Botanical Name: Inula Racemosa
Plant Family: Asteraceae
Common name: Pushkarmoola
History: Used in Ayurvedic medicine
Medicinal Parts Used: Root
antispasmodic [an agent which relieves or eases muscular spasms, cramps or convulsions]
hypotensive [an agent that lowers blood pressure]
Inula is used for:
ischemic heart disease, especially combined with Commiphora mukul
lowers diastolic blood pressure
Respiratory Tract Conditions
chest (precordial) pain
chronic bronchitis with cardiac complications
protects against bronchospasm induced by histamine, serotonin and pollens
Latin: Ocimum sanctum Linn.
Vernacular names: Sanskrit - Tulasi - Tulssi - Surasa - Krishnamul - Vishnu-priya; Hindi - Kala-tulasi; English - Holy basil; Unani - Tulsi; Bengali - Krishna tulasai; Tamil - Thulasi
Part Used: leaves, seeds, root
Rasa: pungent, bitter
Guna: light, sharp, dry
Doshas: VK -; P+
Pharmacological Action: demulcent, expectorant, anticatarrhal, antispasmodic, anthelminthic
Clinical Research: The ethanolic extract of the leaves exhibited a hypoglycemic effect in rats and an antispasmodic effect in isolated guinea pig ileum. Tulsi extract was administered to 20 patients with shortness of breath secondary to tropical eosinophia in an oral dosage of 500 mg TID and an improvement in breathing was noted. The aqueous extract showed a hypotensive effect on anesthetised dogs and cats and negative inotropic and chronotropic activity (reduces the force and rate, respectively) on rabbit's heart. Antibacterial activity has been shown against Staphlococcus aureus and Mycoplasma tuberculosis in vitro as well as against several other species of pathogens including fungi. The plant has had general adaptogenic effects in mice and rats and has been shown to protect against stress-induced ulcers. It has also shown to be protective against histamine-induced bronchospasm in animals.
Traditional Uses: The leaf infusion or fresh leaf juice is commonly used in cough, mild upper respiratory infections, bronchospasm, stress-related skin disorders and indigestion. It is combined with ginger and maricha (black pepper) in bronchial asthma. It is given with honey in bronchitis and cough. The leaf juice is taken internally and also applied directly on cutaneous lesions in ringworm. The essential oil has been used in ear infections. The seeds are considered a general nutritious tonic.
Indications: bronchospasm, cough, indigestion, catarrh
Formulations and Dosage:
fresh leaf juice : 15-20 ml with honey tid
leaf infusion : 2-3 oz tid
Ocimum sanctum (holy basil), called Tulsi in India, is ubiquitous in Hindu tradition. Perhaps its role as a healing herb was instrumental in its "sacred" implication.
Ocimum sanctum(Tulsi) is perhaps the most common and most revered of all household plants in India.
Tulsi is an erect sweet -scented pubescent herb, 30-100cm in height , growing in abundance near cultivated field gardens and waste lands. Its leaves, seeds ands whole plant is useful.
roperties - Rasa -Katu( sharp) Tikta (bitter) , Virya -Ushna(hot) ,Vipak -Katu (sharp)
Ayurvedic practice recommends Tulsi in several formulations to enhance immunity and metabolic functions as well as in the management of respiratory problems (Shwas -Kasa).
hemical Constituents - A variety of biologically active compounds have been isolated from the leaves including ursolic acid, apigenin and luteolin.
harmacological Effects – In traditional Ayurvedic system of medicine,several medicinal properties have been attributed to this plant.
Recent pharmacological studies have established the anabolic, hypoglycemic , smooth muscle relaxant, cardiac depressant,antifertility,adaptogenic and immunomodulator properties of this plant.
ntimicrobial effects – Essential oil of Tulsi have antibacterial,antifungal and antiviral properties.It inhibites the growthof E coli, B.anthracis, M.tuberculosis etc. It's antitubercular activity is one-tenth the potency of streptomycin and one-fourth that of isoniazid.
Preperations containing Tulsi extract significantly shorten the course of illness, clinical symptoms and the biochemical parameters in patients with viral hepatitis and viral encephalitis.
ntimalarial effects – Essential oil of Tulsi has been reported to possess 100% larvicidal activity against the Culex mosquitoes. Trials have shown excellent antimalarial activity of Tulsi. It's extracts have marked incecticidal activity against mosquitoes.It's repellant action lasts for about two hours
ntiallergic and Immunomodulator effects - Essential oil of Tulsi was found to have anti-allergic properties. When administered to laboratory animals, the compound was found to inhibit mast cell degranulation and histamine release in the presence of allergen. These studies reveal the potential role of Ocimum sanctum extracts in the management of immunological disorders including allergies and asthma.
ntistress/Adaptogenic effects - Extracts from the plant have been found to reduce stress.
ntifertility effect – One of the major constituents of the leaves,ursolic acid has been reported to possess antifertility activity in rats and mice,This effect has been attributed to it's antiestrogenic effectwhich may be responsible for arrest of spermatogenesis in males and inhibitory effecton implantation of ovum in females.This constituent may prove to be a promising antifertility agent devoid of side effects.
nti diabetic effect - A randomized, placebo-controlled cross-over single blind trial on 40 human volunteers suffering from Type II diabetes was performed. During the four week trial, subjects alternately received a daily dose of 2.5 g of Tulsi leaves powder or a placebo for two week periods. The results showed 17.6 % reduction in fasting blood glucose and 7.3% decline in postprandial blood glucose on treatment with Tulsi as compared to the blood glucose levels during treatment with placebo
or Heart ailments - As 'Tulsi' (basil) has a positive effect over blood pressure and also a de-toxicant, its regular use prevents heart attacks. A tonic may be prepared by mixing 1 gm of dry 'Tulsi' leaves with a spoonful of butter and some candy sugar or honey.Take twice a day; first thing in the morning and before going to bed at night. The drinking of Tulsi-leaf tea keeps the blood pressure even
ther effects - The leaves in the form of a paste are used in parasitical diseases of the skin and also applied to the finger and toe nails during fever when the limbs are cold. The juice of the leaves is given in catarrh and bronchitis in children. The plant is said to have carminative, diaphoretic and stimulant properties. A decoction of the plant is used for cough and also as mouth wash for relieving tooth ache. It is good for headache, convulsions, cramps, fevers and cholera.
The drinking of Tulsi-leaf tea keeps one free from cough and colds and other ailments associated with 'Kapha' dosha in the body.
This tea is an instant pick-me-up (energy drink) also.
1. Barghava, K.P and Singh, N. (1981). Ind. J. Med. Res. 73:443-451.
2. Rajasekaran, M. et al. (1989). J. Drug Dev. 2(3):179-182.
3. Banerjee, S. et al. (1996). Nutr. Cancer, 25(2):205-17.
4. Agarwal, P. et al. (1996) Int. J.Clin.Pharmacol. Ther., 34(9):406-9.
Name: Beleric Myrobalan Biological Name: Terminalia belerica
Other Names: Beleric Myrobalan, Bibhitaki, bhaira
Bahira, Bilhitak, bahera, Vibhidhaka
This herb, which is an important Ayurvedic herb, is a tree found throughout the Indian forests and plains.
Parts Used: Fruit Remedies For:
Anthelmintic, antiseptic, astringent, expectorant, laxative, lithotriptic, rejuvenative, tonic.
Action & Uses in Ayurveda and Siddha
Rasam, Kashayam, mathura vipakam, ushna veeryam, pitta kapha hararm, good for vision, hair.
Internally for kasam, krimi, swarbhangam.
Externally antiseptic, lotion. Paste for pitta swellings, eye diseases.
Action and Uses in Unani
Tonic to brain and stomach, liquifies matter, acts as astringent, expells touda and safra, dries ruthoobath, headache, piles, chronic diarrhea.
The fruit is one among the triphala of ayurveda. It is useful in asthma, biliousness, bronchitis, inflammations, sore throat, and treating the diseases of eyes, nose, heart and bladder.
Dosage: Infusion, decoction, powder, paste Safety:
This herb may raise the "vayu" as defined in ayurveda. No other information available. Do not use without supervision of a qualified practitioner.
The British Pharmaceutical Codex.
Published by direction of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, 1911.
Related entries: Betel - Cubebs - Kava - Matico - Long pepper - Black pepper
Long pepper is the dried, unripe fructification of Piper officinarum, C. DC. (N.O. Piperaceae), or of P. longum, Linn., the former indigenous to the Malay Archipelago, the latter to Bengal and the Philippine Islands. Commercial long pepper is obtained from Java viâ Singapore, and is the fruit of P. officinarum. It consists of a dense spike about 35 millimetres long and 5 millimetres thick, composed of large numbers of minute fruits, which, together with the bracts that support them, are embedded in the elongated axis, the whole being covered with greyish dust. A transverse section shows about eight or ten radially divergent fruits, each containing a single seed with a reddish-brown testa, and copious, white, starchy perisperm. Taste and odour, like those of black pepper, but not so strong. The fruit of P. longum is similar to that of P. officinarum, but it is only about two-thirds as long.
Constituents.—The chief constituents of long pepper are about 1 per cent. of volatile oil, and 6 per cent. of piperine; other constituents are a pungent resin (chavicin) and starch.
Action and Uses.—Long pepper is employed as a stimulant and carminative, its properties residing principally in the volatile oil and resin. For medicinal preparations black pepper is usually preferred.
Dose.—3 to 6 decigrams (5 to 10 grains).
Biological Name: Piper longum
Name: Long Pepper
Other Names: Long Pepper, Dried Catkins, Pippali, Pipal
This climbing shrub is Indigenous to India and Sri Lanka. It is cultivated in other parts.
Parts Used: Fruit Medicinal Applications
analgesic, anthelmintic, aphrodisiac, carminative, expectorant.
Seed used in cough and throat pain. Root used in paralysis, epilepsy, and stiff joints. Both seeds and root are used for cough, rheumatism, leprosy, and consumption. The herb is also believed to improve vitality.
Infusion, powder, oil
No information about the safety of this herb is available.
Use caution. Ayurvedic herbs are often taken in combination with others to neutralize the toxicity one herb with the opposing effect of other. Do not take except under the supervision of a qualified professional.