A cheaper alternative to saffron, Bixa orellana is a natural dye that’s free of anytoxicity. It is used as a colouring agent in food preparations, like saffron. Bixaorellana is commonly known as lipstick tree or achiote. It is present in many parts ofthe globe, across the continents and used in local traditional medicines for ages. Indifferent countries it is used for different purposes. However, the most common herbal properties of lipstick tree are its ability to treat skindiseases like leprosy, reduce cholesterol levels in the blood, control blood pressure,provide relief from sinusitis and keep the blood sugar levels under check. Lipstick tree is regarded as a female aphrodisiac and in several traditional medicines itis prescribed to increase fertility levels in women. It is also known for keeping theuterus in good condition and fighting problems related to women’s reproductive system. Italso reduces inflammation or swelling in the body, control fever and dysentery and stopsvomiting and gives relief from nausea. ============= Home remedies ---------------------- Women suffering from infertility problems may try decoction of lipstick tree’s root. Takea few grams of root of lipstick tree, clean it with water. Take a glass of water and putthe roots in it. Boil the water and filter it to obtain decoction. As a femaleaphrodisiac, besides fighting infertility, it keeps in check the diseases related touterus. It is natural hair dye for those who want to give a slight pink shade to their hair. Thenatural chemical that is used as dye is called Bixin. Decoction obtained from the leaves of lipstick tree helps in controlling vomiting andnausea. It is onsidered a natural anti-emetic. The decoction also solves urinaryproblems and fights heartburn due to acidity. Decoction of seeds of lipstick tree is used in traditional medicine to keep thecholesterol levels under heck. Some believe that it maintains the blood pressure. Pulp obtained from the plant can be mixed with coconut oil to serve as a natural ointmentto prevent carring in case of wounds and burns. Root decoction is believed to posses anti-diabetic properties as it reduces the bloodsugar levels.In case of throat infection, gargle the decoction of leaves of lipstick tree. Oil obtained from the seeds of lipstick tree is believed to have properties that providerelief from leprosy.
By Syed Akbar Xeromphis spinosa or Mainphal is a shrub that’s native to north India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Mainphal is widely used in Unani and Ayurveda as well as ethnic medicines practiced by tribals in north India. In English Xeromphis is called emetic nut as it induces vomiting. Tribals have been utilizing Mainphal to induce vomiting to clean the stomach and keep it in good functioning. The fruit of Xeromphis is so powerful that it causes vomiting within a few minutes of consuming the herbal preparation. A number of medicinal benefits of Xeromphis have been listed in Ayurveda, Unani and ethno-medicines of various forests in the country. The herb kills head lice, removes dandruff and promotes hair growth, improves functioning of liver, fights gastric troubles, reduces swelling, gives relief from pain and controls fever. It is also prescribed for stomach ache, pain in the muscles and bones, paralysis, skin problems and diarrhoea. Mainphal is often prescribed for relief from rheumatic pains and respiratory problems including asthma. ======================= Home remedies ======================= To induce vomiting to clear the stomach of poisons, herbal doctors recommend the extract of Xeromphis fruit. The extract can be obtained by soaking the fruit rind of Xeromphis in water for six to eight hours. Filter the water and consume it in small quantity. Within a few minutes it induces vomiting. For relief from lice and dandruff infection, pulp obtained from Xeromphis can be applied externally on the head. Keep it for some time and later wash it off. Besides killing fungus and lice, it promotes hair growth. The bark powder can be consumed for relief from swelling and pain. It is analgesic and anti-inflammatory. Xeromphis herbal formulations available in market can be taken for relief from stomach ache, fever, bronchitis, and asthma and skin ailments. Some herbal doctors claim that it helps in toning up muscles in case of paralysis. The fruit pulp is applied externally for relief from rheumatic pains.
These days everyone talks of antibiotics abuse, overdose and resistance. There are alsoreports of new strains of bacteria emerging thanks to unscientific use of antibiotics.But long before modern medicine came out with the magical powers of antibiotics, ancientIndian systems of medicine including Ayurveda and Unani have benefited from Kalmegha, anatural antibiotic. Kalmegha is technically called Andrographis peniculata. The herb is also popular by othernames like Kalpanath and Kiryat. Like the neem, Kalmegha is bitter in taste andunpalatable. But it has a myriad of medicinal properties including its ability to fightleprosy, boost immunity, kill bacteria, viruses and other pathogens, control fevers ofvarious origin including malarial and typhoid, keep the stomach in good health, andprovide relief from haemorrhoids. Of late, research has been taken up on the medicinal properties of Kalmegha. The studieswere centered around Kalmegha’s ability to kill cancer cells, reduce upper respiratorytract infections and as a general health tonic. Thanks to its antibiotic properties, itkills all harmful germs that invade the body. There are also claims of Kalmegha improvingthe immunity in people living with HIV and AIDS. ========== Home remedies ========== Kalmegha powder is available in herbal stores. It can be taken in prescribed quantitieswith honey to improve the immune system and protect the body from harmful germs. Kalmeghatea can also be prepared by using its leaves. The tea serves as a general health tonic.It is a good antibiotic too. For ages a number of tribal populations in India, Malaysia, Indonesia and China have beenusing Kalmegha decoction or infusion to treat fevers and skin diseases. Take a couple offresh or dried leaves of Kalmegha and boil them in a cup of water. Filter the decoctionand use it. Alternatively, crush the fresh leaves and soak them in water, filter thesolution to obtain infusion. Liver disorders can be treated by adding a teaspoon of honey to a teaspoon of Kalmeghadecoction. In case of extract (available in market), it should be consumed in a smallquantity i.e. about four ml or less twice daily.
By Syed Akbar Sphaeranthus indicus or Gorakhmundi is a well known weed that grows wildly in paddyfields. In English it is called East Indian Globe Thistle. This aromatic herb has beenknown to Ayurveda and Unani for hundreds of years. It also finds a mention in tribalmedicine. Gorakhmundi has several medicinal properties which are now established by scientificresearch. This herb is prescribed for treatment of epilepsy, migraine, jaundice, fever,cough and haemorrhoids. Some herbal doctors prescribe Gorakhmundi for removal of worms from the digestive tract.It is useful for treatment of a number of skin ailments. This herb is famous for itsanti-gout properties as it removes uric acid concentration from the body. All parts of Gorakhmundi plant are used in herbal formulation. Some herbal researchersview that Gorakhmundi has unique medicinal properties that fights insanity, indigestion,anemia and even piles. ============ Home remedies ============ For people suffering form painful and bleeding haemorrhoids Gorakhmundi juice isconsidered as the best natural bet. To prepare Gorakhmundi juice, take some cumin seedsand ground them. Add a little milk to the to the ground seeds to obtain a thick paste. Take Gorakhmundi herb and make a paste out of it. Add it to the cumin milk paste. Add asmall quantity of water and filter it. Keep the solution in a fresh and neat bottle.Consume less than 5 ml of this solution twice a day for relief. Take Gorakhmundi flowers in small quantity (about four grams). Make them into powder andconsume it once daily for treatment of gout. Gout occurs on the big toe and doctors linkit to the presence of high concentration of uric acid in the body. Gorakhmundi juice or decoction is also helpful for treatment of spleen enlargement andfilariasis. For treatment of migraine herbal doctors often prescribe Gorakhmundi juice in combination with pepper. Gorakhmundi extract is readily available in the market can be consumed for relief fromnagging skin problems like psoriasis. Gorakhmundi tea readily available in the market is helpful in treatment of prostateproblems.