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The medicinal & aromatic plants found in the Himalayas are an integral part of the culture of the local communities of the Himalayas, woven into their lives in innumerable ways. They are a major input for the healthcare of the rural poor and the basic ingredients for traditional medicines with extensive use in Ayurvedic, Siddha, Unani, Tibetan, as well as Allopathic systems of medicine. Even today, 80% of those living in rural and remote areas, rely on traditional medicines made from these medicinal plants, for their primary healthcare needs. Some of the herbal species are used as food supplements and beverages, and some others as fodder for cattle and in the treatment of animal diseases. Certain species have cultural applications as well, being used as incense in religious ceremonies, as an insecticide in homes and storage facilities, and for the production of natural dyes. The Ethnobotanic Database showcases the people and plants relationship in the Himalayas.

Species: Achillea millefolium
Family: Asteraceae
Common Name: Yarrow, Milfoil
Local Name: Bimjasif (Joshimath), Momadrichopandiga (Kashmir), Chuang and Chabu (Ladakh), Birnjasif (Hindi)
Ayurvedic Name: Sahastra patri, Swetadurva
It is an erect leafy perennial growing up to a height of 50 cm. The plant has oblong-lanceolate dissected leaves with the lower leaves being stalked while the upper ones are stalkless. The stem is grooved and the flower...
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Species: Aconitum ferox
Family: Ranunculaceae
Common Name: Aconite, Monk’s hood, Vatsanabh, Mithavish, Safed Vish, Dudhia Vish
Local Name: Bhonga-nagpo (Lahaul), Jahreelijad (Joshimath), Bachhnag, Mitha visha, Teliya visha (Hindi)
Ayurvedic Name: Vatsnabh, Visha
Aconitum ferox is a perennial herb. The leaves are scattered, ovate-reniform, and the flowers are blue in colour with purple veins, arranged in terminal racemes. The plant has paired tuberous roots with conical and...
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Species: Aconitum violaceum
Family: Ranunculaceae
Common Name: Mithi Patish , Dudhi Mohra, Dudhi Atees
Local Name: Ponnnma-karpo, Yangtso, Dusi Lama, Zinba (Ladakh), Phonker (Spiti), Dudhia Atis (Joshimath), Bongkar-rigs-gryis-pa (Tibet), Prativisha (Hindi)
Ayurvedic Name: Prativisha
Aconitum violaceum is a perennial herb found in the Himalayan belt. The plant has a distinctively conical root and both new and old roots grow attached to each other. The leaves are rounded 2-10 cm across, palmately cut...
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Species: Acorus calamus Linn.
Family: Araceae
Common Name: Sweet flag
Local Name: Bach, Gorabach (Hindi)
Ayurvedic Name: Vacha, Ugragandha, Shadgrantha, Golomi
Acorus calamus is a semi-aquatic perennial cultivated in damp marshy places in India. The plant has 3-5 feet long rhizomes similar to ginger. The rhizomes also have a characteristic smell that are and have 5-6 nodes....
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Species: Allium carolinianum DC.
Family: Liliaceae
Common Name: Janglee Piyaz, Ladam, Markua, Jambo-pharan
Local Name: Pharan (Joshimath), Demokh (Ladakh), Lo-adh.Lapod, Lo-ath (Spiti),: Janglee Piyaz (Hindi)
Ayurvedic Name:
The Allium carolinianum plant can be easily recognized because of its similarity to commonly grown cultivated onions. During the flowering stage, the plants have a distinct flowering spike bearing purple coloured...
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Species: Allium cepa
Family: Liliaceae
Common Name: Bulb-onion
Local Name: Pyaz (Hindi)
Ayurvedic Name: Palandu, Durgandh
It is an edible bulb its herb with long, fleshy leaves. The fruit is three chambered and contains small black seeds. The plant is found all over the India and extensively planted for its use in food preparations and in...
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Species: Angelica glauca
Family: Apiaceae
Common Name: Chora, Angelica
Local Name: Chura (Lahaul), Chamchora, Gandrayna, Chora (Joshimath), Choraka (Hindi)
Ayurvedic Name: Kshemak, Taskar
The plant is distinguished by its pungently aromatic smell and the distinctive sheaths at the base of the upper leaves encircling the stem. Angelica glauca grows to about 1-1.5 m in height. The leaves are...
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Species: Artemisia absinthium L.
Family: Astera
Common Name: Wormwood
Local Name: Phunkar-burtse (Lahaul), Bhurse (Joshimath), Nulum (Tawang)
Ayurvedic Name: Afsantine
The plant is a perennial erect herb up to 1 m tall with a silky and hairy ribbed stem that can be easily distinguished by its peculiar smell. It is a much-branched silvery-haired leafy perennial with long...
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Species: Artemisia brevifolia Wall.
Family: Asteraceae
Common Name: Santonin Plant
Local Name: Burse Khampa (Ladakh), Burse Khampa (Spiti), Nyurcha, Seski (Lahul)
Ayurvedic Name: Chauhar
This is a much branched erect or ascending, hoary or tomentose, strongly aromatic shrubby perennial with very dissected pale grey to almost white leaves. The leaves are pinnatisect segments and the ribbed...
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