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Medicinal plants for home remedies

    Ayurveda, the traditional Indian system of medicine, is the sum total of the knowledge, skills and practices gained through generations and developed as a health system. It is the oldest medical systems of the world. It stresses the importance of maintaining complete harmony with all the living and non-living components of earth. Man is indispensable part of nature where he is living and his requirements has to be fulfilled from the materials available around him.

    The animal kingdom is fully depended upon plants for their food requirements. Moreover, herbs and locally available materials are the major source of medicine used for the treatment of various ailments from the earliest.

    The earliest description regarding plants can be traced in Vedas, the first documented knowledge in the world. The importance given to the plants in ancient times may be seen from the references in the Vedas, which is said to be equal to the position to that of mother. In Rig-Veda 107 and in Atharvaveda 287 types of plants are mentioned. The classical books of Ayurveda, Caraka samhitha and Susruta samhitha have given the reference of 1900 plants. The oushadha nighantus described 15000 to 20000 plants and its various aspects. About 45000 plant species have been identified so far and majority of them are available in our country.

    In Kerala the authentic study on  medicinal plants have been made by the Dutch governor of Kochi Hendrick Wan reed in 1678.He has collected the details of 794 plants and documented. The book was published in Amsterdam, named “Horthus malabaricus”. The Ayurvedic physician, Itty achuthan was the person behind to this work.

    However, certain plants of medicinal importance are utilized for relief of certain ailments, people generally are not aware of the uses of large number of other such plants growing in the surroundings. In our household cooking, we use lot of spices and other items having medicinal properties. The medicinal plants and other items available in our home and premises may be used very effectively for relief of many ailments as a first line management. .The knowledge of using such home remedies is very much useful in many occasions where expert medical help is not readily available. The medicaments that are being used as home remedies will be easily available for immediate administration.  Moreover, it will not be expensive and no sophisticated instruments are required for the preparation.

  Since, the home remedies are administered as a symptomatic treatment especially in acute stage of the disease, further investigation and proper diagnosis will be required if the complaints are not subsided within a short period. Some times the symptoms produced may be the first manifestation of certain underlying serious pathological conditions. So specific treatment is to be carried out after expert medical consultation and other investigations. As such home remedies cannot be considered alternative to medical expertise. It is only for symptomatic relief until proper medical help is available. The following are the medicinal plants selected and their uses as home remedies in certain ailments.


 GINGER (Inchi)

Botanical name--Zingber officinale Rosc

Sanskrit name--  Sringivera

Properties (Ayurveda) —Alleviates Vatha& kapha, Carminative, digestive

Parts used-fresh &dried rhizome


Therapeutic uses

Indigestion &          } a) ginger and lemon juice (10 ml) mixed with rock salt internally abdominal problems}b) powdered dry ginger 5 gm mixed with jaggery    10gm twice daily

Swelling –               ginger juice 12 ml mixed with jaggerry 24 gms twice daily internally.

Vomiting-                take ginger juice (12 ml) and equal quantity of small onion juice.

Cough and cold-        a)ginger juice (5 ml)and honey frequently.

                                  b)powdered dry ginger 1gm mixed with honey  twice daily

                                 c).dry ginger  25gm+jaggery 50gm+roasted sesame 100 gm

                                            crushed well and take 8 gms twice daily

Acute fever-                         Juice of ginger+ juice of tulsi leaves 10 ml thrice daily

 Rheumatic pain, swelling- Apply paste of powdered ginger and asafetida in caster oil

(Thrikatu churna) –              powder of dry ginger +black pepper+ long pepper


Black Pepper (Kurumulaku)

Botanical name-   Piper nigrum

Sanskrit. Name-   Maricham

 Properties -         Alleviates vatha kapha diseases, carminative, digestive, antipyretic

Parts used-                fruit, root.

Therapeutic uses

Fever, cold, cough- a) Kashaya prepared with pepper, dry ginger and pippali- equal parts

                                b) Coffee prepared with pepper, dry ginger and thulsi leaves

Hoarseness of voice-1gm powdered pepper mixed with honey, sugar and ghee twice daily

Sinusitis—                Pepper powder in buttermilk intrnally

Indigestion        }      Powder of- pepper, dry ginger, long pepper, ajowan

 abdominal pain}           and rock salt 5 gms with hot water thrice daily.

 Diarrohea-                Powder of pepper and rock salt in buttermilk or warm water.

Tooth ache-               Pepper powder mixed with clove applied over the affected part.

 (Thrikatu churna) –              Powder of dry ginger +black pepper+ long pepper


Turmeric (Manjal)

Botanical name-        Curcuma longa

Sanskrit name-           Haridra.

Parts used-                  rhizome

Properties (Ayurveda)-Aromatic, vermicide, antiseptic, blood purifier and tonic

Chronic ulcers-            Apply paste of turmeric and neem leaves after cleaning the wound.

Skin eruptions –           coconut oil prepared by adding turmeric paste

                                     Apply turmeric powder mixed  in cows urine.

For complexion-        turmeric powder, sandalwood, coconut oil- paste apply over face or   the body

Swelling due to sprain- Apply paste of lemon juice, turmeric powder and rock salt.

Diabetes mellitus-         turmeric powder 10gm mixed with juice of amalaki internally

Earache and pus-           Oil prepared with one part of fresh juice of turmeric

                                          and 4 parts of mustard oil for instillation in ear

Sinusitis               Nasal inhalation of fumes from a burned wicks prepared by

         &               spreading turmeric powder in a piece of cloth and soaked in ghee

nasal congestion-.

Poisonous bites-          Apply paste of turmericprepaere in  thulsi juice.



Krishna tulasi( Krishna tulasi)


Botanical name —Ocimum sanctum

Sanskrit name - Vishnu priya.

Properties (Ayurveda) –Vathakapha diseases,Breathlessness, cough,visha

Parts used-       Leaves, seeds and root.


Therapeutic uses


Viral infection-Juice of thulsi 10ml  and equal quantity of honey internally thrice daily,

Cough , fever  -a)Take decoction of tulsi with thrikatu.

                   b)Juice of thulsi, ginger and small onion with honey thrice daily

                   c)Chew and swallow fresh thulsi leavesd

Poisonus bites- Apply paste of thulsi juice and turmeric

                  Thulsi juice with turmeric internally


 Sinusitis-        powder of dried leaves as nasal snuff.

Abdominal problems-   thulsi juice 10 ml twice daily

Ear ache –         instill juice of leaves 2 ml in the ear

Mosquito & bedbug repellant-keep of thulsi plant around the house and inside the room that drives away the mosquitos

Immuno modulator – 5ml of thulsi leaves juice twice  daily


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Curry leaves (Kariveppu)



Botanical name -             Murraya koeingii

Sanskrit name –               surabhinimba, kaidarya

Properties (Ayurveda) -   Digestive, carminative, anti diarroheal,

Parts used-                       leaves and bark

Therapeutic uses

Indigestion-         paste of curry leaves mixed in buttermilk internally

Diarrhea &} - paste of curry leaves well mixed with egg and prepare omelet  with it

dysentery-}                  internally

Allergy –             apply paste of leaves mixed with turmeric powder externally

                                     and take internally also


Betel LEAVES (Vettila)


Botanical name -         Piper betel

Sanskrit name -           Thamboolam

Properties –                 Alleviates vatha  kapha,aromatic,stimulant,aphrodisiac,carminative

Parts used-                   Leaves, root.

Therapeutic uses

Abdominal distress -    betel leaves juice, mixed with rock salt thrice daily.

Filariasis-                     in take of the  paste of betel leaves 1gm in hot water daily

Cough   &               }   betel & thulsi leaves juice mixed with honey, 1 teaspoon in empty  

breathing difficulty }-     stomach for three days






neem. (Veppu)


Botanical name-            Azadirecta indica

Sanskrit name-              Nimbam

Properties (Ayurveda) –Alleviates kapha pitha, anti bacterial, blood purification.

Parts used –                   stem bark, Leaves, oil

Therapeutic uses

Skin diseases }    a) paste prepared with neem leaves and turmeric externally

Chronic ulcers}   b) stem bark and leaves boiled in water for washing the affected part.

Poisonous bite}

Jaundice-               12-24ml juice of leaves with honey internally twice daily

Shoulder Pain &}       7-14ml juices of leaves internally twice daily

Weakness of upper limb}-

Allergy-                        1-3 gm powdered leaves  mixed with honey internally

Mouth cleaning—        piece of small stem using as toothbrush

Mosquito repellant-    apply 2-4drops of 5% solution prepared with alcohol and neem oil  

                                    In a mosquito mat and use in a machine                         

                                  apply over the body combination of 2ml neem oil mixed with 

                                    100ml coconut oil

Spermicidal—           apply neem oil locally before the intercourse


GARLIC (Vluthulli)

Botanical name-.           Allium sativam.

Sanskrit name-              Lasuna

Properties (Ayurveda) –Alleviates vathakapha,stimulant carminative,anti rheumatic

Parts used--                   Bulb of garlic

Therapeutic uses

Hypertension, &} -       take paste prepared  with bulb of garlic1 gm  mixed with 5 ml

                                         tila   thaila twice daily.                    

 epilepsy      }                take cleaned and crushed garlic 10gm cooked in 250 ml of milk

Ear ache--                     2-4 drops fresh juice warmed for instillation in ear twice daily

Abdominal problems-  fresh juice 5-6ml with 5-10 gm honey twice daily.

Anti cholesterol-           5ml of juice with honey twice daily

Tonsillitis-                    apply garlic juice mixed with honey inside the throat

Lock jaw--                   paste of garlic and rock salt 1gm internally, apply externally also.


Drum stick tree.(muringa)

Botanical name -           Moringa olifera.

Sanskrit name-.             sigru

Properties --                  Alleviates vathkapha.Antispasmodic, stimulant,

                                      anti-rheumatic, diuretic, hypotensive

Parts used-                     root, stem bark, leaves, seed, flower.

Therapeutic uses

Hypertension-               Leaves juice 15 ml daily

Ear ache-                      2-4 drops of fresh warmed juice from seeds instill twice daily

Head ache&} —           powdered seeds use for nasal insufflation (nasya)


Rheumatic pain -          apply externally the oil extracted from the seeds

Swelling --                    apply the paste prepared with the leaves and rock salt

Menstrual pain-            decoction prepared with the root bark 30 ml twice daily

Premature ejaculation-  the paste of seeds with milk internally

Abdominal pain-          14- 28 ml decoction of stem bark with 1gm fried hingu and                      .                                        1gm yavakshara twice daily

Liver enlargement} –    decoction of root bark regularly

    &Urinary stone}



Indian gooseberry(Nellikka)



Botanical name –            Emblica officinalis

Sanskrit name -               Amalaki

Properties (Ayurveda) –  Thridosha samana,aphrodisiac, rejuvenative, nervine tonic.


Parts used-                       fruit.

Therapeutic uses


Diabetes-                         takes fresh juice of amalaki, amrita and turmeric 25ml regularly

Eye diseases-                   thribhala powder 6gms with ghee at bed time

Skin allergy-                   take powder of amalaki with ghee

Skin complexion -           wash the body with decoction of amalaki

Constipation-                  thribhalachoorna 10gms with hot water at bedtime

Mental diseases-             apply paste prepared in buttermilk over the scalp

Falling of hair--              oil prepared with fresh amalaki juice and bhringaraja juice.


Fenugreek SEEDs (Uluva)


Botanical name -             Trigonella foenumgracium.

Sanskrit name –               Medhika

Properties (Ayurveda) -   Kapha vatha hara, diuretic, carminative, mucilaginous

Parts used-                       seeds, leaves

Therapeutic uses

Dysentery -            5 gms seeds with 10 gms  cumin seeds made into a paste               ,                                        with buttermilk and take internally

Hair fall-                soak 10gm of fenugreek seeds in water for 12 hours and apply the

                                         the paste over the scalp as a shampoo.

Buns and swelling- make a paste with fenugreek seeds in boiled water, after cooling

                                         apply over the affected area

Diabetes mellitus-  15 gm of fenugreek seeds soaked in fresh water for12 hours and take





Botanical name -       Adathoda vasica

Sanskrit name -         Vasaka

Properties -                Pitha sleshma haram, Expectorant diuretic, antispasmodic, blood   disorders       

Parts used-                  Leaves, root, flowers and bark

Therapeutic uses


Cough and bleeding-         Take1 table spoon juice of leaves with honey internally.

Excessive menstruation-    juice of leaves 15ml with 15 gm jaggery twice daily internally

Bleeding piles—                decoction of whole plant with sugar internally


Punarnava (Thamizhama)

Botanical name –           Boerhaavia diffusa

Sanskrit name              -Punarnava

Properties (Ayurveda) - Kaphahara, diuretic,

Parts used-                      herb and root



Therapeutic uses

Swelling-                a) decoction of the whole plant internally

                b)apply  paste prepared with dry ginger externally

Urinary stone&   }    decoction prepared with punarnava

Kidney problems}

Rat bite-                    powder of the root with honey internally

Fever –                      take milk boiled with root

Skin disease –           apply paste prepared with root in buttermilk externally

Rheumatic diseases- decoctionof punarnava root,kacholam and dry gingerinternally.

Eye disease---           instill 3 dropsof juice of punarnava with breast milk

Cough--                    paste of punarnava root and vacha mixed with honey.



SESAME (ellu)


Botanical name—       Sesamum indicum

Sanskrit name             Thilam

Parts used--                 Seeds

Properties (Ayurveda- Vatha haram,emollient,demulcent,diuretic,lactagogue,

Therapeutic uses

Scanty & delayed}-a).Take roasted and powdered sesame 15 gms for 1 week

menstruation       }  b).Intake of sesame crushed with jaggery.

Bleeding piles&}    a) Take paste of sesame 6gm mixed with butter 10 gm

Dysentery           }             in empty stomach

                                b)Take paste of sesame with goats milk

Chronic ulcers—        Apply paste made up of sesame, neem leaves and honey.

Hair growth-            Apply sesame oil prepared with juice of eclipta and emblica.



Coconut TREE (Thengu)


Botanical name—         Cocos nucifera

Sanskrit name     --        Narikela

Parts used ---                 fruit, flower

Properties (Ayurveda)- Vatha pitha hara, refrigerent,diuretic,nutrient,

Therapeutic uses

Excessive menstrual}    Fresh juice of coconut flowers with honey for three days

Bleeding                 }

White discharge—         Take juice of fresh coconut flowers with milk.

Retention of urine—      Take tender coconut water with cardamom powder.

For healthy hair-            Apply coconut oil or coconut milk over the scalp regularly



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