha/Tamil : Yelakkai, Ilam.
Folk :Ilaayachi. E
Action :Carminative , emetic, stomachic, orexigenic, gripe, asthmatic, bechic, Oil—, spasmodic, septic. Used for ﬂatulence, loss of appetite, colic, bronchitis, asthma. Paste used as balm for headache, husk for rheumatism.
Key application : in dyspepsia; also as a cholagogue. (German Commission E.) The seeds yield an essential oil (6–11% dry basis). The major constituents are 1,8cineole, and alpha-terpinyl acetate, with limonene, alpha-terpineol, sabinene, and linalool.The seeds contain palmitic and oleic as dominant fatty acids, besides linoleic and linolenic acids, along with alpha-tocopherol, desmosterol and campesterol. The extracts of cardamom causes a signiﬁcant decrease in gastric secretion after 3 h of treatment. The effect of methanol extract is primarily observed as decreased pepsin output. Terpineol and acetyl terpineol, the active principles of cardamom seeds, showed greater penetration enhancing capacities than Azone which was used as a comparative penetration enhancer for the diffusion of Prednisolone through mouse skin in vitro.Volatile components exhibit antimicrobial activity. The oil inhibits aﬂatoxin synthesis.The cardamom seed can trigger gallstone colic (spasmodic pain) and is not recommended for self-medication in patients with gallstone. (German Commission E, PDR, NaturalMedicinesComprehensive Database, 2007.)
Dosage : Seed of dried fruit—1–2 g powder. (API Vol I.)
03. Murraya koenigii (Linn.) Spreng.
Family: Rutaceae. M
Habitat : Cultivated in Tamilnadu; Maharashtra and North India.
English : Curry-Leaf tree.
Ayurvedic : Surabhini-nimba.
Unani : Karipattaa.
Siddha/Tamil: Karuveppilei,Karivempu, Kattuveppilei.
Folk: Meetha Neem, Kathneem, Gandhela, Barsanga.
Action: Leaf—stomachic, antiprotozoal, spasmolytic; promotes appetite and digestion, destroys pathogenic organisms, antidysenteric. Externally, used against skin eruptions. All parts of the plant, especially the leaves, are rich in carbazole alkaloids (several carbazole bases have been isolated). The leaves also gave a coumarin glucoside, scopolin. The beta-carotene content of curry leaves was found to decrease on cooking; deep frying resulted in maximum loss.Inclusion of curry leaves in the diet of diabetic patients reduced the blood glucose level appreciably (it did not produce any insulin response). The steam distillate of the leaves is reported to exhibit antifungal and insecticidal activities. The ethanolic extract of the stem bark showed inﬂammatory effect in carrageenan-induced inﬂammation in rats.
04. Piper nigrum Linn.
Habitat : Native of the Indo-Malaysian region; cultivated in Western Ghats, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Assam and Kerala. English : Black Pepper. Ayurvedic : Maricha, Vellaja, Uushna, Suvrrita, Krishnaa. Unani : Filﬁl Siyaah, Safed. Siddha/Tamil: Milagu. Milaguver (root).
Action: Stimulant, carminative, diuretic, cholerin, sialagogue, bechic, asthmatic. Used infevers, dyspepsia, ﬂatulence, indi-gestion, and as mucous membrane and gastro-intestinal stimulant. Ex-ternally—rubefacient and stimulant to the skin. Used as a gargle for sore throat. Used with ginger and Piper Longum for viral hepatitis. The fruit yielded piperine, pipera-tine and piperidine; amides, pipery-line, piperoleins A and B, and N-iso-butyl-cicosa-trans-2-trans-4-dienami-de. The aqueous extract of roasted blackpepper is reported to show cholinomi-metic effect on rat abdominis muscles. Dosage : Fruit—500 mg to 1 g. (CCRAS.)
05. Coriandrum sativum Linn.
Family: Umbelliferae; Apiaceae.
English: Coriander.Ayurvedic_Dhaanyaka,Kustumburu,Dhaanyeyaka,Dhanika,Dhanikaa,Dhaanaa,Dhaanya,Dhaniyaa, Kunati, Chhatraa, Vitunnaka.
Unani : Kishneez.
Action: Stimulant, stomachic, carminative, antispasmodic, diuretic; also hypoglycaemic and , inﬂammatory. Oil—bactericidal and larvicidal. Used in China As a remedy for measles, diabetes, aerophagia and gastroenteritis.
Key application: In dyspeptic complaints, loss of appetite. (German Commission E, BritishHerbal Pharmacopoeia, IndianHerbal Pharmacopoeia.) Coriander contains 0.5–1% volatile oil, consisting mainly of delta linalool (55–74%), alpha pinene and terpinine. It also contains ﬂavonoids, coumarins, phthalides and phenolic acids (including caffeic and chlorogenic). Aqueous extract of the roasted seeds contains large amounts of acetylcholine and its precursor choline. (Cholineis found useful in preventing and curing certain liver disorders.) The extract shows cholinomimetic effects experimentally. Coriandrin, an antiviral agent, has been synthesized from the aerial parts. The plant forms an ingredient of a Pakistani herbal drug (Intellan) which is considered to be a neuro-energizer. In Unani medicine, an infusion of fruit is also used in bleeding piles, neuralgia, cephalalgia and spermatorrhoea.
Dosage : Fruit—1–3 g powder. (API Vol . I .)
06. Cuminum cyminum Linn.
Family: Umbelliferae; Apiaceae.
Habitat : Native to the Mediterranean region; now cultivated in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.
English : Cumin.
Ayurvedic : Shveta-jiraka, Ajaaji, Shukla-ajaaji. The three jirakas mentioned in the ayurvedic texts are: Jiraka, Krishna Jiraka (Carum bulbocastanum W. Koch.) and Kaaravi (Carum carvi Linn.) .
Unani : Safed Jeera, Kamun.
Action: Carminative, antispasmodic (used in dyspepsia and diarrhea), stimulant, diuretic , bacterial, emmenagogue, galactagogue.
Cumin seeds contain up to 14.5% lipids. They are reported to contain 14 ﬂavonoid glycosides; 7 belong to apigenin, to luteolin and 2 to chrysoeriol group. Major constituents of the essential oil include cuminaldehyde (20–40% of the oil) and p-cymene. EtOH (50%) extract of the fruit exhibits spasmolytic and hypotensive activity. Cumin is considered superior in comforting carminative qualities to Fennel or Caraway. Due to its disagreeable ﬂavour it has been replaced by Caraway in European herbal medicine. Cumin oil and cuminaldehyde have been reported to exhibit strong larvicidal and bacterial activity. Fine grinding of the seed can cause loss of 50% of volatile oil, most within one hour. (Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2007.)
Dosage : Fruit—1–3 g powder. (API Vol . I .)
07. Allium cepa Linn.
Family: Liliaceae; Alliaceae.
Habitat : Cultivated as an annual all over the country. the most important onion-growing states are Maharashtra, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh. Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.
English : Onion.
Ayurvedic : Palaandu, Durgandh.
Unani : Piyaaz.
Action: , biotic, bacterial, sclerotic, coagulant, , inﬂammatory, asthmatic, expectorant, carminative, antispasmodic, diuretic, hypotensive, diabetic.
Key application: For the prevention of atherosclerosis (German Commission E) and age-dependent changes in the blood vessels, and loss of appetite (WHO). the oﬃcial onion bulb of the Pharmacopoeia of the People’s Republic of China is a different species, Allium macrostemon Bge. then that of the German Commission E monographs, A. cepa. Chinese onion is used for cough, dyspnoea, angina pectoris and dysentery.Scallions or Spring Onion of Chinese medicine are equated with Allium ﬁstulosum.
Onion bulbs contain a volatile oil with sulphurous constituents, including allyl propyl disulphide; sulphur containing compounds, including al licin, alliin; ﬂavonoids; phenolic acids and sterols. Hypoglycemic activity of the onion is attributed to the allyl propyl disulphide and allicin. Diphenylamine, isolated from mature bulbs, also exhibits potent, hyperglycaemic activity. Alliin and allicin have an inhibitory effect on platelet aggregation. Antibiotic activity is due mainly to allicin. Regular use of onion (50 g/day) reduces insulin requirement of a diabetic patient from 40 to 20 units a day. thiosulfinates, isolated from onion juice exhibited , asthmatic activity in vivo.
Dosage : Juice of bulb—10–20 ml. (CCRAS.) A
08. Cocos nucifera Linn.
Family: Palmae; Arecaceae.
Habitat : Cultivated chiefly in Kerala, Tamilnadu and Karnataka.
English : Coconut Palm. C
Ayurvedic : Naarikela, Naalikera, Laangali, Tunga, Skandhaphala, Sadaaphala, Trnaraaja, Kuurch-shirshaka.
Unani : Naarjeel, Naariyal.
Siddha/Tamil: henkai. Kopparai (kernel of ripe coconut).
Action: Water from tender fruit— cooling, used in thirst, fever, urinary disorders, gastroenteritis, and as asourceofKforcholerapatients.
Fruit—stomachic, laxative, diuretic, styptic, sedative; useful in dyspepsia and a burning sensation. Oil from endosperm—, septic; used in alopecia. Root—astringent; used in urinary and uterine and disorders. Tender coconut water is rich in potassium and other minerals and vitamins. It contains reducing sugars 2.22–2.85%, total sugars 3.5–4.25%; brix 5.5–6.2%. It is used as a substitute for normal saline in cases of dehydration. Alcoholic extract of coconut shell (2% in petroleum jelly, externally) was found very effective in dermatophytosis. Lighter fractions of the tar oil are used as antiseptics. Flowers, mixed with oil, are applied to swellings, leaves to treat abscesses, shoots and ashes of dry meat to deep cuts, grated meat to burns, roots to wounds and gonorrhoea. Shell and ﬁbre—, microbial.
Dosage : Dried endosperm—10– 20 g powder. (API Vol. III.)
09. Coffea arabica Linn.
Habitat: Growing in TamilNadu, Karnataka and Kerala.
English: Arabian coffee.
Siddha/Tamil: Kaapi, Bannu.
Action: Diuretic, narcotic, psychotropic agent, direct heart stimulant (raises blood pressure). Neutralizes therapeutic effects of many herbs; potentiates the action of aspirin and paracetamol; depletes the body of B-vitamins. Charcoal of the outer seed parts—astringent, absorbent.
Key Application: Powdered coffee charcoal—in nonspeciﬁc, acute diarrhoea; local therapy of mild inﬂammation of oral and pharyngeal mucosa (average daily dose 9 g). (German Commission E.) According toWHO, coffee drinking is not responsible for breast cancer and may protect against cancer of the colon and rectum. Caffeic and chlorogenic acids in coffee act as anticarcinogens. Bronchial asthma is less frequent among coffee drinkers due to caffeine and theophylline. The aroma components include several furfuryl methyl mercaptan derivatives. Coffee extracts yielded organic acids. Atractyloside, several sterols and acids, as well as alkaloids, have been reported. Caffeine is the major alkaloid of coffee. One cup of coffee contains approx. 60–120mg caffeine; other active constituents include chlorogenic acid, caffeol and diterpenes.
Chlorogenic acid in coffee might inhibit glucose-6-phosphatase, which might lower hepatic glucose production. Caffeine seems to stimulate pancreatic beta cells to secrete insulin. (Natu- ralMedicines Comprehensive Database, 2007.)
10. Ocimum sanctum Linn.
Synonym : O. tenuiﬂorum Linn.
Family: Labiatae; Lamiaceae.
Habitat : throughout India; grown in houses, gardens and temples.
English : Holy Basil, Sacred Basil.
Ayurvedic : Tulasi, Surasaa, Surasa, Bhuutaghni, Suravalli, Sulabha, Manjarikaa, Bahumanjari, Deva-O dundubhi, Apet-raakshasi, Shuulaghni, Graamya, Sulabhaa.
Unani : Tulasi .
Siddha/Tamil: Tulasi, Nalla-Tulasi.
Action: Leaf—carminative, stomachic, antispasmodic, asthmatic, rheumatic, expectorant, stimulant, hepatoprotective, periodic, antipyretic and diaphoretic. Seed— used in genitourinary diseases. Root—, malarial. Plant—adaptogenic, stress. Essential oil, bacterial, fungal.
The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India recommends the use of the leaf and seed in rhinitis and inﬂuenza; the seed in psychological disorders, including fear-psychosis and obsessions.
Major components of the essential oil are eugenol, carvacrol, nerol and eugenol methyl ether. Leaves have been reported to contain ursolic acid, apigenin, luteolin, apigenin-7-O-glucuronide, luteolin-7-O glucuronide, orientin and molludistin.
Ursolic acid, isolated from leaves, exhibited signiﬁcant protection of mast cell membrane by preventing granulation and decreased histamine release. The ethanolic extract (50%) of fresh leaves, volatile oil from fresh leaves and ﬁxed oil from seeds showed , asthmatic activity and signiﬁcantly protected guinea-pigs against histamine and dyspnoea. They also showed anti inﬂammatory activity against carrageenan-, serotonin-, histamine-and PGE-2-induced inﬂammation and inhibited hind paw oedema in rats. The ethanol extract (90%) of the leaves showed hepatoprotective effect against paracetamol-induced liver damage. The plant extract exhibited ulcerogenic properties against experimental ulcers. Oral administration of alcoholic extract of leaves lowers blood sugar level in normal, glucose-fed hyperglycaemic and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. The activity of the extract was 91.55 and 70.43%of that of tolbutamide in normal and diabetic rats respectively.
Administration of the juice of the plant affected a signiﬁcant reduction in the size of urinary brushite crystals.
A study of methanol extract and aqueous suspension of the leaves showed immune stimulation of humoral immunologic response in albino rats indicating the adaptogenic action of the plant.
Dosage : Seed—1–2 g powder (API, Vol . IV) ; plant—50–10 ml infusion (CCRAS.) .
11. Vitis vinifera Linn.
Habitat : A woody, shrubby vine, cultivated in Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu for edible fruits. V
English : Wine Grape, European Grape. (Chinese: P’u-t’ao.)
Ayurvedic : Draakshaa, Go-stani, Mrdvikaa. Dehydrated fruit— Daakh, Munnakaa, Kishmish.
Unani : Angoor. Dehydrated fruit—Daakh, Maweez, Zabeeb, Munaqqaa, Kishmish. Siddha _ Draksha.
Action: Dried fruits, seedless— nourishing and invigorating. Used in prescriptions for cough, respiratory tract catarrh, subacute cases of enlarged liver and spleen; and in alcohol-based tonics (Aasavs).
The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India recommends dried mature fruits (5–10 g) in anaemia, jaundice, dyspepsia, constipation, haemorrhagic diseases, gout, cough, dyspnoea, and alcoholism. Grape vine contains ﬂavonoids, tannins, tartrates, inositol, carotenes, choline and sugars. The fruit contains tartaric and malic acids, sugars, pectin, tannin, ﬂavone glycosides, vitamins A, B1, B2, C and minerals; anthocyanins in red leaves and red grapes. Anthocyanins reduce capillary permeability. Red leaves are astringent and anti inﬂammatory; an infusion is used for diarrhoea, heavy menstrual bleeding and uterine haemorrhage; also in the treatment of varicose veins and haemorrhoids. Oligomeric proanthocyanidin extract of the seed is used in atherosclerosis due to its free radical scavenging ability, also in venous insuﬃciency, night vision, oedema due to injury and post surgery oedema. Proanthocyanidin extract decreased hepatotoxicity of acetaminophen in mice. Grape polyphenols, extracted from skin and seeds, decreased hepatic injury from alcohol, but had no effect on ethanol-induced lipid changes in rats. (Sharon M. Herr.)
Dosage : Dried mature fruits—5– 10 g. (API, Vol. III.)
12. Citrus limon (Linn.) Burm. f.
Habitat : Cultivated all over India.
English : Lemon.
Ayurvedic : Jambira, Jambh, Jambhir, Jaamphal, Nimbu, Nimbuka, Naaranga, Limpaka, Dantashatha, Airaavata, Neebu (bigger var.) .
Unani : Utraj. C _
Siddha/Tamil: Periya elumuchhai.
Action: Fruit—, scorbutic, carminative, stomachic, antihistamine, bacterial. Used during coughs, colds, inﬂuenza and onset of fever (juice of roasted lemon), hiccoughs, biliousness. Fruit juice—used externally for ringworm (mixed with salt), erysipelas, also in the treatment of leprosy and white spots. Leaves and stems—, bacterial.
All parts of the plants of citrus sp. contain coumarins and psoralens. The fruits contain ﬂavonoids and limonoids. The ﬂavonoids comprise three main groups—ﬂavanones, ﬂavones and 3-hydroxyﬂavylium (anthocyanins); ﬂavanones being predominantly followed by ﬂavones and anthocyanins. Bitter ﬂavonoids do not occur in lemon and lime.
Lemon juice is a richer source of antiscorbutic vitamins (contains 40– 50mg/100g of vitamin C) than lime, and a fair source of carotene and vitamin B1. Volatile oil (about 2.5% of the peel) consists of about 75% limonene, alpha-and beta-pinenes, alpha-terpinene and citral. The fruit juice also contains coumarins and bio-flavonoids. The acid content of the fruit, once digested, provides an alkaline effect within the body and is found useful in conditions where acidity is a contributory factor (as in case of rheumatic conditions). The bioﬂavonoids strengthen the inner lining of blood vessels, especially veins and capillaries, and help counter varicose veins, arteriosclerosis, circulatory disorders and infections of liver, stomach and intestines. Major ﬂavonoid glycosides, isolated from citrus peels and juices, include hesperidin (with properties of vitamin P). Rutin and other ﬂavanones, isolated from citrus fruits, form the principal components of vitamin P. Flavanone glycosides contained in lemon and lime juices are eriocitrin 47 and 94; hesperidin 84 and 196 mg/l, respectively. The composition of cold pressed lime oil is quite similar to lemon oil, but citral content of lime oil is higher. Monoterpene alcohols and their esters, aldehydes—geraniol, geranial and neral, contribute to the characteristic aroma of lemon and lime.
Dosage : Fruit—6–12 g (Juice—5– 10 ml). (API Vol . IV.)
13. Allium sativum Linn.
Family: Liliaceae, Alliaceae.
Habitat : Native to Central Asia. Cultivated all over India.
English : Garlic.
Ayurvedic : Lashuna, Rasona, Yavaneshta, Ugragandha, Mahaushadh, Arishta.
Unani : Seer, Lahsun.
Siddha/Tamil: Ullippoondu, Vellaippondu.
Action: , biotic, bacteriostatic, fungicide, anthelmintic, antithrombotic, hypotensive, hypoglycaemic, hypocholesterolemic. Also used for upper respiratory tract infections and catarrhal conditions.
Key application: As a supportive to dietary measures for elevated levels of lipids in blood; as a preventive measure for age-dependent vascular changes. (German Commission E, ESCOP, WHO, the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia.) Also as an antimicrobial. (the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia). Garlic has been shown to be effective in respiratory infections and catarrhal conditions. (the British Herbal Compendium.) The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India indicates the use of the bulb as a brain tonic in epilepsy and psychic disorders. Heavy consumption of garlic prior to surgery led to increased clotting time or reduced platelet aggregation (in human case reports). Garlic tablets at a dose of 400mg twice daily for 12 weeks reduced platelet aggregation 59% compared with placebo in 80 patients (in human clinical study). (Francis Brinker.) Garlic cloves are high in sulphur containing amino acids known as alliin (no taste, no smell, no medicinal action). With crushing or chewing alliin comes into contact with the enzyme alliinase. Alliinase, in less than 6 s, transforms alliin and allicin (strongly medicinal), which breaks down into a number of sulphur compounds including ajoene, vinyldithin and diallyl disulﬁde, and trisulﬁde. the antibiotic effect is attributed to allicin; hypoglycemic effect to allicin and allyl propyl disulphide (also to S-allyl cysteine sulfoxide); , carcinogenic activity to diallyl monosulﬁde; platelet aggregation inhibitory effect to diallyl-di- and tri-sulphides. Ajoene inactivated human gastric lipase, which is involved in digestion and absorption of dietary fats. Diallyltetra, penta-, hexa- and hepta sulphides are potential antioxidants. Allium leptophyllum Wall. is equated with Vana Lashuna, Jangali Lahsun.
Dosage : Bulb—3 g (API Vol. III.)
14. Trigonella foenum-graecum Linn.
Family: Papilionaceae; Fabaceae.
Habitat : Widely cultivated in many parts of India.
English : Fenugreek.
Ayurvedic : Methikaa, Methi, Vastikaa, Selu, Methini, Dipani, Bahupatrikaa, Bodhaini, Gandhaphala.
Unani : Hulbaa, Methi. T
Action: Seeds—used in loss of appetite, ﬂatulence, dyspepsia, colic; diarrhoea, dysentery; enlargement of liver and spleen; and as alactagogueandpuerperaltonic.
Key application: German Commission E reported secretolytic, hyperemic and mild antiseptic activity of the seed. The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia reported its actions as demulcent and hypoglycaemic. ESCOP and WHO monographs indicate the use of seeds in adjuvant therapy for diabetes mellitus, anorexia, also in hypercholesterolaemia. the seeds gave alkaloids, including trigonelline, gentianine and carpaine; saponins, based mainly on the sapogenins, diosgenin and its isomer yamogenin, gitogenin and tigogenin; ﬂavonoids, including vitexin and its glycosides and esters and luteolin; a volatile oil in small qu, ties. The mucilage (25–30%) is mostly galactomannan. A C-steroidal sapogenin peptide ester, fenugreekine, exhibited hypoglycaemic activity. About 80% of the total content of free amino acids in the seeds is present as 4-hydroxyisoleucine, which appears to directly stimulate insulin. (Eur J Pharmacol, 390, 2000; NaturalMedicines ComprehensiveDatabase, 2007.) Saponin rich extracts reduce blood levels of cholesterol. The ﬁbrous fraction of seeds also causes a reduction in blood lipids. The aqueous extract is demulcent, promoted healing of gastric ulcers produced experimentally in rats and exhibited a smooth muscle relaxing effect in rabbits without affecting either the heart or blood pressure. Fenugreek has been reported to stimulate the liver microsomalcy- tochrome P450 dependent aryl hydroxylase and cytochrome b5 in rats; increased bile secretion has also been observed. Fenugreek extract containing trigonelline in trigonella acid may be used as a hair growth stimulant.
Dosage : Seed—3–5 g powder. (CCRAS.)
15. Lavanga; Syzygium aromaticum (Linn.) Merr. & Perry.
Synonym : Eugenia aromatica Kuntze. Eugenia caryophyllata Thunb. Caryophyllus aromaticus Linn.
Habitat : Cultivated in Tamilnadu and Kerala.
English : Clove. Ayurvedic : Lavanga, Devakusum, Devapushpa, Shrisangya, Shriprasuunaka.
Unani : Qaranful, Laung.
Siddha/Tamil : Kiraambu, Lavangam.
Action :Carminative , inﬂammatory , bacterial. Flower Buds—, emetic, stimulant, carminative. Used in dyspepsia, gastric irritation. Oil—employed as a local analgesic for hypersensitive dent-lines and carious cavities; internally as a carminative and antispasmodic.
Key application : in inﬂammatory changes of oral and pharyngeal mucosa; in dentistry; for topical anesthesia. (German Commission E.) Eugenin, triterpene acids, crategolic acid and steroid glucosides afford inﬂammatory and antiseptic properties to the buds. Eugenol, a major component of the oil, is antibacterial. Acetone extract of clove, eugenol, and acetyleugenol possess cholagogue activity. The eugenol and acetyleugenol components of the clove oil inhibit arachidonate-, adrenalin and collagen-induced platelet aggregation. Clove terpenes show signiﬁcant activity as inducers of detoxifying enzyme, glutathione-S-transferase (GST) in mouse liver and intestine and bring about carcinogen detoxiﬁcation. Whole cloves might have chemoprotective activity against liver and marrow toxicity. (The Review of Natural Products by Facts and Comparisons, 1999.)
Dosage : Dried ﬂower-bud—0.5–2 G powder. (API, Vol. I.)
16. Piper betle Linn.
Habitat: Cultivated in warmer and damper parts of India; Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala.
English: Betel pepper.
Ayurvedic: Taambula, Naagvallari, Naagini, Taambulvalli, Saptashiraa, Bhujangalataa.
Unani: Paan, Tambool.
Siddha/Tamil: Vetrilai Nagavalli, Kammaaruvetritai.
Action: Leaf—stimulant, carminative, astringent, antiseptic. Essential Oil from leaves—, spasmodic, antiseptic. Used in respiratory catarrhs. Fruit—bechic. The leaves afforded beta- and gamma-sitosterol, hentriacontane, pentatriacontane, n-triacontanol, stearic acid and chavicol. The essential oil from leaves contained carvacrol, eugenol, chavicol, allyl catechol, cineole, estragole, caryophyllene, cardinene, p cymene and eugenol methyl ether. P Administration of the leaf extract resulted in decreased tumour burden and tumour incidence and a delay in the onset of mammary tumour in Wistar rats. The alcoholic extract of the leaf stalk is reported to show spermatogenic and androgenic effects in male albino rats. The essential oil exhibited hypotensive, cardiac as well as respiratory depressant and cardiotonic properties. The leaf showed antifungal and antibacterial activity. The antiseptic activity is attributed to chavicol.
Dosage : Leaf—10–15ml juice. (API, Vol. III.)
17. Zingiber ofﬁcinale Rosc.
Habitat : Native to Southeast Asia; now cultivated mainly in Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Maharashtra.
English : Ginger.
Ayurvedic : Fresh rhizome—Aardraka, Aadrikaa, Shrngibera, shrngavera, Katu Bhadra. Dried rhizome—Shunthi, Naagara, Naagaraa, Naagaraka, Aushadha, Mahaushadha, Vishvaa, Vishva Bheshaja, Vishvaaushadha.
Unani : Fresh rhizome—Zanjabeel-e-Ratab, Al-Zanjabeel. Dried rhizome—zanjabeel, Zanjabeel-e-yaabis. Siddha _ Fresh rhizome—Inji, Allam, Lokottai. Dried rhizome—chukku, Sunthi.
Action: Rhizome—, emetic, ﬂatulent, hypocholesterolemic, inﬂammatory, antispasmodic, expectorant, circulatory stimulant, diaphoretic, increases bioavailability of prescription drugs. Used for irritable bowel and diarrhoea, colds and inﬂuenza. Showed encouraging results in migraine and cluster headache (J Ethnopharmacol, 1990, 29, 267–273; Aust J Med Herbalism, 1995, /3, 69–78; Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2007.) the Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India recommends dried rhizomes in dyspepsia, loss of appetite, tympanitis, anaemia, rheumatism, cough and dyspnoea; fresh rhizomes in constipation, colic, oedema and throat infections.
Key application: For dyspepsia and prevention of motion sickness (German Commission E); vomiting of pregnancy, anorexia, bronchitis and rheumatic complaints (the British Herbal Compendium); as a post-operative , emetic. (ESCOP). the rhizome contains an essential oil containing monoterpenes, mainly geranial and neral; and sesquiterpenes, mainly beta-sesquiphellandrene, beta bisabolene, ar-curcumene and alpha zingiberene; pungent principles, consisting of gingerols, shogaols and related phenolic ketone derivatives. Other constituents include diarylheptanoids, diterpenes, ginger sulphonic acid and monoacyl digalactosyl glycerols. Gingerol and shogaol have been shown to suppress gastric contractions. Both fresh and dried rhizomes suppress gastric secretion and reduce vomiting. Gingerol and shogaol have gained importance due to their sedative , inﬂammatory, antipyretic, analgesic, hypotensive and hepatoprotective activities. Cardiotonic effects of ginger have been attributed to 6-and 8-shogaols and gingerols. (, thrombotic effects remain unconﬁrmed.) , migraine effect is due to ginger’s ability to decrease platelet aggregation. It also acts as a potent inhibitor of prostaglandins which enhance release of substance P from trigeminal ﬁbers. (PDR, 2007.) Indian ginger is considered only sec- ond to Jamaican in quality. There are three main types of Indian ginger—Cochin ginger (light brown or yellowish grey; Calicut ginger from Malabar (orange or reddish brown, resembling African ginger) and Kolkata ginger (greyish brown to greyish blue).
18. Piper longum Linn.
Family: Piperaceae.Habitat : Warmer parts of India, from Central Himalayas to Assam, lower hills of West Bengal; Uttar
Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Western Ghats from Konkan southwards to Trivandrum. Oten cultivated.
English : Indian Long Pepper, Jaborandi.
Ayurvedic : Pippali, Maagadhi, Maagadha, Maagadhaa, Maagadhikaa, Magadhodbhavaa, Vaidehi, Upkulyaa, Pippalikam, Chapalaa, Kanaa, Krishnaa. Uushnaa, Shaundi, Kolaa, Tikshna-tandulaa.
Unani : Filﬁl Daraaz, Daarﬁlﬁl.
Siddha/Tamil: hippily, Arisi thippili. hippiliver (root).
Action: Fruits—used for diseases of the respiratory tract (cough, bronchitis, asthma); as sedative (in insomnia and epilepsy); as cholagogue (in obstruction of bile duct and bladder), as emmenagogue, as digestive, appetizer and carminative (in indigestion); as general tonic and haematinic (in anaemia, chronic fevers and for improving intellect). Applied locally on muscular pains and inflammation. Several aristolactams and dioxoaporphines have been isolated from Indian long pepper. It also contains the long chain isobutyl amide, longamide, besides guineensine and the lignans, pluviatilol, methyl pluviatilol (fargesin), sesamin and asarinine. Piperine is the major alkaloid of peppers. Piperine is an antipyretic, hypotensive, analeptic, CNS stimulant. It has been reported to exert signiﬁcant protection against CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity in mice. It improves drug availability in experimental animals, and is used for enhancing the eﬃcacy of coadministered medicaments. Piperine enhanced bioavailability of hexobarbital, phenytoin, propranolol and theophylline. (Sharon M. Herr.) (Piperine is also a component of Piper nigrum.) N-isobutyl-deca-trans-2-trans-4- dienamide, isolated from the fruit, exhibited tubercular properties. Milk extract of the fruit effectively reduced passive cutaneous anaphylaxis in rats. It protected guinea-pigs against gen-induced bronchospasm. In China, Piper longum oil constituents were reported to inhibit the increase in serum total cholesterol induced by triton mice. The root powder exhibited antifertility activity. A related species, P. peepuloides Roxb. is known as Saamvali Peepal. It is used speciﬁcally against obstinate skin diseases and as a sialagogue.
Dosage : Fruit—1–3 mg (API, Vol . IV); root—1–3 g powder. (CCRAS.)