Wildflowers in April

Before I start showing off this month’s collection of photographs, I’d like to thank the members of ‘Indiatreepix’ forum on google groups for giving a lot of help in identification, especially Dr. Gurcharan Singh, Dr. Pankaj Kumar, Dr Nidhan Singh, Amit ji and the other members for extending such a support for identifying these flowers. The medicinal data has been mostly obtained from pfaf.org (Plants for a future) database, except where mentioned otherwise.

Podophyllum hexandrum:

Podophyllum hexandrum

The whole plant, but especially the root, is cholagogue, cytostatic and purgative. The plant contains podophyllin, which has an antimiotic effect (it interferes with cell division and can thus prevent the growth of cells). It is, therefore, a possible treatment for cancer, and has been used especially in the treatment of ovarian cancer. However, alopecia is said to be a common side-effect of this treatment. This species contains about twice the quantity of active ingredient than P. peltatum. The roots contain several important anti-cancer lignans, including podophyllin and berberine. The roots are also antirheumatic. The root is harvested in the autumn and either dried for later use or the resin is extracted. This plant is highly poisonous and should only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women.

Primula denticulata:

Primula Denticulata

Primrose family. Flowers can be eaten raw. They make a very attractive addition to salads.

Clematis montana:

Clematis montana

Taraxacum officinale:

Taraxacum officinale

The dandelion is a commonly used herbal remedy. It is especially effective and valuable as a diuretic because it contains high levels of potassium salts and therefore can replace the potassium that is lost from the body when diuretics are used. All parts of the plant, but especially the root, are slightly aperient, cholagogue, depurative, strongly diuretic, hepatic, laxative, stomachic and tonic. The root is also experimentally cholagogue, hypoglycaemic and a weak antibiotic against yeast infections. The dried root has a weaker action. The roots can be used fresh or dried and should be harvested in the autumn when 2 years old. The leaves are harvested in the spring when the plant is in flower and can be dried for later use. A tea can be made from the leaves or, more commonly, from the roots. The plant is used internally in the treatment of gall bladder and urinary disorders, gallstones, jaundice, cirrhosis, dyspepsia with constipation, oedema associated with high blood pressure and heart weakness, chronic joint and skin complaints, gout, eczema and acne. The plant has an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Pneumococci, Meningococci, Bacillus dysenteriae, B. typhi, C. diphtheriae, Proteus etc. The latex contained in the plant sap can be used to remove corns, warts and verrucae. The latex has a specific action on inflammations of the gall bladder and is also believed to remove stones in the liver. A tea made from the leaves is laxative.

Coriaria nepalensis:

Coriaria nepalensis

Leaves are poisonous in large dose.

ref: http://www.manenvis.nic.in/Plant%20Diversity/ListOfPoisonPlants.aspx

Lamium amplexicaule:

Lamium amplexicaule

The plant is antirheumatic, diaphoretic, excitant, febrifuge, laxative and stimulant. Young leaves – raw or cooked. Added to salads or used as a potherb

Lepidium ruderale:

Lepidium oleraceum

The plant is used in the treatment of impetigo[240]. An aqueous extract of the herb causes a drop in blood pressure and depresses respiration. Young leaves – raw or cooked. A hot cress-like flavour

Ageratum conyzoides:

Ageratum conyzoides

The plant contains between 0.7 – 2.0% essential oil, plus alkaloids and saponins. The whole plant is antiinflammatory and antiallergic. The juice of the fresh plant, or an extract of the dried plant, is used in the treatment of allergic rhinitis and sinusitis. The juice of the fresh plant is also useful in treating post-partum uterine haemorrhage. The juice of the root is antilithic. A paste of the root, mixed with the bark of Schinus wallichii, is applied to set dislocated bones. The leaves are styptic. They are dried and applied as a powder to cuts, sores and the ruptures caused by leprosy, The powder absorbs the moisture of the disease and forms a layer that is removed after 1 – 2 days. An effective cure for most cuts and sores, though it does not effect a complete cure for leprosy. The leaves are also used externally in the treatment of ague. The juice of the plant is used to treat cuts, wounds and bruises. A paste of the leaves is used as a poultice to remove thorns from the skin. A paste made of the leaves mixed with equal amounts of Bidens pilosa, Drymaria cordata, Galinsoga parviflora and the rhizome of Zingiber officinale is used to treat snakebites. The juice of the flowerheads is used externally to treat scabies, whilst a paste of them is used to treat rheumatism. A tea made from the flowerheads mixed with Ocimum tenuifolium is used to treat coughs and colds.

Micromeria biflora:

Micromeria biflora

A paste of the root is pressed between the jaws to treat toothache. The plant is rubbed and the aroma inhaled to treat nose bleeds. A paste of the plant is used as a poultice to treat wounds. The juice of the plant is taken internally and also inhaled in the treatment of sinusitis.

Heracleum candicans:

Heracleum candicans

In the Himalayan region, its delicate shoots and young leaves are eaten by the shepherds and also used as good fodder for increasing the milk production of cows. The locals also use its roots for treating skin diseases, eczema and itches.

ref: http://www.springerlink.com/content/92t3228x448076h5/

Gerbera gossypina:

Gerbera gossypina

Medicinal uses (Blood pressure, gastric disorder)

ref: http://www.ethnoleaflets.com/leaflets/mornaula.htm

Thalictrum pedunculatum:

Thalictrum pedunculatum

Lathyrus sphaericus:

Lathyrus sphaericus

Salvia lanata:

Salvia lanata

The roots are used in the treatment of colds and coughs. The seed is emetic. It is used in the treatment of dysentery, haemorrhoids, colic and, externally, boils. A poultice of the leaves is used as a dressing for wounds and is also applied to itchy skin.


Scutellaria repens:

Scutellaria repens

A study being conducted on the flavonoid and phenylethanoid constituents of the root of Scutellaria repens.


Pseudostellaria heterantha var. himalaica:

Pseudostellaria heterantha var. himalaica

Senecio nudicaulis:

Senecio nudicaulis

Nicotiana tabacum:

Nicotiana tabacum

Tobacco has a long history of use by medical herbalists as a relaxant, though since it is a highly additive drug it is seldom employed internally or externally at present. The leaves are antispasmodic, discutient, diuretic, emetic, expectorant, irritant, narcotic, sedative and sialagogue. They are used externally in the treatment of rheumatic swelling, skin diseases and scorpion stings. The plant should be used with great caution, when taken internally it is an addictive narcotic. The active ingredients can also be absorbed through the skin. Wet tobacco leaves can be applied to stings in order to relieve the pain. They are also a certain cure for painful piles. A homeopathic remedy is made from the dried leaves. It is used in the treatment of nausea and travel sickness.

Dodonaea viscosa:

Dodonaea viscosa

The leaves are anodyne, astringent, diaphoretic, febrifuge (the var. angustissima is normally used), odontalgic and vulnerary. They are applied internally in the treatment of fevers. Externally, they are used to treat toothache, sore throats, wounds, skin rashes and stings. The leaves are apparently effective in the treatment of toothache if they are chewed without swallowing the juice. The bark is employed in astringent baths and poultices.

Woodfordia fruticosa:

Woodfordia fruticosa

The flowers have astringent and stimulant properties.

ref: http://www.himalayahealthcare.com/herbfinder/h_woodfordia.htm

Gypsophila cerastoides:

Gypsophila cerastoides

Crepis sancta:

Crepis sancta

Used in salads.

Potentilla fragarioides:

Potentilla fragarioides

The leaves are astringent. The compound D-catechin has been isolated from the plant and is used in cases of gynaecological bleeding.

Persicaria capitata:

Persicaria capitata

Used traditionally by Hmong Tribes people as an anti-bacterial remedy, modern studies have shown that a tea from the aerial parts of the plant are highly effective in treating bladder and kidney infections. Chinese medical research has deemed Himalayan Smartweed as an herb with great potential for numerous applications.

ref: http://www.crimson-sage.com/shop/?itemid=100206

Sonchus asper:

Sonchus asper

The plant is pounded and applied as a poultice to wounds and boils.

Vicia hirsuta:

Vicia hirsuta

Seed – cooked. Used like lentils, the seed can be eaten as a staple food. Leaves and stems – cooked. Used as a vegetable.

Corydalis rutifolia:

Corydalis rutifolia

Plant paste is applied in skin diseases; Root is used in against ophthalmic diseases

ref: http://www.ethnoleaflets.com/leaflets/nubra.htm

Delphinium denudatum:

delphinium denudatum

The roots are alterative, bitter, stimulant and tonic. A paste of the rot is used in the treatment of toothache, and also as an adulterant for aconite.

Colebrookia oppositifolia:

Colebrookia oppositifolia

Medicinal (Cough, sores, wounds).

ref: http://www.ethnoleaflets.com/leaflets/mornaula.htm

Hypericum oblongifolium:

Hypericum oblongifolium

Leucas lanata:

Leucas lanata

Young shoots – cooked. Used as a vegetable.

Lantana camara var. aculeata:

Lantana camara var. aculeata

Lantana camara is used widely in West African ethnoinedicine in the treatment of rheumatism, asthma, cough and cold.


Decoction of the leaves and stems, when used externally, acts as an excellent wash for eczema and a chronic inflammation of skin. Pounded fresh leaves are used for sprain. The flowering tops in decoction are used for cough, cold, fever, jaundice and chest diseases. It is a good acid in baths for rheumatism. Decoction of root is recommended for use against infection of respiratory tract, mumps; in gargles and is a good mouth wash for mouth ulcers.


Erigeron bellidioides:

Erigeron bellidioides

Ranunculus laetus:

Ranunculus laetus

Fresh leaf paste is applied on skin once per day for 1-2 days for treating skin infection.

ref: http://nopr.niscair.res.in/bitstream/123456789/7180/1/IJTK%209(1)%20175-183.pdf

Clinopodium vulgare:

Clinopodium vulgare

The plant is aromatic, astringent, cardiotonic, carminative, diaphoretic and expectorant. An infusion of the plant helps to overcome weak digestion

Hypochoeris radicata:

hypochoeris radicata

Young leaves – raw or cooked like spinach. A winter salad, it is rather bitter. Young leaves are mild and agreeable in taste.

Veronica serpyllifolia:

Veronica serpyllifolia

Aquilegia pubiflora:

Aquilegia pubiflora

Astringents and helpful to women during childbirth.

(ref: http://www.bzu.edu.pk/jrscience/vol15no1/6.pdf)

Root sap is given as emetic. Root chewed in toothache.

(ref: http://www.sciencepub.net/newyork/ny0312/05_3778ny0312_28_31.pdf)

Rubus sp.

Rubus sp.

Fragaria nubicola:

Fragaria nubicola

The juice of the plant is used in the treatment of profuse menstruation. The unripe fruit is chewed to treat blemishes on the tongue.

Androsace rotundfolia:

Androsace rotundfolia

Oenothera rosea:

Oenothera rosea

Gagea elegans:

Gagea elegans

Euphorbia helioscopia:

Euphorbia helioscopia

Antiperiodic. The leaves and stems are febrifuge and vermifuge. The root is anthelmintic. The plant is cathartic. It has anticancer properties. The milky sap is applied externally to skin eruptions. The seeds, mixed with roasted pepper, have been used in the treatment of cholera. The oil from the seeds has purgative properties.

Anagallis arvensis:

Anagallis arvensis var. coerulea

he scarlet pimpernel was at one time highly regarded as a medicinal herb, especially in the treatment of epilepsy and mental problems, but there is little evidence to support its efficacy and it is no longer recommended for internal use because it contains toxic saponins and cytotoxic cucurbitacins. The whole herb is antitussive, cholagogue, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, nervine, purgative, stimulant and vulnerary. It can be taken internally or applied externally as a poultice. An infusion is used in the treatment of dropsy, skin infections and disorders of the liver and gall bladder. The plant is best harvested in June and can be dried for later use. Use with caution, large doses can cause polyuria and tremor. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant. It is used internally to treat itchy skins and externally to remove warts.

Mazus pumilus:

Mazus pumilus

The plant is aperient, emmenagogue, febrifuge and tonic. The juice of the plant is used in the treatment of typhoid.

Geranium nepalense:

Geranium nepalense

The whole plant is antibacterial and astringent. It is prescribed in the treatment of nervous diseases, numbness of the limbs, pains, rheumatism, renal diseases etc. The juice of the plant is valued in treating renal diseases.

Viola canescens:

Viola canescens

Trifolium dubium:

Trifolium dubium

The plant is haemostatic. A poultice of the chopped plant has been applied to cuts to stop the bleeding


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