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The World of Plants

Plants as Food

Medicinal plants are the plants with medicinal properties, which are used to fight with certain diseases and to increase the overall immunity of body. It is said that eating certain plant products such as amla, aloe vera, wheat grass, etc. on regular basis prevents the body from various diseases.

Chinese have been using plants for medicinal purposes since 3000 − 4000 BC. In India, the history of using plants for medicinal purposes can be traced back to Vedic period.

About two thousand years ago, great Indian physician named Charaka studied medicinal value of plants. Today also plants are used as a part of many home remedies as they are used to fight minor illnesses such as cough, cold, stomach ache, etc.

Eucalyptus, neem, tulsi, and ginger are examples of certain plants with medicinal value.

The following table gives a list of common medicinal plants and their applications:

Common name

Part used

Use

Cinchona

Roots

For treatment of malaria

Rauwolfia

Roots

For lowering the high blood pressure

Isabgul

Seeds

In chronic dysentery

Neem

Leaves, bark, seed

Has antiseptic properties

Vasaka

Leaves

To cure bronchitis

Eucalyptus

Leaves

For treating cold

  • Mentha piperita, common name peppermint, is used in case of irritable bowel syndrome. It is believed to increase the efficiency of peristalsis movement.

  • Phytolacca or Pokeweed when used externally can help i…

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