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Keep these Top 5 Plants for High Medicinal Benefits

06 Dec 2022

 

Article Written by Swastika Sarkar, Botanist

Indian traditional medicine systems, or the Ayurveda, Siddha, and Unani, have appeared in the Vedic texts between 2500 and 500 BC revolving around the idea of using the phytochemical properties of plants in the treatment of various diseases. The oldest written evidence of medicinal plants’ usage for the preparation of drugs has been found on a Sumerian clay slab from Nagpur, approximately 5000 years old. It comprised 12 recipes for drug preparation referring to over 250 various plants such as poppy, henbane, and mandrake.

That being said, here are the Top 5 Medicinal Plants which are power-packed with benefits and extremely easy to maintain at home:

1. About Piper Betle or Betel Leaf plant 

Medicinal Benefit of Piper Betel Plant - Buy Betel Plant Online - Leafy IslandThe Betel Leaf plant (piper betel) is a creeper grown in India. It belongs to the pepper family. Its waxy green, heart-shaped leaves are used for medicinal and culinary purposes. When crushed, it exudes a cool peppery scent. It’s used in making a famous dessert called ‘Paan’ which is chewed with betel nut as a mouth freshener. This mildly stimulant herb is popular in the whole of South Asia (Indian subcontinent), Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

 

Top 5 Benefits of Betel Leaf Plant

The medicinal benefits of the Betel Leaf plant are what make it a very popular kitchen or balcony plant for every household in India. Here we list down the top 5 benefits of Betel Leaf plants for you.  

How to take care of the Betel Leaf Plant?

The plant thrives well in hot and humid environments in partial shade although the plant needs regular watering. Regular pruning should be done to encourage new leaf growth and sweet and tender leaves. Keep the plant indoors in winter when the temperature falls below 7℃ because it becomes dormant in cold weather and sometimes, sheds off its leaves. However, they grow abundantly in summer and spring with little to no maintenance. However, watering should be taken care of, since over-watering will lead to root rot.

2. About Aloe barbadensis or Aloe vera

Medicinal Benefit of Aloe Vera - Buy Aloe Vera Plant Online - Leafy IslandAloe vera is a succulent plant species of the genus Aloe. The plant is stemless or very short-stemmed with thick, greenish, fleshy leaves that fan out from the plant’s central stem. The succulent has a long history of being used for medicinal purposes, dating back to ancient Egypt. The plant requires very less attention and gives a ton of benefits!

4 Most Important Benefits of Aloe Vera

The benefits of Aloe Vera make this medicinal wonder plant a favorite among almost every household, with its diverse range of properties. Here is a list of the top 4 useful properties of this plant.

How to care for an Aloe Vera plant?

The Aloe plant should be placed in bright, indirect sunlight or artificial light. Aloe vera does best in temperatures between 55 and 80°F (13 and 27°C). The temperatures of most homes and apartments are ideal. Water Aloe Vera plants deeply, but infrequently. To discourage rot, allow the soil to dry at least 1 to 2 inches deep between watering. Don’t let your plant sit in water. Fertilize sparingly (no more than once a month). Fertilization should be done preferably in the spring and summer with a balanced houseplant formula mixed at ½ strength. Use very well-draining soil for potting.

3. About Tulsi/ Holy Basil or Ocimum tenuiflorum 

Medicinal Benefit of Krishna Tulsi - Buy Krishna Tulsi Online - Leafy IslandOcimum tenuiflorum otherwise known as Tulsi, Holy Basil, Ajaka, etc, has over 100 varieties among which 3 major varieties are used in India. Of all the herbs used within Ayurveda, Tulsi is preeminent, and scientific research is now confirming its beneficial effects. There is mounting evidence that Tulsi can address physical, chemical, metabolic, and psychological stress through a unique combination of pharmacological actions. It is a powerhouse of medicinal properties to cure a number of ailments and hence can be rightly called “The Herb for All Reasons”. 

5 Proven Benefits of Tulsi Plant

The medicinal benefits of the Tulsi Plant have been popular since ancient times and it has found its use in various traditional medicines. Here is a list of the top 5 benefits of Tulsi Plant:

How to care for Tulsi Plant?

In ideal conditions, the plant thrives in complete sunlight. The temperature range can be between 20℃ to 35℃. It prefers hot temperatures to thrive. Tulsi does not require a lot of water to grow. During summers, water regularly, or else the plant can dry up. The plant cannot tolerate frost, so watering should be done accordingly in winter. Water should be given when the topsoil is dry. Fertilize the plant every 2 months with rich compost soil during spring and summer. Liquid fertilizer can be used every second month.

4. About Cymbopogon citratus or Lemongrass

Medicinal Benefit of Lemongrass - Buy Lemon Grass Online - Leafy IslandLemongrass is a low-maintenance exotic plant native to Southeast Asia. It has become popular in a host of international cuisines, has a lovely citrusy scent, and is used in medicinal applications. Adding to that it's the ability to repel some insects and pests. It has elegant 6-foot-tall arching stems and this is a plant you will love to grow. Lemongrass grows well in warm and humid areas with plenty of sunshine and moisture

5 Everyday Benefits of Lemongrass Plant

The medicinal properties of Lemongrass make it very popular among Southeast Asian cuisines and herbal preparations. Here is a list of the top 5 benefits of Lemongrass for you:

How to care for Lemongrass?

This plant is one of few that enjoy the full, direct sun, so it’s perfect to set in a bright sunny window or an unshaded area of your garden if you want to keep it outside. Lemongrass will need plenty of bright sunlight even in winter, so ensure it has access to natural light; otherwise, the stalks will turn brown. They will benefit from living in high humidity in your home or garden, though as long as light, temperature, and water conditions are right. Caring for the plant is very easy, but one thing it is fussy about is water. Knowing when to water lemongrass and how much the plant requires solves most of the problems while growing this plant. As a quick-growing and foliage-dense plant, lemongrass benefits from a fertilizer high in nitrogen, which encourages leaf growth. Both indoor and outdoor lemongrass plants should be fertilized during their growing period in spring and summer. Use a liquid fertilizer on a monthly basis, and then, cease feeding your lemongrass plant completely during fall and winter when the plant slows growth or becomes dormant.

5. About Bacopa monnieri or Brahmi

Medicinal Benefit of Brahmi Plant - Buy Brahmi Plant Online - Leafy IslandBrahmi Plant (Bacopa monnieri or Moneywort) can be found in marshy areas and along the banks of slow-moving streams throughout the tropics and subtropics. It is believed to have originated in Asia and Australia and has bright green, thick leaves that grow densely along light brown or green stems. Moneywort has been widely used in Ayurveda—a holistic form of healing originating in India thousands of years ago. In classic Ayurvedic literature, Bacopa monnieri is called Brahmi. This name references the Sanskrit word meaning “of the energy of Brahma,” the force of creation and universal consciousness.

Ayurveda Benefits of Brahmi Plant

The medicinal benefits of the Brahmi plant have been used in Ayurveda. The plant has diverse applications in ailments of the brain and has been used since ancient times for such. Here is a list of the top 4 benefits of the Brahmi Plant:

How to take care of Brahmi Plant?

Brahmi plants prefer direct sunlight but will tolerate partial shade. Most importantly, the Brahmi plant requires an overabundance of water and loves environments with high humidity (65-80%). In fact, these plants can grow hydroponically, or without soil in nutrient-rich water. Beyond that, the plant is fairly flexible in the quality of water. Brahmi plant can grow in acidic, neutral, or alkaline water, and even grows well in brackish environments. It grows best from 22 to 28°C (72-80°F) but can survive in temperatures up to 42°C (108°F). Moneywort or Brahmi plant is not winter hardy and often does not do well in more temperate climates.

Over the past two decades, there has been a tremendous increase in the use of herbal medicine; however, there is still a significant lack of research data in this field. Therefore since 1999, the WHO has published three volumes of the WHO monographs on selected medicinal plants. 

You can always grow these plants in your garden and utilize their diverse benefits in your everyday life. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a good cup of lemongrass-infused tea, right?

Author: Swastika Sarkar, Botanist at Leafy Island

About the Author: Swastika is a Botanist who has been into research in the fields of Environmental Sustainability and Bioremediation with the use of Biological Organisms. She has presented various papers at both national and international conferences on the use of micro-organisms as a method of Phytoremediation and reducing pollutants from contaminated mediums in an ecologically and environment-friendly manner.