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Herbs for Medicinal / Nutraceutical / Cosmetic / Oleoresins / Culinary / Natural Colors / applications  
Herbs Applications
Medicinal / Nutraceutical uses of Herbs Herbs used as Natural Colors and Vegetable dyes
Herbs used in Topical / Cosmetic applications Phytochemicals derived from herbs and their uses
Herbs used in Oleoresins/Culinary purposes.  

In India the use of Medicinal herbs is as old as 1500 BC. Underlying the medical culture of India both folk traditions as well as codified knowledge systems is a deep understanding of the medicinal value of the plants starting with the references in the Atharva veda, we have textual evidence of a tradition of use of medicinal plants that is more than three thousand years old.

It is estimated that about 80,000 species of plants are utilized by the different system of Indian medicine. The indigenous knowledge about plants and plant products is rather detailed and sophisticated and has evolved into a separate shashtra (branch of learning) itself, called Dravya Guna Shashtra. The codified traditions have about 25,000 plant drugs formulations that have emerged from such studies. In addition to this over 50,000 formulations are believed to be existing in the folk and tribal traditions. All these point to the deep passion for and exhaustive knowledge about medicinal plants that have existed in the land from time immemorial. The Vedas, epic poems contain rich material on the Herbal lore of that time.

Around 1500 B.C., Ayurveda was delineated into eight specific branches of medicine. There were two main schools of Ayurveda at that time, Atreya- the school of physicians; and Dhanvantari- the school of surgeons. These two schools made Ayurveda a more scientifically verifiable and classifiable medical system. Through research and testing, they dispelled the doubts of the more practical and scientific minded, removing the aura of mystery that surrounded the concept of Divine revelation. Consequently Ayurveda grew into a respected and widely used system of healing in India. People from numerous countries came to Indian Ayurvedic schools to learn about this world medicine in its completeness. Chinese, Tibetans, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Afghanistanis, Persians, and more traveled to learn the complete wisdom and bring it back to their own countries.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) more than 1 billion people rely on herbal medicines to some extent. The WHO has listed 21,000 plants have reported medicinal uses around the world. India has a rich medicinal plant flora of some 2500 species, of these, 2000 to 3000 at least 150 species are used commercially on a fairly large scale. Foreign researchers have always appreciated the traditional Indian healers.

Herbs used in Oleoresins/Culinary purposes :  
Botanical name/Part used Common name
Allium cepa bulb Onions
Allium sativum bulb Garlic
Apium graveolens seed Celery
Brassica spp. seed Mustard
Capsicum spp. fruit Capsicum
Cinnamomum tamala leaf Cassia
Cinnamomum zeylanicum bark Cinnamon
Coriandrum sativum seed Coriander
Cuminum cyminum seed Cumin
Curcuma longa rhizome Turmeric
Elettaria cardamomum fruit Cardamom
Ferula foetida exudate Asafoetida
Foeniculum vulgare seed Fennel
Murraya koenigii leaf Curry leaf
Myristica fragrans mace/plant Mace/Nutmeg
Nigella sativa seed Kalongi
Ocimum basilicum leaf Sweet basil
Ocimum sanctum leaf Holy basil
Piper nigrum seed Black pepper
Syzygium aromaticum bud Clove
Trachyspermum ammi seed Ajmod
Trigonella foenum-graecum seed Fenugreek
Zingiber officinale rhizome Ginger

  Herbs used as Natural Colors and Vegetable dyes :  

Botanical name/Part used Common name Use Color
Bixa orellana Annatto Natural food color, In textiles, Cosmetics Pharmaceuticals Red/ Orange
Curcuma longa Turmeric Natural food color, In textiles, Cosmetics Pharmaceuticals Yellow, Orange
Caesalpinia sappan Patang Natural food color, In textiles, Cosmetics, Pharmaceuticals. Red, Violet, Pink
Pterocarpus santalinus Red sandal wood Natural food color, In textiles, Cosmetics, Pharmaceuticals Red, Pink

  Phytochemicals derived from herbs and their uses :  

Podophyllotoxin Anti-cancer precursor
Oleonolic acid Antioxidant
Curcumin Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory
Reserpine Hypotensive
Monoammonium glycyrrhizinate Sweetner
Sodium glycyrrhizinate Water soluble sweetner
18 b-Glycyrrhitinic acid Anti-inflammatory

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