Monday, July 28, 2014

Ayurveda medicinal plants with anti-diabetic and other beneficial properties

Plant Name
Ayurvedic/common name/
Anti-diabetic and other beneficial effects proved scientifically
Acacia arabica:
Hypoglycemic effect by initiating release of insulin from pancreatic beta cells
( Wadood A., et all, 1989 )
Aegle marmelos
Bael or Bilva
Hypoglycemic activity
(Karunanayake E.H. et all, 1984)
Aloe vera
Aloe barbadensis
or Ghritkumari
Hypoglycemic activity

Azadirachta indica:
Anti-diabetic activity, apart from this plant also has anti-bacterial, antimalarial, antifertility, hepatoprotective and antioxidant effects
(Biswas K., et all, 2002 )
Annona squamosa
Hypoglycemic and antihyperglycemic activities of ethanolic leaf-extract, Increased plasma insulin level

(Kaleem M. et all, 2006 & Gupta R K, et all, 2005)
Artemisia pallens
Hypoglycemic, increases peripheral glucose utilization or inhibits glucose reabsorption
(Subramonium A., et all, 1996 )
Areca catechu
(Chempakam B. 1993 )
Boerhavia diffusa
Increase in hexokinase activity,decrease in glucose-6-phosphatase and fructose bis-phosphatase activity, increase plasma insulin level, antioxidant
(Pari L.,2004 & Sateesh M A 2004)
Bombax ceiba
Semul or Shalmali


(Somani R., et all, 2006 )
(Saleem R.,et all, 1999 )
Butea monosperma
Cassia auriculata Linn
(S. J. Surana, et all, 2008 )
Capparis decidua
Karir or Kair
Hypoglycemic, antioxidant, hypolipidaemic
(Agarwal V., Chauhan B.M. 1988 )

Coccinia indica
(Kamble S.M.,et all, 1998)

Emblica officinalis
Amla, Dhatriphala, a constituent of herbal formulation, “Triphala”
Decreases lipid peroxidation, antioxidant, Hypoglycemic
  1. Bhattacharya A, et all 1999,b. Kumar K C S , et all, 1999, c. Bhattacharya A, et all, 1995)

Enicostema littorale
Increase hexokinase activity, Decrease glucose 6-phosphatase and fructose 1,6 bisphosphatase activity. Dose dependent hypoglycemic activity
(a) Maroo J., et all, 2003, b. Vijayvargia R. et all, 2000)

Eugenia jambolana
Indian gooseberry, jamun, Jambu
Antihyperglycemic effect, Inhibits insulin activity from liver and kidney
(Acherekar S., et all, 1991)

Ficus bengalenesis

Vat/ Burgad
Hypoglycemic, antioxidant
(Augusti K.T., et all, 1994)

Gymnema sylvestre
or Meshashringi
Anti-hyperglycemic effect, hypolipidemic
  1. Chattopadhyay R.R, 1999, b. Preuss H.G., et all, 1998)

Hemidesmus indicus
Anti snake venom activity, anti-inflammatory, Hypoglycemic
(Alam M.I., Gomes A. 1998)

Hibiscus rosa-sinesis
Hollarhena antidisentrica
Gudahal or Japa

Initiates insulin release from pancreatic beta cells
Hypoglycemic activity
(Sachadeva A., Khemani L.D, 1999)
(P. Chandar – 2006)

Momordica cymbalaria
Hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic
(Rao B.K. et all, 1999)

Murraya koenigii
Curry patta, Meetha Neem
Hypoglycemic, increases glycogenesis and decreases gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis
(Khan B.A.,, et all, 1995)

Swertia chirayita
Stimulates insulin release from islets
(Saxena A.M., et all, 1993)

Syzygium alternifolium
Shaha - jira
Hypoglycemic and antihyperglycemic
(Rao B.K., Rao C.H., 2001 )

Terminalia belerica
Antibacterial, Hypoglycemic
(Sabu M.C., Kuttan R, 2002 )

Terminalia chebula
Haritaki or Harad
Antibacterial, Hypoglycemic
(Sabu M.C., Kuttan R., 2002)

Vinca rosea
(Chattopadhyay S.R, et all, 1991 )

Withania somnifera
Ashvagandha, Winter cherry
Hypoglycemic, diuretic and hypocholesterolemic
(Adallu B., Radhika B. , 2004 )

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Mercury in Ayurvedic medicines is good

Contrary to the debate on international regulations to ban trade of mercury owing to its toxicity and adverse impact on the environment, an Ayurveda expert at the Banaras Hindu University has advocated the use of mercurial preparations as medicine to treat acute and chronic diseases. However, he has also cautioned against its free use.

"Mercurial preparations in Ayurveda are not toxic in nature if prepared according to classical parameters with guidelines of good manufacturing practices," said head of the department of Rasa Shastra Prof Anand Chaudhary.

"But, classically prepared Ayurvedic medicines are not toxic. Mercury in Ayurveda is processed specifically with very specific pharmaceutical preparation, known as ?Samskar' of mercury and finally converted into medicinal sulphide form, which is not harmful," claimed Chaudhary.

According to him, western countries tried to use mercury as medicine in the 15th-16th century AD, but failed in their attempt. They used mercury to treat diuretic and syphilis in its chloride form and experienced many adverse effects. But Indian Ayurveda developed innovative methods in the 10th century AD to convert elemental mercury into its sulphide medicinal form. Indian knowledge is perfect as it developed technology to produce stable and non toxic form of Mercury as Rasa Sindoor, Rasa Parpati and many other forms of medicines of Ayurveda, he claimed.

Read More - Heavy metals in Ayurvedic Medicines

Friday, July 04, 2014

Poha — Powerhouse of nutrition

Poha is one of the few Indian dishes that can be had for breakfast, lunch or even as a snack. Made from flattened or beaten rice, it can be prepared in a jiffy and is highly nutritious too. Rice is parboiled, flattened and dried to make the thin flakes that we call poha. All over India, poha is made in many different ways making it a very versatile dish. Here we look at the many nutrition benefits of the humble poha.

Packed with iron: Eating poha regularly can prevent iron deficiency or anaemia as it contains 20 mg of iron in every 100g raw rice flakes. Children as well as pregnant and lactating women can benefit greatly by consuming it. Softened poha is also a great way to add dietary iron when an infant is weaned from breastmilk. Sufficient iron helps the body to form haemoglobin that carries oxygen to body cells and also builds immunity. Squeeze a cut lemon on the poha as it helps improve iron absorption.

A complete meal: Mixed vegetables can be added to rice flakes to make it rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre. Add sprouts, soya nuggets, peanuts and even boiled eggs to make a well-balanced and high-protein meal. Poha also makes a tasty and healthy packed lunch for toddlers as well as office goers. Opt for beaten rice made from brown rice for an extra health boost. Here are some more quick breakfast options. 

A good source of carbs: Carbohydrates are the major source of energy in a bowl of poha. This makes it a perfect breakfast option. It can be eaten for snack too in the place of unhealthy options such as chips and biscuits. Carbohydrates are needed to help our body store energy, and perform various other functions. But getting your carb intake from healthy sources is vital and poha is one healthy source. 

Very low on gluten: These days, many people are cutting down on food grains like wheat and barley even if they aren’t sensitive to gluten. These people can opt for poha as it has very low amounts of gluten. People who have celiac disease should consult their doctor if they can eat poha without causing bloating or stomach pain. They can eat khichdi too as it is very healthy. Here are some health benefits of khichdi. 

Good for diabetics: Poha is considered to be a great meal option for diabetics as it promotes slow release of sugar into the bloodstream. It also keeps you full for longer time. A single serving is enough to keep you going without hunger pangs and reach for unhealthy sweets and junk food. Add chunks of soya to increase its nutritive value. You can also try this sample diet plan for diabetics. 

To avoid monotony, make it by incorporating many different ingredients. Each state in India has their own version of this dish. Try this mixed sprouts poha for breakfast. 

Given below is the calorie count in 1 katori of poha: 

Vegetable Poha- 244 Kcal

Peanut Poha- 589 Kcal

Huli Avalakki- 222 Kcal

Content courtesy-

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Ayurvedic treatments for male infertility

The rate at which infertility is fast becoming a common phenomenon in today's hectic stressful lives, is rather alarming, all thanks to our current lifestyle taking a toll on our overall health.

Infertility is a medical condition affecting almost one in ten couples trying to conceive. Male fertility problems are the primary diagnosis in approximately 25 % of cases and contribute to a further 15-25% of the remaining cases.

Ayurvedic remedies have long been used to address the problems of fertility. Evidence of the use of herbal remedies for male infertility dates all the way back to 5000 BC.

Mucuna Pruriens (Kawach)
A medicinal plant, which has been mentioned in the treatises of ancient Indian texts such as the 'Charaka Samhita' and the 'Susrutha Samhita'.

An excellent restorative and rejuvenating tonic, it ensures good physical performance for the individual and leads to balanced and harmonious health. Shilajit is also known as sex tonic in India as it increases the core energy responsible for sexual drive or libido. It balances debility, general fatigue and provides strength to muscles and bones.

Safed Musli
The dried roots of Safed Musli (also known as asparagus) are used in Ayurveda as an aphrodisiac. Its tubers are used in Ayurvedic medicine preparations.White Musli or Safed Musli is primarily used as a tonic to rejuvenate the reproductive system. The regular use of this herb is valuable in impotency, premature ejaculation and low sperm count in men. As it is very rich in glycosides, it works very well in curing impotency and low sperm count

This is a very effective medicine for male infertility.  It is a tonic for the nerves and helps in neuritis. It is helpful in sexual disorders like erectile dysfunction and Oligospermia.