Ashwagandha or Winter cherry (Withania somnifera, family: Solanaceae) is an erect and almost branchless or terete herb, reaching a height of 1-1.5 m. It is a herb of high quality medicinal properties. Root is long and goes deep in soil. The plant is mainly originated in Mediterranean region. As a medicinal plant it can be found in any herb garden of Bangladesh.
Leaves are green, elliptic-ovate, curved, keel, 5-10 long & 2-5 cm wide; tip sub-acte to acute; margin undulate.
Flowers are axillary, small, campanulate, greenish, lobes 5-6.
Fruit is berry, small; green when raw and yellow or red when ripe. Fruit is covered with inflated callyx, which is papery, granular, chinese lantern-like. When dry it get dark brown color. Like many other members of Solanaceae family, its fruit also produces numerous seeds.
Flowering and fruiting occur in September to December. The plant is propagated by seeds.
It is favored for its herbal quality. It is used in physical and nervous weakness, insomnia, bronchitis and sexual problem. Its root is regarded as tonic, alterative, aphrodisiac and is used in consumption, emaciation of children, rheumatism and also as narcotic and diuretic.
Roots and leaves are applied to carbuncles, ulcers and painful swelings. Fruitis diuretic. Seeds are hypnotic, diuretic and used for coagulating milk.
Hijol or Indian oak ( Barringtonia acutangula , family: Lecythidaceae) is a medium-sized evergreen tree, native to riverine Bangladesh. This water-loving tree is found in the wetlands of Bangladesh. In rural areas, it can be seen standing in the water like Koronja . Common names: Hijal, Hijangal, Hendol. Leaves are short petioled, serrated, 7-12 cm long and 3-7 cm wide, crowded at the end of the branches. Flowers are small, pink to red, sub-sessile, purple red with numerous stamens. Inflorescence is 20-30 cm long, pendulous raceme, flower openning from top to downwards. The 4-merous flowers are grouped in long & pendulous racemes up to 20-30 cm long. The cup-shaped calyx is light green in color. Flowers bloom in April-May. In the winter Its bark has tannin which is useful for heart diseases. Powder of seeds works expectorant and applied to cure cough of children. Tonic is prepared from leaves and roots. Fish poison is also prepared from its roots
Guloncho or Heart-leaved moonseed ( Tinospora cordifolia , family: Menispermaceae) is a deciduous creeper with hard and long stem, climbing other trees or fences. Bark on the stem is as thin as paper. Aerial roots come out of the stem when the plant grows older. The plant is found everywhere in Bangladesh except southern part. It is also native to South and Southeast Asia. Common names: Heart-leaved moonseed, Guduchi, Giloy, Guloncho, Guroncho, Padma guloncho. Leaves are simple, green, alternate, cordate, 6-15 cm long and 5-13 cm wide. Inflorescence, growing from the axil of leaflet branches, bears yellow flowers. Male and female flowers bloom separately. Sepals 6, arranged in two rows, petal 6, pistils 3. Fruit is a drupe, brilliant red when ripe. This attractive fruit is inedible to human. What an extensive climber! Tinospora cordifolia is used in weakness, tastelessness, rheumatis
Kulekhara or Talmakhna ( Hygrophila auriculata , family: Acanthaceae) is a stout and erect herb with straight and undivided stem. The spiny plant is very popular as a medicinal plant in Bangladesh as well as the Indian subcontinent. Other names: Kulekkha, Kuiley-rekha, Kanta kalika, Shoolmordon. Leaves are lanceolate, subsessile, acute at both ends with long whitish hairs, dense with straight and stout thorns that grow from each node. Outer leaves are longer than the inner ones. Both leaves and thorns remain in upward direction. Flowers in axillary whorls. They are bright violet or bluish purple and red, sometimes whitish with soft and minor hair, corolla 2-lipped. Flower blooms in the winter. Fruit a capsule, 4-8-seeded. Seeds are ovoid (not in the pic). The body of the plant contains alkaloids, phytosterols, stigmasterol, lupeol and essential oils. Its seeds contain oil, enzymes and sterols. The plant is cooling and diuretic in cases of h