The word “medicinal plant” refers to a wide range of plants that are used in herbalism, including those utilized in “herbology” and “herbal medicine.” The usage of plants for medicinal purposes, as well as their study. The Latin term herba and an ancient French term herb were combined to produce the word “herb.” Nowadays, any part of the plant, such as fruit, seed, stem, bark, bloom, leaf, stigma or root (but not necessarily a woody one), and non-woody plants are all referred to as herbs.
Previously, only non-woody plants with names ending in “herb,” such as those derived from trees and shrubs, were referred to as herbs (or vervaine). These therapeutic plants are also utilized as food, flavonoid, medicine, or perfume, and they’re incorporated into rituals of various religions.
Before the prehistoric era, plants were used for health benefits and medicinal purposes. Ancient Unani writings Egyptian papyrus and Chinese writings described the usage of herbs. Herbs have been used as medicine for over 4000 years in India, Greece, Europe, and the Middle East by Unani Hakims, Indian Vaids, and European and Mediterranean people.
Plant foods like fruits and vegetables are useful for people with mildly elevated blood pressure. Increase dietary fiber intake reduced risk of heart disease, breast cancer, control blood sugar and prevent many chronic diseases.
Herbs were used in healing rituals by indigenous civilizations such as Rome, Egypt, Iran, Africa, and America. Other developed conventional medical systems such as Unani, Ayurveda, and Chinese Medicine in which herbal therapies are utilized systematically.
On the other hand, traditional systems of medicine are still commonly utilized on numerous fronts. Population growth, a lack of medicines, expensive treatments, adverse drug reactions caused by chemical medications and the development of resistance to current anti-infectious drugs have all contributed to an increased focus on the usage of plant materials as a source of medicines for a variety of human diseases.
India has always been known to be a rich source of medical plants throughout ancient civilizations. India is home to one of the world’s largest forests, which serves as the main storehouse for a large number of medicinal and fragrant plants that are commonly collected as raw materials for pharmaceutical and perfume production. In INDIA, 8,000 herbal treatments have been documented in AYUSH systems.
The primary indigenous medical systems include Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, and Folk (tribal) medicine. Among these systems, Ayurveda and Unani Medicine have the most advanced technology and are currently being used in India.
Recent studies have shown that 80% of people in the world use herbal medications for at least some aspect of their primary health care. According to WHO, approximately 21,000 plant species have medicinal potential.
According to statistics, three-quarters of the global population depends on plants and plant extracts for its health care needs. Over 30% of all plant species have at some time or other been used medicine. Plant medicines make up as much as 25% of all pharmaceuticals in developed countries such as the United States, whereas they account for 80% in fast developing nations such as India and China.
The economic significance of medicinal plants is far greater for countries like India than it is for the rest of the world. These nations provide two-thirds of all medicinal plants utilized in today’s medical system, and rural people’s health care systems are based on indigenous medicine.
Medicinal plant therapies are regarded to be quite safe because there are no or minor adverse effects. These treatments are in keeping with nature, which is the most significant benefit. The great news is that herbal therapies may be used by anybody of any age and gender.
Only the ancient scholars recognized that herbs are only used to treat a variety of health issues and maladies. They did significant study on the subject, attempting to get correct answers about the effectiveness of various plants with medicinal benefits.
Most of the medications that have been developed in this manner are free of negative effects and responses. This is why herbal therapy is becoming increasingly popular all around the world. These herbs, which have therapeutic value, offer a scientific basis for treating numerous internal illnesses that were previously thought to be difficult to cure.
Medicinal plants like Aloe, Tulsi, Neem, Turmeric, and Ginger cure a variety of disorders. These are used as home cures in many regions of the country. Basil (Tulsi) is well-known for being used to make medicines, black tea, in worship, and other activities in daily life among customers across India.
Many herbs are used to honor their rulers around the world, which is considered a good luck charm. After learning about the use of herbs in medicine, many people have started cultivating tulsi and other medical plants in their backyards.
Medicinal plants are recognized as a significant source of raw materials for drug development, whether pharmaceutical, non-pharmacological, or chemical. Furthermore, these plants play an essential part in the growth and spread of human civilizations throughout the world.
Furthermore, because some plants are considered as significant sources of nutrition, they are advised for their therapeutic effects. Ginger, green tea, walnuts, aloe vera, peppermint, and turmeric are just a few of the plants on the list. Plants and derivatives from certain species are recognized as important sources for active chemicals used in aspirin and toothpaste among other things.
Herbs are used in a variety of applications, including medicine, natural dye, pest control, food, perfume, tea and so on. Medicinal plants/herbs from many countries are utilized to keep ants, flies, mice and other pests away from homes and offices. Medicinal herbs are becoming increasingly important sources for pharmaceuticals.
Traditional medicine practitioners use several traditional medicines to cure a variety of ailments, such as diarrhoea, constipation, hypertension, low sperm count, dysentery, and weak penile erection. Piles (lumpy), coated tongue (tongue covered in a thin layer of mucus), menstrual problems (such as amenorrhea or miscarriage), bronchial asthma, leucorrhoea and fevers can all be treated with these remedies.
For the past two decades, herbal medicine has grown in popularity; nevertheless, there is a significant lack of research data in this area. As a result, since 1999, the World Health Organization (WHO) has published three volumes of WHO monographs on selected medicinal plants.
Importance of some herbs with their medicinal values
- Fruit and vegetable consumption like black pepper, cinnamon, myrrh, aloe, sandalwood, ginseng, red clover, burdock, bayberry, and safflower are all herbs that are utilized to cure cuts and sores.
- Basil, Fennel, Chives, Cilantro, Apple Mint, Thyme, Golden Oregano, Variegated Lemon Balm, Rosemary, and Variegated Sage are just a few of the medicinal herbs that may be grown in the kitchen garden. These plants are simple to grow and look great; they also have a nice taste and fragrance. Many of them attract bees and butterflies as well.
- To remove metabolic poisons, many plants are utilized as blood purifiers. These are also referred to as ‘blood cleansers.’ Certain herbs boost the individual’s immunity, lowering fevers and other illnesses.
- Some plants, on the other hand, have antibiotic effects. Turmeric has antibacterial capabilities, which can help to prevent illness. Turmeric is commonly used as a home cure for cuts and sores.
- Certain antipyretic plants, such as Chirayta, black pepper, sandalwood and safflower, are advised by traditional Indian medicine experts to help decrease fever and the generation of heat resulting from the condition.
- Apart from their pleasant odors, Sandalwood and Cinnamon are excellent astringents. Sandalwood is commonly employed in the treatment of blood, mucus, and other fluids.
- To counteract the stomach acid, certain plants are employed. Marshmallow root and leaf are examples of herbs that are used to neutralize acid in the stomach. They act as antacids. Such herbs retain the necessary healthy gastric acid for proper digestion.
- Plant medicines have been used for thousands of years by indigenous peoples of North America to treat poisoning from animals and snake bites.
- Cardamom and Coriander are well-known herbs for their appetizing tastes. Other fragrant plants, such as peppermint, cloves, and turmeric, provide a pleasant scent to the meal, enhancing the flavor of it.
- Aloe, sandalwood, turmeric, sheetraj hindi, and khare khasak are all well-known antiseptics that are also high in their medicinal qualities.
- Certain cough syrups include ginger and cloves. They are known for their expectorant effects, which promote the thinning and ejection of mucus from the lungs, trachea, and bronchi. Eucalyptus, cardamom, wild cherry, and cloves are additional expectorants.
- A number of herbs, including Chamomile, Calamus, Ajwain, Basil, Cardamom, Chrysanthemum, Coriander, Fennel, Peppermint and Spearmint (cinnamic aldehyde), Cinnamon (cinnamic aldehyde), Ginger (ginkgolides) are cardiotonic. As a result, they’re employed as cardiac stimulants.
- Along with healthy diet, medicinal herbs have disinfectant properties, which destroy disease-causing germs. They also hinder the development of pathogenic microbes that cause contagious illnesses.
- Herbal practitioners usually advise calming herbs, which have a relaxing influence on the body. They are frequently used as tranquilizers.
- Mild tonics include aromatic plants including Aloe, Golden seal, Barberry, and Chirayata. The unpleasant flavor of such plants inhibits the production of poisons in the blood. They are beneficial in the treatment of infections as well.
- For example, herbs such as Cayenne (Lal Mirch, Myrrh, Camphor and Guggul), which are used as stimulants to stimulate a system or organ.
- Tonics include a variety of plants, such as Giloe, Golden seal, Aloe vera, and Barberry. They can also be nutritious and revitalizing to an already healthy or sick individual.
- Honey, turmeric, marshmallow, and liquorice can help heal a fresh cut and wound. They’re referred to as vulnerary herbs since they have the ability to treat wounds.
Final Thoughts on The Benefits of Medicinal Vegetables
We are moving away from nature as our lifestyle becomes more technological. We are unable to avoid nature because we are part of it. Herbs, being natural substances, are free of adverse effects and offer a low risk of side effects, making them highly safe, eco-friendly, and readily accessible.
Traditionally, many herbs have been used to treat diseases related to the seasons. There is a responsibility to promote them in order to save human lives.
Natural chemicals derived from plants are now widely recognized as the safest medicines available. In contrast to synthetic medications, which are seen to be hazardous to both human and environment, fruit and vegetable intake, these plant extracts have come to be a sign of safety. For ages, herbs have been valued for their medicinal properties, flavor and fragrance, but modern synthetic goods briefly surpassed them in terms of importance.
Synthetic cannabinoids, on the other hand, are quickly becoming a relic of the past. People are reverting to natural alternatives in search of safety and security. It’s time for them to be exported worldwide.