Historical Aspects Of The Use Of Nuts And Seeds For Health In Pakistan

History relates the similarity in the cultural heritage of Pakistan and India. The Materia medica of the Greco-Arab (Unani system) that is utilized in the subcontinent contains an inventory of

Botanical Name

English/ Common Name

Nuts/Seeds

Indications/Uses/Activities

Abutilon indicum L. Amomum sabulatum Roxb.

Anemone nemorosa L.

Anethum graveolens L.or Anethum sowa Roxb. Apium graveolens L.

Areca catechu L. Artemisia parviflora Roxb.

Avena fatua L. Azadirachta indica A. Juss.

Bergenia stracheyi H &T. Engl. Brassica compestris L. Brassica juncea L.

Butea monosperma (Lam.) Taub Cannabis sativa L.

Indian mallow Seeds Black Fruit/nuts cardamom

Vulgaris Seeds

Dill

Karafs Betelnut

Neem, Indian lilac

Bergenia

Mustard plant

Brown mustard,

Indian mustard

Bastard teak

Cannabis

Cardiospermum halicacabum L. Heart pea Carthamus oxycantha Bieb. Carthamus

Carthamus tinctorious L.

Carum carvi L. Carum copticum L.

Bastards saffron, safflower

Caraway

Omum

Carum petroselinum (BENTH.) Parsley

Cassia fistula L. Chenodium album L.

Golden shower

Seeds Seeds

Nuts/fruit Seeds

Seed Seeds

Seeds Seeds Seeds

Seeds Seeds

Seeds Seeds

Seeds

Seeds Seeds

Seeds Seeds

Goose foot, Seeds lambs quarter, peg weed

Mucilaginous, and laxative (Hayat et al., 2008) Aromatic, and tonic to digestive system (Qureshi etal., 2009)

Chronic headache, excretion of nasal secretion, brain tonic, and analgesic (Kabirudin & Khan, 2003) Gastric disorders, facial palsy, and paralysis (Hayat et al., 2008)

Expectorant, antifebrile, lumbago, ascitis, dropsy, kidney, and bladder stones (Usmanghani etal., 1997; Rizvi et al., 2007)

Antidiarrheal, bleeding gums, and ophthalmia (Qureshi et al., 2009)

Abdominal pain, stomach ache, high blood pressure, diabetes, and anthelmentic (Ahmad et al., 2006; Hussain et al., 2007).

Nerve tonic, stimulant, and laxative (Islam etal., 2006) Blood purifier, anti-lice, vermicide, hemorrhoids, skin diseases such as scabies, wounds, leprosy, earache, and liver disorders (Sabeen & Ahmad, 2009) Pimples, eczema, toothache, and bleeding gums (Ahmad et al., 2006)

Aphrodisiac, and skin infections (Hussain et al., 2007; Hayat et al., 2008)

Anodyne, rubefacient, stimulant, arthritis, footache, lumbago, rheumatism, skin eruptions, and ulcers (Sabeen & Ahmad, 2009)

Rubefacient (Rizvi et al., 2007), anthelmintic (Anonymous, 1987)

Blood purifier, scabies, sedative, appetizer, anodyne, earache, malaria, anthrax, sore throat, and hemorrhoids (Ahmad et al., 2006; Sabeen & Ahmad, 2009)

Aphrodisiac (Kabirudin & Khan, 2003) Dressing of ulcers, and itching (Shinwari & Khan., 2000; Hayat etal., 2008)

Chicken pox (Ahmad etal., 2006), Respiratory tract ailments, aphrodisiac, and spermatopoetic (Rizvi etal., 2007; Hussain et al., 2007) Nausea, and stomach ache (Ahmad et al., 2006) Antifebrile, stomachic, gastrointestinal disorders, molluscicidal, menstruation problems, expectorant, antibacterial, and antidote to opium (Ali etal., 2003; Sabeen & Ahmad, 2009) Gastritis, antifebrile, constipation, and diabetes mellitus (Kabirudin & Khan, 2003) Asthma, cough, wounds, jaundice, bronchitis, menstrual problems, for the removal of umbilical cord, and to ease labor (Rizvi et al., 2007; Hayat et al., 2008) Antifebrile, jaundice, and hepatitis (Kabirudin & Khan, 2003), Gastrointestinal disorders, anthelmintic, and purgative (Shinwari & Khan, 2000; Qureshi etal., 2009)

Botanical Name

English/ Common Name

Nuts/Seeds

Indications/Uses/Activities

Cichorium intybus L.

Common

Seeds

Liver complaints like jaundice, typhoid, constipation,

chicory

and nausea (Anonymous, 1987; Ahmad et al., 2006)

Citrullus lanatus (Thunb)

Water melon

Seeds

Stomachic, immunomodulator, jaundice, urinary

blockage, and kidney stones (Hayat et al., 2008: 20)

Cocos nucifera L.

Coconut

Fruit/kernel

Anthelmintic (Kabirudin & Khan, 2003)

Cordia obliqua Willd.

Geiger tree

Seeds

Cough, and stomach ulcers (Hayat etal., 2008)

Coriandrum sativum L.

Coriander

Seeds

Antiperoxidative (Rizvi et al., 2007)

Cotoneaster nummularia

Seeds

Blood purifier (Hussain et al., 2007)

Fisch & Mey.

Cucumis melo L.

Melons

Seeds

Liver disorders, skin infections, flexion, diuretic, and to

treat kidney and bladder stones (Hayat et al., 2008)

Cucumis melo var.

Cucumber,

Seeds

Urethritis, spleen diseases, and jaundice (Hayat et al.,

utilissimus Roxb.

gourd, melon

2008)

Cucumis sativus L.

Cucumber

Seeds

Diuretic (Marwat et al., 2009)

Cucurbita maxima

Turban

Seeds

Cough (Hussain et al., 2007)

Duch. ex Lam.

squash,

Turk's cap

Cuminum cyminum L.

Cumin/carum

Seeds

Expectorants, squamous cell carcinoma, digestive

disorders, carminative (Shinwari & Khan, 2000;

Kabirudin & Khan, 2003), ear ache, cough, toothache,

chest infection, pneumonia, antidiabetic, allergy, acne,

dysmenorrheal, and anticancer (Sabeen & Ahmad,

2009)

Cuscuta reflexa Roxb.

Air creeper

Seeds

Hepatitis, gastritis, constipation, antifebrile,

carminative, and anthelmintic (Shinwari & Khan, 2000)

Cydonia oblonga Mill.

Quince

Seeds

Antifebrile, respiratory ailments, cardiac problems,

dysentry, and diarrhea (Marwat et al., 2009)

Dacus carota L.

Carrot

Seeds

Regulates menstruation, and high doses are

abortificant (Sabeen & Ahmad, 2009)

Datura inoxia Mill.

Thorn apple

Seeds

Aches, antifebrile, asthma, narcotic, anodyne, and

antiseptic (Shinwari & Khan, 2000; Sabeen & Ahmad,

2009)

Dolichos sinensis L.

Chinese doli

Seeds

Cough, menstrual cycle, and aphrodisiac (Kabirudin &

kas

Khan, 2003)

Eruca sativa Mill.

Rocket

Seeds

Dandruff (Hayat et al., 2008)

Erysimum cheiri L.

Wall flower

Seeds

Spermatopoietic, glactagouge, and respiratory

ailments (Kabirudin & Khan, 2003)

Euphorbia helioscopia L.

Sun spurge

Seeds

Cholera (Sabeen & Ahmad, 2009)

Foeniculum vulgare Mill

Fennel fruit

Seeds

Expectorant, stomachic, amenorrhoea, lactogogue,

weak eyesight, toothache, and pneumonia (Ahmad

et al., 2006; Hayat et al., 2008; Sabeen & Ahmad,

2009)

Gossypium herbaceum L.

Cotton

Seeds

Aphrodisiac, spermatopoetic, lactagogue,

expectorant, and liniment (Kabirudin & Khan, 2003)

Helianthus annuus L.

Sunflower

Seeds

Seed decoction used to treat cough and fever (Hayat

et al., 2008)

Holarrhena antidysenterica Wall.

Kurchi bark

Seeds

Chronic diarrhea (Kabirudin & Khan, 2003)

Hordeum vulgare L.

Barley

Seeds

Headache, indigestion, liver complaints, antifebrile,

antitussive, antidiarrheal, and jaundice (Hayat et al.,

2008)

Hygrophila auriculata

Schumach

Seeds

Jaundice, hepatic obstruction, rheumatism,

(Schum.) Heine

inflammation, urinary infections, sexual vigor, gout,

and asthma (Ali et al., 2003)

Botanical Name

English/ Common Name

Nuts/Seeds

Indications/Uses/Activities

Hyoscyamus niger L.

Henbean

Seeds

Ipomia nil L.

Kaladana

Seeds

Ipomoea pentaphylla L.

Greater yam,

Seeds

Yam

Juglans regia L.

Walnut

Nuts

Juniperus excelsa M.B.

Greek juniper

Fruit

Lactuca scariola L.

Salad lettuce

Seeds

Lallemantia royleana Benth

Lallemantia

Seeds

Lathyrus aphaca L.

Yellow-

Seeds

flowered pea

Linum usitatissimum L.

Common flax/ Seeds

linseed

Malva neglecta L.

Common

Seeds

mallow

Malva parviflora L.

Cheesewood/ Seeds

Egyptian

mallow

Mangifera indica L.

Mango

Seeds

Melilotus indicus Linn.

Sweet clover

Seeds

Mirabilis jalapa L.

Four 'o'clock

Seeds

flower or

marvel of

Peru

Nepeta cataria L.

Catmint

Seeds

Nigella sativa L.

Black seeds/

Seeds

black

cumin

Oxalis corniculata L.

Papaver somniferum L.

Basil

Creeping lady's sorrel, creeping oxalis,

Creeping wood sorrel

Opium

Seeds

Seeds

Seeds

Expectorant, analgesic, for burnps, toothache, cough, hemoptysis (Usmanghani etal., 1997), antispasmodic, anticolic, for irritable bladder, and antitumor (Rizvi et al., 2007)

Vermicide, blood purifier, warts, eczema, and other skin diseases (Kabirudin & Khan, 2003) Jaundice, intestinal pain, & worms (Qureshi etal., 2009)

Brain tonic, aphrodisiac, cold, and cough (Islam etal., 2006)

Anthelmintic (Hussain et al., 2007) Aphrodisiac, diuretic, tonic, stimulant, placental retention, anthelmintic, galactogogue, cough, scabies, headache, spermatorrhoea, sedative, and jaundice (Kabirudin &Khan, 2003)

Aphrodisiac, antiarrhythmic, mental diseases, insanity, griping, gingivitis, gleets, bronchitis, thirst, diuretic, and in urinary troubles (Rizvi et al., 2007) Narcotic, and resolvent (Shinwari & Khan, 2000)

Wound healing, burns, gonorrhea, dermatitis, enema, and lumbago (Ahmad et al., 2006; Hussain et al., 2007)

Nephritis, cough, bronchitis, ulceration of bladder, skin diseases, and in hemorrhoids (Shinwari & Khan, 2000) Purgative, anthelmintic, cough, influenza, and fever (Hayat et al., 2008; Qureshi et al., 2009)

Chronic dysentery and diarrhea (Kabirudin & Khan, 2003)

Infantile diarrhea and bowel complaints (Shinwari & Khan, 2000)

Astringent, leukorrhea, gonorrhea, and menstrual problems (Hayat et al., 2008)

Injuries, and backache (Ahmad et al., 2006) Expectorant, diuretic, carminative, cleansing, deobstruent in renal stones, amenorrhoea, respiratory ailments, ulcerative scabies, vitiligo, antiphlegmatic attenuant, anthelmintic, antidyspeptic, local anesthetic, hypotensive, antibacterial, anticancer, aids, and antiparasitic (Rizvi et al., 2007) Bronchitis, rheumatism, pyrexia, urogenital diseases such as gonorrhea and syphilis, otitis, cardiotonic, stomachic, and analgesic (Kabirudin & Khan, 2003) Skin diseases, dysentery, and sensitive teeth (Qureshi et al., 2009)

Headache, fatigue, lumbago, toothache, eye ache, brain weakness, cold, analgesic, hypnotic, sedative,

Botanical Name

English/ Common Name

Nuts/Seeds

Indications/Uses/Activities

Peganum harmala L.

Syrian rue

Seeds

Phyllanthus emblica L.

Emblic

Seeds

myrobalan

Phyllanthus

Kanocha

Seeds

maderaspatensis L.

Pinus roxburghii Sargent

Chir pine

Seeds

Pistacia vera L.

Pistachio

Culinar

Plantago lanceolata L.

Narrow leaf

Seeds

plantain

Plantago major L.

Greater

Seeds

plantain

Plantago ovata Forssk

Spoqal

Seeds

Podophyllm emodi Wall ex.

Royle

Seeds

Royle

Portulaca oleracea L.

Purslane

Seeds

Portulaca oleraceae L.

Purslane

Seeds

Prunus armeniaca L.

Apricot

Seeds

Prunus dulcis L.

Almond sweet

Seeds

Prunus persica L.

Psophocarpus tetragonolobus L. Psoralea corylifolia L.

Punica granatum L.

Punica granatum Linn. Ricinus communis L.

Rosa indica L. Rumex acetosa L.

Rumex vesicarius LJSpinacea oleracea

Peach Seeds

Winged bean Seeds

Babchi Seeds

Pomegranate Seeds

Pomegranate Seeds

Caster Seed oil

Rose Common sorrel Spinach

Seeds Seeds

Seeds spasmodic, antiperiodic, antipyretic, and antiabortive (Hayat et al., 2008)

Aphrodisiac, expectorant, asthma, gastric problems, mental diseases, paralysis, facial palsy, vaginal complaints, and toothache (Kabirudin & Khan, 2003; Hayat et al., 2008)

Asthma, bronchitis, and biliousness (Kabirudin & Khan, 2003)

Carminative, laxative, tonic to the liver, diuretic, and useful in bronchitis, earache, headache, griping, ophthalmia, and ascites (Ali et al., 2003) Stimulant, antispasmodic, astringent, diuretic, and antibacterial (Sabeen & Ahmad, 2009) Tonic for brain and heart, aphrodisiac, cough, phlegm, and kidneys (Kabirudin & Khan, 2003) Gastrointestinal disorders such as constipation, loose motions, and diarrhea (Ahmad et al., 2006) Antidiarrheal, abdominal pain, antibleeding, phthiasis, bronchitis, and toothache (Ahmad et al., 2006; Hussain et al., 2007)

Antidysenteric, both laxative and as an antidiarrheal, colic disorders, decreases serum cholesterol level, spermatopoetic, antitussive, and carminative (Usmanghani et al., 1997; Rizvi et al., 2007; Hayat et al., 2008)

Liver and stomach disorders (Sabeen & Ahmad, 2009)

Demulcent, diuretic, and vermifuge (Islam etal., 2006) Vermifuge, jaundice, typhoid, and skin allergy (Hayat et al., 2008; Sabeen & Ahmad, 2009) Stomachic, and health tonic (Hussain et al., 2007) Brain tonic, aphrodisiac, spermatopoietic, cardiotonic, immunostimulant, expectorant, skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, hemorrhoids, otosclerosis, and purgative (Ahmad etal., 2006) Skin infections (Ahmad et al., 2006; Hussain et al., 2007)

Expectorant, asthma, and cough (Kabirudin & Khan, 2003)

Antiparasitic, blood purifier, scabies, constipation, hemorrhoids, diuretic and diaphoretic, and skin problems such as leukoderma, leprosy, and psoriasis (Kabirudin & Khan, 2003)

Vermicide, headache, cold, influenza, menstruation problems, and jaundice (Sabeen & Ahmad, 2009) Jaundice (Sabeen & Ahmad, 2009) Paralysis, facial palsy, expectorants, dermatitis, eczema, purgative, anthelmintic, and mastitis (Usmanghani etal., 1997; Hayat etal., 2008) Heart disease (Hayat et al., 2008) Gastrointestinal problems, and as an antidote for scorpions' sting (Kabirudin & Khan, 2003) Tuberculosis, analgesic, and inflammation of urinary tract (Sabeen & Ahmad, 2009)

Botanical Name

English/ Common Name

Nuts/Seeds

Indications/Uses/Activities

Salvadora oleoides Decne.

Toothbrush tree

Seeds

Rheumatism, postparturient infections (Hayat et al., 2008)

Salvia moorcroftiana Wall.

Wild sage

Seeds

Dysentery (Shinwari & Khan, 2000)

Sapindus mukorossi Gaertn.

Chinese soap berry

Seeds

Hemorrhoids (Sabeen & Ahmad, 2009)

Secale cereale L.

Rye

Seeds

Eye diseases, and in dissolving the opacity of the cornea (Shinwari & Khan, 2000)

Sida cordata (Burm. f.) Boiss.

Bhumibala

Seed

Aphrodisiac, laxative, demulcent, gonorrhoea cystitis, colic, and hemorrhoids (Shinwari & Khan, 2000)

Silene conoidea L.

Large sand catchfly

Seeds

For pimples, and backache (Ahmad et al., 2006)

Silybum marianum L.

Milk thistle

Seeds

Demulcent, used in hemorrhage and liver diseases (Shinwari & Khan, 2000)

Sisymbrium irio L.

London rocket

Seeds

Expectorant, stimulant, and restorative (Shinwari & Khan, 2000), bronchitis (Ahmad etal., 2006), and dropsy (Qureshi et al., 2009)

Solanum miniatum Benth.

Black nightshade

Seeds

Asthma, bronchitis, and biliousness (Kabirudin & Khan, 2003)

Strychnos nux vomica L.

Nux vomica

Seeds

Paralysis, facial palsy, lumbago, stomachic, brain tonic, purgative, syphilis, decreases excessive urination in old age, and to alleviate urinary bladder weakness in children (Kabirudin & Khan, 2003)

Syzigium cumini L. Skeels

Blackberry

Seed kernels

Antidiabetic (Hayat et al., 2008; Sabeen & Ahmad, 2009)

Syzygium aromaticum L.

Clove

Seeds

Brain tonic, cardiotonic, and aphrodisiac (Kabirudin & Khan, 2003)

Thymus serphyllum L.

Wild thyme

Seeds

Used as a lotion to massage a woman's back after delivery (Ahmad et al., 2006)

Tinosporia cordifolia (Willd.)

Heart-leaved

Seeds

Tuberculosis (Hayat et al., 2008)

Miers

moon seed

Tribulus terrestris L.

Calotrops seeds, puncture vine

Seeds

Kidney and bladder stones, aphrodisiac, and backache (Hayat et al., 2008)

Trigonalla foenum-graceum L.

Fenugreek

Seeds

Antidiarrheal, and emmenegogue (Ahmad etal., 2006)

Trigonella foenum graecum L.

Fenugreek

Seeds

Antidiabetic, hypocholesterolemic, asthma, backache, and nerve weakness (Hayat et al., 2008)

Urtica dioica L.

Stinging nettle

Seed

Diuretic, astringent, and tonic (Sabeen & Ahmad, 2009)

Verbascum thapsus Linn.

Great or common mullein

Seeds

Aphrodisiac, narcotic, and used as a fish poison (Shinwari & Khan, 2000)

Vicis vinifera L.

Raisin

Seeds

Stomachic, and antidiarrheal (Kabirudin & Khan, 2003)

Viola serpens Wall. Roxb

Seed

Purgative, and diuretic (Shinwari & Khan, 2000; Sabeen & Ahmad, 2009)

Vitex negundo L.

Five-leaved chaste tree

Seeds

Catarrah, allergy, tympany, galactogogue, flatulence, and cholera (Hayat et al., 2008)

Withania coagulens DUNAL.

Vegetable rennet

Seeds

Aphrodisiac, stomachic, and tympany (Kabirudin & Khan, 2003)

Zanthoxylum armatum D.C.

Japanese pepper

Seed

Carminative, and stomachic (Sabeen & Ahmad, 2009)

Zyzyphus jujuba Mill.

Jujube fruit

Fruit/seeds

Influenza, cough, allergy, wounds, scabies, and whelm (Kabirudin & Khan, 2003)

about 30,000 plants (Kabirudin & Mahmood, 1937). Pakistan is blessed with a wide diversity of plants that can be grown in one or other seasons of the year, and have been cultivated since ancient civilizations. History reveals that Arabs brought a revolution in food items, leading to the inclusion of nuts and raisins in different dishes native to India. Valuable work on the pharmacology and phytochemistry of commonly used medicinal plants has been carried out in Pakistan (Ikram & Hussain, 1978; Usmanghani et al., 1997).

Most of the nuts and seeds used in health and disease in Pakistan are cultivated in the country, although some are partially imported from different regions — for example, almonds from Iran. Some plants grow wild, such as Tribulus terrestris L. (Bhakhda), and grasses along the banks of canals, rivers and in deserts. A number of plants are obtained as byproducts of different crops — for example, Hordeum vulgare L. (Jo) and Cichorium intybus L. (Kasni) from wheat crops. Nuts are seeds that are covered with a hard shell, and both nuts and seeds are a vital source of nutrients for human beings. Some fruit and vegetable seeds (melon, water melon, pumpkin, etc.) are stored by local people and used for the maintenance of health. Coconut, sunflower, safflower, rapeseed, corn, or sesame seed oils are used to treat skin problems, and are most often used as carrier oils.

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