Table 1

Medicinal plants used by traditional healers from Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu

Botanical Name, Voucher Specimen Number and Family

Local Name (Tamil)

Method of preparation and Medicinal uses


Acanthaceae

Adhatoda vasica Nees (T464)

Adathodai

Leaves are ground with the flowers of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis and taken orally to treat asthma.

Andrographis paniculata (Burm. f.) Wallich ex Nees (T465)

Nilavembu

Leaf paste is applied topically at the bitten site of snake, beetle and scorpion. Powdered leaf is mixed with cow or goat's milk and taken orally to treat diabetes.

Asystasia gangetica (L.) T.Anderson (T224)

Valukkai keerai

Leaf powder is mixed with coconut oil and applied topically to heal wounds (burns).

Aizoaceae

Trianthema portulacastrum L. (T466)

Saaranai

Decoction of roots is taken internally to treat Constipation and asthma.

Amaranthaceae

Achyranthes aspera L. (T65)

Naayuruvi

Leaf paste is applied topically to treat cuts and Wounds.

Aerva lanata (L.) Juss.Ex Schult. (T412)

Siru peelai

Juice of whole plant is taken orally to treat cough, sore throat and wounds.

Anacardiaceae

Mangifera indica L. (T472)

Maamaram

The latex from leaf and stem bark is used to treat heel cracks.

Odina wodier Roxb. Fl. (T475)

Uthiyam, Odimaram

Juice of leaves is taken orally to prevent white discharge in women.

Annonaceae

Polyalthia longifolia (Sonn.) Thwaites. (T490)

Nettilingam

Juice extracted from the fresh stem bark is taken orally to treat indigestion.

Apocynaceae

Catharanthus roseus G. Don. (T474)

Nithyakalyani

Whole plant is powdered and mixed with cow's milk and taken orally to treat diabetes.

Nerium oleander Sol. (T481)

Arali

Juice prepared from the stem bark is boiled with gingelly oil and two drops are poured into ear to treat ear pain.

Rauwolfia tetraphylla Linn. (T354)

Nagamani

Paste of the whole plant is mixed with castor oil and applied topically to treat skin diseases.

Wrightia tinctoria (Roxb.) R.Br. (T355)

Veppalai

Juice of seeds taken orally to treat indigestion.

Araceae

Acorus calamus L. (T476)

Vasambu

Dried rhizome is ground in water and the paste is given orally to children for clarity of speech.

Asclepiadaceae

Gymnema sylvestre R. Br. (T225)

Sirukurinchan

Leaf powder is mixed with cow's milk and taken orally to treat diabetes. The root powder is taken orally and also applied on the bitten spot to treat snake bite.

Hemidesmus indicus Linn. R. Br.Muell. (T237)

Nannari

Juice extracted from the whole plant is taken Internally to keep the body cool.

Wattakaka volubilis Cooke. (T298)

Kurinjan

Leaf paste is applied topically to treat rheumatic pain, cough, fever and severe cold.

Asteraceae

Eclipta prostrata L. (T334)

Karisalanganni

Leaf powder is mixed with coconut oil & applied on the hair regularly for healthy and black hair.

Sphaeranthus indicus L. (T501)

Kottaikkarantai

Leaf, flower and seeds are ground into paste and applied topically to treat skin diseases and piles.

Tridax procumbens L. (T10)

Vettukayapundu

Leaf paste is applied topically on cuts and wounds

Boraginaceae

Coldenia procumbens L. (T19)

Cheruppadai

Juice of leaf is taken orally to prevent white discharge in women.

Heliotropium indicum L. (T498)

Thelkodukku

Paste of whole plant is applied topically to treat wounds and skin affections.

Caesalpiniaceae

Cassia absus L. (T477)

Karunaikanam

Seeds are ground into paste and applied topically to treat skin diseases and headache.

Cassia auriculata L. (T24)

Aavarai

Flowers are crushed and mixed with goat's milk and taken orally to prevent white discharge in women.

Cassia occidentalis L. (T497)

Peithagarai

Leaf paste is applied topically to treat scabies and to heal bone fractures.

Tamarindus indica L. (T100)

Puliya maram

Dried fruits are taken orally to treat eye infections.

Capparaceae

Capparis zeylanica L. (T395)

Kathotti

Root bark is ground with water, boiled and taken orally to treat indigestion.

Cleome viscosa L. (T78)

Naikadugu,

Leaf paste is applied topically to heal wounds.

Combretaceae

Terminalia arjuna Roxb.Ex. Dc Wight & Arn. (T478)

Marutha maram, Arjuna maram

Fruit paste is applied topically on wounds. Bark powder is boiled with water and inhaled to cure headache to kill worms in teeth.

Convolvulaceae

Merremia emarginata (Burm.f.) Hall.f. (T479)

Elikkadilai

Decoction of the whole plant is taken internally to treat stomach problems.

Cucurbitaceae

Coccinia grandis (L.) J. Voigt. (T226)

Kovai

Leaf Juice is mixed with butter and applied topically to treat skin diseases.

Mukia maderaspatana (L.) M. Roemer (T324)

Musumusukai

Leaf powder is mixed with boiled rice and taken orally to treat cold and cough.

Cyperaceae

Cyperus rotundus L. (T480)

Korai, Muthakkasu

Paste of dried tuber is applied on breast of women to secrete more milk and applied topically on bitten site of scorpion.

Euphorbiaceae

Acalypha indica L. (T496)

Kuppaimeni

Leaf paste is applied topically to treat skin diseases.

Euphorbia antiquorum Linn (T481)

Sathurakkalli

Dried latex is taken internally in low dose to help free motion.

Euphorbia hirta L. (T104)

Amman pacharisi

The milky latex is applied topically to treat wounds and lip cracks.

Euphorbia tirucalli L. (T495)

Kodikalli

The stem is boiled with water and given to children to treat skin diseases.

Phyllanthus amarus Schum. & Thnn. (T482)

Keezhanelli

Fresh leaves are ground and mixed with a cup of cow or goat's milk and taken internally to cure jaundice.

Phyllanthus emblica L. (T494)

Nelli

Fruit powder is mixed with cow's or goat's milk and taken orally to treat cold and cough.

Ricinus communis L. (T502)

Amanakku

The leaf juice is taken orally or washed leaves are tied on the breast to increase secretion of milk in women. The oil prepared from the seeds is applied on lower stomach to get relief from stomachache.

Fabaceae

Abrus precatorius Linn. (T03)

Kundumani

Root powder is taken orally along with cow's milk to treat scorpion sting and snakebite.

Clitoria ternatea L. (T206)

Sangu Pushpam

Root powder is mixed with water and taken orally to treat indigestion, eye diseases and headache.

Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre.(T503)

Punga maram

Juice of root is mixed with equal amount of coconut milk, boiled and applied topically to cure wound and gastric trouble.

Lamiaceae

Coleus aromaticus Benth. (T483)

Karpuravalli

Leaf juice is taken orally by children to treat Indigestion and cough.

Leucas aspera (Willd.) Link. (T66)

Thumbai

A bunch of leaves is boiled and the vapour is inhaled to cure head ache and fever.

Ocimum sanctum L. (T504)

Thulasi, Tulsi

Leaves are crushed with onion bulbs and the juice is taken orally to treat cough, cold and headache.

Lauraceae

Cinnamomum verum Presl. (T493)

Lavangappattai, Karuvappatttai

Decoction of stem bark is taken internally to treat cough, dysentery and to keep the body cool.

Liliaceae

Aloe vera L. (T484)

Sothukathalai

Sap mixed with oil is heated and the mixture is applied on hair for hair growth and good sleep.

Sanservieria roxburghiana Schult. (T505)

Marul

Juice of warmed leaf is poured into ear to treat ear pain.

Lythraceae

Lawsonia inermis L. (T492)

Maruthani

Leaf powder is mixed with coconut oil and applied topically to treat cuts and wounds.

Malvaceae

Abutilon indicum L. (T485)

Thuthi

Leaf juice and root are taken orally to treat dental problems.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L. (T506)

Semparuthi

Paste of fresh leaves is applied on the hair for healthy and black hair.

Sida acuta Burn. (T491)

Arival manai poondu

Leaf paste is applied topically to heal cuts, wounds and to get relief from headache.

Meliaceae

Azadirachta indica A. Juss. (T552)

Vembu

Leaf paste is applied topically on the body to treat small pox, rheumatism and skin diseases. The young twigs are used as toothbrush to develop strong teeth.

Menispermaceae

Tinospora cordifolia Miers. (T523)

Seendil

Leaf paste is applied topically to treat wounds.

Mimosaceae

Acacia leucophloea (Roxb.) Willd. (T490)

Velvelamaram

Paste of fresh stem bark is applied topically to treat cuts and wounds.

Mimosa pudica L.(T238)

Thottasurungi

Pinch of leaf paste is applied topically to treat cuts and wounds.

Moraceae

Ficus benghalensis L. (T551)

Alamaram

Stem latex is applied topically on heel cracks. Young stem is used as tooth brush.

Ficus racemosa L. (T 486)

Athi maram

Stem latex is applied topically to treat heel cracks.

Ficus religiosa L. (T550)

Arasu

Dried leaf powder is mixed with water and takenorally to get relief from body pain.

Moringaceae

Moringa oleifera Lam. (T511)

Murangai

The leaf is taken as food and it reduces body heat and to treat indigestion and eye diseases. Flower is taken as food and it gives chillness to Eyes and increases sperm production in men.

Myrtaceae

Syzygium cumini (L.) Skeels (T489)

Naval maram

Paste of stem bark is applied topically to treat swellings. The ripe fresh fruits are taken orally to reduce body heat.

Nyctaginaceae

Boerhaavia diffusa L. (T522)

Mookaratai

Root paste is applied topically to treat Hydrocele.

Poaceae

Cynodon dactylon L. Pers. (T487)

Arugampullu

Decoction of whole plant is taken orally to keep the body cool.

Rhamnaceae

Zizyphus mauritiana Lam.(T401)

Ilandai

Leaf and bark decoction is boiled and it is used to take bath to treat severe body pain. Dried bark powder is applied topically to treat wounds.

Rubiaceae

Morinda tinctoria Roxb. (T511)

Nuna, Manjanathi

Leaf juice is given orally to children before food for easy digestion.

Oldenlandia umbellata L. (T585)

Siruver, Sayaver

The root paste is applied topically to arrest bleeding.

Spermacoce hispida L (T591)

Nathaichuri

The seeds are crushed into paste and taken orally to treat stomach problems.

Rutaceae

Aegle marmelos Corr.ex.Roxb (T561)

Vilvam

Leaf paste is applied topically to heal wounds.

Citrus aurantifolia (Christm.) Swingle. L. (T534)

Elumitchai

Decoction of leaves is inhaled to get relief from fever, headache and cold.

Murraya koenigii (L.) Sprengel (T561)

Karuveppilai; Kari-vembu

Juice of tender leaves is taken orally to arrest vomiting.

Sapindaceae

Cardiospermum halicacabum L. (T549)

Mudakkathan

Root is boiled with oil and applied on head before bath to treat throat infection and headache.

Solanaceae

Datura metel L.(T535)

Oomathai

Few drops of leaf juice is poured into ear to treat earache.

Solanum nigrum L. (T526)

Manathakkali

Whole plant parts are taken as food to treat cough.

Solanum torvum Sw. (T527)

Sundaikkai

Leaf juice is taken orally to reduce body heat.

Solanum trilobatum L. (T558)

Thuthuvalai

Unripe fruits are prepared as curry or roasted in gingelly oil and taken orally along with food to strengthen the body. The leaf juice is taken orally to treat cough and itching.

Sterculiaceae

Melochia corchorifolia L. (T110)

Punnakku chedi

Boiled leaf is taken as food to help in free motion.

Verbenaceae

Clerodendrum inerme (L.) Gaertn (T181)

Piei nari sangu

Leaf is ground in water and the juice is taken orally to treat fever.

Lantana camara L. (T14)

Unni chedi

A handful of flower is ground with coconut oil and applied topically on the head to get relief from headache.

Lippia nodiflora Mich. (T560)

Poduthalai

Paste of leaves is applied topically to treat swellings and wounds.

Stachytarpheta jamaicensis Vahl. (T515)

Seemainayuruvi

Paste of stem and root bark is applied topically to treat dysentery.

Vitex negundo L. (T372)

Notchi

Leaves are boiled in water and the vapour is inhaled twice a day to get relief from headache, fever, cold, and cough.

Violaceae

Hybanthus enneaspermus F. Muell (T520)

Orithal thamarai

Paste of whole plant is applied topically to treat cough.

Vitaceae

Cissus quadrangularis L. (T444)

Pirandai

Paste of stem is taken orally for easy digestion.

Zygophyllaceae

Tribulus terrestris L. (T567)

Nerunchimul

The fruit and root are mixed with boiled raw rice, taken orally to prevent white discharge in women and to treat urinary troubles.


Muthu et al. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 2006 2:43   doi:10.1186/1746-4269-2-43

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