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Ayurvedic Herbs - M

Ayurvedic Herbs A-Z

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Ayurvedic Medicine

Basics

There are numerous medicinal plants in current use in Thailand. Ayurvedic medicine and Thai traditional medicine, each finding many uses and deserving to be exhibited to the enthusiasts who wish to know about the characteristics of its stem, flower, fruit together with the research work undertaken, it is impossible to exhibit all, or even the majority, of them. For this reason some common medicinal plants which received research attention both locally and internationally have been selected. In addition, some which have so far attracted little attention from researchers have also been included owing to their recognition in Ayurvedic Medicine and traditional medicine in Thailand as well as some Asian countries.

The information has been searched from the literature, selected and edited in order to be presented in this site, which will familiarize the reader with general characters of such plants. No botanical details are given owing to the nature of this work and also to limited space. Sketches of the plants, however, are given to enable the reader to recognize them. It should be noted that all Thai, Sanskrit, Latin and English common names of the plants appearing in this site are transliterated into English with the sound in mind, and not according to the official rules. In addition, owing to the limited space the traditional usage of each plant is meant to be representative, and by no means comprehensive.

Ayurveda Herbs - Thai Herbs Common Name 
     
Ayurvedic Herbs English Name 

 

Ayurvedic Herbs Latin/Scientific Name

 

Ayurvedic Herbs Sanskrit Name

 

 M    English Name       

 

Mace

 

Malabar Nut

 

Mandarin Orange

 

Mango

 

Margosa Tree

 

Marjoram

 

Mayakku

 

Mayaphala

 

Milfoil

 

Milkweed

 

Milky Yam

 

Mint

 

Mountain Ebony

 

Musk Mallow

 

Musk Root

   
   

 

M    Latin Name          
 

Malva sylvestris

 

Mangifera indica

 

Melaleuca leucadendron

  Meldespumatum
 

Melia azadirachta

 

Mentha arvensis

 

Mentha piperata

 

Mentha spicata

 

Mesua ferrea

 

Mimosa pudica

 

Momordica charantia

 

Moringa pterygosperma

 

Mucuna pruriens

 

Myristica fragrans

   
   
   

 

 M      Sanskrit Name  
 

Madhunashini

  Madhu
 

Madhura

 

Madhusrava

 

Magadhi

 

Mahajambu

 

Mahanimbu

  Maharasnadi quath
  Mahayograj Guggul
 

Mandukaparni

 

Mandukig

  Mandur bhasma
 

Manjari

 

Manjishtha

  Makardhwaj
 

Maricha

 

Marubaka

 

Mastadaru

 

Masura

 

Matsyakshi

 

Mayakku

 

Mayaphala

 

Medhika

 

Meshashringi

  Mouktika bhasma
 

Mugrela

 

Mukulaka

  Muktashukti
  Mukta pishti
  Mullein
  Mouktika Sukti
 

Mundi

 

Munjariki

 

Musta

   
   

 

Sanskrit / Indian Name:

Maharasnadi quath

It is a decoction, which contains Rasna (Vanda roxburghii) as the main component. Maharasnadi quatha has analgesic, antiphlogistic and antipyretic properties and is used for the treatment of rheumatism and arthritis.

Sanskrit / Indian Name:

Mahayograj Guggul

It is a multi-ingredient preparation, the main constituent of which is Commiphora wightii (Indian Bdellium, Guggul). It contains volatile oils that have astringent and antiseptic properties. It increases the leukocyte count, stimulates phagocytosis and is used in the treatment of rheumatism that has affected the joints and bones.

Latin Name:

Malva sylvestris

English Name:

Common Mallow

Sanskrit / Indian Name:

Gul-khair

An erect, branched, woody biennial or perennial.

All parts of the plant are rich in mucilage. The petals are the source of the pigment malvin which is present in the malonated form, malvidin. The plant contains flavonols. However, they do not contain any detectable amounts of mutagenic flavonol aglycones. The herb possesses demulcent, cooling, antiseptic and emollient properties.

It is used in pulmonary and urinary affections and also in external applications for abscesses and inflammations. The flowers and immature fruits are used for whooping cough.

Sanskrit / Indian Name:

Makardhwaj

English Name:

Sulphide of Mercury

Makaradhwaj is a well-known inorganic preparation of the Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia. Chemically, it is red sulphide of mercury and gold in uncombined form. It is a sublimed product made from pure mercury, sulphur and gold.

Eight parts of mercury and one part of gold leaf are mixed together to form an amalgam. To this mixture 16 parts of sublimed sulphur are added and the resulting mixture is ground very thoroughly in a stone mortar for 24 hr. or more until the whole is converted to a lusterless, fine, impalpable powder of uniform consistence. This mixture is then placed in a narrow mouthed bottle and is gradually heated on a sand bath. On heating, the bottle is filled with reddish fumes of various hues. On cooling Makaradhvaja is found deposited in the inner surface of the neck of the bottle.

It is seldom used alone. In the majority of cases, it is mixed with various drugs called Ĺanupanaĺ or adjuvants. In cases of indigestion and diarrhea, Makaradhvaja is mixed with powdered bael fruit (Aegle marmelos); in cases of fever and cough it is given with the juices of ginger, betel (Piper betel) and tulsi leaves (Ocimum tenuiflorum). Generally, honey is used in the absence of proper adjuvants. The medicine can be used both for adults and children, the dosage being regulated according to age. Makaradhvaja, when taken regularly, is believed in indigenous systems of medicine to be a wonderful tonic and is said to increase longevity in a patient.

A valuable tonic in debilitating conditions and convalescent patients after acute illness, in failing circulation and cardiac asthenia; it increases the red blood corpuscles and improves general nutritional status. It is also used as a laxative with good results particularly in those cases when there are visceroptosis and atonic conditions of the gastrointestinal tract. It is said to be of great value as an intestinal antiseptic and is supposed to relieve the gaseous distension of bowels due to fermentation. It is used widely as an alterative and an aphrodisiac.

Sanskrit / Indian Name:

Mandur bhasma

English Name:

Ferric Oxide Calx

It is prepared by purifying and calcinating iron rust. Mandura is specially useful in anemia, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, menorrhagia, chlorosis, hepatic and splenic disorders. It is also used in diarrhea, chronic bowel complaints, dyspepsia, intestinal worms, nervous diseases, neuralgia of the 5th nerve due to debility, kidney diseases, albuminuria, etc. It is a powerful hematinic and tonic and is valuable in the treatment of hemolytic jaundice and microcytic anemia.

Latin Name:

Mangifera indica

English Name:

Mango

Sanskrit / Indian Names:

Amra, Chuta

A large evergreen tree, with a heavy, dome-shaped crown. The mango is the most popular fruit in India.

The unripe, fully developed mangoes of pickling varieties contain citric, malic, oxalic, succinic and two unidentified acids. The ripe fruits constitute a rich source of vitamin A; some varieties contain fairly good amounts of vitamin C also. ▀-Carotene and xanthophyll are the principal pigments in ripe mango. The leaves contain the glucoside mangiferine. The bark of the mango tree contains tannin (16-20%). Mangiferine has been isolated from the bark.

The bark is astringent; it is used in diphtheria and rheumatism; it is believed to possess a tonic action on the mucous membrane. It is astringent, anthelmintic, useful in hemoptysis, hemorrhage, nasal catarrh, diarrhea, ulcers, diphtheria, rheumatism and for lumbrici. The leaves are given in the treatment of burns, scalds and diabetes. Mangiferin from the leaves has been reported to possess antiinflammatory, diuretic, chloretic and cardiotonic activities and displays a high antibacterial activity against gram positive bacteria. It has been recommended as a drug in preventing dental plaques. Mangiferin shows antiviral effect against type I herpes simplex virus (HSV-I).

 

Latin Name:

Melaleuca leucadendron

English Names:

Cajuput Tree, Tea Tree

Sanskrit / Indian Name:

Kayaputi

An evergreen tree of small or moderate size with pendulous branches.

Fresh leaves and terminal branchlets yield, on steam-distillation, a volatile oil, known in the trade as Oil of Cajuput (Oleum Cajuputi) and used in medicine. Besides cineole, the oil contains a-terpineol and its esters, l -a-pinene, l -limonene, dipentene, sesquiterpenes, azulene, sesquiterpene alcohols, valeraldehyde and benzaldehyde.

It has antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic and anti-dandruff properties. The oil is used internally as an expectorant in chronic laryngitis and bronchitis, and as carminative; overdoses cause gastro-intestinal irritation. It acts as an anthelmintic, especially against roundworms. The oil relieves toothache if introduced into hollow carious teeth. It forms a constituent of ointments and liniments and is considered efficacious as a counter-irritant in chronic rheumatism. It is valued as a mosquito repellent and has the advantage over citronella oil in that it is less volatile.

Latin Name:

Meldespumatum

English Name:

Honey

Sanskrit / Indian Name:

Madhu

It is generally recommended as a remedy for cold, cough, fever, sore throat, respiratory disorders, etc., by virtue of its bactericidal, antiseptic and expectorant properties.

Latin Name:

Mentha arvensis

English Name:

Mint

Sanskrit / Indian Names:

Pudina, Putiha

A downy perennial herb with running rootstocks and rigid branching stem.

The herb yields on steam-distillation, a volatile oil, known in the trade as Japanese Mint Oil or Japanese Peppermint Oil; the leaves and flowering tops give the highest yield. The main constituent of the oil is menthol. The oil is useful in neuralgia when applied externally and a febrifuge in fevers. It is useful in treating pain and inflammation of muscles and joints due to its counter irritant actions.

Latin Name:

Mentha piperata

English Name:

Peppermint

Sanskrit / Indian Name:

Paparaminta

A perennial, glabrous, strongly scented herb.

The herb is the source of true Peppermint Oil. The oil contains menthol (50-55%), menthyl acetate, menthone and small amounts of pinene, phellandrene, l-limonene, terpinene, cadinene, cineole, amyl alcohol, acetic acid, isovaleric acid, acetaldehyde, isovaleric aldehyde and a lactone.

The dried leaves and flowering tops of the plant are official in the U.S. Pharmacopeia under the name Peppermint. The herb is considered aromatic, stimulant, stomachic and carminative, and used for allaying nausea, flatulence and vomiting. Bruised leaves are employed as an external application for relieving local pains and headache. A hot infusion is taken to allay stomach ache and colicky diarrhea. Peppermint is used as an antispasmodic, diuretic, choleretic and carminative and as an expectorant in bronchitis. It is a component in several sedative preparations.

 

Latin Name:

Mentha spicata

English Name:

Spearmint

Sanskrit / Indian Names:

Pahari Pudina, Putiha

A glabrous, perennial herb with creeping rhizomes.

The fresh flowering herb on distillation yields 0.25-0.50% of volatile oil, known as Spearmint Oil. The characteristic constituent of the oil is l-carvone. The herb is considered stimulant, carminative and antispasmodic. A sweetened infusion of the herb is given as a remedy for infantile troubles, vomiting in pregnancy and hysteria. The leaves are used in fevers and bronchitis. The oil is a counter irritant.

 

Latin Name:

Mesua ferrea

English Name:

Ironwood Tree

Sanskrit / Indian Names:

Keshara, Nagakesara, Nagapushpa

Mesua ferrea is a medium-sized to large evergreen tree with solitary flower and numerous stamens.

It's principal constituent is the volatile oil from the flowers shows antibacterial, antifungal and anthelmintic activities. It exhibits significant anti-inflammatory and styptic activity.

Latin Name:

Mimosa pudica

English Names:

Sensitive Plant, Touch Me Not

Sanskrit / Indian Name:

Lajjalu

A diffuse prickly undershrub the leaves of which are extremely sensitive to touch.

The plant contains tubulin and a new class of phytohormones called turgorines. The seeds of the plant contain a mucilage composed of d -xylose and d -glucuronic acid. A decoction of the root of the plant is considered useful in gravel and other urinary complaints. A paste of the leaves is applied to glandular swellings; the juice of leaves is used in dressings for sinus and also as an application for sores and piles.

Latin Name:

Momordica charantia

English Name:

Bitter Gourd

Sanskrit / Indian Names:

Karavella, Kathilla, Sushavi

Momordica charantia is a monoecious climber with slender stem and yellow flowers.

Its principal constituents are lectins, charantin and momordicine. The fruits have long been used in India as a folk remedy for diabetes mellitus. Lectins from the bitter gourd have shown significant antilipolytic and lipogenic activities.

 

Latin Name:

Moringa pterygosperma

English Names:

Drumstick, Horse Radish

Sanskrit / Indian Names:

Shigru, Shobhanjana

It is a small or medium-sized tree, with tri-pinnate leaves and white flowers.

Its principal constituents are pterigospermin, spirachin and banzyl isothiocyanate. Biological activity studies have confirmed the anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and diuretic activities of the seeds. The seeds are used as antibacterial, anticholeric and anti-viral agents.

Sanskrit / Indian Names:

Mouktika bhasma / Muktashukti / Mouktika Sukti

English Name:

Pearl Oyster Shell Calx

It is the ash obtained by calcinating the shells of Pinctada margaritifera. It is antacid, tonic and used in acid peptic disorders.

Sanskrit / Indian Name:

Mukta pishti

English Name:

Processed Pearl

It is processed from the pearls of Mytilus magaritiferus.

It is a powerful cardiac tonic and mood elevator.

 

Latin Name:

Mucuna pruriens

English Name:

Cow-Itch Plant

Sanskrit / Indian Name:

Kapikachchhu

 Mucuna pruriens is a twining annual climber.

Its principal constituents are L-DOPA and the bioactive alkaloids mucunine, mucunadine, mucuadinine, prurienine and nicotine as well as ▀-sitosterol, glutathione, lecithin, oils, venolic and gallic acids. L-DOPA is a neurotransmitter precursor, an effective drug for relief in Parkinson's disease. The seed is a prophylactic against oligospermia and is useful in increasing sperm count, ovulation in women, etc.

It is a good aphrodisiac and also a nervine tonic. It is used in the treatment of spermatorrhea and diseases of the genitourinary system.

Latin Name:

Verbascum thapsus

English Name:

Great Mullein

Sanskrit / Indian Name:

Mullein

Other Names: Mullein, Aarons Rod, Great Mullein, velvet plant, white mullein, verbascum flowers, woolen blanket herb, bullock's lungwort, flannel flower, shepherd's club, hare's beard, pig taper, cow's lungwort

Active Compounds: flavonoids such as verbascoside and herperidin, mucilage, saponins, tannins, volatile oil.

Expectorant, demulcent, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, nervine, anti-spasmodic, vulnerary, alterative, astringent.

Mullein is a good respiratory remedy. Also for toning the mucous membranes of the respiratory system, reducing inflammation whilst stimulating fluid production and thus facilitating expectoration. It is considered a specific in bronchitis where there is a hard cough with soreness. Its anti-inflammatory and demulcent properties indicate its use in inflammation of the trachea and associated conditions. Externally an extract made in olive oil is excellent in soothing and healing any inflamed surface or easing ear problems.

Combinations : In bronchitis it combines well with White Horehound, Coltsfoot and Lobelia. In painful coughing, Priest & Priest recommend combining with Elder and Red Clover, and for asthma with Gumweed.

Latin Name:

Myristica fragrans

English Names:

Mace, Nutmeg

Sanskrit / Indian Names:

Jatikosha, Jatipatra, Jatipatri (Jaatipatree), Jatiphala, Jatiphalam

Its principal constituents are Nutmeg which has a fixed oil, a volatile oil and starch and Mace which has a volatile oil (Oil of mace) and amylodextrin.

The oil extract of the tree is used as a counter irritant and stimulates blood flow to the area applied. Nutmeg is reported to be an expectorant, vermifuge, aphrodisiac, and as a nervine used by psychiatrists. It is used in tonics and electuaries and is recommended for the treatment of inflammations of the bladder and urinary tract. Mace is used in folk medicine for the treatment of rheumatism.

It has anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial properties.

 

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