10 best medicinal plants and their benefits for our body

Benefits of medicinal plants

With an increasing number of people switching from allopathy to herbal medicines, there is a sudden increase in the demand for herbal medicines. Herbal remedies are not only effective in treating many diseases but also free from major side effects. There are more than 50,000 species of plants currently used around the world for various medicinal and therapeutic purposes. Of these, traditional Ayurveda practitioners use about five to seven thousand herbs to cure different ailments.

In this article, we will discover the Top 10 Herbal Medicines in India which are used in majority of medicines.

Top 10 medicinal plants used in Ayurveda:

Here is a list of 10 plants widely used in the preparation of traditional herbal medicines:

1. Ashwaganda:

Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) is also called Indian Ginseng or Winter Cherry for its brilliant red fruits. The fresh roots of this plant have a strong horse smell, which is why it bears the name “Ashwagandha” (Ashwa-Horse and Gandha-Odour). This ancient medicinal herb is used in a variety of medicines that treat both physical and mental ailments. It is known to be particularly beneficial in treating anxiety, depression, etc. thanks to its calming properties for the nerves.

2. Gotu Kola:

Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) is a popular herbal medicine used in many traditional Indian and Chinese herbal medicines. It belongs to the Parsley family and the leaves, stems are used for culinary and medicinal purposes. Gotu Kola is also called “the elixir of life” by the ancient Chinese for its ability to treat a number of ailments like abdominal problems, flu, memory loss, varicose veins and skin problems. It also works as an aphrodisiac to treat many sexual issues.

3. Brahmi:

Brahmi (Bacopa Monnieri) is a medicinal herb used in many Ayruvedic medicines, hair oils and dietary supplements. It grows like a creeper with green oval leaves and small white flowers with no inherent aroma. Brahmi offers many benefits such as memory enhancement, anxiety issues control, insomnia treatment and superior hair nourishment. It is also claimed that Brahmi can stimulate hair regrowth even in dormant follicles.

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4. Arnica:

Arnica (Arnica Montana) is a small plant with bright yellow flowers that look like sunflowers. Although a poisonous herb, highly diluted Arnica extracts are used in Ayurvedic and homeopathic medicines for their anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to treating painful joint inflammatory conditions like arthritis, Arnica is also used in homeopathy to treat internal blood clots. It is given to patients as a diluted tincture or topical gel.

5. Noni:

Noni (Morinda Citrifolia) is a fruit native to Southeast Asia, but widely grown in many tropical countries. It belongs to the coffee family and is also called the “famine fruit”, due to its availability even in adverse weather conditions. Noni is sold commercially as a juice to promote good heart health, treat diabetes, arthritis, etc. Drinking noni juice regularly is known to boost our immune system and minimize lung damage caused by smoking.

6. Neem:

Neem (Azadirachta Indica) is a medicinal tree native to India and other Asian countries. He is also called Sarva Roga Nivarani or the healer of all ailments according to Ayurveda. Every part of this tree, including fruits, leaves, flowers, and bark, is used in various medicinal preparations. Neem exhibits powerful antimicrobial properties that can destroy even the toughest pathogens like bacteria and viruses. It is used in the form of neem powder, capsules and liquid (for topical use).

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7. Turmeric:

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a rhizome that belongs to the ginger family. The roots of this herb are bright yellow in color due to a compound called curcumin. Dried turmeric, the most commonly used form of this herb, is made by boiling and drying the roots before pounding them. Turmeric is used to treat skin problems, fight the flu, infections, and even help speed wound healing due to its antiseptic properties. Studies on its anti-cancer properties are also underway.

8. Tulsi:

Tulsi (Ocimum Sanctum) is a common medicinal plant grown in most Indian homes. Also called holy basil, Tulsi is an aromatic herb considered an earthly manifestation of divine power. Tulsi offers many benefits to our health, which range from boosting our immune system to aiding digestion, treating sore throats and colds, and promoting good skin health. It is also called the “queen of herbs” and is taken in the form of fresh or dried leaves, powder and pills.

9. Licorice:

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza Glabra) is one of the oldest medicinal plants known to man. The root of this plant produces a sweet and aromatic flavor used in culinary and dietary products. Licorice is a rich source of many active plant compounds like glycyrrhizin which provides numerous health benefits. The compound is known to have strong antioxidant, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which can treat a number of infections, skin issues, wounds, ulcers etc. It is used in the form of a topical gel or pills.

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10. Amla:

Amla (Phyllanthus Emblica) is also called Indian gooseberry. The fruits of this plant contain more vitamin C than other citrus fruits like oranges, making it one of the best natural immune boosters. Amla juice can treat gastrointestinal issues, lower cholesterol, and even control blood sugar. It is an excellent detox drink to cleanse and promote better functioning of the system. Amla can also help in weight loss, treat hair and skin problems.

These are some of the best herbal medicines used in India. You can grow them at home or buy their by-products in the form of pills, juices, herbal blends, etc., at any local Ayurvedic store. Also, if you plan to use them, consult a concerned doctor beforehand to avoid unwanted side effects.

Alvin J. Chase