Must have medicinal plants for home gardens in Kashmir valley

All these plants bear attractive flowers besides having medicinal value
Must have medicinal plants for home gardens in Kashmir valley
Representational Photo File: GK

Bestowed with temperate climate, 20 medicinal plants which grow very well in Kashmir environment are presented briefly that every house hold must have to grow for many reasons.

The plants can be grown in flower beds as well as in containers. All these plants bear attractive flowers besides having medicinal value.

BY S. A. GANGOO, A. R. MALIK, P. ISHTIAK, A. SINGH, P.A RESHI

1. (Lavander) Lavendula augustifolia: Lavenders are perennial bushy shrubs 50-80 cm tall with attractive flowers. The flowers are of violet–blue to purple shade. Essential oil obtained from the flowers combats halitosis, is antiseptic, antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative, cholagogue, diuretic, nerving, sedative, stimulative, stomachic and tonic. It is rich in linalyl acetate and linalool and further aroma components are β-ocimene, cineol, and caryophyllene epoxide, even coumarin are present.

2. Thymus serphyllum (Javend) : Wild thyme is a perennial shrub aerial parts of which are used in treating illnesses related to the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems.. Thyme essential oil has an ever-growing number of uses in contemporary medicine due to its pharmacological properties: anti- oxidative, antimicrobial, and anti-carcinogenic activities.

3. Valerianajatamensi (Mushakbala): is a small, perennial, pubescent herb, roots of which produce volatile oil. The herb is used for treatment of habitual constipation, insomnia, epilepsy, neurosis, anxiety, diuretic, hepato-protective, analgesic, and cytotoxic, antispasmodic, anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory, Palpitation of heart and an intestinal tonic.

4. Bergenia ciliateis (Phanad) : is a rhizomatic herb with fleshy leaves, used in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, but it is well known for the treatment of kidney disorders particularly kidney stones. It is also reported to possess high antifungal, antiviral, anti plasmodial and antibacterial activities. It has good antioxidan t,anti-inflammatory, anti-tussive, anti-ulcer and anti-neoplastic activities.

5.Bistortaamplexicaulis (Mecharan) : is commonly known as mountain fleece or red bistort, typically grows in a dense leafy mound to 3-4’ (infrequently to 6’) tall and as wide. Leaves are used as a vegetable. Rhizome is used as a medicinal product. It is also used for making tea which is very effective in flue, fever and joints. The rhizome is applied on sores and wounds. The root is also given with the milk to women to check excess bleeding during menstruation period. Also used for dysentery cough and tonic.

6. Origanum vulgare (Van Babber): The herb is internally and externally used as a fomentation to treat skin irritations and infections, dropsy, and convulsions and as an excellent poison antidote. It gives a slightly bitter flavor to poultry, fish, sauces, eggs, and other dishes. This dried herb is also used in processed foods. It is also used as a fragrance component in perfumes, detergents, cosmetics, flavorings, soap, and pharmaceuticals. Oregano has also been used in the treatment of cancer, muscular degeneration, and heart disease. Oregano taken as a tea or used as a salve inhibits bacterial growth and parasitic microorganisms. The herbal tea also helps to alleviate headaches, urinary problems, diarrhea, nausea, lung disorders, vomiting, and jaundice and is used as a mouthwash to help with tooth infections and sore throat. Oregano is a great cold and flu remedy and aids in the treatment of indigestion, bloating, flatulence, and menstrual symptoms.

7. Peganumhermala (Isband): is an important medicinal plant with antibacterial, antifungal, and monoamine oxidase inhibition properties. Its seeds possess hypothermic and hallucinogenic effects. It has been traditionally used as an abortifacient agent. .In traditional medicine, the seeds of this plant were used as powder, decoction, maceration, or infusion for fever, diarrhea, abortion, and subcutaneous tumors and is widely used as a remedy for various health conditions such as rheumatic pain, painful joint and intestinal pain. The plant is also used for treatment of asthma, jaundice, lumbago, and many other human ailments.

8. Calendula officinalis (Hamashbahar): Beloved herb, earning our affection with its cheerful golden flowers. The petals are edible and the whole flower is an important medicinal herb in treating skin conditions. The inflorescences are yellow. It is widely propagated by seeds. Calendula extracts have anti-viral, anti-genotoxic, anti-inflammatory properties, methanol antibacterial activity. The flower oil and salves are used for healing wounds, rashes, burns, and dry skin.

9. Echinacea purpurea (Cone flower): is known as Purple coneflower and is one of the most popular garden ornamentals, growing in most garden soils. Effective in the treatment of common cold, respiratory infections.

10. Ocimumbasilicum (Babreboul): is easy to grow from seed. The seeds when soaked in water, the seeds become gelatinous, and are used in Asian drinks and desserts such as faluda, sharbat-e-rihan. In folk medicine practices have therapeutic properties. It is highly aromatic and antimicrobial; the leaves and flowers are used as a medicinal tea for colds, coughs, asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, headaches, arthritis, diabetes, stress, and anxiety.

11. Inularacemose (Poshkarmool): is one such herb explained in Ayurveda, treats respiratory discomfort, cough and chest pain. It also relieves stress and has anti allergic properties as well. The roots are widely used locally in indigenous medicine as an expectorant and in veterinary medicine as a tonic. The aqueous extract of the fresh or dry roots is given orally in rheumatic pains and liver problems. ‘Pushkarguggulu’ is a popular anti obesity, hypolipidemic indicated in cardiac ailments.

12. Menthaarvensis (Pudina): In ayurveda, Pudina is considered as appetizer and useful in gastric troubles. It is traditionally used to treat flatulence, digestive problems, gall bladder problems and coughs. The oil is extracted and rubbed into the skin for aches and pains. Menthol extracted is widely used in dental care as a topical antibacterial agent, effective against streptococci and lactobacilli. Menthol is also commonly used in pharmaceutical and oral preparations like toothpastes, dental creams, beverages and tobacco.

13. Acroruscalamus (VaiGunder): Known as sweet flag & "rat root", has a very long history of medicinal use in Chinese and Indian herbal traditions. Leaves, stems and roots are used in various Siddha and Ayurvedic medicines. Sweet flag is one of the most widely and frequently used herbal medicines. Its aroma makes calamus essential oil valued in the perfume industry. The alcoholic extract of A. calamus rhizome exhibited potent antiviral activity against herpes viruses.

14. Artemisia absinthum (Tethwan): is grown as an ornamental plant. As medicine, it is used for dyspepsia, as a bitter to counteract poor appetite, for various infectious diseases. It is also used as an insecticide and an insect repellent.

15. Alcearoseais (Saz-posh): a popular garden ornamental plant. Hollyhock, as it is known, is valuable to cure fever is the way it has antipyretic properties. It is used as herbal tea. Hollyhock as the herbal plant has the anti-inflammatory, bleeding gums, demulcent, diuretic, and emollient. Kidney and womb irritation, moisturize your skin, herbal conditioner and natural hair dye.

16. Prunella vulgarisis (Kalvauth): is edible: the young leaves and stems can be eaten raw in salads; the plant in whole can be boiled and eaten as a potherb; and the aerial parts of the plant can be powdered and brewed in a cold infusion to make a beverage. Topically, a poultice of the plant is applied to irritated skin. The extract of the plant are used for disinfecting, fevers, HIV viruses, allergic responses and has anti-inflammation effects.

17. Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary): is used as a decorative plant in gardens. The herb not only tastes good in culinary dishes, such as rosemary chicken and lamb, but it is also a good source of iron, calcium, and vitamin B-6. It alleviate muscle pain, improve memory, boost the immune and circulatory system, and promote hair growth.

18. Viola odorata (Banafsha): commonly called as “sweet violet”. since golden times for treating several diseases both in Unani and in Ayurvedic systems of medicine and it has been proven as, sedative, diuretic, anti-asthmatic, laxative, anti-dyslipidemic, antihypertensive, antibacterial, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antipyretic, hepatoprotective, anticancer, cytotoxic, anti-tubercular, and antifungal properties. It is used as a single drug or as an ingredient in various formulations viz. syrup, decoction, infusion, confection, semisolid preparations, oil and pill.

19. Iris ensata (Krishim): is cultivated as an ornamental plant in temperate regions of world. It is used as antispasmodic, emetic, haemostasis and laxative agents. The rhizomes are used as aperient, blood purifier, diuretic, and stimulant to treat gall bladder, venereal diseases and cancer. Because of the violet-like scent of their flowers Iris species also used in the perfume and cosmetic industries. The phytochemicals isolated from Iris species possess antibacterial, anticancer, anticholinesterase, antihelmintic, antiinfammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiplasmodial, antituberculosis, antiulcer, cytotoxic, free radical scavenging hepatoprotective, hypolipidemic, immunomodulatory, molluscicidal and pesticidal activities.

20. Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari): commonly known as Satawar, Satamuli, Satavariis. The roots are said to be tonic and diuretic and galactgogue, has ulcer healing effect. It has also been identified as one of the drugs to control the symotoms of AIDS. A. racemosus has also been successfully used by some Ayurvedic practitioner for nervous disorder, inflammation and certain infectious disease. In Ayurveda, this amazing herb is known as the “Queen of herbs

Note: The detailed information and technical guidance to grow the medicinal plants by any entrepreneur/ household can be collected from the Prof. S. A. Gangoo, HoD, Forest Products & Utilization, Faculty of Forestry, (Benhama, Ganderbal), SKUAST-K.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.