Investigatory Project on Medicinal Plants

A Survey of Medicinal Plants of an Area

Introduction:


The history of medicinal plants is closely associated with the history of Botany. In India, Ayurvedic medicines have been in use for over 3000 years. Records of early civilisation in almost all parts of the world reveal that a great majority of drugs used in modern medicine were in use since ancient times. Practice of Ayurveda involves the application of herbal medications. Charaka is considered as the father of Ayurveda.

 

Thousands of medicinal plants are growing in the world. A close examination of the medicinal plants reveals that only a few are cultivated in gardens. Most of the drugs yielding medicinal plants are growing wild especially in tropical regions. There is a report that the medicinal plants are grown in tribal areas. The present study aims to gather various information on medicinal plants around our locality and to collect and study their medicinal values.

 

Materials and Methods

 

Different habitats from the local area were selected for medicinal plant collection. The materials like tag, vasculum, knife, blade, pruning shears etc. were collected. The field trips were organized at different times of the year. Collect the herbaceous plants and plants with underground stem by using a collecting pick. With the help of pruning shears cut and collected the woody specimens. The collected plants were kept in a vasculum for identification. With the help of reference text books, collected the informations regarding their medicinal properties.

 

Observation and Results

 

1. Ginger

Botanical Name – Zingiber officinale

Useful Part – Rhizome

Used to treat – Stomach problems

 

2. Asparagus

Botanical Name – Asparagus officinalis

Useful Part – Roots

Used to treat – Cutaneous diseases

 

3. Tulsi

Botanical Name – Oscimum sanctum

Useful Part – Leaves

Used to treat – Cough, Fever, Asthma etc

 

4. Sarpagandha

Botanical Name – Rauwolfia serpentina

Useful Part – Roots

Used to treat – Heart diseases

 

5. Asoka tree

Botanical Name – Saraca indica

Useful Part – Bark

Used to treat – Menstrual disorders

 

6. Aloe

Botanical Name – Aloe vera

Useful Part – Leaves

Used to treat – Skin diseases

 

7. Kalmegha

Botanical Name – Andrographis paniculata

Useful Part – All parts

Used to treat – Diabetics

 

8. Indian Sarsaparilla

Botanical Name – Hemidesmus indicus

Useful Part – Roots

Used to treat – Tonic

 

9. Periwinkle

Botanical Name – Catharanthus roseus

Useful Part – All parts

Used to treat – Blood cancer

 

10. Keshnut

Botanical Name – Eclipta alba

Useful Part – Leaves

Used to treat – Hair fall

 

11. Shoe flower

Botanical Name – Hibiscus rosa - sinensis

Useful Part – Leaves

Used to treat – Hair fall

 

12. Neem

Botanical Name – Azadirachta indica

Useful Part – Leaves

Used to treat – Skin diseases

 

13. Drum stick

Botanical Name – Moringa olerifera

Useful Part – Leaves, fruit

Used to treat – Anaemia

 

14. Vasaka

Botanical Name – Adhatoda vasica

Useful Part – Leaves

Used to treat – Cough

 

15. Quinine tree

Botanical Name – Cinchona officinalis

Useful Part – Bark

Used to treat – Malarial fever

 

Discussions and Conclusions

 

In the present study, the medicinal values of collected plants were noted with the help of pharmacognosy text books. The collected plants were classified based on the usage of parts of plants used as medicine.

 

1. Medicines obtained from the bark

 

Ashoka tree (Saraca indica) belongs to the family Caesalpinaceac is a tree. It is effective against various menstrual problems. Quinine tree (Cinchona officinalis) belongs to the family Rubiaceae is a tree. It is effective against malarial fever.

 

2. Medicines obtained from roots and other underground parts.

                       

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) belongs to the family zingiberaceae is a herb. It is effective against stomach disorders. Indian Sarsaparilla (Hemidesmus indicus) belongs to the family Asclepiadaceae, is a shrub. It helps to purify blood.

 

3. Medicines obtained from leaves.

 

Tulsi (Oscimum sanctum) belongs to the family Lamiaceae is a herb. Leaf juice is effective against cough, fever etc.

Keshnut (Eclipta alba) belongs to the family Asteraceae (Compositae) is a herb. It is effective against hair fall.

Neem (Azadirachta indica) belongs to the family Meliaceae is a tree. It is effective against skin diseases.

 

4. Medicines obtained from whole plant body

 

Periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus) belongs to the family Apocynaceae is a herb. It is effective against blood cancer.

Kalmegha (Andrographis paniculata) belongs to the family Acanthaceae is a herb. It is effective against diabetics.

 

Viva Questions and Answers

 

1. Who is considered as the father of Ayurveda?

 

Ans: Charaka

 

2. Name any four medicinal plants.

 

Ans: Tulsi, (Oscimum sanctum), Neem (Azadirachta indica), Kiriyath (Andrographis) and Ashoka (Saraca indica)

 

3. Which disease is treated by using Periwinkle?

 

Ans: Blood cancer.

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