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Table 3 Irulas medicinal utility of the flora in the Kodiakarai Reserve Forest (KRF)

From: Valorizing the 'Irulas' traditional knowledge of medicinal plants in the Kodiakkarai Reserve Forest, India

Botanical Name and Family Tamil Lexicon Method of Preparation and Medicinal Uses
Acanthaceae   
  Auduthoda Extracts of root, bark, leaves, and flowers used for cough. Dried leaves emhaled for rapid recovery from asthma. Fresh flowers kept over the eyes to relieve eye pain.
Amaranthaceae   
Achyranthes aspera L. Nagarasi Extract of leaves along with palm jaggery fed to new born babies. Inflorescence scratched against mother breasts to increase lactation.
Aerva lanata (L.) Juss.ex Schult Celosia argentea L. Kannupila & Pannaipoo Whole plant harvested from the forest or sacred groves during festival day (Farmers Thanksgiving Day), which is used spiritually for healing sour necks of bull.
Aristolochiaceae   
Aristolochia indica L. Perumanthikodi Root tubers ground with a little water, mixed with rice or cow's milk to cure a fever.
Arecaceae   
Borassus flabellifer L.
Phoenix sylvestris (L.) Roxb.
Panai
Injai
Toddy tapped from the inflorescence. Brushes and ropes prepared from leaf sheaths. Leaves used for thatching.
Meristematic portion of the stem eaten by pregnant women from 9th month onwards for relief from abdominal pain.
Asclepiadaceae   
Gymnema sylvestre R.Br. Sirukurinjan & hakarikolli Tender fresh leaves and dried powder are used to cure diabetes. Cooked leaves may also be used in meals to treat diabetes.
Asteraceae   
Tridax procumbens L. Vettukayapoondu Leaf juice applied on wounds to stop bleeding.
Caparidaceae   
Capparis sepiaria L.
Capparis zeylanica L.
Thoratti
Adandai
Root pulp applied on small wounds and scratches.
Leaves mixed with pepper, tamarind and garlic into a paste, which is consumed to increase appetite.
Cucurbitaceae   
Trichosanthes cucumerina L. Peyppadal Ripe fruit contains a mucilaginous exudate, which is applied directly on forehead to treat headaches.
Caesalpiniaceae   
Cassia auriculata L. Avarai The leaves, flowers, fruits, stems and roots are used to maintain hygiene of the skin and scalp. Every year, the first day of the month of crop harvest is celebrated as the thanks-giving day for the "bull".
Ebenaceae   
Diospyros ferrea (Wild.) Bahk. Var. buxifolia Veeraii Fruit improves blood circulation.
Euphorbiaceae   
Acalypha indica L. Kuppaimeni Decoction of leaves used for ear pain, snake bite and scabies.
Excoecaria agallocha L. Thillai Latex applied on wounds for antiseptic.
Jatropha tanjorensis Ellis & Saroja Katamanukku Latex heals wounds.
Phyllanthus amarus Schum. & Thonn. Kizhanelli Raw branchlets and leaves eaten for 7 days for curing jaundice.
Fabaceae   
Acacia nilotica (L.) Willd. ex. Del. Karuvelam Paste of tender leaves used to control dysentery. Gum powder mixed with the white of an egg, and applied on burns or scalds.
Albizia lebbeck (L.) Benth. Vagai Oil extracted from the seeds smeared on wounds for healing or on the lesions of lepers.
Caesalpinia bonduc (L.) Roxb. Kazhchikai Seeds are made into a paste to treat a hydrocele
Canavalia lineata (Thunb.) DC. Kozhiavarai Roasted seeds of Mucuna and Canavalia are mixed in equal proportion are boiled and made into a paste, which is soaked in a large container of water. The water is changed periodically for 15 days to remove the poisons. The water is changed until it removes the last trace of yellow colour. The mixture is dried and the white powder is eaten directly with flour or suguar or chilly powder. It cures several disorders and ensures good health.
Clitoria ternatea L. Sangu pushpam Paste of flowers applied to cure infection of eyes and for headache. Entire plant used as antidote for snake bites. Flowers offered to Gods.
Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC. Poonikali See 'Kozhiavarai ' Canavalia lineata (Thunb.) DC.
Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre Pongan Seeds ground into paste and applied externally for knee and hip joints for rheumatic disease.
Tephrosia purpurea (L.) Pers. Averi Decoction of roots with ginger consumed to relieve headache.
Thespesia populnea (L.) Sol. ex Correa Poovarasu Yellow extract of fruit used for decorating houses.
Gentianaceae   
Enicostema axillare (Lam.) Raynal Vellarugu Secondary roots used as tooth brush to cure toothaches.
Lamaceae   
Geniosporum tenuiflorum (L.) Merr.
Leucas aspera (Willd.) Link
Nilathulasi
Thumbai
Paste of the plant mixed with limestone and applied to catfish bites.
The thick roots are used as a tooth brush. Continuous use of a special preparation of this plant for 40 days makes one resistant to some snake poison. Flowers used during religious festivals.
Liliaceae   
Scilla hyacinthina (Roth.) Macbr. Contr. Narivangayam Bulbs used as substitute for onion.
Loranthaceae   
Dendrophthoe falcata (L.f.) Etting Ottai Fruits edible.
Marsileaceae   
Marsilea quadrifolia L. Aarakeerai Leaves used as green vegetable.
Meliaceae   
Azadirachta indica A. Juss. Veppam Tender leaf and bark extract consumed to eliminate stomach worms. Leaf twigs with leaves are tied or hanged in front of the house entrance to keep away evil spirits.
Minispermaceae   
Tiliacora acuminata (Lam.) Hook. f. & Thoms Perunkkattukodi Used as rope or binding bundles fuel woods.
Sapotaceae   
Mimusops elengi L. Magizhamaram Irulas name for this tree's flower is "Magishampoo". Irulas collect this flower from the forest and store them after they have been dried in the shade.
Tinospora cordifolia(Willd.) Miers Seenthil Stem and aerial roots ground into a fine powder and consumed with tea or milk. It is used to cure many ailments.
Myrtaceae   
Syzygium cumini (L.) Skeels Naval Bark used for diarrhoea. The extract of bark mixed with goat milk and immediately consumed to stop diarrhoea.
Orchidaceae   
Cymbidium aloifolium (L.) Sw. Ottai Aerial root juice used as ear drop for relieving pain.
Pandanaceae   
Pandanus fascicularis Lam. Thazahi Silt roots used for making fibers and brushes. Fruits occasionally used as vegetable.
Poaceae   
Bambusa arundinacea (Retz.) Willd
Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.
Moongil
Arugampul
Young shoots used as food. Stems used to build huts and spiritual ceremonies.
Branches dipped in hot oil are used for a head-bath or as a body coolant.
Rhamnaceae   
Ziziphus mauritiana Lam. Elanthai Fruit edible. Powdered bark applied to old wounds.
Rubiaceae   
Catunaregam spinosa (Thunb.) Tirveng. Kattukoyya Fruit is cooked with other vegetables.
Rutaceae   
Toddalia asiatica (L.) Lam. Surai Decoction of leaves and stems used to controls fever. Fresh fruits eaten to reduce fever and headache.
Salvadoraceae   
Azima tetracantha Lam.
Salvadora persica L.
Sankan
Vagai
Leaves ground into pulp with water, the extract is used to treat a fever.
Decoction of fruits and roots used to reduce rheumatic pains. Root used as tooth brush. Fruits commonly eaten.
Sapindaceae   
Cardiospermum halicacabum L.
Sapindus emarginatus Vahl
Mudakkathan
Poovanthi
Whole plant used for treating rheumatoid arthritis.
Wet ground nuts paste used for body wash as a surfactants
Sapotaceae   
Manilkara hexandra (Roxb.) Dubard Pala maram Latex applied on teeth and gums for toothaches. Fruits collected in large quantity and traded in local market for rice, chilli, tobacco, etc.
Scrophulariaceae   
Peplidium maritimum (L.f.) Asch. Parupu-keerai Leaves and tender stems consumed as food.
Simaroubaceae   
Ailanthus excelsa Roxb. Pekalathi A tonic prepared from the bark and leaves for healing after child birth.
Solanaceae   
Solanum anguivi Lam. Kandan kathiri Tender fruits cooked as vegetable and consumed for treating colds, coughs and fever. The tender leaves are made into a paste to treat intestinal worms.
Tamaricaceae   
Tamarix indica willd. Kattuchaukku Extract of leaves used as laxative.
Verbenaceae   
Gmelina asiatica L.
Vitex negundo L.
Kumalai Nochi Fruits used as substitute for soap.
Leaves repel mosquitoes. Leaves boiled in water, which is used a bath to relieve body pain.