From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Plants mentioned in the newscard
Mains level : NA
This newscard is an excerpt from the original article published in DownToEarth.
Explained below are the medicinal properties of 10 valuable plants known to boost natural immunity:
(1) Abrusprecatorius (Indian liquorice, Ratti)
- The bright red ovoid seeds with a black spot weigh 1/10th of a gram, and were hence used as weighing unit called ‘Ratti’ in ancient India by goldsmiths.
- Its seeds are said to have immune-modulating properties.
(2) Artemisia scoparia (Redstem Wormwood)
- These plants have excellent clinical anti-malarial properties due to the presence of artemisinin.
- They possess potent anti-inflammatory properties and help regulate both innate and adaptive immunity.
(3) Azadirachtaindica (Neem)
- It is a well-known tree used in various systems of traditional medicine since time immemorial. In Sanskrit, it is known as Arishtha, which means ‘reliever of sicknesses’.
- Neem bark is known to have strong immunostimulant Neem oil has been shown to possess activity by selectively activating cell-mediated immune mechanisms.
(4) Boerhaviadiffusa (Punarnava)
- In Ayurveda, Punarnava is included in the category of rasayana herbs that possess anti-ageing properties. It helps prevent diseases.
- This means they increase resistance by providing hepatoprotection (the ability of a substance to prevent damage to the liver) and immune-modulation.
(5) Cardaminehirsuta (Hairy Bitter Cress)
- The plants contain vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, beta carotene, antioxidants and sulfur-containing compounds that boost immunity.
(6) Clerodendrumphlomidis (Sage Glory Bower, Arni, Agnimantha)
- It is an essential medicinal plant that is also mentioned in texts since the Vedic period. It is known to boost the immune system, purify the blood and cure urinary tract infection.
- The decoction made from the whole plant is useful in improving strength and immunity following a bout of fever or other ailments.
(7) Phyllanthus tenellus (Mascarene Island leaf-flower)
- It is an annual herb commonly found near wetlands, ditches, wet places, edges of drains and disturbed places. It is known for immune-modulatory properties.
- Physalis peruviana (Cape Gooseberry, Rasbhari) (Family: Solanaceae): It is used in traditional folk medicines as an immunomodulatory drug. It is rich in vitamin C and helps enhance body immunity.
(8) Portulaca oleracea (Purslane)
- Purslane has been used in folk medicine since ancient times and is included in the World Health Organization’s list of most widely used medicinal plants.
- The leaves of the plant are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which is important in preventing heart attacks and strengthening the immune system.
(9) Withaniasomnifera (Indian Winter Cherry, Indian Ginseng, Aswagandha)
- Ashwagandha is an important ancient herb and has been used in the indigenous medical system for over 3,000 years.
- It is considered to be one of the best rejuvenating agents in Ayurveda that helps to maintain proper nourishment of the tissues. It possesses antioxidant, mind-boosting and immune-enhancing properties.
Now try this PYQ:
Q.Consider the following statements:
- The Taxus tree is naturally found in the Himalayas
- The Taxus tree is listed in the Red Data Book.
- A drug called “taxol” is obtained from Taxus tree is effective against Parkinson’s disease
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 3 only