Sunday, June 7, 2009


Habenaria edgeworthii

Hook. f. ex Collett.

Family Orchidaceae.

Habitat Outer range of Western

Himalayas from Punjab to Kumaon.

Ayurvedic Riddhi. (Tubers of

Eulophia nuda Lindl. and Dioscorea

bulbifera are also used as Riddhi.)

Action Nervine and cardiac tonic.

Habenaria intermedia D. Don.

Family Orchidaceae.

Habitat The Himalayan region.

Found in Ranikhet.

Ayurvedic Riddhi, Vriddhi.

(Substitute: Dioscorea bulbifera.)

Action Nervine and cardiac tonic.

Habenaria acuminata Thw., H.

goodyeroides D. Don., H. griffithii HK.

are also equated with Riddhi, Vriddhi.

Dosage Tuber—– g powder.


Haematoxylon campechianum


Family Caesalpiniaceae, Mimosaceae

Habitat Native to tropical America

and the West Indies. Grown in

Indian gardens.

English Logwood, Peachwood,

Compeachy tree.

Ayurvedic Pattanga, Patraanga,

Bakam (substitute). (Caesalpinia

sappan is also equated with


Unani Buqqam, Bakam-Hindi.

Action Astringent. Used for atonic

dyspepsia, diarrhoea, summer

diarrhoea, dysentery, internal

haemorrhages, menorrhagia,

leucorrhoea. (It imparts red colour

to urine and stool. Incompatible

with chalk or lime-water.)

The wood contains about % haematoxylon,

a red-brown phenolic dye,

tannins, resin and volatile oil.

Haematoxylin exhibited significant

anti-inflammatory activity inthe carrageenan-

induced oedema test.

The seed contains crude protein .,

pentosan ., and water-soluble gum


Haplanthus verticillatus

(Roxb.) Nees.

Family Acanthaceae.

Habitat Hills of Deccan Peninsula

and parts of western and central


Folk Kaalaa-Kirayaat (Maharashtra).

Action Febrifuge, bitter tonic.


302 Hardwickia binata Roxb.

A closely related species, Haplanthus

tentaculatus Nees, is also known

as Kaalaa-Kiryaat. The herb is given in


Hardwickia binata Roxb.

Family Caesalpiniaceae.

Habitat Dry forests of Deccan

Peninsula, Central India and parts

of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Ayurvedic Anjana.

Siddha/Tamil Katudugu, Kodapalai.

Action Balsam—used for sexually

transmitted diseases. The balsam

is similar to Copaiba balsam

(Copaifera langsdorffii Desf.,

Leguminosae) of Brasil and is used

in leucorrhoea, chronic cystitis,

gonorrhoea, combined with cubebs

and sandal. The resin (not the

oleo-resin) is used as diuretic.

The essential oil of H. binata is not

a substitute for Copaiba oil.

The methanolic extract of the heartwood

yields beta-sitosterol, (+)-taxifolin,

eriodictyol, (+)-catechin, (+)-epicatechin

and (+)-mopanol. The phenolic

compounds are said to impart

antibacterial and antifungal property

to the herb.

The bark has a good absorption capacity

for mercury from water.

Hedera helix Linn.

Synonym H. rhombea Sieb. & Zucc.

Family Araliaceae.

Habitat Hills of Tamil Nadu.

Grown in gardens as an ornamental.

English Common Ivy, Bentwood.

Siddha/Tamil Maravalai.

Action Leaf—expectorant, antispasmodic,

antineuralgic, vasoconstrictive.

Fruit—used in jaundice, haemptysis.

Flower—antidysenteric. Leaf

and resin—emmenagogue. Tender

twigs—boiled in butter, used for

sunburn. Extracts are used in some

cosmetic preparations.

Key application In catarrh of

the upper respiratory passages,

symptomatic treatment of chronic

inflammatory bronchial conditions.

(German Commission E.)

The stem and bark gave triterpene

glycosides, named kizuta saponins.

Oleanolic acid glycoside was also obtained

from the plant but the presence

of emetine could not be confirmed

in subsequent work. The fruits gave

hederagenin glycosides.

Emetin has been isolated from European

and British plant. The fruit and

hederagenin glycosides exhibitmolluscacidal

activity. Emetine-containing

plant is amoebicidal.

Hedera nepalensis Koch.

Synonym H. helix auct. non Linn.

H. himalaica Tobler.

Family Araliaceae.

Habitat The Himalayas; from

Kashmir to Bhutan at ,–

, m and Assam at ,–

, m.


Hedychium spicatum Ham. ex Smith. 303

English Nepal Ivy.

Folk Baandaa, Bandaa, Lablab.

Action Leaves and berries—

cathartic, diaphoretic, febrifuge,

antispasmodic, expectorant. Used

in whooping cough. Leaves—

used in glandular enlargements.

A decoction of the leaves is used

topically to destroy lice in the

hair. An infusion of berries is

given in rheumatism. Gum—


The inflorescences contain betaamyrin,

beta-sitosterol and its D-glucoside,

oleanolic acid, triterpene glycosides,

nepalins. Nepalins , and

 at ., . and .% respectively

completely immobilize human sperm.

Plant extract exhibited antitumour

activity in vivo and in vitro against

Ehrich ascites.

Hedychium coronarium Koenig.

Family Zingiberaceae.

Habitat Throughout the moist

parts of India, up to , m. Also

grown in gardens of Assam and

South India.

English Ginger Lily.

Ayurvedic Shati (related species).

Action Anti-inflammatory, antirheumatic,

febrifuge, tranquilizer.

The rhizomes gave furanoditerpene,

hedychenone, an anti-inflammatory

principle, also cytotoxic principles as

labdane-type diterpenes.

The essential oil from rhizome

shows anthelmintic and mild tranquilizing

property. The essential oil contains

alpha- and beta-pinene, limonene,

carene, and its oxide, linalool

and elemole in varying concentrations.

The essential oil also gave borneol,

methyl salicylate, eugenol and methylanthranilate.

Hedychium spicatum

Ham. ex Smith.

Synonym H. album Buch-Ham. Ex


Family Zingiberaceae.

Habitat Central Himalaya at ,–

, m, East India and hills of

South India.

English Spiked Ginger Lily.

Ayurvedic Shathi, Shati, Gandhashathi,

Gandhapalaashi, Kapuurkachari,

Suvrataa, Gandhaarikaa,

Gandhavadhuu, Gandhamuulikaa.

Unani Kapuurkachari.

Siddha/Tamil Poolankizangu,


Folk Ban-haldi (Kumaon).

Action Rhizome—carminative,

spasmolytic, hepatoprotective,

anti-inflammatory, antiemetic,

antidiarrhoeal, analgesic, expectorant,

antiasthmatic, emmenagogue,

hypoglycaemic, hypotensive,

antimicrobial, anthelmintic, insectrepellent.

The rhizome shows hypotensive effect

in dogs at low doses, lowers blood

pressure in high doses.


304 Hedyotis corymbosa (Linn.) Lam.

EtOH (%) extract—anti-inflammatory

and hypoglycaemic; gave encouraging

results in tropical pulmonary

eosinophilia in clinical studies.

Alcoholic extract of the plant—vasodilator,

mild hypotensive and antiseptic

in animals. Essential oil from

rhizome—mild tranquilizer in male

albino rats; antimicrobial.

Rhizome gave sitosterol and its glucoside,

a furanoid diterpene—hedychenone

and -hydroxyhedychenone.

The essential oil contains cineole,

gamma-terpinene, limonene, betaphellandrene,

p-cymene, linalool and

beta-terpineol as major constituents.

The oil inhibits the growth of several

fungi. The ethanol (%) extract

showed antibacterial activity. The %

extract showed antimalarial activity

in vitro against Plasmodium berghei


Dosage Rhizome—– g powder.

(API Vol. I.)

Hedyotis corymbosa

(Linn.) Lam.

Synonym Oldenlandia corymbosa


Family Rubiaceae.

Habitat A weed in wet, low lands

and in cultivated fields.

Ayurvedic Kshetraparpata (used in

Kerala as Parpataka).

Action Purifies blood, improves

digestion, stimulates action of liver.

The presence of caffeine and fumaric

acid has been reported in H. corymbosa.

Iridoidoglucosides have been isolated

from H. diffusa Willd. The plant is

reported to have immunopotentiation

activity and has been used in China

to treat some tumours. An aqueous

extract of the plant yielded a polysaccharide

composed of rhamnose, arabinose,

xylose, mannose, galactose and


Hedyotis herbacea Linn., synonym

Oldenlandia herbacea Roxb. is also

used in Kerala as Parpata, Parpataka.

See Fumaria indica.

Helianthus annuus Linn.

Family Compositae; Asteraceae.

Habitat Native to America.

Cultivated in India.

English Sunflower.

Ayurvedic Suurajmukhi, Suuryaavarta.

Siddha/Tamil Suryakanti.

Action Seeds—build up physical

endurance and resistance against

diseases; a decoction is used

in coughs and colds, bronchial,

laryngeal and pulmonary affections,

whooping cough, also as a febrifuge

and diuretic.

The seeds contain a fatty oil (–

%), rich in polyunsaturated acids

(linoleic %, oleic %). The oil also

contains tocopherols (alpha-type %

of the total) and phytosterol (betasitosterol

 mcg/ g). In Europe

and USA, several hybrids produce oils

rich in oleic acid. Sunflower oil is reported

to decrease the risk of coronary

and arterial diseases.


Heliotropium indicum Linn. 305

Extracted oil from dehulled seeds

(chlorogenic acid, present in hulls,

interferes with lipid metabolism) reduced

serum and hepatic cholesterol

in healthy women.

The tubers of Helianthus tuberosus

Linn., a related species, consists mainly

of inulin. The dried tubers can be

utilized in diabetic products. The tuber

concentrate as food diminishes the

risk of developing arteriosclerosis. It

is advantageous in the diet of patients

with gout, chronic renal diseases, and

for obesity control.

Helicteres isora Linn.

Family Sterculiaceae.

Habitat Dry forests throughout the


English East Indian Screw tree.

Ayurvedic Aavartani, Aavartphalaa,


Unani Marorphali.

Siddha/Tamil Valampiri.

Action Pods and bark—antidiarrhoeal,

astringent, antibilious. Bark

and root—antigalactic, demulcent,

expectorant (used in cough and

asthma). Leaf—paste used against

skin diseases. Pods—anthelmintic.

Used in fever due to cold. Seeds—

aqueous extract administered in

colic and dysentery.

The plant contains a -quinolone alkaloid,

malatyamine, an antidiarrhoeal


The seeds gave diosgenin. Root gave

cytotoxic principles—cucurbitacin B

and iso-cucurbitacin B. Leaves yielded

as ester tetratriacontanyl—tetratriacontanoate

along with tetratriacontanoic

acid, tetratriacontanol and sitosterol.

Dosage Fruit, bark—– g powder;

– ml decoction. (CCRAS.)

Heliotropium indicum Linn.

Family Boraginaceae.

Habitat Throughout India.

English Scorpion Tail.

Ayurvedic Hastishundi Shrihastini,


Siddha/Tamil Thaelkodukku.

Action Plant—diuretic, astringent,

emollient, vulnerary. Used as a local

application for ulcers, wounds,

sores, gum boils and skin affections.

Decoction of leaves is used in

urticaria and fevers; that of root in

coughs. Flowers—emmenagogue

in small doses, abortifacient in

large doses. Masticated seeds—


Aerial parts of the plant contain

alkaloids—indicine (principal base),

echinatine, supinine, heleurine, heliotrine,

lasiocarpine and lasiocarpine-

N-oxide. Aerial parts and root gave

an anticancer principle—indicine-Noxide.

The aqueous and alcohol extracts of

the plant possess oxytocic activity. The

roots contain significant amounts of

estradiol, a sex hormone.

The inflorescences are used by tribals

for scorpion bite.


306 Helleborus niger Linn.

Helleborus niger Linn.

Family Ranunculaceae.

Habitat Native to sub-alpine woods

in Southern and Eastern Europe.

Grown in Indian gardens.

English Black Hellebore, Christmas


Ayurvedic Khuraasaani Kutaki.

Unani Kharbaq Siyah, Kutaki.

Action Digitalis-like action

in cardiac disorders, drastic

purgative, abortifacient, diuretic,

local anaesthetic, narcotic.

Therhizome contains cardiac glycosides;

helleborin, helleborein, hellebrin

and others based on helleborigenin.

Helleborin has a burning, acrid

taste and is narcotic. Helleborein has

a sweetish taste and is a highly active

cardiac poison. Helleborin and

veratrin (steroidal saponins), hellebrin

or helleborein (steroid glycoside)

are main constituents of the root and

leaves. The plant irritates mucous


A related species, Helleborus virdis

Linn. (Bear's Foot, Green Hellebore) is

known as Kaali Kutaki and Krishnabhedi.

The plant contains magnoflorine

and corytuberine. The roots

and rhizomes gave hellebrin, desglucohellebrin,

hellebrigenin, bufatetraenolide,

beta-ecdysterone and beta-hydroxyecdysterone.

Hemerocallis fulva Linn.

Family Liliaceae.

Habitat The Himalaya, Khasi Hills;

cultivated in Indian gardens.

English Common Yellow Day-lily,

Tawny Day-lily, Orange Day-lily.

Action Flower—analgesic, especially

in child birth; blood purifier.

(Flowers are sold in Chinese food

shops as Gum-Tsoy or Gum-Jum.)

Hemerocallin, a neurotoxic principle,

has been found in Hemerocallis

sp. The plant gave amino acid—oxypinnatanine.

Hemidesmus indicus (L.) R. Br.

Synonym Periploca indica Linn.

Family Asclepiadaceae, Periplocaceae.

Habitat Throughout India;

common in Bengal, Maharashtra

and extending to Travancore.

English Indian Sarsaparilla (white

var.). Sarsaparilla root is equated

with Smilax sp. in Western herbal.

Ayurvedic Shveta Saarivaa, Anantmuula,

Gopi, Gopaa, Gopakanyaa,

Gopavalli, Gopasutaa, Krishodari,

Sphotaa, Utpalsaarivaa, Kapuuri,


Unani Ushbaa Hindi.

Siddha/Tamil Nannaari, Suganthipala.

Action Bloodpurifier, antisyphilitic,

antileucorrhoeic, galactogenic,

antidiarrhoeal, antirheumatic,

febrifuge, alterative. Roots used

against gonorrhoea, leucoderma,

bleeding piles, jaundice and



Heracleum candicans Wall. ex DC. 307

Key application Smilax sp.—in skin

diseases and urinary infections.

(German Commission E included

Smilax sp. among unapproved


Hemidesmus indicus does not contain

the same saponins or other principal

constituents which are found in

sarsaparilla. (Tyler's Honest Herbal.)

The root contains coumarino-lignoids,

hemidesmine, hemidesmin-,

. The stem contains pregnane glycosides,

hemidine, hemidescine, emidine

and indicine, a triterpene lactone, a lupanone,

besides lupeol acetate, sitosterol

and hexadecanoic acid and several

hydroxy- methoxybenzaldehydes.

Aqueous extract of the root is bacteriostatic


Dosage Root—– g for

decoction. (API Vol. I.)

Hemidictyum ceterach L.

Synonym Ceterach officinarum


Asplenium ceterach L.

Family Athyriaceae, Polypodiaceae.

Habitat Western Himalaya, from

Kashmir to Garhwal, up to ,m.

Action Fern—diuretic, astringent;

used for diseases of the urinary

tract, infirmities of spleen, also for

treating jaundice.

The plant contains caffeic acid, neohesperidin,

kaempferol-, -diglucoside,

chlorogenic acid and quercetol-

-glucoside. The leaves gave methyl

esters of the acids—myristic, palmitic,

palmitoleic, stearic, oleic, linoleic and

arachidic. Pyrocatechol, tannins, flavonoids

and amino acids were also


Hemionites arifolia

(Burm. f)Moore.

Family Adiantaceae.

Habitat Plains and mountains of

South India up to ,., and in

West Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.

English Mule Fern.

Folk Raamabaanam (Andhra

Pradesh), Chakuliya (Bengal).

Action Fonds—antibacterial, used

in burns and as febrifuge.

Heracleum candicans

Wall. ex DC.

Synonym H. nepalense D. Don.

H. lanatum Michx.

Family Umbelliferae; Apiaceae.

Habitat Chamba, Kulu, Jammu

& Kashmir, Bushahr, Garhwal and

Kumaon Hills.

English Cowparsnip.

Folk Kaindal (Kashmir),

Gandhraayana (Garhwal).

Action Fruit—stimulant, nervine

tonic, spasmolytic. Heraclenin

(active principle)—hypoprothrombinaemic.

Essential oil from the fruits is moderately



308 Herniaria glabra Linn.

Furanocoumarins present in the

whole fruit and leaves are psoralen,

xanthotoxin and bergapten. Roots also

contain furanocoumarins.

The fruits of H. concanense Dalz.

contain a coumarin which is effective

against dermatophytosis. The fruits

of H. regins Wall. ex DC. are used

for cough and bronchitis, also for urinary

concretions in Siddha medicine.

H. thomsoni C. B. Clarke (Kashmir

and Himachal Pradesh) also contains

a coumarin; the fruit showed nonspecific

spasmolytic activity equipotent to


Herniaria glabra Linn.

Family Illecebraceae.

Habitat Throughout Europe.

Introduced into Indian gardens.

English Rupture-Wort.

Action Plant—astringent, diuretic,

antimicrobial, anticatarrhal. An

infusion is used principally for

bladder complaints for ruptures.

The plant gave a flavonic glycoside,

rutoside; coumarins, herniarin and

umbelliferone, and saponins.

A related species, H. hirsuta L. (Himalaya,

from Kashmir to Kumaon up

to , m) gave umbelliferone, scopoletin

and herniarin.

Heterophragma roxburghii DC.

Synonym H. quadriloculare (Roxb.)

D. Schum.

Family Bignoniaceae.

Habitat Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh,

Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh,

Karnataka, Tamil Nadu.

Ayurvedic Waarasa.

Siddha/Tamil Barokalagoru.

Folk Pullunga, Paatang (Maharashtra).

Action Tar extracted from wood—

used in skin diseases. Leaf juice—

applied externally on toe sores and

in chilblain.

Theflowers gave hentriacontane and

allantoin; the leaves contain ursolic

acid and sitosterol. The seeds contain

a saponin (rhamnoside), lupeol, betasitosterol,

stigmasterol and cubulin.

The essential oil from flowers exhibits

antimicrobial activity.

Hibiscus abelmoschus Linn.

Synonym Abelmoschus moschatus


Family Malvaceae.

Habitat Throughout the warmer

parts and hilly regions of India; also


English Musk Seed, Muskmallow,

Ambette Seed.

Ayurvedic Lataakasturi, Lataakasturikaa,

Kattaphala, Katuka.

Unani Mushkdaanaa.

Siddha/Tamil Kasturi-vendai.

Action Seeds—diuretic, antispasmodic,

stomachic, nervine (nervous

debility, hysteria and other nervous

disorders). Used externally for skin

diseases and itch. Mucilage made


Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Linn. 309

from the root and leaves is prescribed

in venereal diseases, urinary

discharges and painful micturition.

Seeds, steeped in water, are used for

asthma, cold, flu.

Fatty oil of seeds contains phospholipids—

alpha cephalin, phosphatidylserine

and its plasmalogen and phosphatidylcholine

plasmalogen. Absolute

contains farnesol and ambrettolic

acid lactones.

The seeds contain chiefly -trans,

-trans-farnesyl acetate, -cis, -trans

farnesyl acetate and ambrettolide. The

leaves contain beta-sitosterol and its


Dosage Seed—– g powder. (API

Vol. IV.)

Hibiscus cannabinus Linn.

Family Malvaceae.

Habitat Native to tropical America

and Africa; cultivated in West

Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Assam,

Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh,

Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Punjab.

English Bimlipatam Jute, Kenaf,

Mesta, Deccan Hemp.

Siddha/Tamil Pulichhai, Pulimanji,


Folk Patsan, Pitwaa. Ambaadi


Action Seed—nervine tonic,

analgesic. Leaf—purgative. The

juice of flowers, mixed with sugar

and black pepper, is given for


The leaves contain flavonoids, including

rutin and isoquercitrin; kaempferol;

polyphenols. The flowers gave

myricetin glucoside; the root contains

polyphenols, also proanthocyanidins.

The seeds gave phosphonolipids.

Hibiscus mutabilis Linn.

Family Malvaceae.

Habitat Native to China; planted

in the hedges of gardens.

English Cotton-Rose, Chinese-

Rose, Confederate Rose.

Ayurvedic Sthala-Padam, Sthal-


Siddha/Tamil Irratai-vellaichembarattam,


Action Flower—used in pectoral

and pulmonary affections. Leaf

and flower—expectorant, bechic,

anodyne. Used in menorrhagia,

dysuria, swellings, fistulae, wounds

and burns.

The flowers contain quercetin,

kaempferol, betulinic acid, hexyl stearate,

tetratriacontanol, nonacosane,

stigmasta-, -dione, stigmasta--eneone

and beta-sitosterol. Flowers collected

in the morning gave no anthocyanin;

maximum anthocyanin is

found in the afternoon.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Linn.

Family Malvaceae.

Habitat Native of China; grown in

gardens throughout India.


310 Hibiscus sabdariffa Linn.

English Rose-of-China, Shoeflower,

Chinese Hibiscus.

Ayurvedic Japaa, Javaa, Odrapushpa,

Rudrapushpa, Arunaa.

Unani Gul-e-Gurhal.

Siddha/Tamil Semparuthi.

Action Flower—used in impotency,

bronchial catarrh. Flower

and bark—emmenagogue. Leaf—

stimulates expulsion of placenta

after childbirth; laxative, anodyne.

Flower and root—used in


The plant contains the cyclopropanoids,

methyl sterculate, methyl-

-hydroxysterculate, -hydroxysterculate,

malvalate and beta-sitosterol.

Themajor anthocyanin in the flower

is cyanidin -sophoroside. The flower

nectar is rich in amino acids, mainly

aspartic acid and asparagin. During

pollination, the amino acid concentration

increases substantially.

Flower powder exhibited anti-inflammatory

activity in male albino

rats with carrageenan-induced rat paw

oedema. The aqueous extract of the

plant showed antitumour activity

against sarcoma  ascites.

An aqueous extract of flowers reduced

the duration of oestrus cycle in

experimental albino rabbits. The alcoholic

extract of flowers showed antiimplantation

activity. The benzene extract

of flowers, on oral administration,

terminated pregnancy in experimental


Flower buds are used in the treatment

of vaginal and uterine discharges.

Oral administration of flower extract

to rats affected spermatogenesis

and endocrine function of testis.

In diabetic patients, a flower bud is

given daily up to  days or until the

level of blood sugar is reduced to tolerable


The white-flowered var. of Japan

(cultivated all over India in garden) is

equated with Hibiscus syriacus Linn.

(Rose of Sharon, Shrubby Althaea).

The white flower is an oriental drug

used as demulcent and antidiarrhoeal.

Thebud yieldsmucilagewhich consists

mainly of partially acetylated acidic

polysaccharides. The aqueous extract

of the petals causes vasorelaxation of

the isolated rat arota via both endothelium-

dependent and -independent

mechanisms. The petals contain anthocyanin


The cortex and bark exhibit antifungal


The bark gave canthin--one and

a fatty acid fraction consisting of lauric,

myristic and palmitic acids.

Dosage Flower—– g paste.


Hibiscus sabdariffa Linn.

Family Malvaceae.

Habitat Native to the West Indies;

now cultivated in Uttar Pradesh,

Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal,

Bihar, Punjab, Assam and Tamil


English Roselle, Jamaican Sorrel,

Natal Sorrel, Red Sorrel.

Ayurvedic Ambashtthaki.


Hippophae rhamnoides Linn. 311

Siddha/Tamil Sivappu Kashmakki,

Pulichai-keerai, Gogu, Seemai


Folk Laal-ambaadi, Patavaa,


Action Digestive, choleretic,

antibilious, laxative, diuretic,

hypotensive, antiscorbutic. Used

as a cardiac and nervine tonic for

disorders of circulation, also for

calcified arteries.

Key application Flowers—used

for loss of appetite, for colds,

catarrhs of the upper respiratory

tract and stomach, for disorders

of circulation. (Included among

unapproved herbs by German

Commission E.)

The seeds contain sterols, including

.% ergosterol; leaves contain

sitosterol-beta-D-galactoside. Flowers

contain myricetin, kaempferol and

quercetin, but did not contain freemutagenic

flavonol aglycons.

The aqueous extract of flower buds

has been reported to decrease blood

pressure, cause relaxation of rat uterus.

Succulent sepals and leaves—hypotensive,

antimicrobial and anthelmintic.

Oil and unsapanofiable matter—antibacterial,


Dosage Root—– g. (API Vol.


Hibiscus surattensis Linn.

Family Malvaceae.

Habitat Throughout the warmer

parts of India.

Ayurvedic Ran Bhindi.

Folk Kishli-Keerai (Tamil Nadu).

Action Flower—emollient,

pectoral. Stem and leaf—used in

urethritis and venereal diseases.

Petals (yellow part) gave gossypitrin

and gossypetin; the purple part gave

cyanidin, delphinidin and pelargonidin.

Hippophae rhamnoides Linn.

Family Elaeagnaceae.

Habitat North-west Himalayas at

,–, m.

English Seabuckthorn, SandThorn.

Folk Dhurchuk, Chumaa, Tarwaa

(Uttar Pradesh), Sirmaa (Punjab,


Action Fruit—astringent, antidiarrhoeal,

stomachic, antitussive,


SeaBuckthorn preparations are used

internally for stomach ulcer, duodenal

ulcer and other illnesses of the alimentary

organs; externally in cases of

burns, bedsores and other skin complications

induced by the treatment with

X-rays and other radiations.

The berries contain polyphenols,

,-dihydroxy benzoic acid and pcoumaric

acid. They are an important

source of vitamins for people living in

cold, long winter regions; contain high

concentration of vitamin A (carotene

– mg), B, B, B, C (– mg)

and E ( mg/ g).


312 Hiptage benghalensis Kurz.

The plant is an effective antioxidant

and shows protective effect on

smoothmuscles of rabbits in vitro. The

methanolic extract of the berry showed

scavenging activity on chemically generated

superoxide radicals.

The leaves contain flavonoids, isorhamnetin

and astragalin; the bark

gave serotonin.

Hiptage benghalensis Kurz.

Synonym H. madablota Gaertn.

Family Malpighiaceae.

Habitat Throughout the warmer

parts of Maharashtra, Konkan,

Karnataka and other parts of


Ayurvedic Atimukta, Atimuktaka,

Maadhavi, Vaasanti, Pundrika,

Mandaka, Vimukta, Kaamuka.

Siddha/Tamil Madhavi, Vasandagala-


Action Kernel of seeds is prescribed

for reducing abdominal girth

(obesity). Leaves—used in chronic

rheumatism, asthma and skin

diseases. Bark—used in bronchial


Thestem and its bark contain friedelin,

epi-friedelinol, octacosanol, alphaamyrin,

beta-sitosterol and its beta-Dglucoside.

The root bark gave a nitrogenous

glucoside, hiptagin, identical

with endecaphyllin and a glucosyl

xanthone, mangiferin.

Dosage Fruit, seed, root—powder

– g; paste – g. (CCRAS.)

Holarrhena antidysenterica

(Linn.) Wall.

Synonym H. pubescens (Buch.-

Ham.) Wall. ex G. Don.

Family Apocynaceae.

Habitat The tropical Himalayas,

going up to an altitude of , m.

Also found throughoutmany forests

of India, in Travancore, Assam and

Uttar Pradesh.

English Easter tree, Ivory tree,

Tellicherry Bark.

Ayurvedic Kutaja, Girimallikaa,

Kaalinga, Kalingaka, Indravriksha,

Shakra, Vatsa, Vatsaka,

Shakraahvya. Indrayava, Indrabija,

Vatsabija (seed). Kurchi (bark).

Unani Inderjo talkh, Teewaaj-e-


Siddha/Tamil Kudasappaalai-pattai,

-vidai (bark, seed).

Action Root and bark—used in

amoebic dysentery. Bark—astringent,

anthelmintic, amoebicidal,

diuretic. Used in colic, dyspepsia,

piles, diseases of the skin and

spleen. Seed—antibilious. Used

for promoting conception, also

for toning up vaginal tissues after


The bark contains the alkaloids,

regholarrhenine-A, -B, -C, -D, -E and

-F; pubescine, norholadiene, pubescimine,

kurchinin, kurchinine, kurchinidine,

holarrifine, holadiene,

kurchilidine, kurchamide, kurcholessine,

kurchessine, conessine, conesH

Holostemma annularis (Roxb.) K. Schum. 313

simine and isoconessimine, and the

steroidal compounds kurchinicin and


The alkaloid conessine is used as

a therapeutic drug for the treatment

of dysentery and helminthic disorders.

Conessine and conimine inhibited the

growth of Shigella sonnei, S. flexneri

and Salmonella enteritidis strains in

vitro. In chronic amoebiasis, Bi-iodide

compound of total alkaloids, given

orally, compare favourably with emetine


Theplant possesses potentimmunostimulant


The Kurchi seeds are sold as a substitute

for Strophanthus sp. seeds in Indian

market. (Seeds of Strophanthus

sp. contain a toxic glucoside, strophanthin,

and are poisonous.)

Dosage Stem bark—– g for

decoction. (API Vol. I); seed—–

 g powder; – g for decoction.

(API Vol. III.)

Holoptelea integrifolia Planch.

Family Ulmaceae.

Habitat Throughout greater parts

of India, also grown in gardens.

Ayurvedic Chirbilva, Putika,


Siddha/Tamil Avil thol, Ayil pattai


Action Bark—internally and

externally used in rheumatism.

Stem bark paste—in scabies.

Seeds—used topically on ringworm.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India

recommends dried fruits in polyuria

and other urinary disorders.

The stem bark contains the triterpenoidal

fatty acid esters, holoptelin-A

(epi-friedelinol palmitate) and holoptelin-

B (epi-friedelinol stearate), friedelin

and epi-friedelinol.

Thepowdered bark exhibited lipolytic

action and mobilized fat from adipose

tissues in rats and consequently

helped in the reduction of obesity.

Dosage Dried fruit—– g. (API

Vol. III.)

Holostemma annularis

(Roxb.) K. Schum.

Synonym H. ada-kodien Schult.

H. rheedii Wall.

Asclepias annularis Roxb.

Family Asclepiadaceae.

Habitat Tropical Himalayas and

Western Peninsula. Cultivated in

Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu.

Ayurvedic Ark-pushpi.

Siddha/Tamil Palay-keerai.

Action Roots—used in orchitis,

spermatorrhoea, also as laxative.

Roots are used as Jivanti in Kerala

(See also Leptadenia reticulata.)

The tubers contain protein (.–

%). It gave alpha-amyrin, lupeol and

beta-sitosterol. Aspartic acid, glycine,

serine, threonine and valine were detected


The bark gave alpha-amyrin, lupeol

and beta-sitosterol.


314 Homonoia riparia Lour.

Homonoia riparia Lour.

Synonym Adelia neriifolia Heyne

ex Roth.

Family Euphorbiaceae.

Habitat Eastern, Central and

Peninsular India, up to  m.

Ayurvedic Paashaana-bheda

(substitute), Kshudra Paashaanabheda.

Siddha/Tamil Kattu Alari.

Action Root—diuretic, spasmolytic,

antilithic. Used for urinary

discharges. Leaf and stem—

depurative. Leaf and fruit—used in

skin diseases.

The roots gave alpha-spinasteryl acetate.

The fatty acid from the fat of

roots gave myristic, palmitic, stearic

and oleic acids.

Hordeum vulgare Linn.

Family Gramineae; Poaceae.

Habitat Cultivated as food crop

in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal,

Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan,

Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh

and Jammu and Kashmir.

English Barley

Ayurvedic Yava, Hayeshtha,

Hayapriya, Shuka-dhaanya, Tikshnashuka.

Unani Barley, Jao Shaeer.

Siddha Yavam. Saambaluppu (ash).

Action Barley—nutritive and

demulcent during convalescence

and in cases of bowel inflammation

and diarrhoea. Protects immune


The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India

recommends barley in urinary disorders,

muscular rigidity, chronic sinusitis,

cough, asthma, lipid disorder

and obesity.

Juice of young barley leaves—times

richer in vitamin C than oranges, 

times richer in iron than spinach, 

times richer in potassium than wheat;

high in SOD (superoxide dismutase),

an enzyme that slows ageing of cells.

The nutritional quality of the barley

depends on beta-glucan fraction of

the grain. Beta-glucan-enriched fraction

produced cholesterol-lowering effect

in hamsters.

Naked barley extracts have been

found to selectively inhibit cyclohexanase

activity and may be useful as

a therapeutic drug for treating thrombosis

and atherosclerosis.

Ethanol extract of young green

leaves exhibits antioxidant activity attributed

to a flavonoid, -O-glucosylisovitexin.

It also exhibits anti-inflammatory

and antiallergic activities. The

leaves contain an indole alkaloid, gramine,

which exhibits antibacterial


Dosage Dried fruit—– g.

(API Vol. II); dried plant—– g.

(API Vol. IV.)

Hovenia dulcis Thunb.

Synonym H. acerba Lindl.

Family Rhamnaceae.


Humulus lupulus Linn. 315

Habitat Native to China. Now

cultivated in Kumaon, Sikkim and

West Bengal.

English Japanese Raisin tree, Coral


Folk Sikkaa.

Action Fruit—diuretic; relieves

intoxication due to wine.

The leaves and root bark gave triterpene

saponins. Root bark also gave

peptide alkaloids.

The fruit extract contains potassium

nitrate and potassium malate and is

strongly diuretic. The seeds contain

beta-carboline alkaloid, perlolyrine.

Atoothpaste, containing extracts of the

fruits and seeds as one of the ingredients,

has been patented for controlling

dental caries (in Japan).

Hugonia mystax Linn.

Family Linaceae.

Habitat Konkan and North Kanara,

throughout dry forests of Tamil


Folk Kaakibeeraa, Kansamaara.

Siddha/Tamil Agori. Motirakkanni.

Action Root—anti-inflammatory,

febrifuge; disperses swellings.

Humulus lupulus Linn.

Family Cannabinaceae.

Habitat Native to Europe and

Asia. Conditions for its successful

cultivation are reported to exist in

Kashmir and parts of Himachal


English Hops.

Unani Hashish-ut-Dinaar.

Action Flowers—sedative, hypnotic,

nervine tonic, diuretic,

spasmolytic on smooth muscle,

analgesic, astringent. Used for

nervous diseases, intestinal cramps,

menopause, insomnia, neuralgia

and nervous diarrhoea. Also as

a tonic in stomach and liver affections.

As a blood cleanser, the root

is used like sarsaparilla.

Key application In mood disturbances,

such as restlessness

and anxiety, sleep disturbances.

(German Commission E. ESCOP.)

The BritishHerbal Compendiumand

The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia reported

herb's action as sedative, soporific,

spasmolytic and aromatic bitter,

and indicated its use for excitability,

restlessness, disorders of sleep and lack

of appetite.

Hop cones consist of the whole

dried female inflorescences of Humulus


Hop contains bitter principles—

lupulin containing humulon, lupulon

and valerianic acid; volatile oil (.–

.%) including humulene; flavonoids

including xanthohumole; polyphenolic

tannins, asparagin, oestrogenic substances.

Bitter principles stimulate the digestive

system. Valerianic acid is sedative.

The resin components, lupulon and

humulon are antiseptic against Grampositive

bacteria. Asparagin is diuretic.

Research suggested that the antiH

316 Hura crepitans Linn.

spasmodic effect is stronger than the

sedative, and hops also possess antihistaminic

and anti-oxytocic properties.

(Cases of amenorrhoea and dysmenorrhoea

are treated with hops.)

Hop extracts exert different effects

on CNS in mice. They show hypothermic,

hypnotic, sedative, muscle relaxing

and spontaneous locomotor activities,

besides potentiating pentobarbital

anaesthesia in mice.

Humulone inhibited induced inflammation

in mice.

Thedried strobila containing humulone

and lupulone showed antidiabetic

activity in experimental rats.

Hop mash or extract is used in the

preparation of toothpaste for inhibiting

Gram-positive bacteria and in hair

preparations for preventing dandruff

formation. It is also used in skinlightening


Hura crepitans Linn.

Family Euphorbiaceae.

Habitat Native to tropical America;

introduced into India.

English Sandbox tree, Monkey


Siddha/Tamil Mullarasanam.

Action Seed, bark and fresh latex—

emetocathartic, antileprotic. Seed—

insecticidal, piscidal.

In South America, a poultice made

from the latex is used for treating cutaneous

leishmaniasis. Highly irritant

and tumour-promoting deterpene esters

(DTC) have been detected in the

latex. Latex gave the triterpenes, -

methylene cycloartanol, cycloartanol

and butyrospermol. Sap of the plant

gave a diterpene hexaol ester, huratoxin,

and a glycolipoprotein, crepitin.

Hydnocarpus kurzii (King)Warb.

Synonym H. heterophylla auct.


Taractogenos Kurzii King.

Family Flacourtiaceae.

Habitat Assam and Tripura.

English Chalmogra.

Ayurvedic Tuvaraka (related

species, substitute for H. laurifolia.)

Unani Chaalmograa, Tukhm-e-

Biranj Mograa.

Siddha/Tamil Niradi-muttu.

Action Antileprotic, dermatic,

febrifuge, sedative. Used parenterally

for leprosy; also for psoriasis,

eczema and dermatitis.

Theplant is a source of chaulmoogra

oil (Oleum Chaulmoograe which contains

hydnocarpic, chaulmoogric, gorlic,

oleic, palmitic acids and lower homologues

of hydnocarpic acid. The oil

mixed with neem oil or oil of Psoralea

corylifolia is used in leprosy.

In mice, intraperitoneal and subcutaneous

administration of chaulmoogra

fatty acids demonstrated antimicrobial

activity against Mycobacterium

leprae. (PDR.)

Hydnocarpus laurifolia

(Dennst.) Sleumer.

Synonym H. wightiana Blume.


Hygrophila auriculata (K. Schum.) Heine. 317

Family Flacourtiaceae.

Habitat Western Ghats.

English Soorty Oil tree.

Ayurvedic Tuvaraka, Katu-

Kapittha, Kushtavairi, Garudaphala,


Unani Chaalmograa, Tukhm-e-

Biranj Mograa.

Siddha/Tamil Maravattai, Niradimuttu.

Action Seed oil—antileprotic,

anti-inflammatory, antirheumatic.

The seed oil gave chemical constituents

similar to Hydnocarpus kuzii,

and contain the flavonolignan, hydnowightin,

hydnocarpin and neohydnocarpin.

Hydnocarpin showed good antiinflammatory

and anti-neoplastic activity

in mice, in vivo. Cytotoxicity

against the growth of murine and human

tissue cultured cells was also observed.

The stem bark and leaves contain

triterpenes, acelylbetulinic, betulinic,

ursolic and acetylursolic acids.

Dosage Seed—– g powder; oil—

– drops. (CCRAS.)

Hydrocotyle javanica Thunb.

Family Umbelliferae; Apiaceae.

Habitat The Himalayas, KhasiHills

and Western Ghats.

Ayurvedic Manduukaparni (related


Folk Brahma-manduuki (Sikkim).

Action Used as a substitute

for Centella asiatica, as a blood

purifier (in cutaneous diseases);

for indigestion, dysentery and


The plant is used for treating leucoderma.

Hydrocotyle rotundifolia Roxb.

(throughout India, up to , m) is

also equated with Manduukaparni.

Hydrolea zeylanica Vahl.

Family Hydrophyllaceae.

Habitat Throughout India, inmoist

and swampy places.

Ayurvedic Wrongly equated with

Laangali. (Laangali is equated with

Gloriosa superba Linn.) Known as

Ish-languulia (West Bengal).

Action Leaves and paste—

used for callous ulcers. Plant—


Hygrophila auriculata

(K. Schum.) Heine.

Synonym H. schulli (Ham.) MR &

SM Almeida.

H. spinosa T. anders.

Asteracantha longifolia (L.) Nees.

Family Acanthaceae.

Habitat Throughout India along

the banks of fresh or stagnant water

ditches and swampy grounds,mixed

with marshy grasses and sedges.

Ayurvedic Kokilaaksha, Kokilaakshi,

Ikshuraka, Ikshura, Kshuraka,

Bikshu, Kaakekshu.


318 Hymenodictyon excelsum Wall.

Unani Taalmakhaanaa.

Siddha/Tamil Neermulli.

Action Leaves, roots and seeds—

diuretic; used for diseases of the

urinogenital tract, spermatorrhoea.

Seeds promote sexual vigour, arrest

abortion and cure diseases due

to vitiated blood. Also used for

arthritis and oedema.

The seeds contain large amounts

of tenacious mucilage and potassium

salts, which may be responsible for the

diuretic property of seeds. The seeds

also contain linoleic acid (%), besides

diastase, lipase and protease.

EtOH (%) extract of the plant is

spasmolytic and hypotensive.

The chloroform soluble fraction of

ethanolic extract of aerial parts exhibited

promising hepatoprotective activity

in albino rats.

The plant contains lupeol, stigmasterol

and hydrocarbons.

Dosage Seed—– g powder;

ash—– g. (CCRAS.)

Hymenodictyon excelsum Wall.

Synonym H. orixense (Roxb)


Family Rubiaceae.

Habitat Central India andWestern


Ayurvedic Bhramar-chhalikaa,

Ugragandhaa (a confusing synonym).

Bhringa-vrksha (provisional


Siddha/Tamil Sagappu, Vellei

Kadambu, Peranjoli.

Folk Bhaulan, Bhramarchhali,


Action Bark—astringent, febrifuge,

antiperiodic (especially for tertian


The stem bark contains scopoletin

and its apioglucoside, hymexelsin

(yield .%). The presence of glucose,

fructose, galactose and several

amino acids, alanine, arginine, cystine,

glycine, leucine; besides fatty acids,

beta-sitosterol and stigmasterol is also

reported from the bark.

Roots contain several quinones.

Hyoscyamus muticus Linn.

Family Solanaceae.

Habitat North-western Himalayas.

Cultivated on limited scale in North

Indian plains.

English Egyptian Henbane.

Ayurvedic Paarsika-yavaani

(related species), Turushkaa.

Unani Ajwaayin Khuraasaani,

Shuukraan, Tukhm-bang.

Folk Vajra-bhang.

Action Sedative.

The leaves and flowering tops contain

higher concentration of tropane

alkaloids than other species ofHyoscyamus,

used as a source of hyoscine.

Hyoscyamus niger Linn.

Family Solanaceae.


Hypericum perforatum Linn. 319

Habitat Native to Europe and Asia.

Occurs in the temperate Himalayas

from Kashmir to Garhwal.

English Indian Henbane, Black


Ayurvedic Paarsika-yavaani,

Yavaani, Madkaarini, Turushkaa,

Khuraashaanikaa, Khuraasaani


Unani Barz-ul-Banj, Khuraasaani


Siddha/Tamil Paarseekayavani,

Khurasani Omam.

Action Sedative. Narcotic drug.

Used for convulsions. Action

similar to Belladonna.

Key application In spasms of

gastrointestinal tract. (German

Commission E, The British Herbal


The leaves and flowering tops contain

tropane alkaloids, .–.%,

the principal ones being hyoscyamine

and hyoscine. The alkaloids are parasympatholytic,

with similar actions to

Belladonna, althoughwith less cerebral


The seeds show inhibitory activity

against digestive enzyme, lipase in vitro.

Contraindicated in tachycardias,

prostatic hyperplasia, narrow-angle

glaucoma, acute pulmonary oedema,

stenosis of gastrointestinal tract, maga


Dosage Seed—– g powder.


Hypecoum leptocarpum

Hook. f. &Thoms.

Family Papaveraceae.

Habitat Mediterranean region and

temperate Asia. (Allied species: H.

pendulum Linn. and H. procumbens

Linn., found in Peshavar, Multan,

Waziristan and Baluchistan).

Occurs in Sikkim.

Folk Zirgulaki, Waziri.

Action Used in stomachache. Juice

of the plant has the same effect as

opium. Leaves diaphoretic. Plant—


The whole plant contains protopine

(.) as the major alkaloid.

Hypericum perforatum Linn.

Family Hypericaceae.

Habitat Temperate Western

Himalayas from Kashmir to Shimla

at ,–, m.

English Common St. John's wort.

Unani Heufaariqoon, Bassant,


Action Antidepressant, sedative, relaxing

nervine, anti-inflammatory.

Used in anxiety, stress, depression,

menopausal nervousness,

menstrual cramps, neuralgia and


Key application Psychovegetative

disturbances, depressive moods,

anxiety and or nervous unrest.

Externally, oil preparation for

treatment and post-therapy of acute

and contused injuries, myalgia


320 Hyptis suaveolens (Linn.) Poit.

and first degree burns. (German

Commission E, ESCOP, British

Herbal Pharmocopoeia.)

The herb contains hypericin and

pseudohypericin (. to .% in

the leaves and as much as .% in

the flowers), rutin, quercetin, hyperoside,

methylhesperidin, caffeic, chlorogenic,

p-coumaric, ferulic, p-hydroxybenzoic

and vanillic acids.

Plant's standardized extract (.%

hypericin) shows antidepressant activity

by inhibiting MAO.

A biflavonoid, amentoflavone, isolated

from the plant, exhibited antiinflammatory

and antiulcerogenic activity.

Alcoholic extract of the plant shows

in vivo hepatoprotective activity in rodents.

The oily extract of the flowers have

been found effective in wound-healing

due to the antibiotically active acylphlorogucinol,


The aerial parts show significant

antibacterial activity against several

Gram-positive andGram-negative bacteria.

A lyophilized infusion from the

aerial parts exhibited antiviral activity

and inhibited reproduction of different

strains of influenza virus types A and

B both in vivo and in vitro.

The whole herb is effective against

many viral infections.

Hyptis suaveolens (Linn.) Poit.

Family Labiatae; Lamiaceae.

Habitat Native to tropical America.

Distributed throughout India.

Ayurvedic Tumbaaka (provisional


Folk Gangaa Tulasi, Vilaayati

Tulasi, Bhunsari.

Action Carminative, antispasmodic,

antisoporific, antirheumatic,

anticephalalgic, lactagogue. Used

in catarrhal and uterine affections,

parasitical cutaneous diseases,


The plant gave lupeol, lupeol acetate

and friedelin, leaves and flowers gave

campesterol and fucosterol; roots contained

beta-sitosterol, oleanolic and

alpha-peltoboykinolic acids.

The plant gave an essential oil containing

l-sabinene. l-limonene and

azulenic sesquiterpenes as major constituents.

The oil inhibits the growth

of Gram-positive and Gram-negative

bacteria, particularly, Staphylococcus

aureus; also exhibits fungitoxicity.

Alcoholic extract (%) of thewhole

plant exhibited hypoglycaemic and

anticancer activity.

Hyssopus officinalis Linn.

Family Labiatae; Lamiaceae.

Habitat Native to Europe and

temperate Asia. Occurs in West

Himalyas fromKashmir toKumaon.

English Hyssop.

Ayurvedic Dayaa-kunji. (Nepeta

longibractea is also equated with

Zuufaa, Dayaa-kunji.)

Unani Zuufaa, Zuufaa Yaabis.

Folk Diyaanku (Laddakh).


Hyssopus officinalis Linn. 321

Action Stimulant, carminative,

sedative, antispasmodic, diuretic,

pectoral. Used for bronchitis,

coughs and colds. Induces heavy

sweating in fevers, increases blood

pressure. Emmenagogue. Used

externally for bruises, discoloured

contusions and cuts.

Key application As expectorant.

(The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia.)

Hyssop contains terpenoids, including

marrubiin; a volatile oil consisting

mainly of camphor, pinocamphone

and beta-pinene; flavonoids, glucosides,

tannins and resin. Marrubiin

is a strong expectorant. The plant

also contains ursolic acid, an antiinflammatory

principle. The alcoholic

extract of the aerial parts at flowering

yields an active antioxidant compound,

rosmanol--ethyl ether. Its

activity is much greater than butylated

hydroxytoluene. The extract of the

plant showed weak hepatoprotective

activity against CCl-induced toxicity

in albino mice.

Pinocamphone and isopinocamphone

are toxic constituents of the

essential oil. Wild plants from Kumaon

(Uttaranchal) shows presence

of very small amounts of pinocamphone

(.%) in essential oil, as compared

to Himalayan hyssop (.%)

and cultivated North American hyssop

(.%). The essential oil can induce

epileptic seizures.

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