Brihat Samhita

by N. Chidambaram Iyer | 1884 | 135,584 words | ISBN-13: 9788171104215

This page describes glossary of botanical terms which is the sixth Appendix of the English translation of the Brihat-samhita. This work, written by Varahamihira in the 6th century, is classified as jyotisha literature, also known as Indian astronomy. It contains however, also content regarding astrology, palmistry, agriculture, gardening, perfumes, medicines and various other encyclopedic topics.

Appendix 6 - Glossary of Botanical terms

Note: This appendix is extracted at the end from chapter 55 of the Bṛhat-saṃhita.

Summary: Glossary of Botanical terms occurring in the last two chapters, arranged alphabetically.

A

Āmalaka—the fruit of the Emblic myrobalan.
Āmra—The mango.
Āmrataka—Hog-plum. Spondias mangifera. Adivie mamadie, Amatum; beng. Amna.
Añjana—probably Kalañjana—a small shrub used as a purgative.
AṅkolaAlangium hexapetalum. Tel. Woodooga; Hind. Akola. The roots are aromatic; the fruit is edible.
Apāmārga—Name of a plant. Achyranthes aspera employed often in incantations, in medicine, in washing linen and in sacrifices.
Ariṣṭa—The soap berry tree; Sapindus detergens; Azadirachta indica.
Arjuna—The tree Terminalia arjuna.
Arka—Name of the plant Calotropis gigantea.
Asmantaka—Name of a plant from the fibres of which a Brāhmin’s girdle may be made; probably Indian hemp.
Aśoka—Name of the tree Jonesia Aśoka.
Aspota—Calatropis gigantea.
Aśvakarṇa—The tree Vatica robusta.
Atibalā—Name of a medicinal plant, Sidonia cordifolia and Rhombifolia or Annona squarmosa. Custard apple.
Atimuktā—Name of a tree Dalhergia ougeinensis.

B

Badari—The Jujube tree, Zyzyphus jujuba. Tel. Reygoo; Beng Kool. Flowers greenish, yellow and fruit eatable. It is sweet and mealy.
Bījapūra—A variety of citron.
Bhallāta—Marking nut plant.
Bharṅgi—Bharṅgī.
BilvaAegle marmelos, the Bell tree or the Wood-apple. Its leaves are employed in the ceremonial worship of Śiva. Tel. Maredoo; Beng. Bell.

C

Chatra—Name of a kind of grass. Name of a plant, Anithum sowa. Tel. Sompa.

D

Dāḍimā—Pomegranate.
Dantī—The plant Croton polyandrum. Tel. Konda. Amadum; Beng. Duntee; Hind. Hakoose. The seeds are used a purgative.
DhātrīEmblica officinalis.
Dhava—The plant Grislea tomeatosa. Tel. Sirinjie; Beng. Dhaee-phool.
Drākṣa—Wine.

G

Garuḍavega—Name of a plant.
Guḍūcī—The shrub Cocculus cordifolius. Tel. Tippatingay; Beng. Guluncha. This is a twining shrub.
Guṇḍrā—A kind of grass. Saccharurn sara, pen-reed grass. Beng. Shur or Saro.
Haridrā—Turmeric.

I

Ibhā—Probably Ibhākesara. The tree Mesua roxburghii or Ibhākana, The plant Seindapsus officinalis.
Indrataru—The tree Finns devatam.

J

Jambū—Syzygium Jambol Janum. Tel. Nareddooi Hind. Jamoon: The fruit is eatable. Flowers small, white.
Jyotiṣmatī—Heart pea, Cardispermum helicacabum.

K

Kadamba—The tree Nauclea kadamba. Flowers small, organe coloured and fragrat. Tel. Rudrakshakamba; Beng. Kudum; Hind. Cuddum.
Kākodumbarika—Opposite leaved fig tree. Ficus oppositifolia.
Kakubha—The tree Terminalia arjuna.
KampillaCrinum amaryllacea.
Kaṇṭakārikā—Solanum jacquini. Tel. Vankula; Hind. Kootaya.
Kapittha—The Elephant or Wood apple. Feronia elephantum. Tel. Velaga; Hind. Khoet. The fruit is eaten.
KarañjaPongamia glabra. Tel. Kanūyū; Fīind. Kurung; Beng. Kuruñjī. Leaves unequally pinnated.
Karavallī—Momordica charantia. Beng. Kurula.
Karavīra—The plant Assafoetida.
Karīra—A cluster of shooting bamboos.
Karṇikara—The tree Pterospermum acerifolium. Also Cassia fistula.
Kāsā—A species of grass. Sacchamm sponlaneum. Beng. Kaśa; Hind. Kagara; Tel. Relloogaddy.
Kataka—The clearing nut plant. Strychnos potatorum.
Khadira—The tree Acacia catechu. Having very hard wood. Tamil. Wothalay; Tel. Podeelmaun; Beng. Khuera.
Kharjūrī—The Wild Datura tree.
KovidāraBauhinia variegata. Hind. Sons. The buds are eaten as vegetables.
Kṛmiripu—An anthelmintic plant. Viḍaṅga, a shrub used in medicine as a vermifuge.
KṣuraTribulus lannginosus. Tel. Palleroo; Beng. Gokhūr.
Kula—Name of several plants; a kind of ebony. Disopyros tomentosa. Hind. Tumal.
Kuraṅka—A crimson species of Amaranth.
Kuśa—Sacred grass used at certain religious ceremonies, Poa synosuroides. A grass with long stalks and numerous pointed leaves.

L

Lakṣamaṇā—Name of various plants, Oahadi, Prinsiparni etc.
Lakuca—A kind of bread fruit tree. Arthocarpus lacuca.

M

Madayantika—Arabian jasmine.
MadhūkaBassia longifolia or latifolia. Tel. Ippa; Hind. Mohe. Its oil is used by the poorer classes.
Madhupuṣpa—Mahwah tree. Bassia latifolia. Tel. Ipie; Beng. Mahwan or Muhova.
Madhuyaṣṭi—Sugarcane.
Māṣaparṇa—A leguminous shrub. Glycine.
Mokṣaka—A species of tree.
Mauñjaka—A blade of Muñja grass, Saccharum muñja.
Mṛdvika—A wine, a bunch of grapes.
Mūlaka—An esculent root; a radish.
Mūrva—Sanseviera roxburghiana. A sort of creeper from the fibres of which bow strings and the girdle of the Kṣatriyas are made.
Muṣṭa—A species of grass. Cypeṛus rotundus.

N

NāgaRottlera tinctoria. Tel. Vasuntagunda; Hind. Camul.
Naktamāla—The tree Pongamia glabra or Dalbergia arborea.
Nala—A kind of fragrant substance; a perfume; red arsenic.
Navamalikā—Arabian Jasmine. Jasminum sambal. Or Tel. Boondoo Mall; Beng. Butmoo grah.
Nīpa—The tree Nauclea cadamba. Tel. Rudrakṣakamba.
Nicula—The tree Barringtonia acutangula.
NimbaAzadirachla Indica.
Nirguṇḍī—Vitex negundo. Tel. Wagala; Hind. Nisinda.
Nyagrodha—The Indian fig tree. Ficus Indica.

O

Uśira—The fragrant root of the plant Andropogon muricatus.

P

Padma—A species of fragrant plant. Tel. Yerrata maray.
Palāśa—The tree Butea frondosa. Tel. Moduga; Hind. Palāśa; Eng. Bustard teak. Blossoms rich, scarlet colour.
Palāśini—A species of climbing plant.
Palivata—Name of a tree,
Panasa—The jack tree. Artocarpus integrifolia.
Paruṣaka—Xylocarpus granatum. Beng. Paruṣa,
PīluSaivadora persica. Tel. Ghūnia.
Piṇḍara—A species of tree, Flacourtia sapida. Tamil, Sottacla; Tel. Conrew.
Plakṣa—The holy fig tree. Ficus religiosa.
PunnāgaRottleria tinctoria, from the blossoms of which a yellowish dye is prepared.

R

Rājakośaṭaka—A kind of fruit.
Rambhā—A plantain, Musa sapientum.

S

Śāka—Pot herb. Sirisha tree.
ŚamīAcacia suma, possessing a very tough and hard wood supposed to contain fire.
Śaptaparṇi—The tree Alstonia or Echites scholaris. 50 feet. Flowers greenish white. Plants used as school boards. Beng. Chatirn.
Śariba—Sarsaparilla.
Śarja—The Śāla tree. Shorea robusta.
Śatapatra—Lotus. Nelumbium speciosum.
Śiṃśapa—The tree Dalbergia sizu.
Śinduvara—The small tree or shrub Negundo
Śirīṣa—Sirissa tree. Acacia speciosa. Flowers small, white and fragrant. Tel. Dirisana; Beng. Sirissa.
Śiśumārī—The plant Nauclea cordifolia.
Śivā—The Sami tree. Yellow Myrobolan.
Somalatā—The moon plant. Sarcostema viminalis.
Soṇaka—Bignonia or Calosanthes indica. A handsome looking tree. The timber is soft and spongy. Young leaves are used in the treatment of ulcers. Tel. Pampena: Hind. Syona.
Śrīparṇī—A lotus or the three Premna spinosa. The wood of which produces fire by attrition. Tel. Tagūmūda.
Sukarapadī—Sukara is a sort of moss. Lycopodium imbricatum.
Sūkarikā—A sort of moss. Do.
Suryavallī—Cleome pentaphyllas, which, according to Jaffrey. is Gynandropsis.
Suvarṇa—The tree Cassia fistula. The thorn apple.
ŚyāmāIchuocarpus frutescens. Used as a substitute for Sarsaparilla.

T

Tāla—The palmyra or fan palm. Borassus fiabelliformis; Tel. Tady; Hind. Talgachh, Liquor called toddy is extracted from the tree.
Tilaka—The red wood tree. Adenanthera pavonina. Tel. Bandigooroo vindza: Hind. Koochunduna.
Timira—A sort of aquatic plant.
TindukaDyospyros embryopteris or Dyospyros glutinosa.
Trivṛtā—A creeping medicinal plant; a substitute for jalap.

U

UdumbaraFicus racemosa. Tel. Mayadi; Hind. Gooler. Red wooded fig tree or country fig tree. The fruit is edible,
Uśīra—The fragrant root of the plant Andropogon muricatus. Tel. Cassavoo; beng. Khuskus.

V

Vakula—A kind of tree. Mimusop elengi.
Vanīra—A sort of cane or ratang. Calamus rotang.
Vañjula—Jonesia Aśoka.
Varāhī-A particular kind of bulbous plant said to be an esculent root or yam.
VaruṇaEvasia longifolia.
Vāsikā- Adhatoda vasika.
Vāta—The banyan or Indian fig tree. Ficus Indica.
Vīraṇa—A fragrant grass. Cuscus grass. Tel. Cooroovayroo or Kussavoo: Beng. Khuskus; Hind. Useer. The root is fragrant.
Vetasā—Calamus rotang. Rattan cane. Tel. Bettam; Hind. Beta. Sometimes, the growth is to the length of 500 or 600 feet.
Vibhītaka—The tree Terminalia belcrica. Tel. Taondoe or Tady; Beng. Babura. Length 100 feet. A medicinal tree.
Viḍaṅga—Erycibe paniculata. A medicinal substance considered of great efficacy as a vermifuge.
Vidārī—The plant Hedysarum gangeticum. The climbing plant Ipomoea paniculata.
Virūdhi—A spreading creeper.
Vyāghrapada—The plant Flacourtia sapida.