Medicinal plants that will be useful during the coming adverse times

Medicinal plants and herbs Adverse times

1 Introduction

Sages have foretold of a very difficult time for humankind between the years 2020 and 2023. They have warned of higher incidences of natural disasters, extreme weather events and even the strong possibility of a Third World War.

As a consequence of these extreme events, people will suffer from various illnesses. During this time and for some years thereafter, it is expected that there will be extreme shortages of allopathic medicines and access to doctors may be unavailable. In these challenging times, we will need to rely on medicinal plants and herbal medicines. It is best to start growing the required plants as soon as possible so that they can be available to us in the times of crisis. Treatment with medicinal plants is considered very safe as there are minimal to no side effects.

This article aims to provide you with a guide as to which medicinal plants and herbs need to be grown. You can do so as per your availability of space and resources.

2 Some points to keep in mind about planting herbs

  • Some countries have a wet season (rainy season). If herbs or plants are planted 15 days before the rains commence, they grow more easily. For example, in India, the wet season (also known as the Indian monsoon) begins between 15 June – 15 July depending on the area. So, the months of April to June are considered to be the best for growing plants.
  • One needs to prepare the ground, make it fertile, get seeds, earthen pots, plough the land, etc. in preparation.
  • There are innumerable plants and herbs which can be planted for medicinal purposes. However, planting all types of plants may not be possible or practical. So, depending on your resources, the space available and the ability of the plant to help overcome diseases, you will need to decide which medicinal herbs to plant or prioritise to get ready for the coming adverse times. Given ahead is an overall priority list which serves as a general guide regarding what to plant.
  • How much of a particular medicinal plant should be planted can be decided by you based on your needs.
  • If possible, at least one plant of each type of the first 16 herbs listed below should be planted.
  • Prior to planting the medicinal herbs, one can also take the advice of local doctors or local botanists who know about herbs.
  • Let all family members know about herbs and their benefits. You can also keep a placard with the names of the plants on them so others can understand which plants you have planted.
  • The time to act is now.

3. Practical points related to planting herbs

3.1 General points

  • In this series, we have selected medicinal herbs which are easily found in tropical countries such as India and which can be grown easily.
  • The names used to refer to the medicinal herbs can vary as per the region. So, we have given the scientific names of the medicinal herbs as well. This will help to identify the medicinal herb on the Internet. You can also see images of the herbs online so it will be easier to identify the plants.
  • If you are unable to identify the plants to make use of, you can take suggestions from the local botanist or Ayurvedic doctors.
  • You may choose to plant any other medicinal plants you think could be of value to you.

3.2 Selection of medicinal plants and herbs

We have selected the 16 most beneficial medical plants as per Ayurveda as the first batch of plants to be planted. Ayurveda is an ancient medical system with its roots in the Indian subcontinent. We suggest planting these 16 plants as a bare minimum in your garden or terrace.

The names of the medicinal plants are given in sequence as per the priority of the benefit derived. So, for example, the 9th medicinal plant has a higher priority to be planted than the 15th one. In this list, the 1st medicinal herb (Tulsi) is of utmost importance. So, if it is not possible to plant all of the plants, at least plant whatever is possible from the list as per the order provided below.

If there is no space around the house to plant medicinal herbs, you can plant the herbs in earthen flowerpots or plastic bags and keep them on your balcony or windowsill.

Please note that the method of planting and growing these medicinal plants can vary.

  • Some of the plants are creepers which need support to grow
  • Others need 2-3 years to mature
  • Some are best planted in pots
  • Whilst some become bigger trees, so they have to be planted in the ground

As these plants are very useful for curing different diseases, you should try to plant these in your house. Try to keep the pots in a row and let the sun shine on them for at least 3-4 hrs per day. If you have space to plant them around the house, then please do so.

3.3 List of herbs to plant

Note: The name in Sanskrit has been provided in brackets.

Sr. No Common Name Latin Name Diseases Part of the plant to be used for medicine What to use for planting?
1 Tulsi (तुळस) Ocimum tenuiflorum Many diseases All parts of the plant – root, stem, leaves, flowers and seed or fruit collectively known as Panchang Seed
2 Durva (दूर्वा) Cynodon dactylon Diseases related to heat and Pitta (Bile) All parts of the plant – root, stem, leaves, flowers and seed or fruit collectively known as Panchang Sapling
3 Heart-leaved moonseed (गुळवेल) Tinospora cordifolia Fever, diseases related to blood, arthritis, diabetes, कांड (a part of the vine or वेली) Seed
4 Kalmegh, Green chiretta (कालमेघ) Andrographis paniculata Fever, having worms in the body, and all diseases related to Pitta (Bile) All parts of the plant – root, stem, leaves, flowers and seed or fruit collectively known as Panchang Seed
5 Aloe vera (कोरफड) Aloe barbadensis miller When skin is burnt or seared, diseases related to the eyes and liver The pulp of the leaves The new plant coming from the root, or tuber. Leaf scar (सकर्स)
6 Malabar nut (अडुळसा) Justicia adhatoda All diseases related to heat and bile; diseases related to respiration All parts of the plant – root, stem, leaves, flowers and seed or fruit collectively known as Panchang Twig of the plant (फांदी)
7 Jasmine (जाई) Jasminum officinale Mouth ulcers, getting hurt, wounds Leaves Twig of the plant (फांदी)
8 Maka, False daisy (माका) Eclipta alba Diseases related to the eyes, hair and digestive system All parts of the plant – root, stem, leaves, flowers and seed or fruit collectively known as Panchang seedling or sprout, a young plant intended for transplantation
9 Betel Leaf (विड्याचापान) Piper betle Indigestion, low sperm count, problems related to phlegm Leaves Twig of the plant (फांदी)
10 Herbal Tea / Tea made with tea powder, Lemon grass (गवतीचहा) Cymbopogon citratus Cold, cough, fever and diseases related to the urinary tract Leaves The new sapling coming from the root
11 Nirgundi / Chinese chastetree) (निर्गुंडी) Vitex negundo Swelling, arthritis, and diseases related to वात or air or ears Seeds and leaves Seeds or twig of the plant (फांदी)
12 Chinese hibiscus (जास्वंद) Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Diseases related to hair Flowers and leaves Twig of the plant (फांदी)
13 Aghada, Chaff-flower (आघाडा) Achyranthes aspera Diseases related to the spleen, diseases related to the urinary tract, haemorrhoids All parts of the plant – root, stem, leaves, flowers and seeds or fruit collectively known as Panchang (Tip -1) Seeds or twig of the plant (फांदी)
14 Tidharikandavela, Veldt grape (कांडवेल / हाडसांधी) Cissus quadrangularis Swelling, arthritis, fracture and pain Sapling or seedling, small part of the vine Twig of the plant (फांदी)
15 Mexican marigold (झंडू) Tagetes erecta Any type of ulcer, burns, severed body parts, and diseases of the eye Leaves and flowers Seed
16 Life Plant, Air plant (पानफुटी) Bryophyllum pinnatum Diseases of the urinary tract Leaves Leaves

3.4  Additional plants which can be planted

In case you have space to plant more herbs in addition to those given above, you can plant the herbs given below.

3.4.1 Small plants (grow 1-2 feet in height)

 

Sr. No Common Name Latin Name Diseases Part of the plant to be used for medicine What to use for planting?
1. Mango ginger (आंबेहळद) Curcuma amada Diseases related to the respiratory tract, fever and swelling Tuber Tuber
2. Askand, Ashwagandha (आस्कंद) Withania somnifera Diseases related to the hair, eyes, respiratory tract, worms in the body Root Seed
3. Isabgol, Blond plantain (इसबगोल) Plantago ovata Constipation Seed Seed
4. Wild indigo (उन्हाळी) Tephrosia purpurea Jaundice, diseases related to the spleen, diseases related to the liver and haemorrhoids All parts of the plant – root, stem, leaves, flowers and seed or fruit collectively known as Panchang (Tip -1) Seeds or twig of the plant
5. Kurdu – plumed cockscomb or silver cock’s comb

(कुरडू / हरळू)

Celosia argentea Diseases of the urinary tract All parts of the plant – root, stem, leaves, flowers and seeds or fruit collectively known as Panchang Seeds
6. Nut grass (नागरमोथा)

 

Cyperus rotundus Fever, Pitta (Bile), and diseases related to the digestive system Tuber Tuber
7. Common fumitory, Paripath (परिपाठ) Fumaria officinalis Fever and diseases related to heat All parts of the plant – root, stem, leaves, flowers and seed or fruit collectively known as Panchang Seed
8. Pithvan, Prishniparni (पिठवण) Uraria picta Fever, swelling and diseases related to the respiratory system All parts of the plant – root, stem, leaves, flowers and seed or fruit collectively known as Panchang (Tip -1 Seeds or twig of the plant
9. Spearmint (पुदिना) Mentha spicata Chronic fever, cough, indigestion and worms in the body All parts of the plant – root, stem, leaves, flowers and seeds or fruit collectively known as Panchang Seeds
10. Punarnava (पुनर्नवा) Boerhavia diffusa Swelling, diseases related to the circulatory system and urinary tract All parts of the plant – root, stem, leaves, flowers and seeds or fruit collectively known as Panchang Seeds or twig of the plant
11. Indian Pennywort (ब्राह्मी/मंडूकपर्णी) Centella asiatica Diseases related to the brain, heat, bile, and diseases related to old age All parts of the plant – root, stem, leaves, flowers and seeds or fruit collectively known as Panchang A piece of the twig of the plant
12. Gale of the wind, Chamber bitter (भुईआवळा) Phyllanthus urinaria Diseases related to the liver All parts of the plant – root, stem, leaves, flowers and seeds or fruit collectively known as Panchang Seeds
13. Vetiver, Khus (वाळा), Chrysopogon zizanioides Diseases related to heat, Pitta (Bile), and the urinary tract Root New sapling coming from the root
14. Sweet flag (Vekhand) वेखंड Acorus calamus For stammering, being timid, memory problems, for respiratory tract diseases Tuber New sapling coming from the root, a small piece of the root
15. Catharanthus, Madagascar Periwinkle, Sadafuli (सदाफुली) Catharanthus roseus Diabetes and cancer All parts of the plant – root, stem, leaves, flowers and seeds or fruit collectively known as Panchang A seed or a piece of the twig of the plant
16. Indian snakeroot (सर्पगंधा) Rauvolfia serpentina Blood pressure, insomnia, diseases related to the stomach Root A seed or a piece of the twig of the plant
17. Shalaparni, Salvan (सालवण) Desmodium gangeticum Fever and heart diseases All parts of the plant – root, stem, leaves, flowers and seeds or fruit collectively known as Panchang Seed
18. Turmeric (हळद) Curcuma longa Cold, cough, phlegm, mucus, obesity, diabetes, and diseases related to the breasts Tuber Tuber

3.4.2 Vines to be planted

 

Sr. No Common Name Latin Name Diseases Part of the plant to be used for medicine What to use for planting?
1. Indian sarsaparilla (अनंतमूळ) Hemidesmus indicus Diseases related to blood and the skin Root Seed or a part of the root
2. Pointed gourd (कडूपडवळ) Trichosanthes dioica Diseases related to Pitta (Bile) and skin All parts of the plant – root, stem, leaves, flowers and seeds or fruit collectively known as Panchang Seed
3. Wax gourd (कोहळा) Benincasa hispida Pitta (Bile), brain, and diseases of the urinary tract Fruit Seed
4. Indian moon-seed (पाडावेल) Cyclea peltata Diseases of the eyes All parts of the plant – root, stem, leaves, flowers and seed or fruit collectively known as Panchang Seed or sapling
5.  Long pepper (पिंपळी) Piper longum Diseases related to the respiratory and digestive tracts Root and fruit A piece of the vine which has a node in it
6. Black Pepper (मिरी) Piper nigrum Diseases related to the digestive and respiratory tract Fruits A piece of the vine which has a node in it
7. Jasmine, Arabian Jasmine, Mogra (मोगरा) Jasminum sambac Diseases related to Pitta or Bile Flowers and Leaves A piece of the vine which has a node in it
8. Shatavari (शतावरी) Asparagus racemosus Fever, weakness, and diseases related to the reproductive system Tuber Tuber
9. Indian birthwort, Sapsandh (सापसंद) Aristolochia indica Venomous snakebite, small child’s stomach ache and diarrhea All parts of the plant – root, stem, leaves, flowers and seeds or fruit collectively known as Panchang A piece of the vine which has a node in it

3.4.3 Shrubs (which grow more than 2 feet in height)

 

Sr. No Common Name Latin Name Diseases Part of the plant to be used for medicine What to use for planting?
1. Castor bean, Castor (एरंड) Ricinus communis Gout disorder, musculoskeletal disorder, stomach disorders and asthma Leaves, root and seeds Seed or a piece of the twig of the plant
2. Curry leaves (कढीपत्ता) Murraya koenigii Diseases related to the heart and liver Leaves Seed or a piece of the twig of the plant
3. Henna (मेंदी) Lawsonia inermis Diseases related to hair and musculoskeletal disorders Leaves and seeds Seed or a piece of the twig of the plant
4. Tapioca, Cassava (साबुकंद) Manihot esculenta Weakness Tuber Tuber

3.4.4 Trees to be planted

Sr. No Common Name Latin Name Diseases Part of the plant to be used for medicine What to use for planting?
1. Indian gooseberry (आवळा) Phyllanthus emblica Diseases related to the stomach, Pitta (Bile), hair and also diseases related to old age Fruit Saplings of a superior breed or variety
2. Neem tree (कडूनिंब) Azadirachta indica Wounds, diabetes and diseases related to the skin Skin, leaves and fruits Seed
3. Kuda (कुडा) Holarrhena pubescens Diarrhea, dysentery, haemorrhoids Seed, root, and skin Seed
4. Banana (केळे) Musa × paradisiaca Weakness and diseases related to the urinary tract All parts of the plant – root, stem, leaves, flowers and seeds or fruit collectively known as Panchang New sapling coming from the root
5. Night-flowering jasmine (प्राजक्ता) Nyctanthes arbor-tristis Arthritis and diseases related to Pitta (Bile) Skin, Leaves and flowers Seed or a piece of the twig of the plant
6. Golden shower tree (बाहवा) Cassia fistula Fever, diseases related to skin and constipation Skin, leaves and seedpod Seed
7. Indian bael (बेल) Aegle marmelos Diabetes and vitiligo Root, skin or bark, leaves and fruit Seed
8. Drumstick tree (शेवगा) Moringa oleifera Boils on the body, phlegm or mucus Skin or bark, Leaves, fruits, and drumsticks Seed or a piece of the twig of the plant
9. Ashoka tree (सीताअशोक) Saraca asoca Gynaecological problems or diseases related to women Skin or bark Seed

4 Conclusion

Growing the plants mentioned in this article will go a long way in helping to equip you to face the coming times which have been predicted to be fraught with war and natural disasters. They have the potential to be your first line of defence/treatment in the event of a shortage/unavailability of conventional allopathic medicines. In such a situation, having the ability to treat oneself medically with readily available medicinal herbs could be the difference between life and death. We urge you to plant the plants given in this article as per your ability or situation on a priority basis.

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