There has been a long felt need for appending the vernacular names of plants used
medicinally in Homoeopathy as listed in the various volumes of the Homoeopathic
Pharmacopoeia of India (HPI), as a seperate appendix. Accordingly a compilation has been
made of the plants in the official languages of India as listed in the 8th Schedule of the Indian
Constitution (2007), incorporating the 92nd Constitutional amendment (2003). The official
languages of India as per the above schedule (in alphabetical order) are:
a) Union level official languages: Standard Hindi, English.
b) State level official languages:
Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Chattisgarhi, Dogri, English, Garo, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada,
Kashmiri, Khasi, Kokborok, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Mizo, Nepali,
Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santali, Sindhi, Telugu, Tamil and Urdu.
In a large country like India where diverse languages are spoken regionally, the necessity
of including the names of Homoeopathic medicinal plants in as many different languages
possible would be of immense utilitarian value, for fixing the probable identity of the plant,
better understanding of the usage of the plant, easy procurement and ascertaining its availability
in various local markets throughout the length and breadth of the country.
There seems to be a relationship between availability of resources and associated
knowledge of a plant when more names of the plant are found to be in vogue in a particular
language. The relationship between language and knowledge on biodiversity has been well
documented. Language is the medium, where knowledge is stored, retrieved and transmitted.
Local names often indicate the patterns of knowledge flow.
An analysis of the entries of common and vernacular names would show that plants
which are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent and adjacent regions have a large number of
entries under diverse languages. This can be contrasted with the exotics almost exclusively of
the European or American continents which have names listed only in English and / or their local
language, with no entries in any of the Indian regional languages whatsoever. Longer the utility
ofthe plant in a community, the more the possibility of a name of the plant becoming entrenched
in the local language and vice versa.
Many of the medicinal plants useful in Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani have a significantly
higher number of names in Sanskrit, Tamil and Urdu than with other languages. This is more
due to their wider application, usage in these respective systems of medicine, occurrence
throughout the country and reflects the knowledge of medicinal value applicable in day to day
life, both with the learned class and the common man.
In the present work, the drug names are given first followed by the valid botanical names
and their synonyms if any are given next followed by the various names in regional languages
which are well documented in the literature. Plants not found mention in some of the languages
may be due to non availability of the plant in that region or lack of documentation in that local
nomenclature or its non-occurrence in that part of the Indian sub-continent.
It is hoped this appendix would increase the utility value not only of the Homoeopathic
Pharmacopoeia of India but would contribute to the overall knowledge data base of the
Homoeopathic medicinal plants in the understanding and availability of these raw materials
from various diverse sources, linked regionally.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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