Since antiquity, man kind has been using plants to treat many diseases and some of these traditional medicines are still included as part of the habitual treatment of various maladies. Nepal also has been relying on locally available medicinal plants and in some remote area of Nepal, still there is few option for modern allopathic treatment. I am posting in serial, some of these important medicinal plants that are frequently used.
Acorus calamus L. (English: Sweet flag; Nepali: बोझो)
It belongs to the family Araceae. It is an erect herb with aromatic rootstock, leaves broad, ensiform, with distinct midrib. Spathe cylindrical and slightly curved. Flowers: bisexual, each with a perianth of six orbicular concave segments, stamens 6, ovary conical, fruits: oblong berries.
Constituents: Monoterpene hydrocarbons, sequestrine ketones, asarone (2, 4, 5-trimethoxy-1-propenylbenzene), and β-asarone contained in the essential oil distillates from root .
Uses: It is used as an analgesic for the relief of toothache or headache, to cure /prevent a hangover, to treat a cough, as a carminative for colic, to treat diabetes, to reduce bowel pains, to lessen swelling and for constipation, to cure fevers, for asthma and bronchitis, and as sedative. It exhibited a good anti-fungal activity as well.
- Joshi KK and SD Joshi. Genetic Heritage of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of Nepal Himalayas. Buddha Academic Publishers and Distributors Pvt. Ltd., Kathmandu, Nepal. P-239 (2001).
- Bajracharya MB. Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants and General Treatment. Piyusavarsi Ausadhalaya Mahaboudha, Kathmandu, Nepal. P-230 (1979).
- Devkota KP, R Acharya, MP Baral and RP Adhikari. Antimicrobial activities of some herbal plants used in traditional medicine in Nepal. In: Proceding of 3rd national conference on science and technology. Vol 2: 1311-1317. (1999).