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Secrets of Indian Herbs for Good Health

Secrets of Indian Herbs for Good Health


Item Code: IDK473

by Acharya Balkrishna

Paperback (Edition: 2008)

Divya Prakashan
ISBN 8189235648

Size: 10.8" X 8.2"
Pages: 430 (Illustrated Throughout In Full Color)
Price: $32.50
Discounted: $24.38   Shipping Free
Viewed times since 8th Oct, 2008



In India the knowledge of medicinal plants has been continuously passed on through generations right from the Vedic period. The earliest and the main source of Ayurved is Atharvaveda. In the ancient days the sages used to live in gurukuls (traditional schools of that era) established in secluded areas in forests. They routinely investigated and used medicinal plants. Their collaborators were inhabitants of nearby villages tending herds in the forest, who also collected fresh herbs. The medicines prepared from these herbs were used for treating people. The results were miraculous because the herbs were pure and fresh collected only after confirming their identity in consultation with the sages. The people were impressed so much that in course of time Ayurved developed and grew into the first medical system due to the untiring efforts of great minds like Dhanavantari, Charak, and Sushrut. It soon progressed to its peak form. It is not hard to believe that at that time there was no comparable system anywhere else. There is enough evidence from the Vedic literature and writings of Sushrut, the ancient practitioner of surgery, that the system had even developed artificial limbs. From India this medical system spread into the neighbouring countries – Tibet, China, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and also to Islamic countries further west. With time and circumstance it underwent and imbibed many changes and advanced.

The impact of Ayurved on the public mind in India was so profound that even under Islamic and British rule people retained their faith in it and it was widely practiced inspite of the negative attitude of the rulers. People in remote areas of the country depended solely on medicinal herbs for treating diseases because the Greek (Yunani) and Allopathic medicines were not available. Even today people in remote villages and the tribals in far-flung areas have great faith in the effectiveness of the medicinal herbs provided by nature. Rich and vast traditional experience and knowledge of herbs in still available in villages and tribal areas, but not much consolidated effort has been made to preserve and disseminate this valuable information. On the other hand it is becoming quite clear that people are not convinced about the efficacy of allopathic medicines which provide quick relief but also produce other undesirable effects leading to new problems. Medicinal herbs do not have such side effects. In addition the cost of the treatment and medicines is constantly increasing and is burdensome. People are also getting frustrated by the inordinate delays in getting proper treatment and with the callous behaviour of the doctors in some cases. Ayurvedic treatment is relatively inexpensive especially for common diseases like cold, cough, headache, stomach and skin disorders that can be treated with easily available medicinal herbs. Therefore a thorough knowledge of the herbs and of the methods of their use becomes all the more important.

The present book provides information about the medicinal use of commonly available herbs in a simple and easy to understand language. It gives step by step instructions for using them, which should be followed depending on the nature of the disease and in consultation with a knowledgeable Ayurved practitioner. The book gives the names of the herbs in different languages along with Ayurvedic description, chemical composition, properties, medicinal uses and their coloured photographs. Where possible, we have also included shlokas pertaining to properties and uses of a particular herb as found in ancient Ayurvedic texts. The main drawback in producing this type of book is that it becomes very difficult to identify the herb if a herb is found only in a specific location, the only way to get it is through a dealer. In such cases it is important to see the parts of the plant that is used for medicine. To help the reader identity these parts, pictures of the specific parts of the plant that is used for medicine. To help the reader identify these parts, pictures of the specific parts of the plant are also given. The doses to be taken are also given wherever possible. If this information is not given, the Ayurvedic physician should be consulted before starting medication. Many herbs are available in different varieties, in which case pictures of all plant species are given.

The decision for bringing out this book was made six years ago but the busy schedule and a desire to come up with an authoritative and visually appealing book delayed the completion. Still that desire is not completely fulfilled and we will keep striving towards that goal. While material from ancient scriptures has been used in the preparation of the book, inputs from modern day practitioners have also been incorporated for which we are grateful.

Through this book our aim is to make people aware of important Ayurvedic herbs and their uses. To facilitate identification, we have tried our best to give photographs of these herbs and their species as they appear in different seasons. We have also given photographs of dry from of herbs as they are sold in the market so a layperson can easily identify them.

For the English edition, we have revised and reworked the contents and have included many new pictures. I thank Sumegha Agarwal, Dr Kaushal Kumar and Priyata Raghavan for their dedicated efforts towards finalsing this edition. They have my best wishes and blessings.

It is our sincere hope that the book will help in making the general public more conscious of Ayurved and thereby increasing the interest in learning about and using the medicinal herbs. It is quite possible that knowledgeable persons will find some mistakes in the book. We will appreciate the feedback and suggestions. We will try to incorporate those in subsequent editions.

Back of the Book

Lack of physical labour, mental stress, negative thinking, imbalanced lifestyle, unnatural diets and dilution of life-sustaining natural processes has led to the scary rise of cancer, heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity all over the world.

Nature sustains life. It has cure for all kind of diseases, afflictions mankind is grappling with. In the absence of much integrated knowledge available about these natural remedies, people are unable to make good use of the herbal treasure India is endowed with.

Honourable Acharya Balkrishnaji has worked hard over the years traveling into the deep jungles, mountain ranges and tribal areas of India and also abroad, collecting and collating information about many of these herbs, including their photographs and knowledge of their medicinal uses.

Secrets of Indian Herbs – For Good Health, based on research and experience-based traditional knowledge of herbs and their medicinal usage, shall prove to be a significant contribution towards the well-being of the humanity at large. It is a major work making knowledge of rare herbs easily accessible to all.

My blessings are with the Ayurved exponent and scholar, Acharya Balkrishnaji. I thank him and applaud him for tireless and exemplary work he has done over the years for the promotion and preservation of Ayurved and Vedic traditions.


1AakCalotropis procera (Ait.) R. Br.
2AamMangifera indica L.12
3Adusa (Vasa)Adhatoda zeylanica Medik.18
4AfeemPapaver somniferum L.22
5AugustSesbania grandiflora (L.) Poir25
6AjmodApium graveolens L.28
7AjawayanTrachyspermum ammi (L.) Sprague30
8Ajawayan KhurasaniHyoscyamus niger L.35
9AkarkaraAnacyclus pyrethrum DC.37
10Aakash bailCuscuta reflexa Roxb.40
11AkhrotJuglans regia L.43
12Alasi (Tease)Linium usitatissimum L.47
13AmaltasCassia fistula L.50
14AmlaEmblica officinalis Gaertn.53
15AmrudPsidium guajava L.59
16AnarPunica granatum L.62
17AnantmoolHemidesmus indicus (L.) R. Br.68
18Angue (Munakka)Vitis vinifera L.71
19AnkolAlangium salvifolium (L.f.) Wang75
20AnanasAnanas conosus Merr.78
21Apamarg (Latjira)Achyranthes aspera L.80
22AparajitaClitorea ternatea L.84
23ArjunTerminalia arjuna (Roxb.) Wight & Arn.87
24Arlu (Shyonak)Oroxylum indicum (L.) Vent.91
25AraniPremna latifolia Roxb.95
26AshokSaraca asoca (Roxb.) de Wilde97
27Asgandha (Ashwagandha)Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal100
28AtisAconitum beterophyllum Wall. Ex Royle103
29AyapanEupatorium triplinerve Vahl106
30Babul/KeekarAcacia niloica (L.) Willd. Ex Delile ssp. Indica (Benth.) Brenan108
31BadhaFicus benghalensis L.112
32BahedaTerminalia bellirica (Gaertn.) Roxb.118
33BakayanMelia azedarach L.121
34BakuchiPsoralea corylifolia L.126
35Bala (Khraiti)Sida cordifolia L.128
36Bael (Bilva)Aegle marmelos (L.) Correa131
37BhangCannabis sativa L.137
38BhangraEclipta alba (L.) Hassk.140
39BharangiClerodendrum serratum (L.) Moon145
40Bhui Amla (Bhoomyamlki)Phyllanthus fraternus Webster147
41BrahmiCentella asiatica (L.) Urban150
42ChalmongraHydnocarpus pentandra (Buch.-Ham.) Oken 153
43ChameliJasminum grandiflorum L.155
44ChangeriOxalis corniculata L.158
45ChitrakPlumbago zeylanica L.160
46Daru sita Dal ChiniCinnamomum zeylanicum B1163
47DhaniaCoriandrum sativum L.166
48DhatakiWoodfordia fruticosa (L.) kurz169
49DhaturaDatura metal L.172
50DoobCynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.176
51Doodhi Dugdhika (Choti)Euphorbia thymifolia L.179
52Ekh (Ganna)Saccharum officinarum L.181
53Ala ilaichiAmomum subulatum Roxb.184
54Arand Ricinus communis L..187
55Isabgol Plantago ovata Forsk.191
56Gajar Daucus carota L. Var. sativa DC.193
57Gambhari Gmelina arborea Roxb.196
58Gainda Tagetes erecta L.199
59Giloye (Amrita) Tinospora cordifolia (Willd.) Hook. F.& Thoms.201
60Gokharu Chota Tribulus terrestris L.205
61Gular Ficus racemosa L.208
62Gorakhmundi Sphaeranthus indicus L.212
63Gurhal Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L..215
64Guldaudi Chrysanthemum coronarium L.218
65Gwar patha Ghritkumari Aloe vera (L.) Burm. f.220
66Haldi (Haridra) Curcuma longa L.224
67Haritaki Terminalia chebula (Gaertn) Retz.
68Imli Tamarindus indica L.232
69Indravaruni-Badi Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad.235
70Jamun Syzygium cuminii (L.) Skeels238
71Jeera (Safed & Syaha) Cuminum cyminum L.241
72Kachnar (Lal) Bauhinia variegate L.244
73Kaner (Karbeer) Thevetia peruviana (Pers.) Schum.249
74Kantakari Solanum surattnse. Burm. f253
75Karanj Caesalpinia bonduc (L.) Roxb.257
76Karela Momordica charantia L.261
77Kasmard Cassia occidentalis L.264
78Kutaja-Indrajau Holarrhena antidysenterica. (Roth) DC.267
79Lajvanti Mimosa pudica L.270
80Lavang Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merr. & L.M. Perry272
81Makoya Solanum nigrum L.275
82Mainphal Xeromphis spinosa (Thunb.) Keay278
83Marich Piper nigrum L.280
84Marua (Marubak) Origanum vulgare L.284
85Mehendi-Madyantika Lawsonia inermis L.286
86Mirch Lal (Lanka) Capsicum annuum L.289
87Maulsiri Mimusops elengi L.292
88Mooli Raphanus Sativus L.294
89Madhuyashishta-Mulethi Glycyrrhiza glabra L.298
90Nagarmotha (Motha) Cyperus scariosus R.Br.301
91Neem-Nimb Azadirachta indica (L.) A. Juss.304
92Neembu Citrus aurantiifolia (christm.) Swingle.316
94Palandu (Pyaz) Allium cepa L.325
95Palash Butea monosperma (Lam.) Taub.329
96Pan (Tambool) Piper betle L.332
97Panwad (Chakramarda) Cassia tora L.335
98Parnabeej Bryophyllum pinnatum (Lam.) Oken338
99Peepal Ficus religiosa L.341
100Pippali (Choti & Badi) Piper longum L.345
101Pithvan (Prishniparni) Uraria picta (Jacq.) Desv. Ex DC.350
102Piya Basa Barleria prionitis L.352
103Punanarva Boerhavia diffusa L.354
104Raee Brassica juncea. (L.) Czern. & Coss.357
105Kali Raee Brassica nigra (L.) Koch.360
106Reetha (Arishtak) Sapindus mukorossi Gaertn.362
107Sahjan Moringa oleifera Lam.365
108Sharpunkha Tephrosia purpurea (L.) Pers.368
109Satyanashi Argemone mexicana L.371
110 Sauntha-AdrakZingiber officinale Rosc.374
111Sehund Euphorbia neriifolia L.378
112Shankhapushpi Convolvulus microphyllus Sieb. Ex Spreng.381
113Shatvar Asparagus racemosus Willd.383
114Sheesham Dalbergia sissoo. Roxb. Ex DC.387
115Siris Albizia lebbeck (L.) Willd.390
116Surajmukhi Helianthus annuus L.394
117Tagar Valeriana wallichii DC.397
118Tejpat Cinnamomum tamala. (Ham.) Nees & Eberm.399
119Til Sesamum orientale L.401
120Triphala Triphala405
121Tulsi Ocimum sanctum L.407
122Ulatkambal Abroma augusta (L.) L.f.411
123Vacha Acorus calamus L.414
124Vatsanabha Aconitum ferox Wall. Ex Ser.417
125Vidarikand Pueraria tuberose. (Roxb. Ex Willd.) DC.419
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