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.
Tulsi o r Sacred basil ( Ocimum tenuiflorum , family: Lamiaceae) is an odorous perennial herb or undershrub with many branches attaining a height of 1-1.5 m. Almost whole body of the plant is covered with hairs. Stem is woody, furrowed and quadrangular. Like many other herbs (Dhutra, Begun, Pepper) the plant can be purple. It is found everywhere in Bangladesh as a medicinal as well as sacred plant to Hindu community. It has spread across a huge global range, extending from the Arabian Peninsula to East Asia as well as Pacific Islands to Australia. Other names: Kalo tulsi (Bang); Tulasi, Ajaka (Sans); Holy basil (Eng). Leaves are strongly scented, green or purple, hairy, ovate-broadly elliptical, 2-5 cm long and 1-1.5 cm wide, opposite, irregularly dented, petiole 2-3 cm long. Flowers are tiny, white or purplish, 3-8 on terminal inflorescence (12-25 cm long). Corolla bilabiate, petals 5, calyx divided into two parts, Stamens 4. It produces flower almost round the year. Fruit is n
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
Makal or Mahakal ( Trichosanthes tricuspidata , family: Cucurbitaceae) is a woody climber with tendril and branches, attaining a height of 10-12 m. The multiangular-branched plant climbs up very far by holding any tree in the forest. It is found in the hilly areas as well as plain forests and village thickets in Bangladesh. It is also found in Indian subcontinent, Australia and some countries of South and Southeast Asia. According to ancient Sanskrit scriptures the other names of the plant are Bishala, Mohendro-baruni. In the Himalayas it has been seen at an altitude of 5000 feet. There are many refferences to the fruit in Bangla and Sanskrit literature. Someone is very nice to look at but he/she is useless--writers usually jokingly give examples of this fruit. Its roots and attractive fruits are packed with medicinal properties. The size and shape of leaves may vary. These are multilobed or trilobed, alternate, rough in both sides, 5-12 cm long, petioled, cor