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Herbs of Kerala

Updated on March 30, 2012

Jhiek Leaved lavender

Anisochilus carmosus

Karpoora valli ( Kerala Name )

It is an aromatic annual herb, found in the Western Ghats. Stems are erect 30-60 cm tall, robust and branched. Leaves stalks are 3-5 cm long and densely white velvety. Leaves are ovate oblong to circular. Sparsely red glandular, base heart shaped to rounded, margin cremulate, tip blunt to rounded. Flower spikes are 2.5-7.5 cm long stalked , 4 angled in fruit.

Flowers are purplish 9 mm ,velvety outside with slender flower tube recurred in the middle, exserted. Flowering season is sept-oct. The plant is used to treat stomach ache, cough, otalgia, flatulence, fever and diarrhea.

Phyllanthus niruri

Kizhar Nelli ( Kerala Name )

The annual herb phyllanthus niruri is best known by the common name stone-breaker. It is a wide spread tropical plant commonly found in coastal areas. It is a relative of spurges belonging to the leaf flower genus of family phyllanthaceae. The plant has been used as an herbal remedy for urinary calculi . Root ,leaves, fruit, milky juice and the whole plant are used as medicine. It is useful in thirst, bronchitis, leprosy, anemia, urinary discharge, anuria, asthma, for hiccups and as a diuretic.

In Unani system of medicine, the herb is stomachic and good for sores and used to treat chronic dysentery. In Ayurveda, it is used to alleviate cough, digestant, laxative and a liver stimulant. It is used to treat jaundice , blood disorders, malaria and for enlargement of lever and spleen.

Hear-Leaved Moon Seed

Tinospora cordifolia

Chitta Amrit ( Kerala Name )

It is a climbing shrub. Barks are grey brown or cream-white and warty. Leaves are broad, pointed at the tip and having margin. Small flowers appear in the summer and fruits in the winter. The plant climbing on a Neem tree is considered more medicinal. It grows in the tropical and subtropical regions up to an altitude of 300 meters. It is useful herbal remedy for infections, recurrent fevers, cancer of all types, high uric acid, in flu of all types, in low immunity.

Conch flower

Clitoria termatea

Sanku Pushpi ( Kerala Name )

It is a perennial climber with leaves pinnate, 5-9 folio late. Blue or white flowers ,petals unequal, style bearded below the stigma. Fruits are pods , linear and compressed. Seeds are 6 to 10 and black. Season of flower is rainy season and fruit in the winter.

The plant root is specially used for leucoderma. It alleviates swelling and pain. It has haemostatic action so it is used for piles. It has good effect on brain , so used for syncope, vertigo and brain weakness. It is antiseptic , mild laxative, and cholagogue. It is used for emesis, dyspepsia, constipation, jaundice, piles and ulcers. Being haemostalic and blood purifier, it is useful in haemorrhagic disorders. It is used as an expectorant in common cold, cough, asthma. Whole plant is used for smoking and decoction is used for gargling for sore throat and good for neck stiffness.

Nut Grass

Cyperous rotundus

Muthanga (Kerala name )

It look like a weed, seen in wet lands in Kerala and other parts of India. The grass grows up to 25-30 cm high with leaves crowded in the base about 15-25 cm long,t and one nerved. Nut is grayish black. Root tuber is used as a medicine. It is used in the treatments for diarrhea, indigestion, amorexia, fever and urinary retention.

Ayurveda uses it to treat skin inflammations, leprosy, and to purify blood. In Kerala it’s root is mixed in milk and give to children to get rid of worms of all types. It is also used in ayurveda preparations for cough, and the tonic called “Mustarishta” for lack of hunger.

Spreading hog weed

Boerhavia diffusa

Thazhuthama ( Kerala Name )

It is a small herb, grows up to 10 inches long and with purple lowers. It has diuretic and laxative properties and its roots are used to treat asthma. It is a mix in boiled drinking water in India. It can normalize blood pressure, cure inflammations at joints of the body. It is mixed in lime juice and honey for good eyesight. It is a remedy for kidney disorders in folk medicine. Roots are used as an expectorant and laxative.

Indian Penny wort

Mydrocotyle asiaitica

Muthil ( Kerala Name )

It is a creeping herb , native to India, also found in Australia, is a member of Apeaceae family. Its stem is slender with rooting at the nodes and leaves are 1 to 4 from each node. The flowers are pink and bloom in March to November. It is a good nerve tonic and sedative to relieve stress and also used to make hair tonic. It is used in the ayurvedic preparations for leprosy, menstrual problems, tuberculosis and to improve memory.


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