Medicinal Plantsby PR Sarkar
Numerous plants have known medicinal value, but other plants have less. More research should be done on all kinds of plants to discover whether or not they have medicinal value.
Some common medicinal plants include:
- sushsni shák
- Asiatic pennywort (brahmi shák, thankuni, centella asiatica, L.)
- bahed́a (Terminalia chebula)
- Chinese chaste tree (nishinda, Vitex negundo, L.)
- mint (pudiná, rocanii)
- scholar’s leaves (chátim) cinkona (Cinchona calisaya) giima shák ashwagandha bottle gourd (láu) aloe (ghrta kumárii) neem eucalyptus lemon nágdona asparagus (shatamulii) Bringaraj Bringaraj yields an oil (tel) which is useful as hair oil and as a treatment for the mentally ill.
Sushuni shák has a sweet taste because it contains a great deal of potassium, but it also induces sleep. Sushunia Hill is near Bankura in Chatana Thana, and it looks as if it is sleeping. The oldest Bengali script is found on this hill. The inscription shows Raja Chandrakanta Verma donating a piece of land to a Brahmin.
Asiatic Pennywort (Brahmi Shák, Thankuni, Centella asiatica, L.)
Asiatic pennywort is good for the brain and helps to increase memory power. Medicine is made from the leaves. In Ayurveda it is considered to be a nerve tonic, and is used for the treatment of all kinds of nervous and mental disabilities.
Bahed́a (Terminalia Chebula)
Baheda is a medicinal fruit tree and is good for constipation. It is sometimes known as “belleric myrobalan” in English.
Chinese Chaste Tree (Nishinda, Vitex Negundo, L.)
Chinese chaste tree is known as “bonáii” in Ráŕhi Bangla. It has great medicinal value and a bitter taste, so animals do not eat it.
Amŕa is a large fruit tree which can be used to make medicine for the skin, kidneys and lungs, and to prevent vomiting.
Kálmegh is a grass. It can be used to make medicine for diabetes, liver problems and stomach disorders.
Gandál is a climber. Medicine can be made from the leaves.
Basak is a bush and it can be used to make medicine for coughs and colds.
Mint (Pudiná, Rocanii)
Mint has some medicinal qualities, although it is better known as a sweet herb.
In herbal medicine, it is used as a digestive aid and is good for the stomach and intestines.
Scholar’s Leaves (Chátim)
Scholar’s leaves is also known as “the devil’s tree” (Alstonia scholaris). It can be used to treat fever.
Cinkona (Cinchona Calisaya)
Cinkona is a source of quinine and other anti-malarial medicines.
Giima can be used to make medicine for the stomach and liver and to treat dropsy. The small flowers are good for the brain when they are taken with the first morsel of rice. Giima is also good for treating male diseases.
A good medicine for tuberculosis can be prepared by powdering ashwagandha, bedila, gambhari (Gmelina arborea) and punar naba shák together. The powder should then be mixed with two spoons of goat’s milk and taken.
Bottle Gourd (Láu)
Bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria, Standl.) can be used to make a medicinal oil for treating the mentally ill.
Aloe (Ghrta Kumárii)
Aloe (Aloe vera, Liliaceae) is known as “ghrta kumárii” in Bengali and “musbal” in Arabic and Urdu. Musabbar is prepared by spreading aloe juice on a goat hide and drying it.
Aloe is a medicine for the brain and is also used for treating ulcers, while the sap is widely used for treating burns, rashes and skin problems.
Burns can sometimes be cured immediately by applying aloe, hence it is also called the “burn plant”.
Neem has many medicinal properties, and is particularly useful as a blood cleanser and purifier. It is good for all skin, teeth and gum problems, therefore it is a common ingredient in soap and toothpaste.
The neem tree has a fibrous root system. It makes a good riverside plant because it will check erosion. The air around the neem tree is good and can be used to balance the bad air around the imli tree.
Eucalyptus oil can be used to produce a medicinal vapor which is very helpful in the treatment of respiratory congestion.
The eucalyptus tree is a tap root tree, and therefore it should not be cultivated extensively in dry regions. It can, however, be used to dry up swampy areas. Oil, paper, sporting goods and other products are made from it.
Lemon juice is very helpful in treating acidity and purifying the body. Medicine can be prepared from lemon juice and skin.
Nagdona is a small plant which can be used for treating headaches.
Herbal medicine can be made from asparagus, as well as jam, jelly and marmalade (murraba), and it is good for the health.