10 Best Medicinal Plants and Their Benefits To Our Body

In this article, we have listed 10 best medicinal plants in India which are widely used in traditional ayurvedic medications.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  22 Jan 2021 10:32 AM GMT
Medicinal Plants Benefits

With a rising number of people switching from allopathy to plant-based medication, there is a sudden surge in demand for medicinal plants. Herbal remedies are not only effective in treating many diseases but also free from major side effects.There are over 50000 species of plants currently used across the world for various medicinal and therapeutic purposes. Out of these, traditional Ayurveda practitioners use around five to seven thousand plants to cure different ailments.

In this article, we shall learn about Top 10 Medicinal Plants in India which are used in a majority of medications.

Top 10 Medicinal Plants Used in Ayurveda:

Here is a list of 10 plants that are widely used in preparing traditional herbal medications:

1. Ashwagandha:

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

2. Gotu Kola:

Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) is a popular medicinal plant used in many traditional Indian and Chinese herbal medications. It belongs to the Parsely 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, flus, memory loss, varicose veins and skin issues. It also works as an aphrodisiac to treat many sexual problems.

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 like enhancing memory, controlling anxiety problems, treating insomnia and superior nourishment to hair. There are also claims 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 resemble sunflowers. Although it is a toxic herb, highly diluted Arnica extracts are used in ayurvedic and homeopathic medicines for their anti-inflammatory properties. Apart from treating painful joint inflammatory conditions like arthritis, Arnica is also used in Homeopathy to treat internal blood clots. It is administered to the patients in the form of a diluted tincture or topical gel.

5. Noni:

Noni (Morinda Citrifolia) is a fruit native to Southeast Asia, but cultivated widely in many tropical countries. It belongs to the coffee tree family and also called the "famine fruit", because of its availability even in adverse weather conditions. Noni is commercially sold in the form of juice to promote good heart health, treat diabetes, arthiritis etc. Drinking Noni juice regularly is known to strengthen our immune system and minimize lung damage caused due to smoking.

6. Neem:

Neem (Azadirachta Indica) is a medicinal tree native to India and other Asian countries. It is also called Sarva Roga Nivarani or the healer of all ailments as per Ayurveda. Every part of this tree, including the fruits, leaves, flowers and bark are used in various medicinal preparations. Neem exhibits powerful antimicrobial properties which can destroy even the toughest of pathogens like bacteria and virus. 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 plant are bright yellow in color due to a compound called Curcumin. Dried turmeric, the most commonly used form of this plant is made by boiling and drying the roots before pounding them. Turmeric is used for treating skin problems, fighting flus, infections and even aiding in faster wound healing because of its antiseptic properties. Studies on its anti-cancer properties are also in progress.

8. Tulsi:

Tulsi (Ocimum Sanctum) is a common medicinal plant grown in most Indian households. Also called the Holy Basil, Tulsi is an aromatic herb that is considered as an earthly manifestation of the divine power.Tulsi offers numerous benefits to our health, which range from boosting our immune system to aiding in digestion, treating sore throats and colds and promoting good skin health. It is also called the "Queen of Herbs" and taken in the form of fresh or dry leaves, powder and pills.

9. Licorice:

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza Glabra) is one of the oldest known medicinal plants to mankin. The root of this plant produces a sweet and aromatic flavour used in culinary and dietary products. Licorice is a rich source of many active plant compounds like glycyrrhizin that offers many health benefits. The compound is known to have strong antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory properties which can treat a number of infections, skin problems, 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 the Indian Gooseberry. The fruits of this plant contains more amount of Vitamin C compared to other citrus fruits like oranges, making it one of the best natural immune booster. Amla juice can treat gastrointestinal problems, reduce cholesterol and even control blood sugar levels. It is an excellent detox drink to cleanse and support better functioning of the system. Amla can also aid in weight loss, treat hair and skin problems.

Those are some of the best medicinal plants used in India. You can either grow them at home or buy their by-products in the form of pills, juice, herbal blends etc., from any local ayurvedic store. Also, if you are planning to use them, do check with a concerned doctor beforehand to avoid unwanted side effects.
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