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The essence of medicinal plants!!

Aloe vera

Since, from time immemorial, India has been endowed with rich repository of medicinal plants. Plants have been used as a source of medicine from which have healing properties are termed as medicinal plants or herbs. The medicinal properties of these are because of the phytochemical constituents which are produced by the plants themselves as the result of metabolism. The use of medicinal plants has attained a commanding role in health system all over the World. This involves the use of medicinal plants not only for the treatment of diseases, but also as potential source for maintaining good health and conditions.

In spite of tremendous development in the field of allopathic during the 20 th century plants remains one of the major sources of drug in modern as well as traditional systems of medicine throughout the world. Approximately one-third of all pharmaceutical industries are derived from plant sources. Out of 300,000 recorded plants in the World only 32,000 higher plant species have been investigated for their medicinal properties. This evidence shows that a small proportion of plant species are investigated for medicine. Recently WHO (World Health Organization) estimated that 80% of people worldwide rely on herbal medicines for aspect of their primary health care. Around 21,000 plant species have the potential for being used as medicinal plants. From various studies most of the used drugs contain plant extracts. Some contain active ingredients (bioactive components or substances) obtained from plants.

Medicinal plants may be defined as those plants that are commonly used in treating and preventing specific ailments and diseases, and that are generally considered to be harmful to humans. These plants are either “wild plant species” those grow spontaneously in self maintaining populations in natural or semi-natural ecosystems and could exist independently of direct human actions or the contrasting “domesticated plants species” those have arisen through human actions such as selection or breeding and depend on management for their existence for example Aloe vera. Medicinal plants are as potent and effective today, as they were thousands of years ago. However our knowledge to use them, and the reason why we should continue this time-tested medicinal tradition, has become diluted. These traditions have gradually eroded because of the lack of support and recognition they have received. As a consequence, the rapid destruction, degradation and reckless exploitation of natural habitats has resulted in a number of medicinal plants species becoming threatened. Most of the medicinal plants face conservation status because of the uncontrolled anthropological activities for their medicinal properties which in turn can cause extinction of them in future.

Have you ever granny running after a doctor or medical store for every now and then? We have so many wonderful natural remedies all around for fever, cold, sneezes, any burns, cut, and more. It is very important to have medicinal plants around the house, because you never know when you might need them. So here are a few plants that have the highest medicinal value compared to the other million species around the World worth planting around the house.

Medicinal plants such as Aloe, Tulsi, Neem, Turmeric and Ginger cure several common ailments. These are considered as home remedies in many parts of the country.

Plants & Their Medicinal Values

  • Ayurvedic Herbs and spices such as black pepper, cinnamon, aloe, sandalwood, ginseng,
  • red clover, burdock, bayberry, and safflower are used to heal wounds, sores and boils.
  • To reduce fever and the production of heat caused by the condition, certain antipyretic herbs such as Chirayta, black pepper and sandal wood are used
  • Sandalwood and Cinnamon are great astringents apart from being aromatic. Sandalwood is especially used in arresting the discharge of blood, mucus etc.
  • Herbs like Cardamom and Coriander are renowned for their appetizing qualities. Other aromatic herbs such as peppermint, cloves and turmeric add a pleasant aroma to the food, thereby increasing the taste of the meal
  • Herbs like Aloe, Sandalwood, Turmeric, are commonly used as antiseptic and have very high medicinal values.

Tulsi (Basil), Cardamom, Ginger, Peppermint and Coriander are known to promote blood circulation in the body and keep the heart healthy.

As our lifestyle is now getting changed, we are moving away from nature. Although we cannot escape from nature because human beings are part of nature. As herbs are natural products they are free from side effects, they are comparatively safe, eco-friendly and locally available. However, the blind dependence on synthetics is over and people are returning to the naturals with hope of safety and security. It’s time to promote them globally.

POWNITHA K V

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