It is important for everyone to know that the best quality medicinal plants are
those derived from a home garden that has been nurtured with love and care.
.....

Medicinal Plants

  1. Adathoda vasica
  2. Aloe vera
  3. Andrographis paniculata
  4. Asparagus racemosus
  5. Azadirachta indica A
  6. Basella alba
  7. Bacopa monerri
  8. Centella asiatica
  9. Coleus aromaticus
  10. Cymbopogon citratus
  11. Cynodon dactylon
  12. Cuminum cyminum L.
  13. Curcuma longa.
  14. Eclipta alba HASSK.
  15. Gymnema sylvestre
  16. Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
  17. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis
  18. Holarrhena antidysenterica
  19. Lawsonia inermis
  20. Murraya koengii
  21. Moringa oliefera
  22. Ocimum sanctum
  23. Phyllanthus amerus
  24. Piper longum
  25. Piper nigrum L.
  26. Punica granatum
  27. Phyllanthus emblica
  28. Sesamum indicum L
  29. Tinospora cordifolia
  30. Terminalia chebula
  31. Terminalia bellerica
  32. Vitis vinifera L.
  33. Withania somnifera
  34. Zingiber officinale ROSC

Vasaka, Vaasa ( Adathoda vasica )

  • Adusa (HIN)
  • Adusoge (KAN)
  • Adalodagam (MAL)
  • Aadulasa (MAR)
  • Vasaka, Vaasa (SAN)
  • Adhatodai (TAM)

A branched, evergreen shrub with broad leaves tapering at both ends. Flowers are white, bi-lipped, arranged in dense and short spikes. It is found growing wild throughout the tropical and subtropical parts of the country. It is also grown as hedge.

Distribution: This plant occurs in the plains and submontane regions of our country upto an altitude of 1300 m. Its global distribution extends from the Indian subcontinent to Malaysia. It is also cultivated as a hedge plant.

How to Grow: Due to its evergreen dense foliage, makes a good potted plant and can be maintained in pots of 25 to 30 cms size. It can also be grown in the ground where a mature plant needs about 1.5 sq m space. The plant also makes a nice hedge that can be maintained at heights varying from 3/4 metre to 2 metres. It likes sunlight but can also withstand partial shade and, therefore, can be kept in verandah or under some tree.

Care regime: It is a hardy plant and when planted in the ground needs only occasional watering. When grown in pots, watering twice a week is adequate. The plant needs periodic pruning to maintain its shape and size.

Parts Used: Leaves and roots

Kumari ( Aloe vera )

  • Indian Aloe (ENG)
  • Lolesara (KAN)
  • Kattarvazha (MAL)
  • Korfad (MAR)
  • Kumari (SAN)
  • Soththu kathalai (TAM)

It is a cactus like plant having thick and fleshy leaves with spiny margins. Leaves contain a gel, which is bitter in taste. These are closely arranged near the plant base in whorls. Bright orange coloured tubular flowers appear in spikes during late winter on old plants.

Distribution:The genus Aloe is a native of African Continent and Meditteranean countries. A.barbadensis is a naturalized species in India, wherein several, freely intercrossing varieties are recognized to occur in semi-wild state. It is found in semi-wild state in many parts of India. It is cultivated or seen in wild in hedge- rows in the drier parts of India.

How to Grow: 'Lolesara' has got beautiful shining green foliage and forms an attractive pot plant. For the purpose of use in primary health care, one plant in a pot size of 25 to 30 cms is sufficient per household. It can also be planted on the ground, where it grows up to a metre tall. It needs well-drained soil for optimum growth, therefore, pot mixture of soil: sand: manure (1:2:1) may be used for growing this plant

Care regime: It needs only occasional watering and can even thrive under moisture stress conditions. Excessive watering may result in decay of the plant. The plant likes direct sunlight.

Parts Used:Leaf-pulp

Kalamegha ( Andrographis paniculata )

  • The Creat (ENG)
  • Kirayat (HIN)
  • Nelabevu (KAN)
  • Nelavepu (MAL)
  • Kadukirayat (MAR)
  • Kalamegha (SAN)
  • Nila vembu (TAM)

It is an erect, branched annual herb with four angled branches and lance shaped very bitter leaves. The plant bears small, rose coloured flowers in large, spreading open bunches.

Distribution:Its distribution is recorded in India, SriLanka, Malay Peninsula, China and Thailand. In India it occurs through out in the plains and also in forests as undergrowth. It is grown as a snake-repellant in households.

How to Grow: It is an annual herb and, therefore, needs to be planted afresh every year. Two plants on the ground or in pots of the size 20-25 cm are adequate for a home herbal garden.

Care regime: The plant can withstand partial shade for a few days and needs watering two-three times a week for its optimum growth. It regenerates easily from seeds. Dry mature seeds sown in nursery bed or pot germinate in about ten days and establish as seedlings. It can also be multiplied through 10-15 cm long semi-mature stem cuttings.

Parts Used: Leafy shoots

Satavari ( Asparagus racemosus )

  • Shakakul (HIN)
  • Shatavari (KAN)
  • Satavari (MAL)
  • Shatavari (MAR)
  • Satavari (SAN)
  • Catavari, Kadamulam (TAM)

A spiny climbing shrub with leaf-like rudimentary branchlets (cladodes) arranged in whorls. Cream-coloured and highly fragrant flowers emerge in dense spikes along the stem. Fruits are small, of the size of black pepper, and turn red when ripe. The plant has got a tuberous rootstock having 10-25 cylindrical tubers.

Distribution:It has a paleotropical distribution. It is recorded in Africa, S. Asia, China, S. Malesia and N. Australia. In India it is found growing wild in tropical and subtropical parts including Andamans. In the Himalayan region it occurs up to an altitude of 1500 m. In the Indian Himalayan region its found in Jammu and Kashmir of North West Himalayas to Sikkim of Eastern Himalayas. It is often cultivated as an ornamental also.

How to Grow: For Home Herbal Garden, one plant in a pot size of 25 to 30 cms is adequate. It can also be planted in the ground. Being a climber, it can be trained around pillars or along fences. It can also be raised in hanging baskets

Care regime:The plant likes sunlight and thrives well in hot and dry conditions. When planted in the ground it needs occasional watering, while in pots, watering twice a week is adequate. If kept under partial shade, it needs to be brought to direct sun every two to three days. This plant being spiny, needs to be kept away from the reach of children.


Parts Used: Tuberous roots

Upodika, Potaki ( Basella alba )

  • Indian spinach (ENG)
  • Poi, Lalbaclu (HIN)
  • Basale (KAN)
  • Basalaccira (MAL)
  • Mayalu (MAR)
  • Whamichi bhaji (MAR)
  • Upodika, Potaki (SAN)
  • Venpacalikkoti (TAM)

It is a delicate climber with shining purplish-red branches. Stem and leaves are fleshy. The plant bears small white or red flowers. The fruits are of the size of pea and turn white or black on ripening. Fleshy leaves are also used as vegetable.

Distribution:The species is believed to be a native of tropical Asia and Africa. It is cultivated as well as found in the wild, almost throughout India.

How to Grow: One or two plants of this important pot-herb are adequate per household from primary health care point of view. Being weak-stemmed, it needs to be provided support for climbing. It can be planted in the ground or in pots of the size 20-25 cm. It can also be planted in hanging baskets and its purplish dropping branches add a pleasant hue to the surroundings.

Care regime: This plant needs only little care for its maintenance. Watering two-three times a week is adequate for its optimum growth. Excessive watering may result in decay of this plant. The plant can sustain partial shade for a few days and needs to be periodically provided direct sunlight for its good growth.


Parts Used:Aerial parts

Saumyalata, Brahmi( Bacopa monerri )

  • Brahmi (HIN)
  • Neeru brahmi (KAN)
  • Brahmi (MAL)
  • Brahmi (MAR)
  • Saumyalata, Brahmi (SAN)
  • Neer brammi (TAM)

Brahmi is a low spreading herb with upright new shoots and small, shining and fleshy leaves. The plant bears long-stalked bluish-white flowers during late monsoon. it occurs naturally in moist places like borders of water bodies, canals and irrigated fields through out the country.

Distribution:Globally the species enjoys a pantropical distribution. In India it is distributed widely and is found in moist situations. It is a herb commonly seen along banks of streams and reservoirs.

How to Grow: The plant spreads quickly and it needs only a few seedlings (about five) in the beginning to fill in the allocated space. A bed size of approximately 50 x 30 cms is enough for the home herbal garden. It also comes up very nicely in shallow rectangular pots.

Care regime:Brahmi is a plant of moist and marshy localities and as such requires the bed or the pot mixture to be kept moist all the time. The plant, therefore, demands watering every day.


Parts Used: Leafy shoots

Mandukaparni ( Centella asiatica )

  • Thulkuri, Brihmi (HIN)
  • Ondelaga (KAN)
  • Muttil, kudangal (MAL)
  • Mandukparni (MAR)
  • Mandukaparni (SAN)
  • Vallarai (TAM)

It is a creeping herb with small, rounded, kidney-shaped leaves with bluntly toothed margins. The plant bears inconspicuous small, purplish flowers near the bases of leaf stalks.

Distribution:It is distributed in the temperate to tropical regions of both hemispheres. It is generally found near reservoirs and streams of water. It spreads on the ground on moist soil, especially along bunds and canals.

How to Grow: The plant spreads quickly and only a few seedlings (about five) are required in the beginning to fill the allocated space. A bed size of approximately 50 x 30 cms is enough for the home herbal garden. It also comes up very nicely in shallow rectangular pots of the size 50 x 30 cms or shallow circular pots of 40 – 50 cms diameter.

Care regime:Mandukaparni is a plant of moist and marshy localities and as such requires the bed or the pot mixture to be kept moist all the time. The plant, therefore, demands watering every day.


Parts Used: Leaves

Pashanabhedi( Coleus aromaticus )

  • Patharchur (HIN)
  • Doddapatre (KAN)
  • Panikkurukka (MAL)
  • Pan Ova (MAR)
  • Pashanabhedi (SAN)
  • Karpuravalli (TAM)

It is an evergreen shrubby plant with some upright shoots growing up to one metre tall. Leaves of this plant are strongly scented and are thick, fleshy and toothed along margins. The plant bears terminal spikes of small, bluish and bi-lipped flowers.

Distribution:This species is present in the tropical regions of the world extending to subtropical zones. It is cultivated in many regions.

How to Grow: In addition to its use as medicine, Coleus makes a very good plant for the households due to its evergreen foliage and scent. One plant either maintained in a pot of 25 to 30 cms size or in the ground is adequate for the purpose of medicine.

Care regime:The plant requires periodic trimming to maintain its shape. It is a hardy plant and needs only occasional watering (twice a week). Excessive watering may cause the plant to rot.


Parts Used: Leaves

Nimbe hullu ( Cymbopogon citratus )

  • Lemon grass (ENG)
  • Nimbe hullu (KAN)
  • Cennanampullu, Vasanapullu (MAL)
  • Gavati chaha (MAR)
  • (SAN)
  • Vassanapillu (TAM)

It is a tall grass that makes up 2 m tall clumps. Leaves are long, with rough margins and are strongly aromatic.It is griown in gardens and also cultivated.

Distribution:It is probably Indian origin and cultivated. Now distributed over the tropics of both hemispheres.

How to Grow: It is a very hardy grass and is very easy to maintain in the home herbal garden. It can be planted in the ground bed or in a pot of 25-30 cm size.

Care regime:This grass being hardy does not require much care except that the dried leaves need to be periodically removed. Watering two to three times a week is adequate for its good growth.


Parts Used: Aromatic leaves

Durva ( Cynodon dactylon )

  • Dub (HIN)
  • Garike hullu (KAN)
  • Karuka (MAL)
  • Durva (MAR)
  • Durva (SAN)
  • Arugampul (TAM)

It is the common grass with creeping stems bearing roots at the nodes. Leaves of durva grass are linear and slightly rough on the upper surface and margins. This grass bears minute flowers in 3-6 green spikes of 2-4 cm long.

Distribution:This species is globally distributed in the tropical and warm temperate regions of the world. Within India, it grows ascending up to an altitude of 2500 m. It is particularly abundant on road sides and paths, and readily takes possession of any uncultivated area.

How to Grow: This grass is found wild almost all though the country. However, it is recommended to grow it in the homestead because of its great religious and medicinal value and for firm identification. This grass spreads quickly and it needs only a little planting stock (about five rushes) in the beginning to fill in the alloted space. A bed size of approximately 50x30 cms is enough for the home herbal garden. It also comes up very nicely in shallow rectangular pots of the size 50x30cms or shallow circular pots of 40-50cms diameter.

Care regime:This grass is very hardy and grows well even with little moisture. Watering twice a week is adequate. The spread of this grass needs to be kept under control by cutting the leading shoots.


Parts Used: Whole plant

Meshasringi ( Gymnema sylvestre )

  • Gudmar, Meshasingi (HIN)
  • Madhunashini (KAN)
  • Cakkarakkolli, Madhunashini (MAL)
  • Bedki (MAR)
  • Meshasringi (SAN)
  • Ciru kurincan (TAM)

It is a large, woody, branched climber with milky latex. It has softly hairy, simple and opposite leaves. The plant bears clusters of small, yellow flowers. Fruits are slender follicles that contain winged seeds.

Distribution:This species is endemic to India. It is found in the hills of south & eastern India and ascending up to 2250 m altitude in central Himalayas.

How to Grow:This species is endemic to India. It is found in the hills of south & eastern India and ascending up to 2250 m altitude in central Himalayas.

How to Grow: In nature, it spreads over trees, scrub and hedges. In home herbal garden one plant in the ground near a tree or hedge is adequate to provide enough leaves for primary health care needs. It can also be raised in a pot of 25-30 cm size.

Care regime:The plant requires humus-rich soil and partial shade for good growth. Watering two to three times a week is adequate.


Parts Used:Leaves

Japa, Japapuspa ( Hibiscus rosa-sinensis )

  • Jasund (HIN)
  • Dasavala (KAN)
  • Chemparuthi (MAL)
  • Jaasvand (MAR)
  • Japa, Japapuspa (SAN)
  • Semparuthi (TAM)

It is a beautiful shrub that grows up to 3 m tall. Leaves are broadly egg-shaped and are toothed along margins. The plant bears long-stalked, large, showy, red or white flowers. The plant bears flowers almost through the year and is widely cultivated in gardens and households as an ornamental plant.

Distibution:This species occurs in the Indo-Malesian region. It is distributed almost throughout India up to an altitude of 1200 m, in dediduous forests and open wastelands.

How to Grow: It is recommended to grow two plants - one each with red and white flowers - in home herbal garden. These can be planted either directly in the ground or in pots of size of 25 to 30 cms.

Care regime:When planted in ground, watering twice a week is adequate. However, plants in the pots require more frequent watering.


Parts Used:Flower petals

Madayantika ( Lawsonia inermis )

  • Mehndi (HIN)
  • Goranti (KAN)
  • Mayilanji (MAL)
  • Mendi (MAR)
  • Madayantika (SAN)
  • Maruthani (TAM)

It is a large shrub, with dense angular branches that usually end in a sharp spine. Leaves are opposite, short-stalked and thick and grow to about 3 cm long. The plant bears small cream coloured, fragrant flowers in dense terminal bunches almost all through the year. The fruits of the plant are small, pea like and contain many seeds.

Distribution:This is a paleotropcial species. It is cultivated and naturalised throughout India and also grown as a hedge plant.

How to Grow: Mehndi, due to its evergreen dense foliage, makes a good potted plant and can be maintained in pots of 25 to 30 cms size. It can also be grown in the ground where a mature plant needs about 2 sq m space. The plant also makes a nice hedge that can be maintained at heights varying from 1 metre to 2 metres.

Care regime:It is a hardy plant and when planted in the ground needs only occasional watering. When grown in pots, watering twice a week is adequate. The plant likes sunlight but can also withstand partial shade for short periods. It also needs periodic pruning to maintain its shape and size.


Parts Used:Leaves

Surabhi ( Murraya koengii )

  • Katnim, Karipatta (HIN)
  • Karibevu (KAN)
  • Karivepu (MAL)
  • Kadipatta (MAR)
  • Surabhi (SAN)
  • Karuvempu (TAM)

It is an erect, branched and evergreen shrub with spreading dark green foliage. Leaves of the plant are dotted with minute glands and are strongly aromatic. The plant bears clusters of white fragrant flowers. Fruits are smooth, pea-sized berries that turn purplish black when ripe.

Distribution:This species is distributed in India, Sri Lanka and Malay Islands; cultivated throughout the tropics. It is wild in Bihar and E.Himalaya up to 4000 ft.; also cultivated throughout India.

How to Grow: In home herbal garden, one plant on the ground where it may occupy an area of about 1 sq. m is adequate. Due to its dense green foliage, it also makes a beautiful pot plant and can be raised in a pot of 25-30 cm size.

Care regime:When grown in the backyard, this plant doesn't need much caring, while occasional watering is sufficient for its growth. However, when grown in a pot, watering regime of thrice a week is adequate.


Parts Used:Leaves

Sigru ( Moringa oliefera )

  • Drumstick (ENG)
  • Sohjna, Sahijana (HIN)
  • Nugge (KAN)
  • Murinna (MAL)
  • Shevga (MAR)
  • Sigru (SAN)
  • Murungai (TAM)

It is a medium sized tree that grows up to 12 metres tall. Leaves of the tree are large, up to 50 cm long, and are divided into numerous leaflets. It bears pinkish-white and honey scented flowers in large bunches. Fruits of the tree are long pods and commonly known as 'drumsticks'.

Distribution:Globally this species is widely distributed in the tropical regions of Asia. Within India it's presence is very wide spread and includes Andaman and Nicobar islands.

How to Grow: The tree is extensively cultivated for its fruit that is used as vegetable. Even though the fruits are readily available in the market, the tree needs to be raised in the home herbal garden for its leaves, flowers and gum, which are used in the treatment of many primary health care ailments. Only one tree is adequate per household. However, it needs a large area in the home herbal garden for its optimum growth and is, therefore, recommended for planting only in those households having adequate space. Not suitable as a pot plant.

Care regime:This tree needs watering only till its establishment. Once established, it needs only occasional watering. The tree is susceptible to insect attacks and requires periodic monitoring. If need be herbal insecticides may be sprayed to control pest population.


Parts Used:Leaves, flowers, fruits and gum

Tulasi ( Ocimum sanctum )

  • Tulsi (HIN)
  • Krishna tulsi (KAN)
  • Tulasi (MAL)
  • Tulas (MAR)
  • Tulasi(SAN)
  • Thulasi (TAM)

It is an evergreen, strongly aromatic and erect herb having greenish to purplish appearance. The plant bears small, pinkish-white, bi-lipped flowers in compact terminal spikes.

Distribution:This is a paleotropical species. It is found throughout India; commonly planted in home gardens and temples.

How to Grow: Due to its sacred and medicinal value, a large number of families in the country already keep at least one plant of tulasi in their houses. It can be planted in the ground or in a pot of 25-30 cm size. It is also planted in a special structure called ‘tulsi mada’ to bestow a special status to this plant.

Care regime:It is a hardy plant and can survive moisture stress conditions for a few days. However, for optimum production of leaves, watering once in two days is adequate. The plant grows to become a compact bush and, therefore, does not need any specific trimming.


Parts Used:Leaves

Bhu dharti, Bhuin amla ( Phyllanthus amerus )

  • Bhu amla (HIN)
  • Nelanelli, Bhumyamalaki (KAN)
  • Kizhanelli, Kirganelli (MAL)
  • Bhui Aavla (MAR)
  • Bhu dharti, Bhuin amla (SAN)
  • Keelanelli (TAM)

It is a small, erect annual herb with miniature amla like fruits on the underside of the leaves.

Distribution:This is a paleotropical species. It is found throughout the drier parts of India as a weed of cultivated fields and wastelands.

How to Grow: This plant occurs wild as a common lawn/ roadside weed. In home herbal garden, a bed size of about 50 x 30 cms and stocked with about 50 plants should be adequate. It can also be planted in shallow rectangular pots of the size 50 x 30 cms or shallow circular pots of 40-50 cms diameter. Initial planting material can be procured from the nursery.

Care regime:The plant likes moisture and partial shade for its luxuriant growth. Therefore, watering every alternate day will be good for the plant. It needs to be planted afresh after it completes its life cycle and dies. The replanting, however, does not need much effort as the fallen seeds germinate on their own.


Parts Used:Aerial parts

Pippali( Piper longum )

  • Pipali, Pipaamula (HIN)
  • Hippali, Thippali balli (KAN)
  • Tippali (MAL)
  • Pippali (MAR)
  • Pippali (SAN)
  • Tippili (TAM)

It is an evergreen, weak-stemmed, creeping shrub with heart shaped leaves that resemble those of betel leaves. The plant bears separate male and female spikes. Fruits are small, round berries that turn red or black on ripening and are arranged in clusters around a cylindrical spike.

Distribution:This species is believed to be a native of the hills of South-Western India. It is extensively cultivated in the hot and moist parts of India, SriLanka and several tropical countries. Its presence in the wild is currently seen in the Western Ghats of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.( F: Prop book).

How to Grow: This evergreen plant has beautiful foliage. For a home herbal garden, two plants raised in the ground or in pots of 20-25 cm size are adequate. The plant can be trained along tree trunks and pillars and can also be raised in hanging pots.

Care regime:It is a plant of wet tropics and prefers shady moist conditions. It, therefore, needs regular watering and shade from direct sun.


Parts Used:Fruiting spikes

Dadima( Punica granatum )

  • Anar (HIN)
  • Daalimbe (KAN)
  • Madalam (MAL)
  • Daalimb (MAR)
  • Dadima (SAN)
  • Maadhulai (TAM)

It is a small thorny tree with narrow elliptic leaves which are shed during winters. The tree bears large, scarlet red tubular flowers and round fruits with woody rind. The fruit contains numerous seeds wrapped in rose-coloured, juicy, edible aril.

Distribution:This species is native of Persia and Turkestan. In India, it is cultivated in Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu (Nilgiris).

How to Grow: Daalimbe is a widely cultivated plant and its fruits are readily available in the market. However, since its flowers are also used for primary health care, it is worthwhile to allocate space for this plant in the backyard. At least one plant, grown in the ground, is needed for the home herbal garden. A fully-grown tree may require about 4 sq. m space. It also makes a good and attractive pot plant but from medicinal use point of view, it may not serve the purpose.

Care regime:The plant needs only occasional watering.


Parts Used:Flower buds, fruit and fruit-rind.

amala ( Phyllanthus emblica )

  • amla (HIN)
  • nellikai (KAN)
  • nellikai (MAL)
  • Aavla (MAR)
  • amala (SAN)
  • nelli (TAM)

Decidious tree with lanky branches and tamarind like small leaves. Fruits are profuse shiny green and fleshy outside and hard inside. Seeds are hard trigonous black.

Distribution:This species is paleotropical in its distribution occurring in the Indo-Malesia belt, SriLanka and South China. Within India, it is reported to be abundant in the deciduous forests of Madhya Pradesh and widely cultivated in the plains of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim, Bhutan, Assam and Western Ghats.

How to Grow: From seeds and through grafted seedlings. one year old seedlings are planted in rows with adequate spacing.

Parts Used:Fruits are rich source of vitamin. An ingredient in many formulations.

Guduchi, Amrita ( Tinospora cordifolia )

  • Giloya (HIN)
  • Amrithaballi (KAN)
  • Amrytu (MAL)
  • Gulbel (MAR)
  • Guduchi, Amrita (SAN)
  • Seenthil (TAM)

It is a large, week-stemmed climber and needs support to grow. Stems have numerous small eruptions. The bark is papery and peels off in thin flakes. Leaves are heart shaped. Wiry aerial roots are often seen dangling from the shoots. The plant comes to bloom during summer. Flowers are small and male and female flowers appear separately. Fruits are round, pea sized and on maturity turn attractive red.

Distribution:This species is distributed from India to Australia. It is found throughout India in hotter parts; often planted along roadsides.

How to Grow: In the wild this plant is often encountered growing on trees and hedges. For home herbal garden, one plant in the ground or in a pot of 25-30 cm size is adequate. This plant can be trained around pillars or along fences.

Care regime:This climber grows well with even little moisture availability and hence needs only light watering once every two to three days. Under optimum growth conditions, this climber spreads quickly and has to be kept under control by properly trimming and training it


Parts Used:Stems

Ashvagandha( Withania somnifera )

  • Asgandh (HIN)
  • Ashwagandha (KAN)
  • Amukkuram (MAL)
  • Ashwagandha (MAR)
  • Ashvagandha (SAN)
  • Amukkara (TAM)

It is an erect, wooly hairy, branched shrub with dull green leaves. It bears small greenish-cream flowers and smooth, rounded, orange-red berries enclosed in papery sheath. It grows wild in all drier parts and sub-tropical India

Distribution:This species is globally distributed from Africa to Asia. Within India, it commonly occurs in North India, ascending to an altitude of 1500 m. in the Himalayas, and throughout South India along water streams and along walls of water bodies. It is sometimes cultivated in gardens for its flowers.(EXIM).

How to Grow: One nursery-raised seedling planted directly in the ground or in a pot of 25-30 cm size is adequate for one family. A fully-grown plant may occupy an area of about 1 sq. m. Plant can also be raised through seeds sown directly in pot or bed.

Care regime:When grown in the backyard, this plant doesn't need much caring while occasional watering is sufficient for its growth. However, when grown in pot, a watering frequency of twice a week is necessary. A new plant needs to be planted after every root harvest.


Parts Used:Leaves and roots.

jirakam( Cuminum cyminum L. )

  • jira (HIN)
  • jeerigay, jirage (KAN)
  • jeerakam, jirakam(MAL)
  • jeera, jiregire(MAR)
  • jirakaha, jirakam(SAN)
  • jirakam, shiragam(TAM)

An erect aromatic herb. The leaves are highly dissected. Flowers whitish-red on a compound umbel (arrangement of flowers looks like an umbrella). The fruit is an elongated, oval shaped schizocarp (an aggregate fruiting body which doesnt break open naturally and has two single seeded units called mericarps). The fruits are similar to fennel or saunf seeds. Seeds when chewed has bitter and pungent taste. It is largely cultivated.

Distribution:This species is globally distributed across South-Eastern Europe and North Africa bordering the Mediterranean Sea, India and China. In India it is cultivated throughout the country.

How to Grow:Seeds are sown in early spring in individual pots in a greenhouse. Grow the plants on fast, and plant them out after the last expected frosts. Give the plants some temporary protection such as a cloche for their first few weeks in the open ground to make sure that they keep on growing in the cooler weather of early summer [K].

Care regime:Sowing the seeds are done during spring or early autumn in situ. The autumn sowing might not be successful in harsh winters. Plants can be transplanted if necessary.


Parts Used:Seeds.

aneshta(Curcuma longa Linn.)

  • haldi(HIN)
  • arasina, arishina(KAN)
  • manjal(MAL)
  • halad, halede (MAR)
  • aneshta,haridra(SAN)
  • mancal, manjal(TAM)

Common to our kitchens, this species is native to Mediterranean, wild in Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia and Greece. Within India, it is cultivated as a subsidiary crop in the black soils of Deccan and South India and in the rich silt loams of North India. This species is a native of southern Asia (probably India) and is cultivated extensively throughout the warmer parts of the world. It is grown on a large scale in India, China and East Indies. It is cultivated almost throughout India, particularly in Punjab, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Distribution:This species is distributed across Eastern India, cultivated in Northern and Western India; distributed South pacific and other tropical areas, Arunachal Pradesh, cultivated throughout tropics. Indigenous in Bihar 4000-5000 ft.

How to Grow:Soil rich in humus which is sandy in nature is ideal for growing turmeric. The mother rhizome is cured by covering it with sand during hot summer and planting is usually done in June. Each germinating rhizome is planted at a spacing or 1 to 1.5 feet and covered with soil. Watering is done regularly. Harvesting is done when leaves start turning yellow in colour and is done by digging the root stalks up.

Care regime:Avoid water stagnation as it will affect the rhizomes and care should be taken during after cultivation practises as to not harm the rhizomes.


Parts Used:Tuber, Rhizome.

Haritaki(Terminalia chebula RETZ.)

  • balhar, hana, harara(HIN)
  • alale, alate-huvru, hirade(KAN)
  • kadukkai(MAL)
  • abhaya, haritaki(SAN)
  • mancal, manjal(TAM)
  • halad, halede (Telugu)

Trees ca 15 m tall. Bark dark brown, exfoliating into irregular woody scales and presence of pair of large glands at the top of the leafstalk it is identified. Leaves pubescent, ovate-oblong, rounded at base, obtuse at apex. Flowers greenish-white, fragrant in terminal spikes. Fruits greenish-yellow, ovoid. Stone is very thick, bony, rough, grooved with gum vessels on the wall.

Distribution:This species is globally distributed across Indo-Malaysian region and SriLanka. Within India it is distributed in the sub-Himalayan tracts to West Bengal and Assam. In southern India it is found in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

How to Grow:It can be propagated both by seeds as well as vegetative means. 1.Seed Propagation: Greenish white flowers appear in spikes from April-June. Ripen fruits are seen between January-March. Fruits when they turn yellow should be collected. Seeds are dried in the shade and stored in gunny bags for a year. As a pretreatment, freshly fallen ripe fruits are collected and allowed to ferment in cowdung slurry for two weeks or more, until the seeds show signs of germination. Seeds may also be depulped as soon as the fruits are collected and soaked in tepid water for 4 to 6 days. Seeds are either sown in nursery beds in March-April or directly sown in the field in June-July. Seeds are sown in nursery beds in lines 20 cm apart and 5 cm within lines. For direct sowing, seeds are dibbled at 1 m apart and covered with soil about 1 to 1.5 cm thick. Seeds take 10 to 30 days to germinate and about 60 percent seeds germinate. 3 to 5 cm tall seedlings are transplanted into polybags. 2.Vegetative Propagation: Through stumps: The plant can be propagated through stump planting for which 12 to 15 month old plants provide satisfactory planting material.

Care regime:Transplanting in case of nursery raised seedlings or saplings is done in June-July when the plants are about one year old. Transplanting of seedlings or planting stumps is done in pits of 45 cm3 or crow-bar holes at a spacing of 10 x 10 m after the start of the rains. About 18 percent of the transplants establish. Regular weeding and watering is necessary.


Parts Used:Fruits.

Vibhitaki(Terminalia bellerica ROXB.)

  • baheda, bahera, vibhitaka (HIN)
  • behara, santikayi, Vibhitaka (KAN)
  • tani, tannikai(MAL)
  • baheda (MAR)
  • aksa, bibhitaki, vibhitaka(SAN)
  • akkam, thani, kalanturi(TAM)
  • bhutavasamu tadi, kattu-olupoe(Telugu)

A lofty tree often with butteresses. Bark smooth, yellowish-brown with shallow vertical fissures. Branches monopodial. Leaves crowded towards the tips of branchlets, alternate, broadly elliptic to obovate, obtuse, thick, coriaceous, glabrous. Flowers greenish yellow, sessile on slender axillary short pedunculate spikes. Fruits (Drupes) fleshy, obovoid or subglobose with grey-velvetty wooly hairs and a hard thick wall. 1 seeded and surrounded by a green tissue.

Distribution:This species is distributed in the Indo-Malesian region, SriLanka and Indo-China. Within India it is found throughout the plains and in the lower hills in Arunachal Pradesh and in the Western Ghats of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

How to Grow:It can be propagated both by seeds as well as vegetative means. 1.Seed Propagation Light green or white flowers with a strong odour of honey appear between April-June. Fruits ripen between November to February. Fruits are collected from healthy trees, depulped and seeds are dried in sun and stored. Seeds are viable for a year but their germination percent will be reduced to 40 or 50 percent. Seeds are soaked in water for 24 hours for better germination. Fermentation or cowdung slurry treatment for two weeks or more until the seeds show sprouting is also recommended. As a pretreatment, immersion in hot water (80 to 100C), and then allowing it to cool followed by soaking for 24 hours is also employed. Seeds are sown in March-April in nursery or in June-July in the field, directly. In nursery sowing, soaked seeds are sown in lines spaced at 20 cm and 5 cm apart within lines. For direct sowing, seeds are dibbled at 1 m apart and covered with soil about 1 to 1.5 cm deep. Germination takes about 10 to 40 days and 65 to 70 percent seeds germinate. When seedlings are 3 to 5 cm tall they are shifted to polybags. 2.Vegetative Propagation Through stumps: The plant can be propagated through stump planting. For this purpose, 12 to 15 months old plants provide satisfactory stumps. They can be planted in pits or crow-bar holes after the start of the rains. Care regime:Transplanting in case of nursery raised seedlings or saplings is done in June-July when the plants are about 3 to 4 months old. About 52 percent plants successfully establish. Regular weeding and watering is necessary. When seedlings are 3 to 5 cm tall they are shifted to polybags.


Parts Used:Fruit, seed.

Kutaja(Holarrhena antidysenterica (ROTH.) A.DC.)

  • dhudi hat, karchi, kari, kaura, kaureya(HIN)
  • hale hirekodasige kodasige, kodamurike(KAN)
  • kaipakotakap-pala-vitta, kotakappala(MAL)
  • kuda(MAR)
  • kalinga, kautaja(SAN)
  • indrabam, kalingam(TAM)
  • amkudu, Chittipala, Indra, Kakakodisha (Telugu)

A large to small sized deciduous tree, yielding milky latex. The stem bark is grayish-brown and rough. The stem is white and soft. The leaves are simple, large, arranged opposite to each other, oval shaped, papery, and smooth or hairy. The flowers are white, small and arranged in a cluster which looks like flattened top. The petals are salver shaped and overlap towards right side. The fruits are long follicles, which look like two slender pencils arising from a node. The follicles have white warty spots on the surface. Dried fruits breaks open releasing numerous flat seeds with brown hairs. The hairs are short lived.

Distribution: India: Occurring almost throughout India above 700 m.Global:Occurs in India, Myanmar (earlier known as Burma) and S.E. Asia to Australia, Sri Lanka.

How to Grow: Seed Propagation: Fresh seeds are tied in cotton bag and soaked in cold water for 24 hours. These pre-treated seeds are sown in polybags and transplanted after one year in the field. Pits measuring 30cubic cm and spaced 6 x 6 m apart is appropriate. Germination takes about 7-10 days with 80 percent germination.

Parts Used:Bark, seed, flowers, seeds

Yastimadhu(Glycyrrhiza glabra L.)

  • mulathee, mulhatti(HIN)
  • jestamaddu, yashtimaduka(KAN)
  • atimadhuram, erattimadhuram, yashtimadhukam(MAL)
  • jashtimadh, jeshtamadha(MAR)
  • madhu-yashtikam, madhuka, yastika, yastimadhu(SAN)
  • adimaduram, yastimatukam(TAM)
  • athimathuram, yashti-madhukam(Telugu)

It is a hardy herb or undershrub ca 6 ft. Leaves multifoliolate, imparipinnate. Flowers in axillary spikes, papilionaceous, lavender to violet in colour. Pods compressed. Seeds reniform.

Distribution: This species is distributed from Mediteranean region to Central Asia. It is imported into India from Asia Minor, Iraq, Persia and other Central Asian countries.

How to Grow: Seed Propagation:Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow spring or autumn in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, and grow them on for their first winter in a greenhouse. Plant out in late spring or early summer when in active growth. Plants are rather slow to grow from seed.Division of the root in spring or autumn. Each division must have at least one growth bud. Autumn divisions can either be replanted immediately or stored in clamps until the spring and then be planted out. It is best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a cold frame until they are established before planting them out in the spring or summer.

Parts Used:root

Nimba(Azadirachta indica A. JUSS. )

  • nimb, neem (HIN)
  • bevina-mara, bevu, kahibevu(KAN)
  • aryaveppu, arytikta, kaippanveppu, nimbam(MAL)
  • nimbay, limba(MAR)
  • arista, nimba(SAN)
  • vembu, nim(TAM)
  • nimbamu, Vapa(Telugu)

A medium to large sized tree, 15-20 m in height, with a clear bole of 7 m having greyish to dark grey tubercled bark. This tree is identified by its imparipinnate shining deeply serrate leaves. Leaves compound, imparipinnate, leaflets sub-opposite, very oblique at base. Flowers cream or yellowish white in axillary panicles, elongate. Fruits (Drupes) one-seeded, 1 to 2 cm long with woody endocarp, greenish yellow when ripe. Seeds ellipsoid, cotyledons thick, fleshy and oily.

Distribution: This species is believed to be native of India and Myanmar (earlier Burma). It occurs practically all over India from arid to moist tropics, but common in drier parts and deciduous forests. It is cultivated and naturalised throughout tropical Asia and Africa including India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh SriLanka, Malesia and China.

How to Grow:It can be propagated using seedsSeed PropagationScented white flowers appear in abundance on axillary spikes during March-April. Fruits ripen from June to August. Fruits when fully ripe are collected or even swept from the floor of the trees. The pulp is washed off; seeds dried in shade and kept in airtight containers. Seeds have a short viability of about two weeks. For obtaining higher germination, seeds are soaked for 24 hours in cold water and the endocarp is removed or the seed coat at the round end is cut off with a sharp knife. Depulped seeds should be sown in nursery beds made of fine river sand preferably, in lines 15 to 20 cm apart and seeds 2.5 to 5 cm apart, at a depth of 1 to 2 cm and is lightly covered by the soil, the beds are sparingly watered to prevent caking. Germination takes about one to two weeks and 70 to 90 percent seeds germinate.

Care regime:Seedlings about 7 to 10 cm tall with taproot of about 15 cm long are transplanted into polybags. Field planting is done after 1 to 2 years at a spacing of 4.5 to 5.5 m. They are usually watered once in a while during summer months for the first 5 to 6 years.


Parts Used:All parts

bhringaraja(Eclipta alba HASSK.)

  • babri, bhangra, mochkand (HIN)
  • garagadasappu, kadiggagaraga (KAN)
  • bangra, bhringuraja, maka(MAR)
  • bhringaraja, markava(SAN)
  • karippan, kaikeci, kaiyan, kaiyantakara(TAM)
  • galagara, guntakalaagara(Telugu)

Erect or diffuse, pubescent, perennial herb much branched with ascending branches with rooted nodes. Stem and leaves sparsely strigose with bulbous basal hairs on both sides. Leaves opposite, elliptic or oblong-lanceolate, serrate, sub-sessile; leaves of erect plants much larger. Flowers white in heads, solitary, rayed, heterogamous. Achenes black; pappus scales dentate.

Distribution: A pantropical species found in Indonesia, SriLanka, India, Philippines, Nepal, Laos, Kampuchea, Pakistan, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Myanmar (earlier Burma). It is distributed throughout India at all elevations.
Agroclimatic Requirements:It is a shade loving plant which prefers damp to wet soil. Grows on clayey soil. Red loamy soils rich in organic matter are best for its growth. It grows well in areas with temperature ranging from 10 to 15C. It comes up well in tropical, sub-tropical and temperate regions.

How to Grow:It can be propagated both by seeds as well as vegetative means.
1.Seed Propagation:Seeds should be collected from mature plants during August-December and are generally sown in Spring. Seeds are soaked in water for 24 hours and sown in raised beds during rainy season since water logging is injurious to the seedlings. In other seasons, seeds can also be sown in sunken beds. Germination takes 6 to 7 days and 80 to 90 percent seeds germinate.2.Vegetative Propagation: a) Through cuttings: Terminal cuttings with 5 to 6 nodes and 10 to 15 cm length are planted in well prepared nursery beds or polythene bags. Rooting takes place in 4 to 6 weeks time.b) Through root suckers: Root suckers are planted in small pits, then covered with loose soil and left to sprout.

Care regime:The seedlings are transplanted when they have four leaves. Adequate watering is essential but excess watering should be avoided.


Parts Used:Whole plant

Adraka (Zingiber officinale ROSC.)

  • adrak(HIN)
  • Alla, Ardraka, Hasishunthi (KAN)
  • Ala(MAR)
  • Ardraka,Sunthi (SAN)
  • cukku, inci, verkkompu, allam(TAM)
  • Allam, Allamu, Allumu, Ardrakamu(Telugu)

A slender, perennial herbaceous underground rhizome, ca 2 m high. Rhizomes much branched resembling in shape of an irregular hand with fingers having circular scars all along their length with small scales adhering to them. Leaves sheathing, alternate, linear-lanceolate, 15 x 1.5 cm, gradually acuminate and glabrous. Flowers yellow with dark purplish spots, numerous, trimerous, bisexual, irregular borne on a spike produced in a peduncle different from the aerial leafy stem arising directly from the rhizome; spike condensed, oblong, cylindric with numerous bracts those are imbricate, persistent and each carrying a single flower. Capsules oblong. Seeds glabrous, arillate and perispermous.

Distribution: India: This species is extensively cultivated in many places all over the world. It is cultivated throughout the tropical parts of the country. Native country unknown. It is commonly cultivated for its rhizomes and also found cultivated in Delhi, Manipur, Nilgiri, Sikkim, Bhopal, Tripura and Indore.It is often Cultivated throughout the tropical part of the country.
Global:Widely cultivated in tropical Asia.

How to Grow:
Vegetative Propagation:Rhizomes are cut into 2.5-5.0cm long pieces with one or two buds. Each piece is planted at a spacing of 20-25 cm along the rows. 20-25 cm distance is give between the rows. Best time for propagation is May.

Parts Used:Rhizome

maricha(Piper nigrum L.)

  • chocamirch, gol-mirch, golmirch, gulmirch(HIN)
  • menasinaballi, menasinakalu, menasu, miri (KAN)
  • cattu-molagoi, kolakam, kuru-milagu,kurumulaku(MAL)
  • kalamiri, kalimirch, mire (MAR)
  • cavyam,kola,maricha(SAN)
  • aguttam, arisu, irambivam, kallinai, kandanaguli(TAM)
  • marichamu, miremu, miriyalatige, miriyalu(Telugu)

A stout glabrous climbing shrub. Rooting at the nodes. Branches cylindrical, broken at nodes. Leaves alternate, small and cordate-ovate, apex acuminate, margin entire. Male, female and bisexual flowers are seen in separate spikes. The flowering spikes cylindrical, pendulous, greenish yellow. Berries ovoid-globose, green turning red to black when ripe. Seeds usually globose, testa thin.

Distribution:This species is believed to be a native of the hills of South-Western India. It is extensively cultivated in the hot and moist parts of India, SriLanka and several tropical countries. Its presence in the wild is currently seen in the Western Ghats of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

How to Grow:It can be propagated by vegetative means.
1.Vegetative Propagation: a) Through cuttings: In February-March, runner shoots are selected from the base of the mother plant and separated. The middle or third portion of the runner shoots are preferred for planting while the very tender and hard portions of the shoots should be avoided. Shoots are cut into pieces of 2 to 3 nodes, leaves are clipped off leaving a small portion of the petiole on the stem. The lower end of the cuttings are dipped in 1000 ppm of IBA for 45 seconds.
The treated cuttings are planted in nursery beds or preferrably in polythene bags with a potting mixture of two parts of fertile top soil, one part of river sand and one cartload of well rotten cattle manure. Cuttings should be planted at least one node deep in the soil and should be kept under good shade. Sprouting percent is 80 to 90 percent.

Care regime:Live standards like Erythrina indica, Alstonia scholaris, Garuga pinnata, Tamarindus indica, Terminalia catappa, Tectona grandis etc., should be planted for support in April-May with the onset of premonsoon showers. They are planted on the edge of the pits ( 0.5 m3 ) prepared for pepper. Two to three rooted cuttings per standard are planted in June-July, 30 cm away from the base of the standard, at a spacing of 2.5 x 2.5 m between the standards. .


Parts Used:Seeds

draksa(Vitis vinifera L.)

  • angur, dak, dakh, drakh (HIN)
  • angura, draksa, draksha, drakshe (KAN)
  • draksha (MAR)
  • amrtaphala,charuphala, dakha, draksa(SAN)
  • gostanidraksha, kodimundirigai, kottani, kottanigai(TAM)
  • draksa, draksha, draksha-pandu(Telugu)

A deciduous bushy shrub or weak stemmed plant that trails over a support. Stems short, twisted, brown with cracked bark which is scaly. Leaves lobed, green and long petaloid. Flowers polyamo-dioecious; calyx 4 or 5 lobed, free or cohering at the top and falling of as a cup. Berries pulpy, oval or oblong, cluster long; greenish yellow in colour, sweet and fragrant with thick or thin skin. Seeds pyriform with contracted beak like base, 1-4 in each fruit.

Distribution: : This species is distributed in the temperate and sub-tropical regions, chiefly of the northern hemisphere. Within India, it is cultivated extensively in north western India and also in the Peninsula. It is said to be wild in the north-western.

How to Grow:It can be propagated both by seeds as well as vegetative means.
1.Seed Propagation: Seed are best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe [K]. Six weeks cold stratification improves the germination rate, and so stored seed is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is obtained. Germination should take place in the first spring, but sometimes takes another 12 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant out in early summer.2.Vegetative Propagation: a) Through cuttings: 23-46 cm long pencil thick cuttings are obtained from mature and healthy canes at the time of pruning. This is planted in the bed for rooting. Treatment of cuttings with Indole Butyric Acid (IBA) helps in better root & shoot growth. It can also be propagated through budding and grafting.

Parts Used:fruits

Jatila(Sesamum indicum L.)

  • bariktel, gingli, mitha-tel (HIN)
  • achchellu, ellu, uruellu (KAN)
  • car-elu, chitrallu, ellu, karellu(MAL)
  • til, tila, zilechatil (MAR)
  • asitatila, homadhanya, jatila,tila(SAN)
  • eellu-cceti, ellu, nuvvulu, el(TAM)
  • guvvulu, nuvvu, nuvvulu(Telugu)

An erect, pubescent annual herb ca 75 cm tall. Stems terete below, 4-gonous above, puberulous. Leaves opposite below, alternate above, elliptic to lanceolate, ca 12 x 6 cm, chartaceous, margin lobed or serrate, attenuate at base, equal or oblique; leafstalk ca 7 cm. Flowers pink or white, calyx-lobes 5, persistent; corolla ca 2.5 x 1.8 cm across; tube ca 2.5 cm; lobes ca 1.5 cm. Disc yellow. Capsules oblong, bilateral, ca 2 x 0.8 cm, apically beaked. Seeds many, compressed, reticulate on sides, brown or black. It is also cultivated throughout the plains of India as a spice (Til) .

Distribution: : This species is native of parts Africa and India. It is globally distributed across Tropics of Asia, Africa and Australia. It cultivated throughout the warmer parts of India across Tamil Nadu, Manipur; it is cultivated as Kharif crop in Himachal Pradesh.

How to Grow:Seed Propagation: Seeds are sown early spring in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out after the last expected frosts. Give them the protection of a cloche until they are growing away well [K]. In warm temperate zones, where frosts are very rare and light, or non-existent, the seed can be sown in situ in the spring or the autumn.

Parts Used:Seeds yield oil (Sesame oil)

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