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Astavarga plants – threatened medicinal herbs of the North-West Himalaya

Author(s): Acharya BALKRISHNA | Anupam SRIVASTAVA | Rajesh K. MISHRA | Shambhu P. PATEL | Rajiv K. VASHISTHA | Ajay SINGH | Vikas JADON | Parul SAXENA

Journal: International Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants
ISSN 2249-4340

Volume: 2;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 661;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: Astavarga | Ayurveda | medicinal plants | herbs | formulations

Astavarga eight medicinal plants viz., Kakoli (Roscoea purpurea Smith), Kshirkakoli (Lilium polyphyllum D. Don), Jeevak (Crepidium acuminatum (D. Don) Szlach), Rishbhak (Malaxis muscifera (Lindl.) Kuntze), Meda (Polygonatum verticillatum (Linn.) Allioni), Mahameda (P. cirhifolium (Wall.) Royle), Riddhi (Habenaria intermedia D. Don) and Vriddhi (H. edgeworthii Hook. f. ex Collett). All of these plants have their natural habitats in Himalaya particularly the North-West Himalaya in Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh between elevations of 1500 and 4000 m asl. Their natural habitats are specific in ecological environment and hence these occur only in small pockets. Astavarga is important ingredient of various Ayurvedic formulations such as Chavyanprasha. Although some work has been done on identification of medicinal plants mentioned under Astavarga, but still there is need to identify the true representatives of this Astavarga group. The present communication deals with the taxonomical and medicinal properties of these eight medicinal plants.
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