Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Developers: Beware of scams posing at pre-employment tests on Craigslist.

I occasionally check-up on the web developer jobs on craigslist.org, and this is the second time this month I’ve noticed this particular scam. When I realize what these asshats are trying to pull, it enrages me. I figured I’d write about here to warn others. In case craigslist pulls the ad here it is:

We need a person who is an expert with PHP and CGI/PERL. Pay will be $80,000 to $125,000 per year plus full medical and more. You will also get a laptop. Our recruiting for this position is a little bit unique. Below you will find a project to complete. Your performace on this project will determine if you become a permanent employee with us.

1. There Are Awards For The First 10 To Complete The Project
1: $1000
2-5: $500
5-7: $100
7-10: $50
10+ no award but still have the opportunity for employment.


What we need is a form with the following fields:
First Name
Last Name
Email Address
Country (drop down list if possible)
Referred By
Do you agree to the terms and conditions?

-All Fields EXCEPT the Referred by field should be required.


- The form must end at a success page.

-When the form is submitted the information from the form needs to be sent to: promotions@freerollsource.net (use sendmail, smtp, mailto etc.)

-You must host this form on a free host of you choice (Must be a completely new account since we will need the account info to review your work).
Here is a list of some free hosts you can use that support cgi/perl and php (with MySQL Database). Go here for a list of some free hosts: http://www.free-webhosts.com/webhosting-01.php

We actually have a CGI script that does all this. It is acceptable to use it if you install it correctly. Email me to get the CGI script.

Once you have completed the project, email me with the URL to the form, as well as the information for the free host you used. I will request some additional information about your background as well. A resume would be nice thing to have ready.

GOOD LUCK! Feel free to email me (daniel@traudts.com ) if you have any trouble.

Now I’ve read a lot job postings in my days and this sounds a tad bit fishy–even for craigslist. Secondly, the guy’s email address leads to a half-ass family website. Hmm… something isn’t kosher. Thirty seconds after googling his email address:


I know my way around php and html; but there is one thing I cannot figure out to do.

Right now, I have a standard form that is send to my email address once completed.

What I need to be able to do is limit sign-up to one per IP address. I was hoping someone knew how to do this. I am willing to pay for information that helps me complete the task. Thank you.

Feel free to email me: daniel@traudts.com (NO SPAM!)

I think it’s pretty self-explanatory what this guy is trying to pull with his pie-in-the-sky, bogus job listing. Unfortunately, this is the second time this month that I’ve seen this particular scam; and this is in the smaller market of metro Detroit/Ann Arbor. The prior listing was a bit more convincing and probably lured in more developers than one that talked about a job interview with cash prizes attached. It’s something to be aware of out there…

Google Password Generator Gadget

Today I needed a short break and decided to port over a Javascript password generator that I had previouly written to the XML format used by Google for their homepage “gadgets” (aka “widget”). I use it primarily for creating database passwords and figured at least a few of the people out there could find their own use for it.

Password Generator

Gadgets powered by Google

(If you use Google’s personalized homepage, click on the blue plus sign to add it to your page.)

Woot Assist

WootAssist does one thing only: It autofills your credit card security code (CVV) on Woot.com’s order page. It’s designed to save you ~0.4 seconds when you’re trying to get that cheap gadget before 20,000 other people cause a sell-out–especially during a WootOff.

How to use WootAssist

  1. Be using Firefox.
  2. Download/install Greasemonkey. Greasemonkey is a FF extension that allows users to write DHTML scripts that interact with existing webpages. WootAssist (and many other cool mini-apps) use the Greasemonkey framework. If you already have Greasemonkey installed, make sure it’s at least version 0.3.
  3. Install WootAssist.

Using Linux to Get Internet Access on your Verizon Phone for Free

I recently dumped Sprint for Verizon because Sprint provides such shoddy reception in my area. When researching phones online, I came across a few mentions on how to get free Internet access on some of the models. However, because the suggestions included routing through public proxies, I opted not to do it. However, finally purchasing a phone, I decided to try rolling my own hack.

Before you begin

  1. You need to be using a recent Motorola phone or know how to get into your phone’s hidden programming menu. I’m using my new V325i, but this will work with at least 35 other Verizon phones.

  2. Despite the fact that Verizon probably doesn’t want you to know about this, you aren’t stealing anything from them; you’ll still inccur airtime charges. The $5/mo extra you’d normally pay for web access to essentially rent their proxy server. You’re just saving a few bucks by using your own proxy server instead.

  3. This will only get you standard web access, the hack may or may not work with V-Cast (Verizon’s EV-DO network) or MVNO providers like Amp’d that piggyback on Verizon’s network. I haven’t tested them, but I’m guessing not.

Why not use a public proxy server?

I first learned about the phone part of this project from various cell phone forums and blogs (such as this one). However, they all recommended setting my phone to use a randomly-chosen, public proxy server listed on the web. Either they don’t know or don’t care, but the idea of piping all of my web traffic through some unknown party gives me the willies. At a minimum, when and where I visit will be logged. At worst, every bit of data that is sent from or received by my phone will also be logged–including email. Meh… I’m a trusting soul, but not that trusting. I’d also prefer something a bit more reliable.

Why not Squid?

When you hear “proxy server” and “Linux” in the same sentence, someone is almost always talking about Squid. I’ve used Squid; I both know and like it, but it just doesn’t cut it for this project because it doesn’t (yet) fully support HTTP version 1.1. HTTP/1.1 has been around since 1999 and is supported by Netscape Navigator 4 / IE4.01, so I’m not really sure why it’s so far behind in the times. However, Squid will take HTTP/1.1 requests sent from your phone and pass them onto the web server as HTTP/1.0 requests. Even though servers aren’t supposed to reply with 1.1 features when sent a 1.0 request, many ignore this rule and respond with chunked transfer encoding. For reasons I still don’t understand, this chokes the web browser on my phone. If you use Squid for this project, your phone won’t connect to about half of the websites you attempt to access (including wap.google.com). Well… at least on my phone, YMMV.

Choosing and installing the proxy server

After a bit of experimenting, I decided to settle on Polipo. It’s small, fast, well-documented, free, and most importantly: it works with minimal hassle. I am also using a Fedora Core box with a public IP. If your server is behind NAT or a firewall you’ll have to figure out how to correctly set up port-forwarding and any other relavant workarounds. It generally isn’t too difficult, and there are plenty of HOWTOs and other resources out there that can help.

The first step is to obviously download and install Polipo. While there are a handful of RPMs out there, I decided just to compile it myself because it’s so simple. By following the single-page installation instructions you should have Polipo up-and-running in about 10 minutes.

Configuring Polipo

After you’ve got a basic install of Polipo up and running, we need to configure it with a few extra options. First, we’re going to have to create a configuration file. By default, Polipo looks for a file named “/etc/polipo/config”, so I’m just going to stick with that for now. Inside the file add the following lines:

proxyAddress = allowedClients = authCredentials = jamie:mypassword redirector = /etc/polipo/homepage.pl 

Out of the box, Polipo only binds to the server’s loopback address. The “proxyAddress” option contains the IP address we want to listen to instead. (Note: If you’re using NAT, this isn’t the public address, but your local IP address, probably 10.x.x.x or 192.168.x.x).

The next setting, “allowedClients” is the IP address and netmask of your cell phone. Through some experimentation, I’ve determined that my phone always connects from an IP address of 70.217.x.x, but yours will vary. I figured this out by first setting allowedClients to “″ (which allows anyone to use your proxy). From my cell, I then accessed a website I manage and checked the site’s access logs. Another idea would be to write a quick Perl or PHP script that emails you the IP address of the visitor when the URL is accessed. You could leave it as “″, but I wouldn’t recommend it for security reasons.

Along with allowedClients, “authCredentials” is another way to help keep spammers from hijacking your proxy. It’s simply a username and password seperated by a colon. It uses the basic authentication, so it isn’t super-secure, but should be good enough to keep out unwanted guests when used with “allowedClients”.

Finally, we have the “redirector” setting. This points to a quick little Perl script which contains the following:

#!/usr/bin/perl $|=1; while (<>) {  s@http://homepage@http://wap.google.com@;  print; }

The script runs in a loop; if you input anything other than “http://homepage”, it simply echos back your input. Inputting “http://homepage”, however, will result in an output of “http://wap.google.com”. Change “http://wap.google.com” in the script to whatever homepage you want to use on your phone. I opted to use Perl because it’s easy and fast, but you can use something else if you’d like. (If your copy of the Perl interrupter isn’t in “/usr/bin/”, modify the script appropriately). Why do we need this extra step? More on that later…

Now that we have Polipo configured and running, it’s time to attack the second half of the project.

Configuring your cell phone

The first thing you’ll have to figure out is how to access your phone’s hidden programming menu. This varies from phone to phone. If a little googling doesn’t turn up anything, I’d highly recommend that you visit howardforums.com. Your question has most likely already been asked and answered there. For those with a Motorola v325i, the programming menu is accessed by pressing <CLR>073887* in rapid succession, and then entering a security code of 000000.

Once you get to the menu, select “Web Sessions” and then “[New Entry]”. Name the entry whatever you’d like. The fields that we’re concerned with are “Gateway IP 1″, “Port 1″, “User ID”, and “Password”. Polipo’s default port is 8123 and you’ll enter the same username/password you chose in the Polipo config file. Again, if your proxy server is behind NAT, make sure you enter your public, and not the private LAN IP, here.

If you don’t have a public, static IP address, you can also use a free dynamic DNS service, like DynDNS, to assign a hostname to your dynamic IP address. If you’re going this route, then fill in the “Gateway 1″ field with your dyndns hostname and leave “Gateway IP 1″ empty.

You may also wish to change the “Cache Start-Up” option from its default “On” to “Off”. If it’s set to “off”, your phone will retreive a fresh copy of your homepage everytime you start an Internet session. If your homepage is something that changes frequently (like CNN.com), you’ll probably want to make this change. However, since I’m just using Google as my homepage, I’d prefer that the cached homepage load faster.

One thing that you’ll notice that you can’t change is the homepage; it’s hard-wired to “http://homepage”. This is the reason for using the redirection Perl script with the proxy server. Anytime “http://homepage” is requested, Polipo serves up your configued webpage instead. There is a way to change it in the phone, but the method requires transfering a file from the phone to a PC with a data cable, hex editing it, and copying it back. Since mucking around with your phone’s filesystem will almost surely void its warranty (and might brick it), there’s no good reason to do it when an easy workaround is available.

Set this new connection as the default one, and you should be all set! Free Internet access!


This is definately not a 10-minute hack. But assuming you have the Linux skills, spending an hour could save you $60/yr. Or, if your entire office is using Verizon phones, you could save your company hundreds (or thousands) of dollars a year and have the opportunity to prove your salt. But of course, the coolest part about a hack is the flexilbity it affords. Using your own proxy server, you could give your company’s cell phones access to a private Intranet not previously accessable via Verizon. If you’re a parent, you can limit the sites that your children visit on their phones, or restrict the time of day they can browse the web (like during class time?). There are quite a few possibilities.

Since I am limited to only the gear I have, I haven’t attempted to try this config with anything other than a static, public IP address and my Motorola v325i. So if you do this with dynamic DNS, behind NAT, or with a different phone!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Build Your Own Video Community With Lighttpd And FlowPlayer (Debian Etch) - Part 3

8 Installing FlowPlayer

Go to http://flowplayer.org/download and download the latest

FlowPlayer version to your /tmp directory, e.g. like this:

cd /tmp

wget http://belnet.dl.sourceforge.net/sourceforge/flowplayer/


FlowPlayer comes in .zip format, so we must install unzip

to uncompress it:

apt-get install unzip

Afterwards we can uncompress it:

unzip flowplayer-1.19.zip

This creates a directory called flowplayer in the /tmp directory.

I'd like to have that directory in the document root of my

video web site (/var/www),

so I move it there:

mv flowplayer /var/www/

9 Configuring FlowPlayer

FlowPlayer is now installed, so all that is left to do is create an HTML file

that lets us watch our video. I will create a PHP file for this called

/var/www/flowplayertest.php which contains all parameters

to start FlowPlayer in the user's browser and which also

create valid video links for mod_secdownload:

vi /var/www/flowplayertest.php

$secret = "somesecret"; $uri_prefix = "/dl/";
# filename $f = "/video.flv";
# current timestamp $t = time();
$t_hex = sprintf("%08x", $t);
$m = md5($secret.$f.$t_hex); ?>
<html> <head> <title>Flowplayer Test</title> </head>

<body text="#000000" bgcolor="#FFFFFF"
link="#FF0000" alink="#FF0000" vlink="#FF0000">

<object type="application/x-shockwave-flash"
width="320" height="256" id="FlowPlayer">

<param name="allowScriptAccess"
value="sameDomain" />

<param name="movie" value="/flowplayer/
FlowPlayerThermo.swf" />

<param name="quality" value="high" />
<param name="scale" value="noScale" />
<param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" />

<param name="flashvars" value="config={videoFile: '
<?php printf('%s%s/%s%s', $uri_prefix, $m,
$t_hex, $f, $f); ?>', streamingServer:
'lighttpd', loop: 'false',
useNativeFullScreen: true}" />
















It's very important that $secret has the same value than secdownload.

secret in /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf. Also, $uri_prefix and secdownload.

uri-prefix must match. If this is fulfilled, the above script will generate valid links

. $f must hold the filename of the FLV video, beginning with a slash (/).

(The filename is hard-coded in the above example,

but of course you can program whatever you like to

dynamically generate the filename.)

The <object></object> stanza contains the FlowPlayer configuration.

FlowPlayer comes with some different skins

(see http://flowplayer.org/documentation/quick+start);

I like the FlowPlayerThermo skin most, so I use that.

Our FLV video has a size of 320x240px (see chapter six),

and the control bar of the FlowPlayerThermo skin has a height of 16px.

Therefore I specify a width of 320px and a height of (240 + 16 = 256)px.

If you use another skin, adjust the height appropriately.

In the <param name="flashvars"... line we can configure the

behaviour of FlowPlayer. The most important setting is the videoFile

setting (which is set by PHP in the above script) which specifies

the path to the FLV video.

Another important setting is streamingServer: 'lighttpd'

which causes the video to be streamed through lighttpd's

mod_flv_streaming module which allows better support for long videos.

The other two settings (loop, useNativeFullScreen) are

optional in this setup. However, if you set useNativeFullScreen

to true (adds support for native Flash 9 full screen mode),

you must also include the line

<param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" />

in the <object></object> stanza, and you cannot use

<param name="wmode" value="transparent" />


To learn more about all options that you can use in the

<param name="flashvars"... line, take a look

at http://flowplayer.org/config/variables.

Now it's time to test our setup. Direct your browser to or


and your video should start to play in your browser (including sound):

This is how the native Flash 9 full screen mode looks:


Build Your Own Video Community With Lighttpd And FlowPlayer (Debian Etch) part 2

5 C'reating Video Directories

In this tutorial I'm assuming that your lighttpd document root for your video web site is /var/www (the default document root for lighttpd on Debian). Of course, we don't want to store the original videos and the FLV videos in the document root (or a subdirectory) to prevent that anyone can download them directly (if he knows the link). Therefore we create a directory for the original videos (e.g. /var/videos/incoming) and a directory for the FLV videos (e.g. /var/videos/flv) outside the document root:

mkdir -p /var/videos/incoming

mkdir -p /var/videos/flv

You (or your users) can then upload their original videos to /var/videos/incoming (e.g. through FTP or some web interface that you program), and you can then encode the videos to FLV (either manually or through some script), as shown in the next chapter.

6 Encoding Videos To FLV

Let's assume we have a video called video.avi in /var/videos/incoming (works for the extensions .mp4 .mov .mpg .3gp .mpeg .wmv as well). We want to convert it to the file video.flv and store it in the directory /var/videos/flv. I want video.flv to have a size of 320x240 pixels with an audio sampling frequency of 44100 Hz and a frame rate of 12 fps. This is how we do it:

ffmpeg -i /var/videos/incoming/video.avi -s 320x240 -ar 44100 -r 12 /var/videos/flv/video.flv

(For more options, take a look at

man ffmpeg


This can take some time, and the output should look something like this:

server1:~# ffmpeg -i /var/videos/incoming/video.avi -s 320x240 -ar 44100 -r 12 /var/videos/flv/video.flv

FFmpeg version SVN-rUNKNOWN, Copyright (c) 2000-2004 Fabrice Bellard

configuration: --enable-gpl --enable-pp --enable-pthreads --enable-mp3lame --enable-vorbis --enable-libogg

--enable-a52 --enable-dts --enable-libgsm --enable-dc1394 --disable-debug --enable-shared --prefix=/usr

libavutil version: 0d.49.0.0

libavcodec version: 0d.51.11.0

libavformat version: 0d.50.5.0

built on Aug 14 2007 15:02:25, gcc: 4.1.2 20061115 (prerelease) (Debian 4.1.1-21)

Input #0, avi, from '/var/videos/incoming/video.avi':

Duration: 00:10:53.8, start: 0.000000, bitrate: 5455 kb/s

Stream #0.0: Video: mpeg4, yuv420p, 1024x576, 24.00 fps(r)

Stream #0.1: Audio: ac3, 48000 Hz, 5:1, 448 kb/s

Output #0, flv, to '/var/videos/flv/video.flv':

Stream #0.0: Video: flv, yuv420p, 320x240, q=2-31, 200 kb/s, 12.00 fps(c)

Stream #0.1: Audio: mp3, 44100 Hz, stereo, 64 kb/s

Stream mapping:

Stream #0.0 -> #0.0

Stream #0.1 -> #0.1

No accelerated IMDCT transform found

Press [q] to stop encoding

frame= 7847 q=2.0 Lsize= 21682kB time=653.8 bitrate= 271.7kbits/s

video:16061kB audio:5108kB global headers:0kB muxing overhead 2.427536%


Please make sure that in the Output section, you see two streams, one for video, one for audio. If you see video only, this means that the sound gets lost which means you've probably done something wrong in chapters two and three.

After the conversion, we can now add metadata to video.flv with flvtool2:

cat /var/videos/flv/video.flv | flvtool2 -U stdin /var/videos/flv/video.flv

7 Configuring Lighttpd

Now we have to open lighttpd's main configuration file, /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf, and enable the modules mod_secdownload and mod_flv_streaming in it. It is very important that mod_secdownload is listed before mod_flv_streaming in the server.modules stanza. When I did it the other way round, I found that fast-forwarding the video in FlowPlayer didn't work!

vi /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf

[...] server.modules              = (
# "mod_rewrite",
# "mod_redirect",
# "mod_status",
# "mod_evhost",
# "mod_compress",
# "mod_usertrack",
# "mod_rrdtool",
# "mod_webdav",
# "mod_expire",
# "mod_evasive" )

In the same file, we add also add the following configuration (you can add it right at the end of /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf):

flv-streaming.extensions = ( ".flv" )
secdownload.secret = "somesecret"
secdownload.document-root = "/var/videos/flv/"
secdownload.uri-prefix = "/dl/"
secdownload.timeout = 120

Please replace somesecret with your own secret string (you can choose one).

What mod_secdownload does is this: a web application (e.g. a PHP script) can have a link in it of the following form:




where <token> is an MD5 of

  1. a secret string (user supplied)

  2. <rel-path> (starts with /)

  3. <timestamp-in-hex>

mod_secdownload will then map this link to the appropriate file in the secdownload.document-root (which is outside the document root of the web site) and allow access to that file for secdownload.timeout seconds. After secdownload.timeout seconds, the link isn't valid anymore, and access is denied.

After we have installed FlowPlayer, we will use a PHP script to generate the appropriate video links for mod_secdownload.

You can find more information about mod_secdownload here: http://trac.lighttpd.net/trac/wiki/Docs%3AModSecDownload

Don't forget to restart lighttpd after your changes to /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf:

/etc/init.d/lighttpd restart

Build Your Own Video Community With Lighttpd And FlowPlayer (Debian Etch) part 1

1 Preliminary Note

In this tutorial I use the hostname server1.example.com with the IP address These settings might differ for you, so you have to replace them where appropriate.

We need a lighttpd installation with PHP support, as shown in this tutorial: Installing Lighttpd With PHP5 And MySQL Support On Debian Etch. I won't cover this here, so please refer to this tutorial if you haven't already set up lighttpd with PHP support.

2 Installing LAME

LAME is an MPEG Audio Layer III (MP3) encoder. We need this so that our videos don't lose their sound while they are being converted to FLV. Unfortunately, LAME isn't available as an official Debian Etch package, so we must compile it manually. First, we install the tools we need for the compilation:

apt-get install build-essential

Then we go to the /tmp directory and download the latest LAME version from SourceForge, e.g. like this:

cd /tmp

wget http://mesh.dl.sourceforge.net/sourceforge/lame/lame-3.97.tar.gz

Then we unpack and compile LAME:

tar xvfz lame-3.97.tar.gz

cd lame-3.97

./configure --enable-shared --prefix=/usr


make install

3 Installing ffmpeg

We will use ffmpeg to convert our video files to the FLV format. First, we install ffmpeg and a few plugins like this:

apt-get install ffmpeg libavcodec0d libavformat0d libavifile-0.7c2 libpostproc0d libasound2-plugins avifile-player avifile-utils avifile-mad-plugin avifile-mjpeg-plugin avifile-vorbis-plugin

The problem with Debian's ffmpeg package is that is doesn't come with MP3 encoding support, which means that our FLV videos will lose their sound after the conversion. Therefore we will recompile Debian's ffmpeg source package with mp3lame support (which is why we had to install LAME in the previous chapter).

First we download the ffmpeg source package to /usr/src:

cd /usr/src/

apt-get source ffmpeg

Then we change to the ffmpeg source directory:

cd ffmpeg-0.cvs20060823

and edit the file debian/rules. Towards the beginning of that file, you will find two confflags lines. Add the configuration switch --enable-mp3lame to one of them and save the file:

vi debian/rules

confflags += --enable-gpl --enable-pp
--enable-pthreads --enable-mp3lame
confflags += --enable-vorbis --enable
-libogg --enable-a52 --enable-dts --enable-libgsm [...]

Now we can build our new ffmpeg package:


dpkg-buildpackage will most likely complain about missing packages that it needs to build the new ffmpeg .deb package:

server1:/usr/src/ffmpeg-0.cvs20060823# dpkg-buildpackage

dpkg-buildpackage: source package is ffmpeg

dpkg-buildpackage: source version is 0.cvs20060823-8

dpkg-buildpackage: source changed by Sam Hocevar (Debian packages) <sam+deb@zoy.org>

dpkg-buildpackage: host architecture i386

dpkg-buildpackage: source version without epoch 0.cvs20060823-8

dpkg-checkbuilddeps: Unmet build dependencies: debhelper (>= 4.0) quilt libogg-dev libvorbis-dev liba52-dev libdts-dev zlib1g-dev libsdl1.2-dev libfreetype6-dev libimlib2-dev texi2html libraw1394-dev libdc1394-13-dev libtheora-dev (>> 0.0.0.alpha4) libgsm1-dev

dpkg-buildpackage: Build dependencies/conflicts unsatisfied; aborting.

dpkg-buildpackage: (Use -d flag to override.)


If you see an error like this, install the missing packages, e.g. like this:

apt-get install debhelper quilt libogg-dev libvorbis-dev liba52-dev libdts-dev zlib1g-dev libsdl1.2-dev libfreetype6-dev libimlib2-dev texi2html libraw1394-dev libdc1394-13-dev libtheora-dev libgsm1-dev

Afterwards, run dpkg-buildpackage again:


The dpkg-buildpackage command should now compile ffmpeg again and create new .deb packages (ffmpeg plus some plugins) in the /usr/src directory. This can take some time, so please be patient. It's possible that you get some warnings about signatures at the end - you can ignore them.

Afterwards, we go to the /usr/src directory and install our new .deb packages:

cd ..

dpkg -i *.deb

That's it for ffmpeg.

4 Installing flvtool2

When we convert videos to the FLV format, we need to add some metadata such as the duration of the video to the FLV file so that FlowPlayer can properly display the length of the video. We can add this metadata with flvtool2. flvtool2 is written in Ruby, so we must install Ruby first:

apt-get install ruby

Then we download the latest version of flvtool2 to the /tmp directory, e.g. like this:

cd /tmp

wget http://rubyforge.org/frs/download.php/17497/flvtool2-1.0.6.tgz

Afterwards, we install it:

tar xvfz flvtool2-1.0.6.tgz

cd flvtool2-1.0.6

ruby setup.rb config

ruby setup.rb setup

ruby setup.rb install

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Wikipedia 'shows CIA page edits'

By Jonathan Fildes
Science and technology reporter, BBC News

An online tool that claims to reveal the identity of organisations that edit Wikipedia pages has revealed that the CIA was involved in editing entries.

Wikipedia Scanner allegedly shows that workers on the agency's computers made edits to the page of Iran's president.

It also purportedly shows that the Vatican has edited entries about Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.

The tool, developed by US researchers, trawls a list of 5.3m edits and matches them to the net address of the editor.

Wikipedia is a free online encyclopaedia that can be created and edited by anyone.

Most of the edits detected by the scanner correct spelling mistakes or factual inaccuracies in profiles. However, others have been used to remove potentially damaging material or to deface sites.

Mistaken identity

On the profile of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the tool indicates that a worker on the CIA network reportedly added the exclamation "Wahhhhhh!" before a section on the leader's plans for his presidency.

A warning on the profile of the anonymous editor reads: "You have recently vandalised a Wikipedia article, and you are now being asked to stop this type of behaviour."

Screen grab of Wikipedia page
It is claimed the entry was changed by a CIA computer user

Other changes that have been made are more innocuous, and include tweaks to the profile of former CIA chief Porter Goss and celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey.

When asked whether it could confirm whether the changes had been made by a person using a CIA computer, an agency spokesperson responded: "I cannot confirm that the traffic you cite came from agency computers.

"I'd like in any case to underscore a far larger and more significant point that no one should doubt or forget: The CIA has a vital mission in protecting the United States, and the focus of this agency is there, on that decisive work."

Radio change

The site also indicates that a computer owned by the US Democratic Party was used to make changes to the site of right-wing talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

The changes brand Mr Limbaugh as "idiotic," a "racist", and a "bigot". An entry about his audience now reads: "Most of them are legally retarded."

We really value transparency and the scanner really takes this to another level

Wikipedia spokesperson

The IP address is registered in the name of the Democratic National Headquarters.

A spokesperson for the Democratic Party said that the changes had not been made on its computers. Instead, they said that the "IP address is the same as the DCCC".

The DCCC, or Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, is the "official campaign arm of the Democrats" in the House of Representatives and shares a building with the party.

"We don't condone these sorts of activities and we take every precaution to ensure that our network is used in a responsible manner," Doug Thornell of the DCCC told the BBC News website.

Mr Thornell pointed out that the edit had been made "close to two years ago" and it was "impossible to know" who had done it.

Voting issue

The site also indicates that Vatican computers were used to remove content from a page about the leader of the Irish republican party Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams.

Wikipedia logo
Wikipedia already collects the IP address or username of editors

The edit removed links to newspaper stories written in 2006 that alleged that Mr Adams' fingerprints and handprints were found on a car used during a double murder in 1971.

The section, titled "Fresh murder question raised" is no longer available through the online encyclopaedia.

Wikipedia Scanner also points the finger at commercial organisations that have modified entries about the pages.

One in particular is Diebold, a company which supplies electronic voting machines in the US.

In October 2005, a person using a Diebold computer removed paragraphs about Walden O'Dell, chief executive of the company, which revealed that he had been "a top fund-raiser" for George Bush.

A month later, other paragraphs and links to stories about the alleged rigging of the 2000 election were also removed.

The paragraphs and links have since been reinstated.

Diebold officials have not responded to requests by the BBC for information about the changes.

Web history

The Wikipedia Scanner results are not the first time that people have been uncovered editing their own Wikipedia entries.

Wikipedia Scanner may prevent an organisation or individuals from editing articles that they're really not supposed to

Wikipedia spokesperson

Earlier this year, Microsoft was revealed to have offered money to experts to trawl through entries about the company and its products to make corrections.

Staff at the US Congress have also previously been exposed for editing and removing sensitive information about politicians.

An inquiry was launched after staff for Democratic representative Marty Meehan admitted polishing his biography

The new tool was built by Virgil Griffith of the California Institute of Technology.

It exploits the open nature of Wikipedia, which already collects the net address or username of editors and tracks all changes to a page. The information can be accessed in the "history" tab at the top of a Wikipedia page.

By merging this information with a database of IP address owners, Wikipedia Scanner is able to put a name to the organisation and firms from which edits are made.

The scanner cannot identify the individuals editing articles, admits Mr Griffith.

"Technically, we don't know whether it came from an agent of that company, however, we do know that edit came from someone with access to their network," he wrote on the Wikipedia Scanner site.

A spokesperson for Wikipedia said the tool helped prevent conflicts of interest.

"We really value transparency and the scanner really takes this to another level," they said.

"Wikipedia Scanner may prevent an organisation or individuals from editing articles that they're really not supposed to."

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Yoga & Ayurveda Meditation & ayurveda

Meditation means 'awareness' and refers to inner exploration by a human being. It is the complete focusing of one's mind on any one singular object without making the mind wander about. It involves reaching that perfect stage and calls for concentration, contemplation and absorption. Meditation is considered a part of yoga and forms an integral part. Its very purpose is to enrich all aspects of body, mind and soul.

Ayurveda physicians of ancient times advocated the practice of yoga and meditation as it helped to condition the body, mind and soul. It is believed that meditation originated in India over 5000 years ago. There is ample proof to suggest that the ancient Indian saints and yogis practiced yoga daily; this helped them to live long and healthy lives. Meditation in short is reaching that sublime stage of pure thought and inner exploration. The accumulation of physical toxins in the human cells has their equivalents in the mind. These come in the form of anger, fear, jealousy, greed doubts etc. It is to be realized that these toxins are equally potent and are able to destroy the physical and mental health in an individual.
Ayurveda considers this as mental ama (toxins) that need to be removed immediately from the mind. Ayurveda suggests Meditation as the way and the means to eliminate these toxins from the mind thus ensuring both physical and mental health.

Methods of meditation

Certain norms and procedures are to be followed with regard to meditation to attain the desired results. A few of the norms and procedures are given below: -There should be a specific place and a specific time for doing meditation - Meditation should be done on a daily basis. meditationOne should adopt a straight posture while doing meditation -The person meditating should face North or East - A slow and deep breathing would be ideal during meditation -As the person meditating would not be in a position to bring the entire focus on a topic immediately, the first stage of meditation would be to let the mind wander, then bring it to focus on a variety of similar objects and finally bring the entire focus of concentration on to one single object.


There are several benefits that one can derive if one practices meditation on a daily basis. -Meditation lowers blood pressure and reduces cholesterol levels. It helps to reduce tension, anxiety and worry -The flow of oxygen to the lungs will be increased -Meditation helps to reduce obesity -It improves memory power and boosts creativity -Helps to relax and rejuvenate the mind. -It strengthens the immune system and provides guarantee against the onset of various diseases. -Helps maintain the perfect balance of the body, mind and soul and assure perfect physical and mental health. The modern world has acknowledged the efficacy and the benefits of meditation. Innumerable number of institutions has come up in different parts of the country that offer lessons on meditation. The increasing popularity of yoga and meditation in the west is ample proof of its efficacy and relevance in the present day .


Diet as per your personality

Ayurveda lays utmost emphasis on the dietary habits of individuals as a way to nourish the body, maintain good health, prevent disease and to balance the doshas. All ayurveda recipes, then, will have certain inherent qualities that will help an individual remain healthy. It feels that most diseases are associated with and originate in our digestive system and is a result of wrong and improper dietary habits.

Ayurveda also insists that the dietary needs of each and every individual are different and hence specific body constitutions need specific diet. The importance given to diet and nutrition in the ayurveda system of medicine, then, cannot be under estimated. The conversion of food in to nutrition is called Agni or fire in ayurveda. A vegetarian diet is always preferred over non vegetarian diet. Ayurveda suggests that an individual’s diet should contain rich amounts of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and foods rich in fibre as these will provide energy and help the individual maintain good health.

A good meal as suggested by ayurveda would also include colours, aromas, flavours, tastes, textures etc that would soothe all our sense organs apart from providing our body with all the needed nutrients. Ayurveda discourages the use of animal flesh in our diet as also the consumption of coffee and alcohol..

Herbs and spices do play a vital part in all ayurveda diets and recipes. Ayurveda suggests that one consume herbs before a meal, during a meal and after a meal. juicevitamins etc. Herbs are known to increase the digestion process and help in assimilation of food due to their ability to transport the healing and nutritive value of food to the tissues, cells and organs. Herbs also cleanse our body system off toxins and impurities and helps in the process of elimination. .

Eating a lemon prior to a meal increases the appetite as also chewing fennel seeds after a meal helps in the digestive process and makes our breath more fresh. Amalakhi rasayanas and Triphala rasayanas are highly recommended in ayurveda as these help digestion, assimilation and elimination. The best way to consume spices is by consuming them after cooking. Ayurveda favours the inclusion of all the six tastes: sweet, sour, salty, astringent, bitter and pungent at every meal. These easy to digest recipes offer quick assimilation, prevent diseases, provide immunity from diseases, impart improved sleep and concentration, maintain youthfulness and offer energy, strength and vitality to an individual.The ayurveda system of medicine recommends suitable and unsuitable types of food for each category of body constitution. These are to be followed for a long and healthy life free from diseases. The food consumed by a person should have relevance to his body constitution. Ayurveda recommends foods based on the doshas of each person and what type of food is beneficial for each body type.

Vata Pacifying foods.
Vata pacifying foods include ghee, soft dairy products, wheat, rice, corn and bananas. It is recommended that a person with vata constitution consume foods like hot cereal with ghee, soups, vegetables, cooked grains, chapattis etc. Unlike other body constitution persons vata persons can consume spicy foods as well. . Vegetables: Asparagus, carrots, cucumber, green beans, onions, garlic, turnips, radish, sweet potatoes etc Fruits Mangoes, melons, peaches, bananas and all sweet fruits Grains Rice, wheat and oats.
Pita Pacifying Foods.
For people with pita constitution, milk, rice, beans and fruits as also spices such as cumin, coriander are recommended. Vegetables: There are no restrictions on the consumption of vegetables by the pita constitution persons. They can generally consume all types of vegetables. Fruits: There are also no restrictions on the type of fruits that they consume. All fruits are generally good for them.
Kapha Pacifying Foods.

And for kapha dosha persons, foods with bitter, pungent and astringent tastes are beneficial. Foods such as puffed rice, millets, and leafy vegetables as also spices such as ginger, turmeric, and chili are good for kapha constitution persons.

Vegetables: All vegetables are god for these persons. But if some of these kapha persons suffer from diseases such as asthma, lung congestion, heart disease, obesity etc then, it would be best to avoid sweet juicy vegetables like cucumbers , sweet potatoes etc Grains: Rice, wheat, millets etc are recommended.In the Ayurveda system of medicine, apart from consuming the type of food suitable for each dosha type, the seasons and the place where one lives are also taken in to consideration. Ayurveda diet, stresses the importance of consuming whole foods, eaten in as natural a state as possible. And it is also to be noted that if the digestive fire is not strong enough, then, even wholesome foods can turn into toxic matter in the body.

Ayurveda system of medicine does not recommend foods that are frozen, canned or refined as these dilute the food off its nutritive value. Also to be avoided are processed foods with artificial colors, flavorings, additives or preservatives. Also foods that are genetically altered and grown with the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides are also not favoured in ayurveda. The best option, then, would be to consume foods that are organic, natural and locally available. Ayurveda also stresses the importance of rotation of an individual’s diet so that one does not consume the same type of food each and every day of the week. There should always be variety in the types of food consumed as this will provide us with all the needed nutrients, increase the digestion process as also it will increase one’s liking for every type of food.

Food Intake -Do’s and Don’ts. Certain guidelines have been suggested in Ayurveda regarding the dietary habits that should help an individual maintain good health, nourish the body and balance the doshas.

- One should always consume cooked foods and avoid raw foods.
- Fruits and salad vegetables, however, can be eaten raw.
- The food consumed should neither be too hot or too cold.
- Curds are recommended after a heavy meal as it helps digestion.
- One should always chew one’s food properly.
- One should wash the hands, feet and face before every meal.
- Food should be consumed only if the bowel movements are proper.
- There should always be a gap of three hours between every meal.
- It is advisable to have a heavy lunch; however, a light dinner is recommended.
- One should always limit the intake of food to two thirds of the stomach capacity.

The following food combinations are best avoided - Never consume milk and meat
- Starchy foods such as potatoes and fruits should not be taken together.


It is to be noted that this information is purely for educational purposes and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please consult your ayurveda physician for all your specific dietary needs.


Oils, Kashyam, Arishtam, Gulikas and more

In the Ayurveda system of medicine, the oral medicines administered for various diseases are in various forms and are generally known as Arishtams, Lehyams, Thailams, Kashayams and Gulikas etc. These forms are quite different from the western system of medicine. With the help of these Kashayams, Aristams, Gulikas etc every type of disease affecting human beings can be cured. .

These medicines are easy to administer, tasty, non toxic, easily digestible and leave no traces. Unlike the other system of medicines, ayurveda medicines can be consumed by all persons of all ages, both healthy and those afflicted with various disease.

But over the years, various ayurveda practitioners have adopted various processes in manufacturing these Kashayams, Aristams, Lehyams, and Gulikas etc. These are to make these medicines easily administrable, tastier, easily digestible and to give more shelf life. Some companies do produce these medicines on a mass scale to cater to the ever increasing demand. However, passage of time has not diminished the efficacy of these time tested and proven formulations. We give below the major formulations generally used in ayurveda.


It is one of the most commonly used and convenient forms of administering the drug. Herbs ranging from 10 to 100 types on an average are crushed, ground and boiled in water for a considerably long period of time till the decoction measures up to the required quantity. It is then filtered and the contents emptied in to a vessel. Unlike other formulations, kashayams cannot be kept for long periods. The vaidyans of ancient times used to prepare it on a daily basis. The great benefit of the present manufacturing system is that it ensures a longer life span without in any way compromising on the quality of the product.

Kashayams are an ideal remedy for a number of diseases. These include: fever, body pain, respiratory disorders, rheumatic disorders, urinary problems, anemia, mental diseases, jaundice, skin diseases etc. The physician normally would recommend kashayams in combination with other ayurveda formulations.


Arishtams are the fermented extracts of medicinal herbs. Fermentation is brought about through the addition of flowers and other medicinal herbs in to the herbal solution. arishtamAlcoholic content in arishtam may vary from 5 to 10 %. Inclusion of jaggery, honey or sugar gives the arishtam its sweet taste; these also act as a preservative and hasten the therapeutic action. Arishtams are sealed tight in earthen pots and kept for a minimum period of 30 days prior to its use.

Aristams are recommended in the treatments of indigestion, constipation, gynecological disorders, circulatory and respiratory disorders, general weakness etc.

disease ASAVAMS

Asavams, like arishtams are also fermented and have an average alcoholic content of 5 to 10 %. The medicinal herbs are ground and made in to a coarse powder prior to fermentation. The asavams are then sealed tight and kept in earthen pots for a certain period of time prior to their use. Their therapeutic value increases with the passage of time.

Asavams are recommended in the treatment of pediatric diseases, indigestion, jaundice, anemia, general weakness etc.
disease AVARTHI

These are medicated oils. Various herbs are added with oil and then distilled and processed several times till they reach the expected potency. Some are said to be distilled and processed 101 times.
Avarthis are recommended in the treatment of rheumatic disorders, orthopedic diseases, urinary diseases, etc.

disease LEHYAMS

Lehyams are semi solid formulations prepared from powdered herbs and spices. Jaggery, sugar and spices are added to give it the needed taste and flavor. Lehyams are recommended for those recuperating from diseases as also for maintaining health and vitality.

Lehyams are also recommended for treatment of allergic conditions, indigestion, hyper acidity, gynecological disorders, etc
disease GULIKAS

These are pills made from finely powdered herbs. Finely powdered herbs of minimum particle size have more efficacy than coarse powders and combine better with other formulations. These gulikas are prescribed together with other formulation and are seldom given in isolation.

Gulikas are given to patients with symptoms of cough, asthma, gastric complaints, rheumatic disorders, skin diseases, inflammatory conditions etc.


Choornams are finely powdered and sifted forms of dried Ayurvedic herbs. The powders are then packed in air tight containers. Choornams also find application in the preparation of gulikas, kashayams, aristams, asavams, etc. apart from it being widely used for therapies like lepam, upanahanam, sweda etc. Choornams are user friendly and have a longer shelf life with out in any way compromising on its therapeutic value.

Choornams are prescribed for treating diseases like gastric disorders, diarrhea, urinary complaints, skin disorders etc.


Seetha kalpana is an Ayurvedic formulation that’s easy to prepare. These are preferred for their high efficacy and quick therapeutic action. Finely cleansed herbs are crushed, chopped and immersed overnight in a vessel filled with water. The mixture is then emptied in to another vessel, filtered and used as medicine.

disease GRUTHAM

Grutham is medicated ghee containing a large number of medicinal herbs. It is useful in the treatment of mental retardation, insanity, intestinal ulcers etc. Gruthams also improve the overall health of an individual apart from providing immunity from various diseases.
disease THAILAMS

thailadharaThailams are medicated oils used both internally and externally. In external applications these are utilized for massaging of joints and other body parts. Thailams are prepared by mixing medicinal herbs in oils like Sesame oil or coconut oil with additives like milk and juice. The processing period of thailams would depend on the usage of the thailam. Internal applications would require a limited period of processing while external applications would call for longer periods of processing. Thailams are known to rejuvenate the body and provide immunity against various diseases.

Massaging with thailams is highly effective in treating neurological and rheumatic diseases. It is also used in the treatment of gastro disorders, falling hair etc.
disease KUZHAMBU

kateevasthiKuzhambu is prepared in the same manner as one would prepare thailams. It is prepared specifically for external applications like massaging of various body parts. In kuzhambu, coconut oil is seldom used. Instead castor oil and sesame oil with additives like ghee is used. It is applied externally in treating diseases like rheumatic complaints, joint pains etc.


Herbal Plants in India and Sri Lanka

The evergreen forests of India and Sri Lanka are home to an amazing variety of rich medicinal plants, herbs and spices. The Western Ghats including the Agasthya kudam in Kerala and the Horton plains of Sri Lanka are a veritable treasure trove of this immense wealth. The climatic conditions and the nature of the soil give both Sri Lankan and Kerala Ayurveda formulations a unique potency.

The eco- system existing in the central high lands of Sri Lanka resembles those found in the Shola forests of the Western Ghats, including Agasthya kudam in Kerala. Agasthya kudam, extending over an area of 1300 sq km is probably the richest source of herbal wealth in the world.

A majority of the rare medicinal herbs and spices found in Kerala can also be seen growing in abundance in the Horton plains. 2500 varieties of medicinal plants have been identified in the forests of India and over 1400 varieties in Sri Lanka. The march of Ayurveda science over the years was to a large measure the result of an uninterrupted flow of medicinal herbs from these virgin forests.

From the earliest of times, medicinal herbs and spices from South India always commanded a premium in the International market due to their potency. This was a direct result of the climatic conditions and the nature of the soil prevalent in the South. As the eco- system existing in Sri Lanka and the Western Ghats are similar, Ayurveda formulations prepared from medicinal plants and herbs from Sri Lanka also have the same potency as those of Kerala.

“Conservation International”, a leading International organization dealing with biodiversity has designated Sri Lanka and the Western Ghats as one of the “25 Global Biodiversity Hot spots”

But deforestation and wanton destruction of these medicinal plants over the years resulted in a drastic reduction in their availability. Most Ayurveda manufacturers in the present day resort to cultivation of medicinal plants to sustain their production and to guarantee an uninterrupted
supply in future. Advances in bio technology have given rise to tissue culture cultivation. This has also helped augment the present day availability of these medicinal herbs.
The evergreen forests of India and Sri Lanka still continue to be the ultimate resort as the deep interiors may still hold the required quantities and varieties that modern day man so eagerly needs.
The Rhododendron tree, Neem tree, Stevia, Aswagandha, Amala, Aloe Vera ,Basil, Sidda plant, Sandal wood, Malabar Nut, turmeric, etc are but a few of the invaluable medicinal plants and herbs that the forests of the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka hold.


Medicinal plants in western medicine

Herbs and spices do play a very prominent role in the preparation of various western medical drugs and formulations. Studies reveal that over 30% of prescriptions in the western system of medicine contain botanical preparations. Even such well known wonder drugs as Penicillin and Streptomycin are in fact fungal extracts. Ayurveda- portal.com showcases a list of valued herbs and spices which the western system of medicine cannot do without. So welcome

The western countries initially relied heavily on the import of herbs and spices from the Asian countries to sustain the continuous production of western medicines. This sourcing of vital ingredients had been in practice right from the colonial era. The demand, however, far outstripped supply. As supply of natural herbs and spices dwindled, the western countries resorted to use of synthetic herbs and spices in their medicines. These synthetic herbs and spices posed serious problems for the human body and were no substitute for the natural herbs. Ayurveda is the only system of medicine that uses as ingredients the extracts of naturally grown herbs and spices. Ayurveda is wholly natural- it’s nature’s gift to mankind.


Aloe Vera finds application in medicines that are prescribed for the treatment of sunburns, minor burns, arthritis, and constipation. Most of the modern day shampoos and sprays also use Aloe Vera as a constituent.


Also called the Indian Ginseng, Aswagandha is an integral ingredient of medicines that are prescribed for mental problems, sexual impotence and fatigue. Some companies also include aswagandha in their cold and flu formulations.


Many of the tonics prescribed for speeding up the blood circulation contain large amounts of capsicum. Capsicum is also used in preparations that aid the digestive system and respiratory conditions


cardamomThis is used both as an ingredient in medicines and also as a flavouring agent in tonics. Some medicines that offer cure for indigestion, flatulence, urinary and skin complications contain cardamom extracts.


Many pharmaceutical companies use cinnamon as an ingredient in medicines manufactured for treating diseases like diarrhea and influenza. Leading companies tend to include cinnamon in the manufacture of glucose powders.


Cloves are widely used to make vanillin, the artificial vanilla. Cloves also form an integral part in medicines that are prescribed for the treatment of hernia, ringworm, digestive ailments and respiratory problems.


Coriander seeds form a major ingredient of some of the western formulations that are a cure for anti inflammations and digestive disorders.


Cumin seed was considered an indispensable spice by the western world from very early times. Many of the present day formulations made for treating indigestion and diarrhea also contain cumin seeds.


Garlic is an integral part of drugs and formulations that offer cure for bronchitis, asthma and those that reduce the blood pressure. Some pharmaceutical companies also include garlic in common cold and cough formulations.


This spice is being widely used in the manufacture of pepper mints and menthol. Peppermints are an integral part of herbal teas and menthol used both as vapour rubs and throat soothers. Formulations prescribed for indigestion most often contain ginger as an important ingredient


Neem leaves are being widely used in western medicines in the treatment of diabetes mellitus. Its efficacy in reducing the blood sugar levels is well known. Romans had also used this herb for treating neuromuscular diseases. Some of the present day formulations prescribed for treating such diseases contain neem extracts.


Nutmeg is widely used by the western medical companies in preparing drugs and formulations that treat digestive disorders. Many of the medicines prescribed for treating vomiting and nausea also contain extracts from the nutmeg. .Nutmeg is also finding increasing application in the form of flavouring of cakes and puddings.


Onion has been used in various forms to treat a number of diseases. Western pharmaceutical companies make use of onions while preparing medicines in the treatment of hyper tensions, heart diseases, and cholesterol. .It is also widely used in anti septic preparations.


Pepper, called the king of spices was an eagerly sought after item from the very earliest of times. It was prized both for its nutritional and medicinal values. Pepper is an ingredient in a large number of syrups that tone up the immune system and improve digestion.


Turmeric has been long known to contain anti inflammatory and anti oxidant properties. Many of the leading cosmetic brands do in fact contain substantial amounts of turmeric. Turmeric is also widely used in medicines prescribed for skin ailments.


Herbal Plants in western medicine

Herbs and spices are nature’s invaluable gift to the human race. Our early fore – fathers were fully aware of their efficacy and utility. Modern man exhibits a tendency to ignore their valuable contribution. We are living in a world that is home to thousands of precious herbs and spices whose efficacy and utility have been proved time and again. Ayurveda portal.com takes a peep in to this fascinating world of medicinal plants, herbs and spices. So welcome

Biological Name
:Saraca indica
Other Names
:Ashoka Tree, Anganapriya,Asok, Asoka, Asokam


The bark of the herb is strongly astringent, uterine sedative and estrogenic. It acts directly on the muscles of the uterus and has a stimulating effect on the endometrial and ovarian tissues. Its haemostatic properties heal various bleeding disorders. Commonly used for uterine/ovarian fibroids, menorrhagia, lecorrhoea, internal bleeding, bleeding hemorrhoids, bleeding dysenteries etc. It is also a blood purifier and an anti poisonous drug. The barks and flowers are useful for various skin diseases, especially of children. The alcoholic extract of bark has an antiseptic property. It stops internal and wound bleedings.


: Aloe Vera
Biological Name
: Aloe vera
Other Names
: Aloe, Kattaar vaazha, Indian Aloes, Kumari,
Ghrita kumari


It is a bitter-tasting, rejuvenative, and purgative tonic. When applied externally, it restores skin tissues, heals burns and sores. Aloin, obtained from the gel of the leaf is responsible for the healing properties. Dried latex of aloe vera is good for acute inflammations. It is also a good skin care herb. It moisturizes and softens the skin and is also used against dandruff and blemishes. The herb is also used in different eye ailments.
For its powerful diuretic properties, aloe vera is used in liver & spleen disorders. It is used internally for stomach disorders too.

: Asparagus
Biological Name
: Asparagus racemosus
Other Names
: Hundred Husbands, Shatavari, Shatamuli,


The roots are bitter and cooling. It’s a nervine tonic and a good constipating and aphrodisiac medicinal herb. It gives a cooling sensation to the body and hence used in all gynecological problems. It also nourishes the ovum, supplies female hormones and increases lactation. Nervous disorders, dyspepsia, tumors, scalding of urine, throat infections, tuberculosis, cough, bronchitis, and general debility are also treated using this herb.
The herb also increases vitality and vigor and helps in semen production.

: Amaltas
Biological Name
: Cassia Fistula
Other Names
: Fistula, Purging Fistula, Golden Shower, Aaragwadha


The most potential herb used for all skin diseases. Its bark, rich in tannin, purifies blood and heals ulcers. The fruit pulp is a well known laxative, especially for diabetic patients. It’s one of the safest laxatives; can be given even for pregnant women. This drug, in combination with other herbs, also treats infections of the urinary tract. The herb is used in liver disorders too.
The bark is used in treating varicose veins, shrinking engorged vessels and also has an anti inflammatory effect.

: Aconite
Biological Name
: Aconitum heterophyllum wall
Other Names
: Indian Ateech, Ativisha, Atees, Atis, Upavisha, Atividayam.


Roots of aconite are astringent, stomachic, carminative, and aphrodisiac. The herb is mainly used for fevers, including malarial conditions and acute respiratory disturbances. Experimental studies hint at its active anti-malarial and antipyretic activities. Aconitum is a valuable herb for combating general weakness after fevers. It is also used as a remedy for diarrhea, dysentery, acute inflammatory affections, cough, and dyspepsia.


: Arjuna
Biological Name
: Terminalia arjuna
Other Names
: Arjun, Arjuna, Arjuna Myrobalan, Neermaruth.


The bark contains Ca, Mg, and Al salts which are good cardiac stimulants. It reduces triglycerides and acts as a cardio protective agent in hypertension and ischemic heart diseases. It gives a tonic effect in cirrhosis of liver, prevents and helps in the recovery of angina and also heals heart tissue scars after surgery.
The bark is used to heal wounds, contusions, and fractures and juice of leaves are used in ear-aches.
The herb is also useful for bile, edema, diarrhea, malabsorption, and venereal diseases. External treatment for ulcers, acne, skin disorders etc. are also done using arjuna.


: Albizzia Tree
Biological Name
: Albizzia lebbeck
Other Names
: Sirish Tree, Shireesh, Shireesha, Nenmeni vaka


The herb has been extensively recommended to neutralize toxins in the body. It has also been used in the treatment of respiratory afflictions like bronchial asthma.
It is a diuretic which reduces the fluid retention in body. The leaves are rich in Vitamin A and D and are used externally and internally for treating night blindness.Seeds are good for male impotency. Use of its bark in the form of herbal tea for asthmatic persons has been highly recommended. Such usages help to control the frequency and intensity of the asthmatic attacks.

: Aerva Plant
Biological Name
: Aerva lanata
Other Names
: Bhadrika, Bhadram, Cherula


Aerva is considered as one of the best known remedies for bladder and kidney stones. Its diuretic properties help in treating kidney disorders. Decoction of the plant taken internally for few days dissolves kidney stones and clears the urinary path.
Its roots are commonly used for treating headaches. Decoction of the root is given as tonic to pregnant women to stop bleeding during pregnancy. The herb is also used for the treatment of gonorrhea and urine sugar.

: Beettle Killer Root
Biological Name
: Clerodendron serratum
Other Names
: Bharangi, Sirutekku, Cheruthekku


The herb stimulates the lungs and cures many chronic respiratory problems. This is one of the most commonly used herbs for treating common cold, chronic sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, and cough. In abscesses, its leaves are used as external paste to reduce the inflammation and pain. Beettle Killer Root is also renowned for its antipyretic and antihistamic properties. Hence it is frequently used for relief from fever, body aches, and hyper-pyrexia.


: Belerica
Biological Name
: Terminalia Belerica
Other Names
: Belerica, Belleric Myrobalan, Thaanikka, Vibhithaki


This is a potential rejuvenative herb and also a good laxative agent. Being a good expectorant, the fruits of belerica are commonly used in coughs and sore throat. Its pulp is used in dropsy, piles, and diarrhea. It is also useful in treating leprosy. A combination of three herbs (Belerica, Chebula, embilica) called “Thriphala” in Ayurveda, is useful in diseases like asthma, sore throat, vomiting, eye disease, heart disease, hiccough etc.


: Basil
Biological Name
: Ocimum sanctum
Other Names
: Basil, Common Basil, Sweet Basil, St. Josephwort, Tulasi, Holy Basil

uses :

This is an important ayurvedic plant which has innumerable medicinal properties. The leaves have remarkable antispasmodic, carminative, and stomachic properties. It purifies air by discharging high amounts of ozone. Basil is widely used as anti dotes in insect bites, spider, and scorpion bites. Its essential oil also has the property to destroy bacteria and insects. Basil is a good nerve tonic and is used as a mental elevator in depression and metal stress. It is even worshiped as a holy plant in India, for all its benevolences. Regular use of the herb sharpens the memory, purifies the blood, reduces blood cholesterol, removes kidney congestion and renal calculi, and regulates blood pressure. It also lowers blood sugar levels and its powder is used for mouth ulcers.

It is also used in malaria, catarrh, bronchitis, and gastric disorders.


: Boswellia
Biological Name
: Boswellia serrata
Other Names
: Salai guggul, Indian frankincense, Shallaki, Kunthirikkam


The latex secretion of the plant is used in various medicinal preparations. Even long term use of this drug does not show any adverse actions on body.It is a good medicine for relieving inflammations, cough, asthma, common fevers, urethrorrhea, diaphoresis, convulsions, chronic backaches, jaundice, and arthritis. Boswellic acid, the main ingredient, has anti inflammatory action much similar to non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs. Hence it easily reduces the pain and swelling in arthritic conditions.The herb also improves blood supply to the joints and restores integrity of vessels weakened by spasm. It also improves the immunity which helps in fighting against recurrent infections.

: Bacopa plant
Biological Name
: Bacopa monneiri
Other Names
: Herpestis monneiria, thyme leaved gratiola, Trayamana, Brahmi


The herb is diuretic, nervine, and cardiac tonic. It stimulates the nervous system and improves the memory and intellect. It is used in the treatment of mental disorders, epilepsy, ascites, abscesses, and asthma.Bacopa is a good medicine to calm the restlessness in children. It also acts as an anti anxiety agent and is also used as a mild laxative

: Black Pepper
Biological Name
: Piper nigrum
Other Names
: Black pepper, Pepper, Kali mirch, Maricha, Kurumulakuhmi


Black pepper is anthelmintic, antipyretic, and carminative. These seeds are also a good expectorant and powerful stimulant. It is widely used in ailments like asthma, boils, cholera, colic, cough, diarrhea, fever, gastric disorder, hemorrhoid, indigestion, chronic rheumatism, obesity, phlegm, sinus congestion, skin diseases, sore throat, worms etc.
Pepper has long been recognized as an ingredient for stimulating the appetite as well as an aid in the relief of nausea. In India it had been used as a medicine for variety of ailments from paralysis to toothache.
Over use of pepper may cause digestive inflammations.

: Bamboo
Biological Name
: Bamboosa arundinacea
Other Names
: Bamboo, Common Bamboo, Vamsalochana, Mula.


It is an anti spasmodic agent which relieves the spasmodic contractions of lungs and muscles. Bamboo leaves contain high protein levels and is astringent, cooling, ophthalmic, and constipating. The tender leaves have powerful anti bacterial effects. It is used to regularize menstrual cycle and also clears the abscesses.The bluish white resin found in the internodes of the bamboo stems is diuretic, cooling, expectorant, constipating, cardio tonic, haemostatic, and aphrodisiac.

: Bael
Biological Name
: Aegle marmelos
Other Names
: Bael, Bilwa, Koovalam, Vilwam, Bengal Quince


All parts of bael have good medicinal properties. It is aromatic, astringent, cooling, and febrifuge and also acts as tonic for heart and brain. Its wood ash is rich in phosphates and minerals. Decoction of its root and bark is used in palpitation of heart. Leaf juice controls diabetes. Ripe fruit is sweet, anti parasitical, antipyretic, cooling, digestive stimulant. Fresh fruit has laxative properties while the unripe fruit constipates. Bael is used in diarrhea, dysentery, and constipation too. It is also an anti poisonous drug.

: Butterfly Pea
Biological Name
: Clitoria ternatea
Other Names
: Clitoria, Shankupushpi, Aparajitha,


This is an indigenous plant renowned for its usage in mental stimulation and rejuvenation therapy. The roots are good for improving intellectual and memory power; also induces sleep and reduces mental tension and mental disorder.The herb is anti pyretic too. Its flowers arrest uterine hemorrhage; root is an antidote against poisonous bites, including cobra bite. The ethanolic extract of the plant reduces total serum cholesterol, triglycerides, phospholipids, and nonesterfied fatty-acid.


: Bastard Teak,
Biological Name
: Butea monosperma,
Other Names
: Flame of the forest, Palasha, Kimsuka, Plash


Its flowers have been used in ancient India for skin and beauty care. Seeds are employed in the treatment of worm infestations. Studies show that administration of seeds in roundworm infestations is an effective approach. Bark and resin have haemostatic properties. The bark is used in gynecological problems like leucorrhea, menorrhagia. It is administered as vasthi in malformation or under developed uterus. Venereal diseases like syphilis, gonorrhea are also treated using the bark of this herb.


: Cassia
Biological Name
: Cassia tora,
Other Names
: Cassia, Chakramarda, Cassia seed, Takara


Cassia is useful in treating skin diseases like ring worm, itching, psoriasis, and fungal infections etc. The herb is antipyretic, antibiotic, and antihypertensive. It is also cholesterol reducing drug and a mild laxative too. The leaves are useful in asthma, cough, and diabetes. It is especially good in eye diseases. Head aches and blood pressure are reduced by using this medicinal herb. Its leaves, in paste form, is a good germicide and anti parasitical medicine.


: Coleus
Biological Name
: Coleus forskohlii
Other Names
: Coleus, Karpuravalli, Panikoorka

Uses :

It is effective in asthma, intestinal colic, uterine cramps, and painful micturition. Coleus is also used to treat skin diseases like psoriasis and eczema. It reduces blood pressure, glaucoma and improves heart functions. The drug helps in relaxing the involuntary muscles and blood vessels.


: Coriander
Biological Name
: Coriandrum sativum
Other Names
: Coriander, Cilantro, Dhania, Malli, Chinese parsley

Uses :

Coriander prevents gas formation in stomach and controls spasmodic pain,externally for headaches. Extract of coriander seeds has a marked antispasmodic activity.
The fruits of coriander are alterative, antispasmodic, appetizer, carminative, diuretic, refrigerant, stimulant, stomachic, and tonic.
The essential oil of coriander has antibacterial and antifungal effects. It is also a good expectorant.
Coriander is also used traditionally for digestive and gastric complaints as well as for coughs, chest pains, bladder complaints, leprosy rash, fever, dysentery, oral and pharyngeal disorders, halitosis, and post- natal complications.
Coriander can be applied externally for rheumatism and painful joints. It improves the flavor of other medicinal preparations.


: Cardamom
Biological Name
: Elettaria cardamomum
Other Names
: Bastard cardamom, cardamom seeds, Ela

Uses :

Cardamom is carminative, diaphoretic, digestive stimulant, expectorant, and stomachic. It is widely used in treating nausea, vomiting, dry cough, and external piles. The spice removes fat and cures urinary and skin complaints. It regulates body temperature; cools the body in extreme heat and also aids digestion. Cardamom is used in relieving cardiac pains.It is a good mouth freshener and is used for treating bad oral cavities. They are also used as a flavoring agent in many medicines and as spice in cooking. The seeds and pods contain a volatile oil which is used in perfumes and as a stimulant.


: Calotropis
Biological Name
: Calotropis gigantea
Other Names
: Calotropis, Gigantic swallowort, Arka, Eriku

Uses :

This is a potential herb for treating heart diseases. In small doses, the root-bark is alterative, tonic, anti pyretic, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, purgative, expectorant, and in large doses emetic. The herb increases secretions and has a sedative action on the muscular fibers of the intestines, allaying all pains, and irritations. It is thus very useful for relieving all dysenteric symptoms. Calotropis is useful for leprosy, syphilis, and elephantiasis. It is used in the cure of epilepsy, hysteria, fits, convulsions, and paralysis. The herb is also an antidote against snake bites and cures skin diseases like chronic eczema. Ailments like bile secretion, parasitic infection, painful urination, hemorrhoid, and edema are all treated using calotropis herbs. The flowers also have beneficial effect on asthma. It reduces inflammations, pain, and swelling and is also a purgative.


: Crateava
Biological Name
: Crataeva nurvala
Other Names
:Three Leafed Caper, Varuna, Asmareeghnam, Neermathalam

Uses :

Crateava is widely used for treating various urinary problems including the formation of stones in kidneys, ureters, and bladder. Its litholytic (stone breaking) actions make it an ideal herb for curing complex urinary diseases. The herb controls body heat and is also used in various inflammatory diseases.


: Costus
Biological Name
: Saussurea lappa
Other Names
: Costus roots, Kushtha, Kottam, Kut root
Uses :

Costus is very useful in the treatment of bronchial asthma.it is anthelmintic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, and tonic. Essential oil from root has anti inflammatory, antiseptic, and disinfectant properties. Alcoholic extract of the drug is very useful in the treatment of bronchial asthma. Cholera, cough, dyspepsia, edema, gas, hiccup, jaundice, leprosy, phlegm, rheumatism, skin diseases, wounds etc are cured by using the herb.


: Castor plant
Biological Name
: Ricinus communis
Other Names
: Castor oil plant, Erandam, Avanakku, Mexico seed

Uses :

Castor oil is a highly potential purgative medicine. The oil is used externally for different inflammatory conditions of skin and rheumatism. Seeds and leaves are used externally as a poultice in gouty arthritis, boils, inflammation of middle ear, migraine, etc. It is demulcent, analgesic, and nervine and also exhibits proven anti-viral effects. Its tender leaves, taken in empty stomach, cures jaundice. The herbs is used in the treatments of abdominal disorders, worms, colic, enlarged liver and spleen, fever, headache, lumbago, sciatica, nervous diseases, pain relief (joints). The drug is commonly used for uterine disorders also.
Caution: Improper use of the herb is poisonous.


: Datura
Biological Name
: Datura Stramonium
Other Names
: Datura, Stink Weed, Mad Apple, Thorn Apple, Ummam

Uses :

Datura is used in treatment of Parkinsonism and Hemorrhoids. it is an anti spasmodic drug; it helps in relieving the spasm of lungs and intestines. The herb also reduces asthma and intestinal colic. It’s also an anti dote for dog bites. It is used in treatment of Parkinsonism and Hemorrhoids. Young fruits are sedative and intoxicating. External application of its leaves is useful in relieving pain and inflammation.The drug is widely used in preparing hair oils. It promotes hair growth and prevents dandruff.


: Dill Seeds
Biological Name
: Anethum graveolens
Other Names
: Dill, Sathapushpa, Chathakuppa, Garden dill

Uses :

The herb is carminative, stomachic, anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, galactagogue, and diuretic.
Dill is an excellent remedy for flatulence and the colic that is sometimes associated with it. It also helps stimulate appetite, and a decoction of the seed is good for insomnia. Chewing the seeds will help clear bad breath. It is the herb of choice for colic of children. Nursing mothers can use dill to promote the flow of milk, particularly in combination with anise, coriander, fennel, and caraway. Its leaves with oil are used as a poultice in supperative skin conditions.


: Deodar
Biological Name
: Cedrus deodar
Other Names
: Deodar, Himalayan Cedar, Devadaru, Devadaram

Uses :

Deodar is carminative, anti inflammatory, analgesic, anti rheumatic, powerfully astringent, expectorant, and also possesses mild turpentine properties. The oil extracted is very much useful in relieving pains and rheumatic inflammations. It is also useful in skin diseases. It is used for catarrhal conditions of the respiratory tract. It also cures paralysis, kidney stones, diarrhea, dysentery, skin diseases, ulcers, and fever. The cedar wood oil is used as a pain balm. It is also used sometimes as an inhalation. The high content of Mn, Zn and Co may cause allergy to certain people.


: Eclipta
Biological Name
: Eclipta alba
Other Names
: Bhringaraj, Kesaraj, Bangra, Kayyonni, Kanjunni

Uses :

The herb slows down the ageing process through the rejuvenation of bones, teeth, hair, sight, hearing, and memory. It is also the best Ayurvedic herbal medicine for hair. Fresh leaf juice applied on scalp improves hair growth. Bhringaraj oil is famous for making the hair black and luxuriant for removing grayness and reversing balding. It helps calm the mind from excessive activity and promotes sound sleep. It is a good tonic for the mind. Bhringaraj is also good for complexion. Applied externally it helps draw out poisons and reduces inflammation and swollen glands. It is a rejuvenative medicine for the liver and the best medicine for Cirrhosis. It cures night blindness, and is found to be a good remedy for leukoderma


: Guggul
Biological Name
: Commiphora mukul
Other Names
: Mukul myrrh tree, Gugul Lipid, gulgulu

Uses :

Gum resin of the herb is used for treating rheumatoid arthritis. It is anti helminthic, anti inflammatory, and anti arthritic. It is a main ingredient in many ayurvedic preparations.Guggul has powerful analgesic properties and hence very effective for arthritis, head aches, and sinusitis. It is a potent drug for cardiac disorders and high cholesterol too. Its gum resin is also alterative, analgesic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, demulcent, expectorant, nervine, rejuvenative, and stimulant. The drug is also used in ulcers, boils, piles, abscess, and skin diseases.

: Ginger
Biological Name
: Zingiber officinale
Other Names
: Calamus, Sweet Ginger, Shundi, Mahoushadi, Inchi

Uses :

Ginger is known for its gastrointestinal benefits and also as an anti inflammatory and carminative. Dry ginger is a common ingredient in most of the ayurvedic preparations. It increases digestion and is used in treating fevers, cough, hiccoughs, and abdominal pains. The lukewarm juice is used in treating ear aches. The herb is also used to reduce vomiting.


: Gooseberry
Biological Name
: Emblica officinalis
Other Names
: Indian Gooseberry, Alma, Nellika, Amalaki

Uses :

Its fruit is nature’s richest known source of vitamin 'C'. It is tonic, and is a good haematinic drug. It is one of the strongest rejuvenatives. Gooseberry is useful in treating anemia, jaundice, dyspepsia, hemorrhagic disorders, diabetes, asthma, and bronchitis. It cures insomnia and also strengthens the nervous system. It provides cooling, especially for eyes; improves nearsightedness and also strengthens teeth, hair and nails. Regular use of the drug also prevents premature graying of hair and makes them strong and free from dandruff. It enhances production of red blood cells, regulates blood sugar, and prevents lipid per oxidation in cell membranes. The herb also increases immunity in the body and protects against heart and nervous disorders. External application of gooseberry paste on the head is good for treating mental disorders.


: Garlic
Biological Name
: Allium sativum
Other Names
: Lashan, Rasonam, Lashuna, Veluthulli, Ugragandha

Uses :

The medicinal uses of garlic are innumerable. It is a good remedy for cardiovascular ailments; especially problems arising due to cholesterol. Garlic is seen to prevent blood clots and atherosclerosis, and thus reduces the chances of heart attacks. The bulb of garlic is antispasmodic, detoxifier, disinfectant, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, rejuvenative, and stimulant. Raw garlic may lower blood pressure. It also has antibacterial activity to work against certain intestinal parasites. Regular intake of garlic may also prevent intestinal cancers.Garlic, mixed with sesame oil, when applied to the skin and ear, reduce toxic swelling or fungal infections. In case of warts the garlic is used externally as slides under a bandage.According to traditional ayurveda, garlic is useful for increasing sexual energy and combating simple impotenceGarlic with honey is a highly effective treatment for congestion in the respiratory system. Garlic oil is useful for paralytic and rheumatic affections


: Henna
Biological Name
: Lawsonia inermis
Other Names
: Henna, Mehndi, Mendica, Egyptian Privet, Mylanchi


The leaves of henna are used as a prophylactic against skin diseases. The paste of leaves is largely used in Indian homes in headache, burning sensation in feet, on boils and burns. The leaves have some action against tubercular and other bacterial diseases. It gives black color to the hair and improves hair growth.

: Horse gram
Biological Name
: Dolichos biflorus
Other Names
: Kulatham, Muthira, Kollu, Kulthi


:Horse gram is one of the most effective ayurvedic medicines for treating kidney stones.Its diuretic, anthelminthic properties make it an ideal drug for urinary and digestive disorders. It is also used in the treatments of asthma, dysmenorrhea, and tumors. The drug purifies blood and clears the body channels. It is also used in small pox, chicken pox etc., as a specific diet. The diuretic qualities of the herb help patients complaining of edema and dysuria. The powdered seeds are used as a poultice to induce sweating, for relieving pain. The drug is hot in nature, not good for eyes.

: Indian pennywort
Biological Name
: Centella asiatica
Other Names
: Gotu Kola, Brahmi, Muthil, Kudangal


It is a good brain tonic, aids intelligence and increases memory power.

The drug helps the body defend against various toxins. It is used to treat rheumatism, blood diseases, congestive heart failure, urinary tract infections, venereal diseases, hepatitis, and high blood pressure.Since the herb induces sleep, it is widely used to treat mental disorders. It is used as an aid for meditation and is particularly helpful for super-stressed persons. It is a rejuvenative nervine recommended for nervous disorders, including epilepsy, senility, and premature ageing. Gonorrhea, filariasis, diabetes, respiratory disorders, etc. are also treated using the drug. It also stimulates hair growth and strengthens the adrenal glands while cleansing the blood to treat skin impurities. It hastens the healing of wounds. The drug reduces scarring when applied during inflammatory period of the wound and are also found to be good for burns. It improves the flow of blood while strengthening the veins and capillaries. It has been used successfully to treat phlebitis, leg cramps, and abnormal tingling of the extremities.

Biological Name
:Plantago ovata husk
Other Names
:Psyllium Seeds, Plantago, Ispaghula, Psyllium Husk

Isabgol is diuretic, emollient, and cooling. It is used in inflammatory conditions of mucous membrane of gastro intestinal and genitourinary tracts. The herb is a well known laxative. It restores proper bowel movements and is used in the treatment of chronic constipation, amoebic and bacillary dysentery.

: Indian Kino Tree
Biological Name
: Pterocarpus marsupium
Other Names
:Kino, Malabar Kino Tree, Asana, Venga


The heart wood is astringent, bitter acrid, anti inflammatory, anthelmintic, and anodyne. The herb is an excellent medicine for diabetics. It is also good for elephantiasis, leukoderma, diarrhea, dysentery, rectalgia, cough, and grayness of hair. Decoction prepared out of this drug, is said to reduce obesity. Its property of healing fractures and tissue injuries are well known. The drug is highly effective in treating secondary amenorrhea and also various skin disorders.


:Indian Gum Arabic Tree
Biological Name
:Acacia arabica wild
Other Names
:Indian Gum Arabic, Babool, Black Babool, Karivelam


The bark is primarily used in oral & dental hygiene, burn injuries, and in the management of skin diseases. The bark contains almost 7-12% tannin.In burn injuries, use of its bark powder has been a trusted remedy. It hastens the healing process of burn injuries and minimizes the scar formation. Decoction prepared out of the bark is used for cleansing infected wounds. Internal use of the herb is also recommended in treatment of skin diseases.Asthma, bronchitis, diabetes, and dysentery are also treated using this herb. Its leaves are used in eye complaints, head ache, throat infection, urinary problems, and gonorrhea.


: Indian Madder
Biological Name
: Rubia cordifolia
Other Names
: Madder, Rubia plant, Manjishta, Manchat


Indian Madder is probably the best blood-purifying herb in Ayurveda. It cools and detoxifies the blood, dissolves obstructions in blood flow, and removes stagnant blood. It supports heart health and also regulates blood pressure, blood vessel constriction, and blood clotting. The herb has healing action, thus helping in erosions of gums and bleeding gums. It’s also reputed for its good skincare actions. Used externally and internally, it helps one to gain luster and glow (of the skin) and removes pimples, freckles and discoloration. It is a drug of choice for treating various systemic problems like raised uric acid and gouty arthritis, glandular swellings, recurrent skin infections and other diseases of the skin like pigmentation anomalies and leukoderma. It also treats uterine and urinary infections, diarrhea, dysentery, and chronic fevers.Regular internal use of this drug helps in dissolving kidney stones. Its roots are tonic, antiseptic and astringent. It’s used in rheumatism, skin infections, ulcers, and inflammation.


: Jaman
Biological Name
: Syzygium cumini
Other Names
: Eugenia Jambolana, Black Plum, Jambu, Njaval.


Jaman leaves are antibacterial, and are used for strengthening the teeth and gums. The fruit and seeds are sweet, acrid, sour, tonic, and cooling, and are used in diabetes, diarrhea, and ringworm. The bark is astringent, sweet sour, diuretic, digestive and anthelmintic.In burns, the leaf juice and paste prepared in mustard oil, when applied externally regenerates the skin.


: Jack Fruit
Biological Name
: Artocarpus heterophyllus
Other Names
: Panasam, Plapazham, Chakkapazham


The fruit is cooling, laxative and aphrodisiac. It is used in fever, ulcers, skin diseases, and constipation.

: Konch
Biological Name
: Mucuna pruriens
Other Names
: Cowitch, Common Cowitch, Konch, Naikurana


Almost all parts of this herb are medicinal. Its seeds, roots, leaves, and hairs on the pods are used in the preparation of various medicines.Seeds are anthelmintic, astringent, nervine tonic, and aphrodisiac. They are used in Parkinsonism, and also useful in menorrhagia, spermatorrhoea, and leucorrhea. Powdered seed is widely used to improve vitality; it increases sperm count and improves ovulation in females.The root is diuretic and nervine tonic. Decoction of the root improves blood circulation, cures rheumatism, asthma, cough, and stone in the bladder. Root is also used as a remedy in facial paralysis, nervous disorders, fevers, edema, and elephantiasis.Leaf paste is applied to ulcers for faster relief. Infusion of the pods is a good remedy for dropsy. Hairs on the pods are irritant and powerful vermifuge. This herb is being investigated as a possible remedy for AIDS.

: Lotus
Biological Name
: Nelumbium speciousum
Other Names
: Sacred water lotus, Pink lotus, Kamalam, Thaamara


Lotus is a highly cooling herb. It reduces the burning sensation of body and burning micturition. It is haemostatic and diuretic in nature, and is used for treating cholera, diarrhea, jaundice, and common fever.The rhizome and flower stalk juice is used in treating bleeding piles, hemorrhagic disorders like haemetemisis, haemoptysis.To remove the scars on the skin after small pox and chicken pox, generally lotus is applied externally along with sandalwood and gooseberry. Lotus is used to improve complexion too.The herb is used as an anti dote against snake bite.The ripe seeds produce a wholesome effect in cases of neurasthenia and spermatorrhoea. The leaves and seed cores in decoction are effective for insomnia, hemorrhage, and haemetemisis.


: Liquorice
Biological Name
: Glycyzrrhiza glabra
Other Names
: Yashtimadhu, sweet wood, Adhimadhuram, Erattimadhuram


Liquorice is anti-inflammatory, anti-hepatotoxic, anti-spasmodic, emetic, expectorant, rejuvenative, sedative, and tonic. This drug has shown remarkable immuno stimulating properties which give a resistance against recurring infections in the body. It’s a powerful anti oxidant also. The active principle called glycyrrhizin modulates the immune system.The herb is used in cough, catarrhal infections, sore throat, anorexia, and persistent low fever. Modern research has shown it to have effects upon, amongst other organs, the endocrine system, and liver. As an anti-hepatotoxic medicine, liquorice is effective in the treatment of chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis.Liquorice is used in allopathic medicine as a treatment for peptic ulceration. It can be used in the relief of abdominal colic too. It is also used in gastric, duodenal, and esophageal ulcers.It nourishes the brain-increasing cranial and cerebrospinal fluid. It also improves complexion, hair, and vision. Chewing liquorice improves the quality of voice.


: Lemon
Biological Name
: Citrus limon
Other Names
: Nimbu, Jambeeram, Cherunaarakam


Lemon is a rich source of Vitamin C; it improves health and beauty. The citric acid contained in lemon has good disinfectant properties. It also improves body immunity. Its bactericidal and astringent properties are well known. Lemon is used in the treatment of scurvy, indigestion, diarrhea, dysentery. It is also a mouth freshener and a hair wash. Lemon prevents itching on the skin and protects the skin from the oxidative damages. It is stomachic, carminative, and stimulant.


:Long Pepper
Biological Name
:Piper longum
Other Names
: Dried Catkins, Pippali, Pipal, Thippli, Pihal


Long pepper has a wide range of uses in Ayurveda. It is analgesic, anthelmintic, aphrodisiac, carminative, and expectorant. It is used in the treatment of respiratory disorders and also as an important constituent in digestive formulations.The seeds are used against cough and throat pain. Its roots are good for paralysis, epilepsy, and stiff joints. Both seeds and root are used for cough, rheumatism, leprosy, and consumption. The herb is also believed to improve vitality. The drug is found to increase digestive power. It also increases the RBC and hemoglobin count. It’s a main ingredient in post natal preparations.


Biological Name
:Moringa oleifera
Other Names
: Horse Radish Tree, Drumstick Tree, Shigru, Muringa


Moringa is an anti inflammatory drug; it reduces the swelling and inflammation in arthritis. It is also effective in curing paralysis, inflammations, head ache, facial palsy, neuralgia, and intermittent fevers.The leaves of the plant reduce hypertension. They are effectively used in hernia, bladder stones, dysmenorrhea, and worm infestations.The herb also helps maintain normal physiology of uterus. The seeds are good against premature ejaculation.


Biological Name
:Terminalia chebula
Other Names
: Belerica, Belliric Myrobalan,Indian Gall Nut, Haritaki, Kadukka


Myrobalan is anthelmintic, antiseptic, astringent, expectorant, laxative, rejuvenative, and tonic. Its fruit is one among the three herbs used in “Thriphala”, a unique Ayurvedic medicine. The drug is useful in asthma, sore throat, vomiting, eye diseases, heart diseases, hiccup, etc.It is a tonic to the brain and stomach. It liquefies and discards excess fat, and reduces headache, piles, and chronic diarrhea. The herb is useful in bronchitis and inflammations. It also treats the diseases of eyes, hair, nose, heart, and bladder.


Biological Name
:Vinca rosea
Other Names
:BPeriwinkle, Madagascar Periwinkle, Ushamalari


The extracts of madagascar are widely used for cancer and hypertension treatments. The alkaloids contained in leaves helps in curing blood cancer.The herb helps in relieving muscle pain and depression of central nervous system. It also reduces the sugar level in blood. The alkaloids are excellent sedatives. The leaf paste is applied externally in scorpion bites(skin disorders).


:Malabar Nut
Biological Name
Other Names
: Adathoda, Vasa, Vasaka, Adusa, Adalodakam


Malabar nut is antispasmodic, diuretic, and expectorant. Its leaves are rich in Vitamin C.It has the property to dilate finer bronchioles and ensures a smooth expectoration. Hence, liquid extract of the plant is used in many pharmaceutical formulations as an expectorant. The herb also acts as an antihistamine agent.The active principle called vasicine increases the platelet count in the blood which stops capillary bleeding ensuring minimum blood loss. Because of its uterine stimulant activity, the herb acts as a good uterine tonic, useful in controlling post partum hemorrhage.


Biological Name
:Brassica alba
Other Names
: Black Mustard, White Mustard, Yellow Mustard, Kaduku


Mustard is stimulant, irritant, diuretic, emetic, pungent, laxative, and digestive.This well known spice has its use in medicine as a stimulating external application. The mild irritation caused on the skin, stimulates the circulation in that area, and relieves muscular and skeletal pain.For rheumatoid arthritis, external application of mustard and sesame seeds is found to give faster relief.In cases of fever, cold, and influenza, mustard may be taken as a tea or ground and sprinkled into a bath.The infusion or poultice of mustard will aid in cases of bronchitis.


:Nut Grass Tuber
Biological Name
:Cyperus rotundus
Other Names
:Cyperus, Nagar Motha, Moth, Mustha, Muthanga


The herb is found to be useful in diarrhea with mucus. It is commonly given in fever. It acts as a good antiperspirant and deodorant. It’s a good source of minerals like Cu, Mg, Mn, and Ni.Its tubers contain essential oil. They are astringent, antipyretic, analgesic, anti inflammatory, and diuretic.The drug purifies breast milk and increases lactation. It’s a constipating drug, used in the treatment of diarrhea and dysentery. It also increases digestive fire and is used in anorexia, dyspepsia, and indigestion.


Biological Name
:Myristica fragrans
Other Names
:Mace, Black caraway, Jati, Jatikka, Flower seed


Nutmeg is aromatic, carminative, hallucinogenic, stimulant, and expectorant. In small quantities, it acts on the stomach to improve appetite and digestion. It helps prevent gas and fermentation in the intestinal tract. It’s a constipating drug, used in diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and abdominal distension. It is good for nausea and vomiting.It is also used in the treatment of inflammation of bladder, urinary tract infections, and rheumatism.Seeds of nutmeg, boiled in milk and taken internally induce good sleep in insomnia and tension. The herb is used in bleeding gums, as tooth powder.


Biological Name
:Azadirachta indica
Other Names
:Lilac, Margosa Tree, Nimba, Aryaveppu


Neem possesses anti diabetic, anti bacterial and anti viral properties and is used successfully in cases of stomach disorders, worms, and ulcers. It is the famous drug used in preventing and treating small pox, chicken pox, and measles. It also has antiseptic and astringent properties.The drug purifies blood and is used in treating many skin disorders and poisonous bites. Decoction of its leaves and bark are used in washing infected wounds. Leaf paste applied externally relieves burn.This herb is used in inflammatory and febrile diseases too.Its rich medicinal properties make neem a potential herb for a variety of Ayurvedic Medicines, singly, and in combination.


Biological Name
:Allium cepa
Other Names
:Onion, Pyaj, Savala, Palandu, Ulli..


Onion is diuretic, anti poisonous, expectorant, and anti analgesic.It is used in the treatment of bleeding piles, epilepsy, cholesterol, fever, cold, and cough.Onion is good for strengthening the heart muscles. It also cures certain skin diseases and is found to regularize menstrual cycles.It helps improve digestion and is a good appetizer too. In experimental studies it was observed that use of onions reduces blood sugar levels in experimental diabetes.It is also seen that onions inhibit platelet aggregation and control higher lipid content in the blood (Hyperlipidemia)


Biological Name
:Mentha arvensis
Other Names
:Field Mint, Corn Mint, Japanese Mint, Podina

Uses:The entire plant is Antibacterial. It yields an essential oil called menthol which has slight anesthetic and anodyne effect. Menthol is commonly used in many modern balms.Pudina is effective in headache, rhinitis, cough, sore throat, colic, and vomiting. It is also used as a flavoring agent in culinary preparations.


Biological Name
:Carica papaya
Other Names
:Eranda karkadi, Paw paw, Paveetha, Papaya


Papaya is widely used in treating digestive problems; its seeds are best against intestinal worms. Ripe fruit increases digestion.The raw fruit along with the latex is useful in the treatment of menstrual disorders and causes abortion.It is good for spleen and liver disorders, and also rectifies diarrhea. It is useful in warts, corns, eczema, and hardness of the skin.The ripe fruit is used in cosmetics. It helps in removing freckles and soothes the skin.


Biological Name
:Phyllanthus niruri
Other Names
:Niruri, Kizharnelli, Bhumyamalaki, bahupatra


Phyllanthus is one of the most effective drugs used in the treatment of jaundice. Its main content phyllanthin accelerates the action of liver cells. The herb is anti poisonous, diuretic, astringent, stomachic, and cooling.It is useful in the treatment of menorrhagia, gonorrhea, and skin diseases. Other conditions where the drug can be used are hepatitis, diabetes, chronic dysentery, ophthalmic conditions, and indigestion. The young shoots of the plant are administered in the form of an infusion for the treatment of chronic dysentery.


Biological Name
:Rauwolfia serpentine
Other Names
:Rauwolfia, Serpent wood, Sarpagandha, Reserpine


Rauwolfia is anthelmintic and an anti-adrenergic drug. Its active principle, reserpine, was the first drug found to interfere with the human sympathetic nervous system. The roots are brewed as a tea and used in humans to treat hypertension, insanity, snakebite, and cholera. Similarly by reducing sympathetic activity to blood vessels, reserpine relaxes capacitance vessels and reduces total peripheral resistance.The herb is also used as a sedative and hypnotic; this alkaloid stimulates the central nervous system also. Reserpine is suitable for cases of mild anxiety or patients of chronic mental illness.


Biological Name
:Santalum album
Other Names
:Chandana, White sandalwood, Chandanam


Sandalwood is used for acute dermatitis, bronchitis, cystitis, eye diseases, gonorrhea, herpes zoster, infection, palpitations, sunstroke, urethritis, and vaginitis.The antiseptic and disinfectant properties of sandalwood reside in its oil. The oil can also be used for bronchitis and for inflammation in mucous tissue. A decoction of the wood may be helpful for indigestion and fever and externally for skin problems, especially those of bacterial origin. It is also a powerful anti hemorrhagic used in the treatment of bleeding piles and bleeding dysentery.Sandalwood cools and calms the entire body and mind. It affects the circulatory, digestive, respiratory and nervous systems. It relieves fever, thirst, burning sensation and stops sweating. It is good for fever or overexposure to the sun.Sandalwood is good for most of inflammatory conditions and for cleansing the blood. Sandalwood helps the awakening of intelligence. It also aids in the transmutation of sexual energy.

:Sweet flag
Biological Name
:Acorus calamus
Other Names
:Calamus, Vacha, Bach, Vayambu.


Sweet flag is aromatic, bitter, and stomachic, which stimulates appetite, and digestion. It has spasmolytic, carminative, analgesic, and sedative effects. It is also a brain tonic and is widely used in epilepsy, mental ailments, chronic diarrhea, liver and kidney complaints, and dysentery. It is a main component in all emetic preparations. The herb is also used in treating asthma, fevers, paralysis, and anorexia. It improves the quality of voice and is widely used by singers. The drug also improves memory retention and recall.

Biological Name
:Cassia angustifolia
Other Names
:Locust plant, Rajavriksha, Wild senna, Chunnamukki


Senna is highly useful in habitual constipation. It loosens bowels, increases peristaltic movements of the colon by its local action upon the intestinal wall.It is also used as expectorant, wound dresser, carminative, and laxative. The herb is also useful for treating hypertension and obesity.Caution: Senna is a strong purgative that should be taken with care and in proper dosage.

:Staff Tree
Biological Name
:Celastrus paniculatus
Other Names
:Jyotishmati, Malkagini, Cherupunna


More often different parts of staff tree are used to overcome pain and local inflammations. However, Ayurveda recognizes its seeds as an effective nervine tonic. Its use is recommended in chronic debilitating diseases of nervous system. Also, staff tree finds its application to promote memory and learning abilities.Seeds have nervine, emetic properties. Its oil shows CNS depressant effect. The herb is used in sharpening the memory. It cures ulcers, rheumatism, and gout too.

Biological Name
:Hemidesmus indicus
Other Names
:Indian Sarasaparilla, Anantamool, Sariba, Naruneendi


Sarsaparilla is tonic, diuretic, demulcent, diaphoretic, anti poisonous, and blood purifier. The herb is employed in nutritional disorders, syphilis, chronic rheumatism, gravel and other urinary diseases and skin affections. It also improves vitality and vigor.Scorpion bites and rat bites are effectively treated using the drug.

:Small calotropis
Biological Name
:Tribulus terrestris
Other Names
:Goats head, Puncture Vine, Gokshura, Nerinjil


Small calotropis is analgesic, aphrodisiac, diuretic, litho tropic, nervine, rejuvenative, tonic. The plant and its seeds have spasmolytic and cardio tonic activities. It is good for treating many diseases of the heart.The herb is also used in the treatment of urinary disorders, kidney diseases, gravel, diseases of the genito-urinary system, calculus affections, gout etc. It is also useful for uterine disorders. It strengthens the postpartum woman. Ayurveda practitioners consider this herb to be very valuable in improving vitality. It improves the quantity of semen It is being studied as a potential herbal remedy against AIDS.

:Sida Plant
Biological Name
:Sida cordifolia
Other Names
:Country Mallow, Bala, Mahasamanga, Kurunthotti. l


Sida plant is analgesic, aphrodisiac, demulcent, diuretic, nervine, rejuvenative, stimulant, and tonic. The seeds are considered to be aphrodisiac. An alkaloid, similar to ephedrine, found in this herb acts as a powerful cardiac stimulant. Roots of these species are: aromatic, astringent, bitter, cooling, demulcent, diuretic, febrifuge, stomachic, and tonic. It is also administered in fever accompanied by rigor. The powdered root bark is administered with milk and sugar as treatment for urinary urgency and leucorrhoea. The seeds are used to treat urinary infections.

:Spreading Hogweed
Biological Name
:Boerhavia diffusa
Other Names
:Red Hogweed, Punarnava,Thazhuthama


Spreading Hogweed is diuretic, haematinic, anti-spasmodic, expectorant, anti convulsant, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory. It is also a laxative drug.The herb is mainly used to treat accumulation of fluids in the body. It is considered to be an effective rejuvenative medicine. It is also used in the treatment of anemia and liver diseases.The drug also helps maintain efficient kidney and urinary functions. It is also a good anti poisonous medicine.Rheumatic complaints and certain heart disorders are commonly treated using this herb

Biological Name
:Sida cordifolia
Other Names
:Country Mallow, Bala, Mahasamanga, Kurunthotti.


Sesame seeds are aphrodisiac, diuretic, demulcent, emollient, laxative, rejuvenative, and tonic. The herb is used in the treatment of diseases like amenorrhea, bums, cholera, constipation, cough dysentery, dysmenorrhea, gonorrhea, hemorrhoids, scalds, ulcers, and wounds. Sesame oil is best for external application on body. The herb is good for the skin. It is widely used in the preparation of hair oils, which improve hair growth.Sesame is also good to treat gynecological problems.

Biological Name
:Curcuma longa
Other Names
:Curcuma, Haldi, Haridra, Gauri, Manjal


Turmeric is a powerful vitalizing agent of the entire gastro-intestinal tract; it strengthens and enriches the mucous membranes of the stomach and intestines.The herb is one of the best blood purifiers and as an antiseptic, internally and externally; is good for wounds due to antibacterial effects.Its active constituent, curcumin has been shown to have a wide range of therapeutic effects. It is a strong antioxidant; it reduces inflammation; it protects the liver from a number of toxic compounds; reduces platelets from clumping together, which in turn, improves circulation and helps protect against atherosclerosis. Numerous studies have also shown cancer-preventing effects of curcumin, due to its powerful antioxidant activity in the body. The drug is also used for the treatment of anorexia, liver disorders, skin disorders, cough, diabetic wounds, rheumatism, and sinusitis. It is currently being evaluated for its anticarcinogenic and antimutagenic properties. It reduces cholesterol, prevents internal blood clot that trigger heart attack and strokes. It is an anti poisonous drug also. This drug improves complexion . Turmeric helps stimulate the flow of bile, which helps digest fats.It is seen to fight protozoans in laboratory tests, supporting its traditional use in treating dysentery.

Biological Name
:Tinosporia cordifolia
Other Names
:Guduchi, Amrita, Giloy, Amrithu, Gulansha, Chittamruth

Uses:Tinospora is antispasmodic, anti pyretic, anti inflammatory and tonic.The herb is widely used in seminal weakness and urinary affections. Fever, gout, jaundice, torpidity of the liver, skin diseases, secondary syphilis, rheumatism, constipation, tuberculosis, and leprosy are treated using the herb.It is also a good blood purifier and may be useful in AIDS and other immune diseases also. It is also being proposed for cancer patients before and after chemotherapy.The drug regulates body heat, purifies blood, increases digestion and is also used in kidney disorders.

Biological Name
:Tamarindus indicus
Other Names
:Imli, Indian date, Amlika, Valanpuli


Tamarind is a good throat soothing medicine. It cleanses the throat and clears the voice.It helps in increasing taste, indigestion, and thirst. It is fat and cholesterol free and is low in calories and sodium.Bathing in water, boiled with tamarind leaves, relieves body pain and fatigue. The herb also heals wounds, and its flowers are good for piles too.

Biological Name
:Vetiveria zizaniodes
Other Names
:Vetiver, Usira, Ramacham, Khas-Khas

Vetiver is stimulant, anti bacterial, astringent, antiseptic, sedative, and diaphoretic.

When applied externally, it removes heat from body and gives a cooling effect. The herb is a powerful mind relaxing drug and is commonly useful for insomnia, nervousness, depression, tension, stress, and tight muscles.
Vetiver also relieves aches and pains in the muscles and decreases stiffness. It is good for arthritis, rheumatism, and sprains. The drug’s antiseptic properties balance the production of sebum and help to moisturize the skin. .

Biological Name
:Vitex negundo
Other Names
:Nirgundi, Chaste berry, Five Leafed Chaste Tree, Karinochi.

Vitex plant is acrid, bitter, heating, astringent, stomachic, cephalic, and anthelmintic. It is also anti inflammatory, anti bacterial, anti fungal, and analgesic. This herb is useful in the treatment of leukoderma, inflammations, malaria, eye diseases, spleen enlargement, bronchitis, asthma, biliousness, painful teething of children etc. It is also good for the treatment of epilepsy and lymph node enlargement..The drug has been used for centuries to reduce inflammation and swelling of joints due to rheumatism and injuries. The leaves are applied to rheumatic swelling of joints and in sprains. It is also good for relieving menopausal symptoms.


:Water lily
Biological Name
:Nymphea lotus
Other Names
:White lotus, White water lily, Aambal, Kumudam

Water lily is a cardio tonic and aphrodisiac. Its root tubers are cooling, sweet and bitter.

The herb is useful in diarrhea, dysentery, and general debility. It is commonly used for gastro intestinal disorders and jaundice too.


: White Leadwort
Biological Name
: Plumbago zeylanica
Other Names
: Chitrak, Chitra, Koduveli

Leadwort is good for treating stubborn chronic rheumatoid arthritis, skin diseases, and tumorous growths. It also finds its use in correcting chronic menstrual disorders, viral warts, and chronic diseases of nervous system.It is also been identified as an anti cancer drug. The root of this herb is a powerful acro-narcotic poison. It causes abortion; it will expel fetus, dead or alive. Its root is said to increase the digestive power and promote appetite. In small doses, it stimulates the central nervous system. Larger doses may lead to death. The herb is a powerful irritant and has well marked antiseptic properties. A paste made of white leadwort, milk, vinegar, and water may be applied in leprosy and other obstinate skin diseases, unhealthy ulcers, scabies etc. Doctors also recommend the root of this herb for dyspepsia, piles, and diarrhea.

: Winter cherry
Biological Name
: Withania somnifera
Other Names
: Chitrak, Chitra, Koduveli

Winter cherry is tonic, abortifacient, astringent, deobstruent, nervine, aphrodisiac and sedative. Its roots are diuretic and deobstruent.The herb gives vitality and vigor and helps in building greater endurance. This herb builds marrow and semen, and inhibits ageing. Powder of the root mixed with ghee and honey in equal parts is prescribed for impotence or seminal debility. It infuses fresh energy and vigor in a system worn out owing to any constitutional disease like syphilis, rheumatic fever etc. Root is commonly used in emaciation of children, senile debility, all cases of general debility, nervous exhaustion, brain-fag, loss of memory, loss of muscular energy and spermatorrhoea. It is also been used in diseases such as rheumatism, leprosy, and arthritis.It is one of the best herbs for the mind (clarity, nurturing). Root and bitter leaves are used as a hypnotic in alcoholism.