Traditional Herbal Medicinal Plants
Herbalism or Botanical medicine or herbology, is the traditional old folks practice of treating ailments. In Asia it is the most common and cheapest way to treat infectious diseases, though most modern day people in Asia or any part of the world would prefer to see their doctors and buy the prescribed medicines. The herbal medicine comes from the herbal medicinal plant’s extract from the roots, flowers and buds, bark and leaves. Sometimes the range of perceptions on herbal medicines include the yeast(fungal), molds or group of eukaryotic organisms and bee products as well as mineral shells and some animal parts.
However, adding improper or inappropriate mixtures, lack of understanding of the herbal plant used for drug formula could be lethal or life threatening. There are various kind of medicinal herbal plants in many parts of the world. Here are some that I have gathered.
1) Aframorum Melegueta
This aromatic bushy plant is a specie of the ginger family also called grains of paradise, melegueta pepper, alligator pepper and Guinea pepper grains which of course has a peppery and pungent flavor. This plant is native to West Africa, but are considered as very important crops in Southern Ethiopia. They are use not only for cooking purposes but for treatment of digestive system, warming, used for divination and determining of guilt among Efik people of Nigeria. In the Carribean, it is used for medicinal purposes and voodoo rituals. In Europe, the grains of paradise are used to add flavor to beer production, Ginger Ale gins. Oftentimes, Norwegian akvavito and famous chefs use this for cuisine.
2) Yellow Monkhood or Aconitum Anthora
The aconite roots or wolfsbane are used as medicine and was named the king of 100 Herbs, but contains toxic substance thus it is also called the Queen of Poisons. There are high contents of Neurotoxinaconitine, and no antidotes found in this roots. The root contents has a big amount of evaporating salt and essential oil, while the plant leaves and stems have diterpenoid alkaloids substance. These herbal plant is often used for external purposes treating rheumatism and muscle aches, but it can cause skin irritation. If taken internally, it is used to treat weak pulse, poison from vegetable shoots, fever and colds, pneumonia, respiratory viral infection (Croup) and heart condition.
3) Camellia Sinensis
Camellia Sinensis are herbal plants used as tea in India, Sri Lanka, Java Indonesia and Japan. Camellia is also a herbal medicinal plants used for digestions, depressions, detoxification, body aches and pains and energizer and long life.
The Gleditsia sinensis is a flowering plant that commonly grow in Asia. It is also known as Zaojia in Chinese and in English it is called honey locust or Chinese honey locust, soap bean, and soap pod. Additionally, gleditsia has been used as detergent in China for 2000 years. Extraction from the leaves is used to dressed and clean skon sores, infected skin diseases, while the stem and bark is used for reducing fever (antipyretic) and anthelmintic. The fruits is used as antibacterial, antifungal, antitussive, astringent, expectorant, stimulant and haemostatic treatment. It can treat bronchial asthma, epilepsy and sudden impairment of neurological function from a stroke and cerebral hemorrhage. It is also used in treatment of rectum cancer, but overdose can cause body poisoning.
4) Chinese Cucumber (Trichosanthes Kirilowii)
The Trichosanthes Kirlowii fresh root tubers, when purified and processed, used for Anti-HIV activity.
Rehmannia or Chinese Foxglove
The Rehmannia or Foxglove or in Chinese it is called dihuang or Gandihuang, are Chinese medicinal herbal plants used to treat anemia, dizziness and constipation.
Peony Medicinal Plant
Paeonia Caucasica herb plants or in Chinese, Bai Shao (Radix Paeonae Lactiflorae) roots are used as traditional Chinese medicine not only in China but commonly used in Korea, Japan and some parts of Asia. The Antioxidant, Antitumor, Antipathogenic, Immune-system-Modulation, Cardiovascular-system-protective Activities and Central-Nervous-system activities.
Korean Mint or Agastache Rugosa
Korean Mint or scientific name, Agastache Rugosa also called in Chinese huo xiang, have antibacterial and anti-atherogenic properties used for infections treatment.
Cannabis sativa was cultivated by growers in Asia as an industrial fiber source, seed oil, food, drugs and medicine. The cannabis are harvested in different usage and depends on what purposes like the cannabis seeds, some used them for bird’s feed, because of its rich protein. The flowers, leaves, and seeds contain psychoactive chemical compound called cannabinoids that are used for medicinal and spiritual purposes and recreational drinks. Cannabis is much popular by its name marijuana, and extraction preparations obtained from resin, the hashish are used for consumption by smoking, and vaporized by ingesting orally. Also used as tinctures and ointments and teas. Cannabis are used for for medicinal purposes for the treatment of nausea, vomiting, stimulation of hunger during chemotherapy process, AIDS patient, pain reliever, inflammatory disease affecting the rain and spinal cords to depressions, and glaucoma treatment.
5) Rauwolfia Serpentina or Snakeroot
The Rauwolfia serpentina, also known as snakeroot or sapagandha, a specie of Apocynaceae, used in traditional Chinese medicine and named it shegen mu or yindu shemu in Chinese. It contains bioactive substances like yohimbine, reserpine, ajmaline, deserpidine, rescinnamine and the plant extract has been used in India for many years. Mahatma Gandhi took this herbal plants as tranquilizer during his time. The reserpine compound is used for the treatment of high blood pressure and schizophrenia (mental disorder).
Kudzu contains useful substances known as isoflavones, daidzein(anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agent) and a cancer preventive and an antileukemic agent called genistein. The kudzu is used for the treatment of migraine and suicidal headaches (or cluster headache). It is also best for allergies and diarrhea, post-menopausal symptoms, hypertensions, and diabetes type ll, vertigo, tinnituslear disorder (hearing loud ringing sound), wei syndrome (superficial heat), Alzheimer’s disease, Alcoholics and hangovers.
7) Noni Fruit
Noni fruit or Morinda Citrifolia, also called great morinda, Indian mulberry, nunaakai (Tamil Nadu, India), dog dumping (in Barbados), Mengkudu (in Malaysia and Indonesia), Kumudu in Balinese, pace in Javanese (Java,Indonesia), beach mulberry, cheese fruit and noni in Hawaiian. This plant belong in the coffee family (Rubiaceae). The green fruit, leaves, roots and shoots are used in Polynesia traditional medicine treating menstrual cramps, constipation or irregular bowel movements, diabetes, liver diseases and urinary tract infections. The bark produces dye, a brownish-purple color used for batik weaving, and yellowish dye color extracted from the roots used for dyeing cloths. The seed extraction becomes oil used to treat arthritis, asthma, and upset stomach.
8) Philippine Herbal Medicine: Akapulko (Cassia alala), also known as Ringworm bushy, a herbal plant used for treatment of increase of urine discharge, excessive sweating, and used as purgative purposes. I is used to treat skin fungal infections and ringworm skin diseases.
9) Ampalaya (Bitter Melon or Bitter Gourd)(Momordica Charantia)
Bitter melon or bitter gourd, also known Momordica charantia, a vegetable with bitter taste, is famous in the Philippines as a medicinal plant called ampalaya, and used to treat diabetes, cholesterol and liver disease. Now they produced from ampalaya extract in form of tablets or capsules and tea bags.
10) Garlic or Allium Sativa
The garlic is a specie of onion family, with scientific name Allium sativa. Aside using garlic for cooking, in the Philippines it is used to reduce cholesterol and helps normalized blood pressure, and it is called bawang.
11) Ginger (S.N. Zingiber Officinalel)
The ginger , S.N. Zngiber officinalel are not actually “roots” but are underground stem that often sends out roots and shoots from its nodes. They are sometimes called rootstalk and from the family monocotyledonous perennial plant. This spicy rootstalk can be used in many medicinal treatment like antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiviral, diuretic and antiseptic.
12) Banaba or Lagerstroemia speciosa
The Lagerstroemia speciosa also called Giant Crape-myrtle, Queen’s Crape-myrtle, Banaba in the Philippines, Jarul in Kolkata, India or Pride of India, the fruits, leaves, roots, flowers and bark of the tree or Banaba extract, are used for treatment for diabetes, purgative and diuretic, natural health supplement, helps regulate blood sugar level, and weight loss. Banaba Tea, is helps dissolve kidney stones and cleanses kidney. Banaba herb are clinically proven as medicinal herbal plant for the relief and treatment of various diseases.
13) Atis or Anona Squamosa
The Anona squamosa or known as Atis or ates in the Philippines, also called sugar apple and sweet sop, is small tree fruit bearing sweet fruits, also used as medicinal plants includes leaves, fruits and seeds for the treatment of diarrhea, dysentery and dizziness.
14) Guava or Psidium guajava
The Guava or Psidium guajava is a common used in the Philippines as medicinal used for disinfectants of wounds (boiling the leaves), mouth wash for infected gum or throat, tooth decay, also athelete’s foot and eczema. The bark is also used to treat chronic diarrhea.
15) Hibiscus Rosa-sinensis Linn or Gumamela
Hibiscus Rosa-sinensis linn or Gumamela plant in the Philippines, China Rose, and hibiscus in the west are used not only as ornamental plants but as medicinal plant used as expectorant for cough, cold, sore throat, fever and bronchitis. The gumamela buds in the Philippines is used to dressed boil by pounding it with dash of salt, and spread it on a clean gauze and cover the boil.
16) Vitex Negundo or Lagundi in the Philippines
Vitex Negundo or Five-leaved Chaste tree, a well known medicinal plants in Asia especially in the Philippines, and called Lagundi. This plant is used for treatment of coughs, asthma, purgative, indigestion, abdominal pain due to spasm, boils, and rheumatism. The roots is used as expectorant and reduces fever.
Quisqualis Indica or Honey Suckle or Rangoon Creeper
The Quisqualis Indica vine, a known medicinal plant in Asia as purgative by ingesting the seeds and helps eliminate worms such as ascaris and trichina. For children chew 7 dried seeds and 10 seeds for adults after meal. Pound the leaves or roast for diarrhea, fever and skin infections and diseases. In the Philippines it is famously known as nyog-nyogan, Chinese honey suckle and Rangoon Creeper. It is native in Asia like Philippines, Malaysia and India.
Origanum Vulgare or Oregano
The Origanum vulgare, a perennial plant with aromatic scent, are commonly used in culinary purposes, but also medicinally use for treatment the treatment of arthritis, coughs, colds, asthma, osteoarthritis, upset stomach or dyspepsia. It is widely known as Oregano.
The Cuban Oregano, Mexican Mint, or Indian Borage with scientific name Plectranthus amboinicus, a fleshy aromatic perennial plant used as medicine as cough, colds and fever reliever. Aside from medicinal use, it is used to flavor meats and chicken stuffing.
Peperomia Pellucida linn
Peperomia pellucida linn or widely known in the Philippines as pansit-pansitan, ulasiman-bato, olasiman-ihalas and tangon-tangon. This shiny herbs grows widely in the garden or flower pots and use for treating arthritis, gout, skin diseases, kidney disorders and abdominal pains. By boiling or pounding or eaten fresh when taken internally. For skin treatment pound and spread the extract into the affected areas of the skin.
Aloe Vera the most popular medicinal plants in Asia and Africa and believed to originate in Sudan. It is also called the true Aloe or medicinal Aloe and popularly known as Sabila in the Philippines commonly seen growing in their home gardens. Sabila as medicine has various usage such as treatment for burns, eczema, cuts or wounds, dandruff and falling hair (the leaves as shown in picture, then rub on scalp and massage, let dry before rinsing it). Aloe Vera are antiviral. antifungal, antioxidant, antibiotic, and anti-parasitic medicinal plants and also used for treatment of sebaceous cysts, fatty acids, diabetes and cholesterol.
Blumea Balsamifera a popular medicinal plant and a traditional medicine in the Philippines and known as Sambong. The sambong leaves produced essential oil and the plant consist of camphor, limonene, borneol, saponin, sesquiterpene and astringent.This medicinal plant is well known for treating kidney disorder, fever, colds, rheumatism, hypertension, diuretic and other diseases. If taken internally, boil the leaves to help urinary stones excreted and also used as edema. In Vietnam it is called tanaka.
17) Clinopodium Douglasii or Yerba Buena
Yerba Buena or Clinopodium Douglasii, a vine plant from the mint family, or known as peppermint. It contains analgesic, and helps for body pain relief and other pains if taken internally. Clean the leaves and boil it or pound the leaves with small amount of water and apply to infected wound areas.
The Carica Papaya, or commonly called papaya, papaw or pawpaw or in Chinese traditional medicine it is called mugua or mamao, fruta bomba, tree melon, Lechoza in Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic because of its milky sap. Papaya contains high level of vitamins A, C and E. It has several properties of carotenoid, folales and flavonoids and miberals reacting synegistically providing DNA-protection effects and decrease the risk of cancer development and cardiovascular disorder. Ripe Papaya fruit, is also good for constipation. But according to studies, excessive eating of papaya causes carotemia, the yellowing of the palm and sole, although there is no harm effect in the human body.
19) Moringa Oleifera
The Moringa Oleifera commonly grown in Asia and cultivated for vegetable and medicinal purposes. The bark, roots, leaves, flowers, seeds and sap are used for herbal medicine, as antiseptic for venomous animal and insect bites, rheumatism, and anemia and other diseases. The boiled roots are rsiky for pregnant women, it might cause them miscarriages. In the Philippine it is widely known as Malunggay, in Tamil moringa, in Bengal: Shojne, in Telugu: munagkaya, in Rajasthani: Shenano, in Marathi: Shevaga, in Kannada: nuggekai, in Khmer: Morrom, in Vietnamese: Chum nay, in Haiti:benzolive, in Indonesia: kelor and in Malay: Kalor, in Burmese: Dandalum, in Madagascar: ananambo, in Thailand: ma’rum, in Hausa,Nigeria: zogale and sijan in Guyana. Whatever name given to this nutritional plant as long as it helps a lot and are not fatal to human consumption.
Armoracia Rusticana, or horseraddish , a vegetable with potassium, calcium, phosporous, magnesium, mustard oil, and diuretic properties. Horseraddish are also used for urinary tract infections, coughs and bronchitis, sinus congestion, and infected ingrown toenails. Grated horseraddish roots mixed with honey will clear clogged nose in few minutes. Horseraddish are poisonous for horses.
20) Ginseng Roots
Ginseng plant a slow-growing perennial plant, is one of the eleven species belonging to genus panax. It is called renshen in Chinese, meaning man root, because it resembles on human legs, jen shen in Cantonese and jin sim in Hokkien. Ginseng roots is a popular medicinal plant in Asia, especially in China, Korea and Japan. In Greek, panax means All heal, and widely used now as muscle relaxant, stimulant, treatment for impotency, high blood pressure and low blood pressure, stress, insomnia and many others. But overdose of ginseng is not good too, it might cause side effects such as chest pain, diarrhea, fatigued, headaches and nose bleeding.
There are many medicinal plants in the world, but most people of modern day prefer to seek for professional medical attention and buy the prescribed medicine. But there are desperate patients, who turn on herbal medicine when they feel that they are not cured with prescribe medicine and feel they are getting worse.