Ethnobotanical Leaflets 12: 191-194. 2008.
The Ethnobotanical Uses of the Aromatic Oils from Two Indian Endemic Plant Species of the Family Lamiaceae, Pogostemon travancoricus Bedd., and Orthosiphon comosus Wight ex Benth.
*M. Maridass1, B. Victor1, V. S. Manickam, S. Ghanthikumar and A. Arockium
1Animal Health Research Unit
Centre for Biodiversity and Biotechnology
St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous), Palayamkottai-627002, Tamil Nadu
The present paper highlights the use of the
aromatic oils of two endemic Indian plant species, Pogostemon travancoricus
and Orthosiphon comosus, in the
treatment of back pain by the Kanis community of Karaiyar region,
Karaiyar, Pogostemon travancoricus
and Orthosiphon comosus,
The word herb derives from the Latin “herba”, meaning grass or, by extension, green crop. The word originally applied to a wide range of leafy vegetables. Herbs are seed plants that lack a woody stem like a tree and that will live long enough to develop flowers and seeds. For thousands of years, herbs have been used as scents, foods, flavorings, medicines, disinfectants, and even as currency. Early cultures probably recognized that certain herbs had healing powers; therefore, some herbs were thought to have magical properties (Gerard, 1975).
However, not everyone believed in ancient times that magic
could help with the treatment of diseases. Some physicians understood that
illness was natural and not supernatural, and medicine should be given
without magic. Chinese herbalism is widely regarded
as the oldest because it has the longest unbroken recorded history. The
Chinese have practiced herbal use for 5000 years. They are noted for their
knowledge of herbs and the use of ginseng which they believe prolongs life.
Ancient Egyptians also were highly skilled with herbs. Records of Egyptian
culture mention the common uses of many herbs such as garlic, indigo, mint,
and opium for food and medicine. The medical inheritance of ancient
present work, the authors studied tribal people who gathered forest plant
resources for use as medicine, food, and for other purposes. Many of these
plant resources are now less abundant than in the past, when they were more
important to the traditional economy. Shown in Plate 1 are two plants of the
endemic aromatic species, Pogostemon travancoricus
and Orthosiphon comosus (Family:
were collected in April 2007 at the Agastiyamalai
peak, Kalakad Mundanthurai
Tiger Reserve Forest (KMTR), in
Materials and Methods
fresh leaves and flowers of the two species used in this study were collected in April 2007
at the following places: Pogostemon travancoricus
from Poonkulam; and, Orthosiphon comosus from
Essential oils yield (%) = W1 / W2 X 100
W1 = net weight of oils (grams)
W2 = total weight of fresh leaves (grams)
Results and Discussion
The results of the hydrodistillation of the leaves and flowers of the two aromatic plant species, Pogostemon travancoricus and Orthosiphon comosus, are summarized in Table 1. The maximum quantity of Orthosiphon comosus leaf-oil yield was 3.55 % (w/w), whereas the minimum quantity of flower oil yield for this species was 1.3%. In the present work, we report for the first time the quantification of essential oils distilled from the leaves of the two Indian endemic species, Pogostemon travancoricus and Orthosiphon comosus. Future studies will concentrate on bioassays, the first required step in the drug discovery process with regard to ethnomedical systems. The essential oils isolated from Pogostemon travancoricus and Orthosiphon comosus have already been screened for antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities in our laboratory.
Table 1. Percent of essential oils yielded by the hydrodistillation method.
We wish to thank the Department of Science and
Technology, SERC- Fast Track Scheme (Sanctioned Ref.No.70/2005),
J. The Herbal or General History of plants.
Strange, R. A history of herbal plants. Arco Pub.