Some plants of ethnobotanical importance.
Name- Catharanthus roseus (Madagascar Periwinkle) (fig.-1) is a species of Catharanthus native and endemic to Madagascar. Synonyms include Vinca rosea (the basionym), Ammocallis rosea, and Lochnera rosea; other English names occasionally used include Cape Periwinkle, Rose Periwinkle, Rosy Periwinkle, and "Old-maid". In the wild, it is an endangered plant; the main cause of decline is habitat destruction by slash and burn agriculture. It is also however widely cultivated and is naturalised in subtropical and tropical areas of the world. It is an evergreen subshrub or herbaceous plant growing to 1 m tall. The leaves are oval to oblong, 2.5–9 cm long and 1–3.5 cm broad, glossy green, hairless, with a pale midrib and a short petiole 1–1.8 cm long; they are arranged in opposite pairs. The flowers are white to dark pink with a darker red centre, with a basal tube 2.5-3 cm long and a corolla 2–5 cm diameter with five petal-like lob The species has long been cultivated for herbal medicine and as an ornamental plant. In traditional Chinese medicine, extracts from it have been used to treat numerous diseases, including diabetes, malaria and Hodgkin's disease. The substances vinblastine and vincristine extracted from the plant are used in the treatment of leukaemia. It can be dangerous if consumed orally. It can be hallucinogenic, and is cited (under its synonym Vinca rosea) in the Louisiana State Act 159. As an ornamental plant, it is appreciated for its hardiness in dry and nutritionally deficient conditions, popular in subtropical gardens where temperatures never fall below 5 °C to 7 °C, and as a warm-season bedding plant in temperate gardens. It is noted for its long flowering period, throughout the year in tropical conditions, and from spring to late autumn in warm temperate climates. Full sun and well-drained soil are preferred. Numerous cultivars have been selected, for variation in flower colour (white, mauve, peach, scarlet and reddish-orange), and also for tolerance of cooler growing conditions in temperate regions. Notable cultivars include 'Albus' (white flowers), 'Grape Cooler' (rose-pink; cool-tolerant), the Ocellatus Group (various colours), and 'Peppermint Cooler' (white with a red centre; cool-tolerant) C. roseus is used in plant pathology as an experimental host for phytoplasmas This is because it is easy to infect with a large majority of phytoplasmas, and also often has very distinctive symptoms such as phyllody and significantly reduced leaf size. Alkaloids • Vincristine, used in cancer chemotherapy. • Vinblastine • Reserpine • Ibogaine • Yohimbine Justicia adhatoda (Adulsa, Malabar Nut; syn. Adhatoda vasica (fig.-9)Nees is a medicinal plant native to Asia.  The plant is found abudently in wild in all over India,Pothohar region of Pakistan particularly Pharwala area. Adhatoda consists of the fresh or dried leaves of Adhatoda Vasica, Nees (N.O. Acanthaceae), a shrub growing in India. The leaves vary from 10 to 15 centimeters in length, and are about 4 centimeters broad; they are opposite, entire, lanceolate, and shortly petiolate, tapering towards both apex and base. When dry they are of a dull brownish-green colour; odour, characteristic; taste, bitter. They possess well-marked histological features, which can easily be seen in fragments of the leaf cleared by chloral hydrate. The stomata are elongated-oval in shape and surrounded by two crescent-shaped cells, the long axes of which are at right angles to the ostiole. The epidermis bears simple one- to three-celled warty hairs, and small glandular hairs with a quadricellular secreting gland. Cystoliths occur beneath the epidermis of the under surface. Both hairs and cystoliths vary in number in different specimens Several alkaloids are present in the leaves and the chief principle is a quinazoline alkaloid, vasicine; the yield of the alkaloid from different samples in India ranged from 0.541 to 1.105 per cent on dry basis. Vasicine is accompanied by l- vasicinone., deoxyvasicine and maiontone, Some minor alkaloids viz. Vasicol,adhatodinine and vasicinol also present Antiasthmatic,Antispasmodic (respiratory tract),Bronchodilator,Expectorant (relaxing), Oxytocic. The pharmacological activities of vasicine and vasicinone are well known. The /-forms of vasicine and vasicinone are more active than their racemic forms. Recent investigations on vasicine showed bronchodilatory activity (comparable to theophylline) both in vitro and in vivo. Vasicinone showed bronchodilatory activity in vitro but bronchoconstrictory activity in vivo; it is probably biotransformed in vivo, causing bronchoconstriction. Both the alkaloids in combination (1:1) showed pronounced bronchodilatory activity in vivo and in vitro. Vasicine also exhibited strong respiratory stimulant activity, moderate hypotensive activity and cardiac-depressant effect; vasicinone was devoid of these activities. The cardiac-depressant effect was significantly reduced when a mixture of vasicine and vasicinone was used. Vasicinone (dl-form) showed no effect on the isolated heart, but probably the l-form is a weak cardiac stimulant. Clinical trials of a commercial drug containing vasicinone and vasicinone have not revealed any side effects while treating bronchial asthma. The drug is known to possess abortifacient activity and hence should not be used during pregnancy. Name - SHATAVARI (ASPARAGUS RACEMOSUS) Family Name: LILIACEAE Botanical Name : ASPARAGUS RACEMOSUS(fig.-8) Common Name: ASPARAGUS, ASPARAGUS ROOT, SHATAVARI, HUNDRED HUSBANDS Part Used: TUBEROUS ROOTS Uses : The roots are bitter, sweet, emollient, cooling, nervine, antispasmodic, indigestible, appetizer, alliterative, stomach, tonic, aphrodisiac, galactagogue, astringent, antidiarrhoeatic, antidysenteric, laxative properties . They are useful in nervous disorders, dyspepsia, tumours, scalding of urine, throat infections, tuberclosis, diseases of blood and eye, throat complaints, tuberculosis, leprosy, epilepsy, night blindness and kidney troubles and general debility. This herb, used externally, is said to increase breast milk and semen production. It also nurtures mucous membranes, blood cleanser, supplies female hormones, nourishes the ovum, etc. Name- bacopa monnieri Name- Neem (Azadirachta indica, syn. Melia azadirachta L., Antelaea azadirachta (L.) Adelb.)(fig.-12) is a tree in the mahogany family Meliaceae. It is one of two species in the genus Azadirachta, and is native to Burma, Nigeria, India and Pakistan, growing in tropical and semi-tropical regions. Other vernacular names include Azad Dirakht (Persian), DogonYaro (Nigerian), Margosa, Neeb (Arabic), Nimtree, Nimba (Sanskrit), Vepu, Vempu, Vepa (Telugu), Bevu in Kannada, Veppam in (Tamil) and Indian-lilac. Neem is a fast-growing tree that can reach a height of 15-20 m, rarely to 35-40 m. It is evergreen but under severe drought it may shed most or nearly all of its leaves. The branches are wide spread. The fairly dense crown is roundish or oval and may reach the diameter of 15-20 m in old, free-standing specimens. The trunk is relatively short, straight and may reach a diameter of 1.2 m. The bark is hard, fissured or scaly, and whitish-grey to reddish-brown. The sapwood is greyish-white and the heartwood reddish when first exposed to the air becoming reddish-brown after exposure. The root system consists of a strong taproot and well developed lateral roots. In India, the tree is variously known as "Divine Tree", "Heal All", "Nature's Drugstore", "Village Pharmacy" and "Panacea for all diseases". Products made from neem have proven medicinal properties, being antihelmintic, antifungal, antidiabetic, antibacterial, antiviral and anti-infertility. It is particularly prescribed for skin disease (Puri, 1999). • Neem twigs are used for brushing teeth in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. This practice is perhaps one of the earliest and most effective forms of dental care. • All parts of the tree (seeds, leaves, flowers and bark) are used for preparing many different medical preparation. • Neem oil is used for preparing cosmetics (soap, shampoo, balms and creams). Neem Oil is useful for skin care such as acne, and keeping skin elasticity. • Besides its use in traditional Indian medicine the neem tree is of great importance for its anti-desertification properties and possibly as a good carbon dioxide sink. • Practictioners of traditional Indian medicine recommend that patients suffering from Chicken Pox sleep on neem leaves. • Neem Gum is used as a bulking agent and for the preparation of special purpose food (those for diabetics). The active principles of the plant were brought to the attention of natural products scientists in 1942 when Salimuzzaman Siddiqui, while working at the Scientific and Industrial Research Laboratory at Delhi University, for the first time extracted three bitter compounds from neem oil, which he provisionally named as nimbin, nimbinin, and nimbidin respectively. Neem is a source of environment-friendly biopesticides. Among the isolated neem constituents, limonoids (such as Azadirachtin) are effective in insect growth-regulating activity. The unique feature of neem products is that they do not directly kill the pests, but alter the life-processing behavior in such a manner that the insect can no longer feed, breed or undergo metamorphosis. However, this does not mean that the plant extracts are harmful to all insects. Since, to be effective, the product has to be ingested, only the insects that feed on plant tissues succumb. Those that feed on nectar or other insects (such as butterflies, bees, and ladybugs) hardly accumulate significant concentrations of neem products.