Much of Keralas notablebiodiversity is concentrated andprotected in the Western Ghats.Almost one fourth of Indias 10,000plant species are found in thestate. Among the almost4,000 flowering plant species(1,272 of which are endemic toKerala and 159 threatened) are900 species of medicinal plants.
Karimanjal (Black Turmeric) (Curcuma caesia)Common Names : Hindi: Kali Haldi, Malayalam:KarimanjalBotanical Name : Curcuma caesiaHow to Identify : The midvein of each kari manjal leaf presents adistinctive dark stripe. The kari manjal rhizome is white to bluein color, rather than golden orange.
TamarindBotanical name :Tamarindus indicaMalayalam name :PulyTamarind is in the family Fabaceae .The tree can grow up to 20 m inheight, and stays evergreen in regions without a dry season. The fruit pulpis edible and popular. It is used as a spice .It is Cathartic, astringent,febrifuge, antiseptic, refrigerant.
AsokaBotanical name :Saraca IndicaMalayalam name : AsokamIt belongs to the legume family and genus Saraca. One of its varieties is avery handsome, small, erect evergreen tree, with deep green foliage. Itsflowers are very fragrant and are bright orange-yellow in color and laterturn red.This medicinal plant is useful in treatment of excessivemenstruation .
BrahmiBotanical name :Bacopa monnieriMalayalam name : BrahmiThe plant is an aquatic creeping perennial herb.The herb is found floatingin the waters of marshes and wetlands .This plant is useful mental diseases,nervous disorders , constipation and as diuretic .This plant is also a bloodpurifier .
GingerBotanical name :Zingiber officinale RoscoeMalayalam name :EnjiGinger is commonly used as a spice in cuisines throughout the world.Ginger is used in all sub-varieties of the Indian cuisines.Ginger is believedto reduce nausea by increasing digestive fluids and absorbing andneutralizing toxins and stomach acid.Ginger also has been shown toreduce the stickiness of blood platelets and may thereby reduce the risk ofatherosclerosis.
KaladanaBotanical name : Ipomoea hederaceaMalayalam name :TaliyariA twining plant indigenous to India. The seeds are about 5 millimeters inlength; and are nearly black in color, except at the micropyle, where theyare brown. In shape they resemble the quarter of an orange, and usuallybear a shallow groove on the dorsal surface. Kaladana is a purgative
MadhucaBotanical name : Madhuca indicaMalayalam name : PoonamMadhuca indica is the botanical name of Madhuka tree which belongs tofamily Sapotaceae.The Honey tree (English name) has many medicinaluses. Almost all parts of this tree are medicinally very important.Thismedicinal plant is useful in diabetes , curing itch , ulcer , cough andbronchitis .
NeemBotanical name :Azadirachta indicaMalayalam name : VepuNeem is a fast growing tree that can reach a height of 15-20 m, rarely to35-40 m.Neem is a source of environment-friendly biopesticides.Thisplant is useful in fever and skin diseases .
ZizyphusBotanical name :Zizyphus mauritianaMalayalam name :Elantha PazhamZiziphus is a tree with thorny branches. With shiny green leaves and small yellowish-green flowers, the tree grows a small fruit that tastes like an apple, and matures to a red-purple-black color and the look of a date.The The fruits of this plant have emollient andexpectorant properties. They are also considered to be cooling and an anodyne and atonic. They are employed as an antidote to aconite poisoning and are recommended innausea and vomiting.
TurmericBotanical name :Curcuma longaMalayalam name : Manjalturmeric is used as a readily available antiseptic for cuts and burns. It istaken in some Asian countries as a dietary supplement, which allegedlyhelps with stomach problems and other ailments. Turmeric is also used inthe formulation of some sunscreens.
SaffronBotanical name :Crocus sativus LMalayalam name : KunkumapooveSaffron a species of crocus in the family Iridaceae. As a medicinal plant,saffron has traditionally been considered an anodyne, antispasmodic,aphrodisiac, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, and sedative.Saffron is reported to contain a poison of the central nervous system andkidneys that can prove fatal .
Sandal woodBotanical name :Santalum albumMalayalam name :ChandanamSandalwood is the fragrant wood of trees in the genus Santalum.Sandalwood essential oil was popular in medicine , mostly as urogenital(internal) and skin (external) antiseptic. Its main component santalol hasantimicrobial property. It is used in aromatherapy
PepperBotanical name :Piper nigrumMalayalam name :KurumulakuPepper is known as the king of spices.pepper is useful in illnesses such asconstipation, diarrhea, earache, gangrene, heart disease, hernia,hoarseness, indigestion, insect bites, insomnia, joint pain, liver problems,lung disease, oral abscesses, sunburn, tooth decay, and toothaches.
PeepalBotanical name :Ficus religiosaMalayalam name :: ArayalDecoction of its bark with honey is good for cure of skin diseases .Its barkis useful in gonorrhoea, ulcer and various other skin diseases. Dried fruitof this tree is useful for asthma.
Sesame Botanical name :Sesamum indicumMalayalam name :ElluIt grows to about 5 feet tall and has interesting bell-shaped flowers and seed pods. sesameseeds and oil is used in in some dishes. Sesame oil is used for massage and healthtreatments of the body. Sesame is supposed to tonify kidney, liver and relax the bowel. Itis used for the treatment of constipation due to hard stools, tinnitus, anaemia, dizzinessand poor vision. Sesame oil is mildly laxative, emollient and demulcent. The seeds andfresh leaves may be used as a poultice.