In this article, it is aimed to discuss the ethnomedicinal importance of more that 100 urban medicinal plants which are being used by native people of this area.

Chhindwara, in the South-West of Jabalpur Revenue Division, is situated on the Satpura Plateau in the South-Central part of the Madhya Pradesh State (the Central State of India) and lies between latitudes 21°23' and 22°49' North and the longitudes 78°10' and 79°24' East. Chhindwara district is gifted with abundance in natural resources, especially minerals, forests and agriculture.

A Complete Picture

The Headquarter town of the district, Chhindwara is situated on the Bodri Stream, a tributary of the Kulbehra River. It stands picturesquely on the open Satpura plateau at an elevation of about 677 meters, flanked by ranges of low hills. With a comparatively light rainfall, the climate is very salubrious and pleasant. The name of the place is derived from the Chhind or date-palm tree.

The Nagpur road that separates the Civil Lines from the rest of the town traverses Chhindwara. Another main road, running from the district office to the railway station, similarly traverses the town. A circular road runs round it passing by the hill of Dharamtekri. With several beautiful roads in the civil line area, the Chhindwara-Nagpur road is picturesque. One road radiates from it and reaches the Collectors bungalow. It is extremely beautiful, shaded by huge old banyan trees on both sides; this region is known as Badwan today. Near about is another road, lined by old and bulky tamarind trees on two sides. Yet another road is bordered by Shisham trees (Dalbergia Sisso). In part the area is well wooded.

Since time immemorial, people have gathered plant and animal resources for their needs. Examples include edible nuts, mushrooms, fruits, herbs, spices, gums, game, fodder, fibres Used for construction of shelter and housing, clothing or utensils, and plant or animal products for medicinal, cosmetic or cultural Uses. Even today, hundreds of millions of people, mostly in developing countries, derive a significant part of their subsistence needs and income from gathered plant and animal products. Gathering of high value products such as mushrooms (morels, matsutake, truffles), medicinal plants also continues in developed countries for cultural and economic reasons .

Among these uses, medicinal plants play a central role as traditional medicines used in many cultures and tribes.

Central India is known for its richness of medicinal flora. Plants, shrubs, roots of immense medicinal value are abundantly found in Satpuda, Vindhyachal, Aravali ranges, Bailadilla Hills, Abhujmar, Khurchel valleys, Kanger Reserve, Amarkantak, Pachmarhi and Patalkot areas.
Central India is covered with tropical forests, which are supposed to be rich in biodiversity. However subtropical hill forests are found in few areas. About 500 species of medicinal plants are found. Some of the economically medicinal plants are on the verge of extinction. The endemic and rare flora is also found in the region. The other areas of unique plant diversity are Chandanbagh, Patalkot valley, Supkhar chir pine, plant fossils of Maldla, Trap (Basalt) dykes of Pipri, Machna teak forest reserve, Bori nature reserve, Rukhad nature reserve, Sitanadi Sal nature reserve, bamboo forests of Lanji.
Over-exploitation of plants like safed musli, chironji, sarpagandha and bach has made them endangered species. Some plants like psilotum are found in Pachamarhi only.


Surveys were carried out during Sep’ 03- Jan’ 04. List of plants belonging to various families found in Chhindwara town is prepared in alphabetical order. Medicinal importance of the plants have been described after gathering information from local people and consulting literature. Plants collected during the surveys have been deposited in the Department of Botany.

1. Acacia arabica (Lamk.) Willd.
Local Name: Babul
Family: Mimosaceae
Use: The leaves are astringent and beneficial to the eye.
Fruit of the plant is Coagulant.Gum is astringent, cooling and healing. It stops bleeding. It cures dysentery and diarrhea. Extract of the bark is mixed with honey is applied in the eyes to relieve conjunctivitis and to stop lacrimination. Bark is goof for gums, heals and ulcers. It is a sedative.

2. Achranthes aspera Linn.
Family: Amaranthaceae
Local Name: Chirchita
Use: It cures eye disorders. Good for cough, worms and indigestion. Good in snake bite.

3. Adhatoda vasica Linn.
Family: Acanthaceae
Local Name: Adusa
Use: It is used in asthma, diarrhea and dysentery. It checks bleeding. Good for throat emollient, flowers are used in eye disorders, extract of root is used in stiffness of neck.

4. Aegle marmelos Correa.
Family: Rutaceae
Local Name: Bel
Use: Used in dysentery and diarrhea.Root checks vomitting. Leaves cure fever, dysentery, diarrhea and piles. Fruits are good tonic for brain. Leaves are good in diabetes.

5. Ageratum conyzoides Linn.
Family: Asteraceae
Local Name: Ajgadha
Use: It is good in stomach disorders. Used as a tonic.

6. Allium sativum Linn.
Family: Liliaceae
Local Name: Lahsun
Use: It is laxative, strength promoter, aphrodisiac and carminative. It cures cough, skin troubles and chronic fever. Relieves breathing problems, heart troubles. It is good in piles. It helps the union of fractured bones.

7. Amaranthus virdis Linn.
Family: Amaranthaceae
Local Name: Choulaee
Use: It is said to be good blood purifier. Used in piles. Taken as digesting agent.

8. Argemone mexicana Linn.
Local Name: Pili Kateri
Family: Papaveraceae
Use: The root-powder is mixed with sugar and taken orally with water when affected with skin diseases.

9. Asparagus racemosus Willd.
Local Name: Naarbod
Family: Liliaceae
Use: root-powder is Used to increase vigour and strength.

10. Azadirachta indica Juss. syn. Melia azadirachta L.
Local Name: Neem
Family: Meliaceae
Use: Seeds are Used in skin diseases, and in rheumatism. Bark is Useful in malarial fever. Dry fruits are Used as tonic and stomachic. Tender twigs are Used as tooth-brush.

11. Berberis aristata Linn. DC.
Local Name: Daru Haridra
Family: Berberidaceae
Use: Used in inflammation. Root-bark extract is Used to heal the ulcer.

12. Butea frondosa Roxb.
Local Name: Palaas
Family: Papilionaceae
Use: Seeds are Used to cure ringworm. Petioles are chewed during heat in urination.

13. Caesalpinia bonducella (L.) Roxb.
Local Name: Gatran
Family: Caesalpiniaceae
Use: For the preparation of the powder for digestion.

14. Calotropis procera R. Br.
Local Name: Madaar
Family: Asclepiadaceae
Use: Used in boils, and also to remove the thorn from the body.

15. Carica papaya Linn.
Family: Caricaceae
Local Name: Papeeta
Use: It is used as digestant. It anthelmintic, laxative, tonic, nutritive and diuretic.Latex acts as anthelmintic.
Unripe fruit is good for excretory troubles in children. It is a good aphrodisiac. It has wormicidal activity and it is good in cough.

16. Cassia fistula Linn.
Family: Caesalpiniaceae
Local Name: Amaltas
Use: Leaves and flowers are used in ringworms and other skin infections. Roots cure fever. Pulp is purgative and used in all intestinal disorders.Bark is laxative and astringent.

17. Cassia tora Linn.
Local Name: Titi
Family: Fabaceae
Use: Powder of the the dry seeds is Used in Asthma. The powder is mixed with Gud (2-3-year old) and about 7 small balls are prepared. One ball is taken every day with water upto 7 days.

18. Citrullus aromatica Salisb.
Local Name: Kachariya
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Use: The fruits are used in stomach troubles.

19. Cocculus hirsutus Diels. Syn. C. Villosus. DC.
Local Name: Jal Jamani
Family: Menispermaceae
Use: The leaves are Useful to cure leucorrhea.

20. Coriandrum sativum Linn.
Family: Umbelliferae
Local Name: Dhania
Use: Seeds are carminative, stomachic. In case of frequency of stools with blood, leaves of this plant is given to remove blood in stool. Leaves are appetizer. Extract is used as antidysentric. Extract is useful in conjunctivitis.

21. Cuscuta reflexa Roxb.
Local Name: Amarbel
Family: Convolvulaceae
Use: The extract of the plant is applied to get rid of dandruff.

22. Datura stramonium Linn.
Family: Solanaceae
Local Name: Dhatura
Use: Fruits are used in skin related disorders. It is good in ulcers and worms. When internally used, it stimulates the mind and creates intoxication lastly resulting in fainting. Seeds are employed in headache. Plant is used as antidote for poisons.

23. Delbergia sisoo Roxb.
Family: Fabaceae
Local Name: Shisham
Use: Used in gonorrhoea.

24. Emblica officinalis Gaertn. syn. Phyllanthus emblica L.
Local Name: Aonla
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Use: To cure dandruff.

25. Euphorbia hirta Linn.
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Local Name: Dudhi
Use: Used in treatment of cough and asthma. It is aphrodisiac and enriches the blood. Employed in diarrhea, piles and semen debility. It is laxative and astringent.

26. Ficus bengalensis Linn.
Family: Moraceae
Local Name: Bad, Bargad, Vat
Use: Latex of the plant is good in curing diarrhea, dysentery, piles, teeth decay, rheumatism, leucorrhoea and other skin related problems.

27. Ficus religiosa Linn.
Family: Moraceae
Local Name: Peepal
Use: Good in leucorrhoea. It is used in impotency. It is astringent, expectorant, laxative and conceptive. Taken in asthma, whooping cough and genital-urinary troubles.

28. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis
Family: Malvaceae
Local Name: Jason, Gurhal
Use: It is aphrodisiac. Leaves are good for curing boils. Flowers are laxative.

29. Jatropha curcus Linn.
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Local Name: Chadrajot, Ratanjot
Use: Seed are used in cholera, and dysentery. Good in stomach disorders. Cures toothache and gum ache. Seeds are used as antidote for poisoning. It is effective in skin diseases and rheumatism.

30. Launaea acaulis
Family: Asteraceae
Local Name: Musakani
Use: It is nutritive, diuretic, stomachic and blood purifier. It is used as antidote for poisoning. Roots relieve jaundice and skin disorders. Leaves and roots are given in leprosy and leucorrhoea.

31. Leucas zeylanica
Family: Labiatae
Local Name: Gooma, Gatta, Lumba, Drona
Use: Used in fever. Good in scorpion and snake bite. Taken for curing dysentery. Leaves and flower are good in jaundice.

32. Mangifera indica Linn.
Local Name: Aam
Family: Anacardiaceae
Use: The leaves are Used in erruptions of the tongue. Bark of the plant is aphrodisiac, cardiac, appetizer and stringent. Fruits are good in bleeding piles, haemmorrhage from uterus, Lungs and intestine leucorrhoea. Roots relieve jaundice and skin disorders. Leaves and roots are given in leprosy and leucorrhoea. Bark is used in scabies and other cutanious problems. Used in opthalmia ad erruptions.

33. Mentha arvensis Linn.
Family: Labiatae
Local Name: Podina
Use: Used as carminative and flavoring agent. It is stomachic, diuretic and anthelmintic. It cures bad taste of mouth, indigestion, constipation and worms.

34. Moringa oleifera Lam.
Local Name: Sahjan
Family: Moringaceae
Use: The juice of the leaves is Used in the eye diseases.
The whole plant is abortifacient, anthelmintic, carminative, digestive, diuretic and stomachic. Fruits and seeds are taken to relieve abscess, asthma, earache, epilepsy and hysteria. Roots are important in curing paralysis and guinea-worm. The whole plant has the ability to cure rheumatism and sore throat. It is a good tonic.

35. Mucuna prurita Hook. Syn. M. pruriens (L.) DC.
Local Name: Kimaach
Family: Papilionaceae
Use: Seeds are Used as aphrodisiac.

36. Ocimum sanctum Linn.
Local Name: Tulsi
Family: Labiateae
Use: The leaves are used against skin diseases.

37. Phyllanthes niruri Linn.
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Local Name: Bhui-aonla
Use: The whole plant is diuretic and given in jaundice. Good liver tonic. Cures urino-genital infections.

38. Punica granatum Linn.
Family: Punicaceae
Local Name: Anaar
Use: Used as an anthelmintic. Good for improving memory, brain and strength. It cures fever, burning, heart diseases and disease of throat. It is laxative and astringent.

39. Ricinus communis Linn.
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Local Name: Arandi
Use: It is purgative, carminative, aphrodisiac. It cures cough and headache. Good in rheumatism, fever ad urinary disorders.

40. Rosa damascena Mill.
Family: Rosaceae
Local Name: Gulab
Use: Used as purgative. It heals ulcer. Employed in the treatment of conjunctivitis, headache and fainting.

41. Ruta graveolens L.
Local Name: Shitab
Family: Rutaceae
Use: The juice of leaves is used as carminative.

42. Semecarpus anacardium Linn.
Local Name: Bhilwa
Family: Anacardiaceae
Use: The oil of seeds is applied on the painful spot.

43. Salmalia malabarica (DC) Schoit and Endl.
Family: Malvaceae
Local Name: Semur, Semul
Use: Gum of the plant is good for curing kidney troubles, leucorrhoea and tuberculosis. Flowers and barks have ability to cure conjunctivitis and cutaneous infections. It is expectorant, laxative and suppurative.

44. Solanum anguivi Lam.
Local Name:
Family: Solanaceae
Use: Used in skin diseases.

45. Solanum xanthocarpum Schard & Wendl.
Family: Solanaceae
Local Name: Bhat Kataiyan
Use: It is effective in respiratory diseases, dropsy and throat disorders. It cures gonorrhoea. It is good in snakebites.

46. Syzygium cumini L. (Skeils.) syn. Eugenia jambolana Lamk.
Local Name: Jamun
Family: Myrtaceae
Use: Seed- powder is Useful in diarrhoea, dysentry and diabetes. Bark is used for mouth washes.

47. Sonchus arvensis Linn.
Family: Asteraceae
Local Name: Sahdehi
Use: Good in body pains, diarrhea, dysentery, fever, leucorrhoea, leprosy, white spots of skin and ringworm. It is astringent and diuretic.It is good in snakebites.

48. Tamarindus indica Linn.
Family: Leguminosae
Local Name: Imli
Use: It is laxative. Dry bark power relieves gastric pain. It is aphrodisiac, tonic and good for hair. Plaster of leaves is applied for curing inflammation, blood disorders and acne. Cures dandruff.

49. Terminalia arjuna (Roxb.) W. & A. Syn. Terminalia glabra W. & A.
Local Name: Arjun, Kahuaa
Family: Combretaceae
Use: The decoction of the bark is Used as tea in heart troubles. The bark gives strength to the heart. Good stomachic.

50. Terminalia bellerica Roxb.
Local Name: Beheda
Family: Combritaceae
Use: Epicarp of fruit mixed with Harra is Useful in digestion. Seeds mixed with Buchammia seeds are taken in eruption of mouth.

51. Tinospora cordifolia (Lour.) Miers.
Local Name: Gurvail
Family: Menispermaceae
Use: Juice with sugar is good after malarial and typhoid fever.

52. Trigonella foenum-graecum Linn.
Family: Leguminosae
Local Name: Methi
Use: Aphrodisiac.
Stomachic, carminative, laxative. It is used in abscess, pigmentation and discoloration of the face.

53. Vernonia cinerea Linn.
Family: Asteraceae
Local Name: Sahdevi
Use: The whole plant is good in fever.

54. Zizyphus jujuba Lamk.
Family: Rhamnaceae
Local Name: Ber
Use: Good in diarrhea and fever. It is a good blood purifier.

The survey provides an evidence that the local people of Chhindwara uses about 54 plants in various ailments. The traditional people still depend on herbal medicines. The plants are generally used as stomach disorders, skin diseases, aphrodisiacs, fever, tonic, ulcer, asthma, snake-bite, respiratory diseases, leucorrhoea, dandruff, eye-diseases and diabetes. There is need of training on cultivation and conservation of medicinal plants for the students and innovators. Only plants growing in sandy soils and require less water can be selected for cultivation since the local soil is sandy and there is scarcity of water in the suburbs. There is a greater need to develop a garden of medicinal plants of the area. The nearby tribal people can also be encouraged to take up this job as an income generation activity.

Author's Bio: 

Dr Deepak Acharya is Director, Abhumka Herbal Pvt Ltd. For more information, visit and