Sunday, 24 July 2011

Barleria prionitis or Porcupine flower: Vajradanti keeps dental health

By Syed Akbar
Barleria prionitis or porcupine flower is an ornamental plant, but some consider it as a weed. Ayurveda, Unani and other traditional systems of medicine the world over recognize the importance of Barleria prionitis as for as dental or oral health is concerned. Thanks to its unique properties of keeping teeth in good health and fighting tooth decay and gingivitis, this plant is popularly known as Vajradanti.
Apart from its dental benefits, Vajradanti is prescribed by practitioners of herbal medicine for problems like fever, respiratory diseases including whooping cough, joint pains including those related to arthritis, healing of wounds and boils, and curing of cracks in heels.
Some herbal experts believe that Barleria prionitis controls nocturnal emission and premature ejaculation in men. It is also recommended for removing worms from the digestive system. Other benefits of this herb include promotion of hair growth, increase in urine output and relief from scabies.
Home remedies
Herbal doctors recommend decoction of Barleria prionitis root for treatment of viral fevers. Take a few leaves, fresh or dried, wash them properly and put them in a bowl. Add a glass of water and boil it to obtain decoction. Filter the solution and consume it in small quantities twice a day.
If you are suffering from bleeding gums, loose teeth, dental cavities and sensitive teeth, Barleria prionitis is the best natural bet. You can do a mouth wash prepared from the root of this herb. Alternatively you can take dried leaves or roots, make them into powder. Take a little quantity and brush your teeth. It keeps the teeth strong and healthy.
The leaves of Barleria prionitis can be crushed and applied on wounds, boils and in joints for relief. It also reduces swelling.
Crushed leaves can also be applied on the scalp to fight fungal growth and promote hair growth. They can also be applied on cracks on the heels for relief.
Herbal doctors suggest dried bark powder for whooping cough. Paste obtained from roots can be applied on boils for relief from pain.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Crinum latifolium: Milk and wine lily gives long and healthy life

By Syed Akbar
Crinum latifolium or milk and wine lily is a wonderful plant thanks to its “double” properties. It works on prostate gland in men and ovaries in women. Known in Sanskrit as Madhuparnika, this herb finds a special place in the “royal medicine” of Vietnam, where kings and queens in the past used this herb for a long and healthy life. In India, Crinum is used in Ayurveda and Unani preparations for a variety of health issues, and as a general tonic. Readymade herbal formulations of Crinum latifolium are available in herbal 
This herb is grown in gardens and houses as an ornamental plant. Its flowers resemble those of common garden lily. The bulb and leaves are used in medicinal formulae. Besides keeping the prostate and ovaries in good health, Crinum also helps in fighting cancers associated with these organs.
The bulb of Crinum has pungent taste. The bulb is often roasted for external applications. Extract of Crinum is used as a general tonic. It is believed that this herb helps in regulation of hormonal secretions and regeneration of body tissues to keep the body hale and healthy for a longer period. Care should be taken while using this herb for internal consumption as excess intake may upset stomach and cause vomiting. In small quantities, Crinum gives many health benefits.

Home remedies

Take the bulb of Crinum, wash it properly and crush it. Apply it on joints for relief from rheumatic pains. The paste of Crinum helps in dilation of the blood capillaries in the area of application. Herbal doctors believe Crinum acts as rubefacient, though there’s no scientific evidence to the effect thus far.

The crushed bulb can be applied on piles for relief. It is also often prescribed for wounds and abscesses.

Herbal doctors recommend the juice obtained by crushing the leaves of Crinum as ear drops for relief from ear pain.

The extract from bulbs is used internally in small quantities for longevity and healthy life. Crinum extract is believed to keep ovaries and prostate gland in proper function. Some recommend Crinum of treatment of fibroids in the uterus.

Ayurveda and Unani doctors prescribe Crinum for treatment of prostate and ovarian cancers. Readymade herbal formulations of Crinum can be used.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Acorus calamus: Sweet flag or Boch fights epilepsy

By Syed Akbar
Acorus calamus or Sweet flag is a wonder herb that has been in use in all systems of medicine including allopathy. In Sanskrit it is called Vacha, while in Hindi and Urdu it is popular by the name Boch. The rhizome of the plant is used in herbal preparations including ointments and balms for skin ailments, and treatment of burns. The rhizome is used in its dried form. A word of caution about this herb is that it should be taken in very minute quantities as it will cause vomiting and nausea if consumed in excess dosage. A teaspoon of rhizome powder is recommended twice a day.

Balms prepared from Calamus is used in massage to tone up the muscles and keep the skin in good condition. It is used in treatment of fevers particularly malaria, pain, stomach upsets, headache and tooth trouble. It is a laxative and diuretic. Calamus is also considered as natural herb to promote appetite. Some herbal doctors suggest Calamus for treatment of abdominal pain. In Ayurveda, it is considered as a tonic for the brain and nervous system as it improves memory in people suffering from amnesia or loss of memory. It is also recommended for asthma and killing intestinal worms.

Home remedies

Persistent cough can be treated by inhaling the smoke of the dried rhizome. Make sure that too much smoke is not inhaled.
Extract obtained from the rhizome of Calamus provides relief from headache and toothache. It is also considered good for oral problems.
Readymade Calamus capsules are available in herbal stores. They can be consumed as prescribed by herbal specialists for treatment of epilepsy. Ensure that the prescribed dosage is followed.
Calamus rhizome powder can be made into an ointment by adding a little of coconut oil for external application to treat small burns.
A little of Calamus root can be chewed for relief from motion sickness.
Calamus tonics are available for improving memory power. Infusion obtained from Calamus rhizome can also be used.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Shorea robusta: Indian dammer gives relief from bleeding piles

By Syed Akbar

Shorea robusta is considered a holy tree by Hindus and Buddhists. Ancient Indian texts show that Shorea or common sal is a favourite tree of Lord Sri Vishnu. Also known as Indian dammer, Shorea robusta finds its use in Ayurveda, Unani and tribal systems of medicine. It has a number of medicinal properties but the tree is valued for its ability to stop bleeding piles and provide relief to the patient.
Bark, leaves, fruit and resin of Shorea are used in medicinal preparations. The resin is also burnt as incense and the fumes thus obtained are said to have medicinal properties. Shorea ointments for skin troubles, breast enhancement and for bleeding piles are available in herbal stores.
Some herbal doctors consider Shorea as a natural remedy for diabetes, nervine pain, arthritis, burns, ulcers, and jaundice and skin infections. It has anti-bacterial properties too.

Home remedies

Resin obtained from Shorea robusta bark is used for relief from arthritis. Take a few grams of Shorea resin and add it to the white of egg. Mix them well with a spoon and apply the paste on the affected portion. It gives relief from joint pains caused by arthritis.
Herbal cream prepared from Shorea leaves is applied to wounds for quick healing. It kills germs including bacteria.
For those suffering from diarrhea, a mixture of Shorea robusta and Mimosa pudica powder is administered orally. When taken in small quantities (one gram), it provides relief from diarrhea.
Robusta resin is taken orally in small quantities for goiter. Goiter is caused due to iodine deficiency.
In case of anaemia, intake of Shorea leaf powder with honey will help in improving the RBC count.
Herbal doctors point out that fumes of Shorea resin provide relief from uncontrollable hiccups.

Barleria lupulina: Hophead is natural treatment for insect bites

By Syed Akbar

Barleria lupulina or Hophead is a mountain plant that grows wildly in the hilly regions of India. It is not a native of India. Barleria was introduced into the country from outside. Thanks to its medicinal properties local Ayurveda and Unani practitioners included this herb in their pharmacopeia. It is also called Philippine violet.
Barleria is famous for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties and is widely used in Ayurveda and Unani to treat insect bites. Some traditional herbalists prescribe it for snake bites too. It is used in massage to keep the skin free of harmful bacteria and germs.
It is often prescribed for treatment of herpes simplex, to calm down the nervous system, relax the muscles, for relief from painful boils and to control the blood sugar levels. Barleria is considered a natural treatment for rheumatic pains, pimples, ulcers in the intestines and as pain relief balm. Research has shown that Barleria helps in bringing down the high glucose levels in the blood, and thus it is prescribed in traditional 
systems of medicine as an anti-diabetic herb.

Home remedies

For relief from painful insect bites including those by centipedes, take fresh leaves of Barleria lupulina, crush them and apply on the affected area. It reduces swelling, redness and pain.
For boils, gently apply the paste obtained from the roots of Barleria lupulina on the affected portion. It reduces swelling and the associated pain. Decoction obtained from leaves if taken in small quantity will also give relief from boils.
The paste obtained from leaves stops bleeding from wounds and helps in quick healing thanks to the herb’s anti-microbial properties.
Take a couple of fresh leaves of Barleria lupulina, crush them and mix them with a little quantity of lime. Apply the paste on the affected area for relief from rheumatic pains.
Herbal balms made of Barleria lupulina are available as skin ointment.