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Table 1 Ethnomedicinal plant species, plant parts used and ailments cured by the Paliyar tribes in Madurai District of Tamil Nadu, India

From: Ethnobotanical investigations among tribes in Madurai District of Tamil Nadu (India)

Therapeutic indication and associated plants Local Name Family Parts used and Ethnomedicinal preparation
Asthma    
Solanum trilobatum L. Thoodhuvalai Solanaceae Juice of leaves is taken orally for seven days.
Adhatoda zeylanica Medicus. Adathodai Acanthaceae Leaf paste is taken orally.
Cold    
Adhatoda zeylanica Medicus. Adathodai Acanthaceae Leaf powder is mixed with water and taken orally in the morning.
Boswellia serrata Roxb. Ex Colebr. Kungiliyam Burseraceae Powdered resin is sprayed on burning charcoal & the smoke is inhaled.
Plectranthus coleoides Benth. Omavalli chedi Lamiaceae Juice of leaves is taken internally.
Solanum trilobatum L. Thoodhuvalai Solanaceae Juice of leaves is taken orally for seven days early morning until cure.
Terminalia chebula Retz. Kadukkai maram Combretaceae Powdered fruit is mixed with water or cow's or goat's milk and taken internally.
Vitex negundo L. Notchi Verbenaceae Fresh leaves are boiled with water and the vapour is inhaled twice a day.
Cough    
Adhatoda zeylanica Medicus. Adathodai Acanthaceae Leaf powder is mixed with water and taken orally in the morning.
Terminalia chebula Retz. Kadukkai maram Combretaceae Powdered fruit is mixed with the water or cow's or goat's milk and taken internally.
Vitex negundo L. Notchi Verbenaceae Fresh leaves are boiled with water and the vapour is inhaled twice a day.
Diabetes    
Andrographis lineata Wallich ex Nees. Siriyanangai Acanthaceae Leaf powder is mixed with cow's or goat's milk and taken orally.
Costus speciosus (J. Koen.) Smith. Koshtam Zingiberaceae Powdered leaves are taken internally with cow's milk.
Gymnema sylvestre (Retz.) R. Br. ex Roem. & Schult. Sirukurinjan Asclepiadaceae Powdered leaves are mixed with cow's milk and boiled rice, kept over night and taken internally twice a day.
Diarrhoea    
Cipadessa baccifera (Roth.) Miq. Pulippan chedi Meliaceae Paste of leaves is mixed with the cup of water or milk and taken orally.
Dysentery    
Acalypha fruticosa Forsskal. Chinni chedi Euphorbiaceae Decoction of leaves taken orally.
Eye infections    
Alangium salvifolium (L.f.) Wangerin. Alinji Alangiaceae One or two drops of fruit juice is poured in the eyes.
Fever    
Adhatoda zeylanica Medicus. Adathodai Acanthaceae Leaf decoction is taken internally twice a day until cure.
Hemidesmus indicus H.f. Nannari Asclepiadaceae Decoction of whole plant is taken internally.
Terminalia chebula Retz. Kadukkai maram Combretaceae Powdered fruit is mixed with the water or cow's or goat's milk and taken internally.
Vitex negundo L. Notchi Verbenaceae Fresh leaves are boiled with water and the vapour is inhaled twice a day.
Headache    
Ceropegia candelabrum L. Perun kodi Asclepiadaceae Paste of leaves is applied on forehead.
Pergularia daemia (Fors.) Chiov. Veli parutthi Asclepiadaceae Fresh leaves are boiled with water and the vapour is inhaled.
Vitex negundo L. Notchi Verbenaceae Fresh leaves are boiled with water and the vapour is inhaled twice a day.
Heel cracks    
Asparagus racemosus Willd. Thanneer vittan kilangu Liliaceae Paste of tender and mature leaves is applied topically on the heels before going to bed.
Drymaria cordata (L.) Roem. & Schult. Kodi charai Caryophyllaceae Paste of leaves is applied over the heels before going to bed regularly till cure.
Rubia cordifolia L. Kalutharupan chedi Rubiaceae Root paste is applied topically on heel before going to bed.
Jaundice    
Centella asiatica (L.) Urban. Vallarai Umbelliferae Juice of leaf is mixed with equal amount of goat's milk and taken orally for seven days.
Menorrhagia    
Hemidesmus indicus H.f. Nannari Asclepiadaceae Paste of root is mixed with water or cow's milk and taken internally twice a day.
Nervous disorders    
Bischofia javanica Blume. Romaviruksha pattai Bischofiaceae Paste of stem bark is applied externally on the affected parts.
Blepharis maderaspatensis (L.) Roth. Vettukaaya pachilai Acanthaceae Leaf paste is mixed with the powdered black gram, crushed onion and white yolk of one egg and the mixture is applied topically over the fractured bones.
Euphorbia antiquorum L. Sathura kalli Euphorbiaceae Stem latex is applied topically on skin to get relief from body pain.
Gymnema sylvestre (Retz.) R. Br. ex Roem. & Schult. Sirukurinjan Asclepiadaceae Paste of leaves is applied externally.
Phlebophyllus kunthianum Nees. Kurinji chedi Acanthaceae Fresh leaves and bark are heated with gingelly oil and applied externally on affected part of the body.
Piles    
Gmelina arborea Roxb. Perungilai/Kumilamaram Verbenaceae Juice of root bark is taken internally.
Pimples    
Acalypha paniculata Miq. Paruva thazhai Euphorbiaceae Leaf paste is applied over pimples regularly once a day until cure.
Poison bites    
Andrographis lineata Wallich ex Nees. Siriyanangai Acanthaceae Paste of leaves is applied externally on bitten site of scorpion and snake.
Andrographis paniculata (Burm.f.) Wall. ex Nees. Periyanangai or Nilavembu Acanthaceae Paste of leaves is applied externally on bitten site of scorpion sting and snakebites.
Tylophora indica (Burm. f.) Merr. Nangilai Asclepiadaceae Paste of leaf and root is mixed with equal amount of root paste of Rauvolfia serpentina and applied externally on the spot of snakebite. Leaf juice alone is also taken internally to cure snakebite.
Skin diseases    
Acalypha fruticosa Forsskal. Chinni chedi Euphorbiaceae Leaf and root paste is applied topically on the affected places.
Anisochilus carnosus (L.f.) Wallich. Saetthupun thazhai Lamiaceae Paste of leaves is applied over the affected places.
Balanophora fungosa Fors and Fors. var. indica. Vaer chedi Balanophoraceae Paste of the whole plant is applied over the infected part of the skin.
Clematis gouriana Roxb. Ex. DC. Attumeesai chedi Ranunculaceae Paste of leaves is applied topically on affected part of the skin.
Excoecaria crenulata L. Vellai thillai Euphorbiaceae Paste of the stem is applied on the affected part of the skin.
Lobelia heyneana Roem. & Schult. Upperi chedi Lobeliaceae Leaves and flowers are mixed with water and the paste is applied on skin till cure.
Mahonia leschenaultii (Wight & Arn.) Tak. ex Gamble Mullu kadambu Berberidaceae Powdered stem bark is boiled with gingelly oil and applied over the body before bath.
Stomachache    
Acalypha paniculata Miq. Paruva thazhai Euphorbiaceae Juice of leaves is taken orally.
Dioscorea oppositifolia L. var. tomentosa. Nurulai/Valli kilangu Dioscoreaceae Paste of rhizome is taken internally.
Elatteria cardamomum (L.) Maton. Yelakkai Zingiberaceae Dried fruits are taken internally with food.
Hemidesmus indicus H.f. Nannari Asclepiadaceae Fresh leaves are taken internally.
Plumbago zeylanica L. Chitthira moolam Plumbaginaceae Powdered root is mixed with goat's milk and taken internally.
Solanum nigrum L. Mana thakkali Solanaceae Fresh leaves are cooked with onion bulbs and cumin seeds and taken along with food regularly.
Terminalia chebula Retz. Kadukkai maram Combretaceae Powdered fruit is mixed with water or cow's or goat's milk and taken internally.
Toddalia asiatica (L.) Lam. Kindu mullu Rutaceae Decoction of leaves is given internally.
Throat infection    
Acorus calamus L. Vasambu Araceae Dried rhizome is rubbed on stone with water and one or two drops of watery paste are given orally to the children for clarity of speech. Increased dosage will affect speech.
Piper nigrum L. Milagu Piperaceae The dried seeds are taken orally.
To increase lactation    
Alstonia scholaris (L.) R.Br. Paalooram pattai Apocynaceae Powdered stem is mixed with water and given orally to the mother.
To increase resistance power    
Alpinia calcarata Rosc. Arathi poo Zingiberaceae Dried rhizome is mixed with water and two drops of juice are given orally to children.
To induce fertility    
Carmona retusa (Vahl) Masam. Kurangu vetthilai Boraginaceae Juice of leaves is taken internally for three to four months.
Toothache    
Solanum erianthum D.Don Malai sundai Solanaceae The ripened or unripened fruits are boiled with water and the vapour is inhaled once or twice a week through mouth.
Solanum surattrense Burm. f. Kandankathiri Solanaceae Fresh or dried fruits are kept in fire and the smoke is inhaled with mouth.
Toddalia asiatica (L.) Lam. Kindu mullu Rutaceae Powder of root and stem bark is used as tooth powder.
To reduce delivery time pain    
Plectranthus coleoides Benth. Mudupattan or Omavalli chedi Lamiaceae Leaf juice is taken internally by pregnant women.
Pterolobium hexapetalum (Roth.) Sant. & Wagh. Kari indu Caesalpiniaceae Decoction of leaves is taken internally by pregnant women.
To stimulate appetite    
Asystasia gangetica (L.) T. Anderson. Valukai keerai Acanthaceae Fresh leaves are cooked with cumin seeds and onion bulbs and taken orally with food.
To stimulate Hair growth    
Bischofia javanica Blume. Romaviruksha pattai Bischofiaceae Stem bark is mixed with coconut oil and applied over head.
Plectranthus coleoides Benth. Omavalli chedi Lamiaceae Juice of leaves is boiled with coconut oil and applied on head.
Sida acuta Burm. f. Pilla valatthi chedi. Malvaceae Paste of leaves is mixed with coconut oil and applied on head regularly for killing dandruffs and also for strengthening hair.
To stupefy fish    
Catunaregum spinosa (Thun.) Tiruvengadam Karangai maram Rubiaceae Crushed unripe fruits are used.
Sapindus emarginata Vahl. Poondi kottai Sapindaceae Unripe fruits are crushed and thrown on the running and stagnant water.
Menstrual disorders    
Andrographis paniculata (Burm. f.) Wall. ex Nees. Periyanangai or Nilavembu Acanthaceae Leaf juice is taken orally during menstruation to prevent excessive bleeding.
Wounds    
Acacia caesia (L.) Willd. Nanjupattai Mimosaceae Bark is ground with water and applied topically over the affected part.
Acacia leucophloea (Roxb.) Willd. Sarayapattai maram Mimosaceae Paste of fresh bark is applied topically on cuttings until cure.
Anisomeles malabarica (L.) R. Br. Ex. Sims. Paei miratti Lamiaceae Paste of stem is mixed with coconut oil and applied over the affected places.
Blepharis maderaspatensis (L.) Roth. Vettukaaya pachilai Acanthaceae Paste of leaves is mixed with limejuice and applied on cuts.
Clausena dentata (Willd.) Roem. Anai thazhai Rutaceae Paste of leaves is applied over the affected parts.
Cryptolepis buchananii Roem & Schul. Paalkodi/Karunkodi Asclepiadaceae Stem latex (5 – 10 drops) is applied on the affected places.
Plectranthus coleoides Benth. Omavalli chedi Lamiaceae Paste of leaves is applied over wounds till cure.
Solanum nigrum L. Mana thakkali Solanaceae Fresh leaf paste is applied externally on cuts.
Sonchus oleraceus L. Kaalaadi pachilai Asteraceae Leaves are ground with the equal amount of leaves of Smilax zeylanica and applied externally on the cuts once a day till cure.