The naming of foreign herbs is always a problem, but it is particularly difficult in the case of India, which has several dozen language groups. As an example, Terminalia chebula, one of the most commonly used ingredients in Ayurvedic formulas, has the following names, amongst many others: pathya (Sanskrit), harara (Hindi), kadookai (Tamil) and chebulic myrobalans (English).
Ayurvedic specialist Robert Svoboda has proposed that the Sanskrit names be adopted for use in the West, since Sanskrit is the formal classical language of India. However, few books written for Western readers present this terminology. Universal Medicaments relies on the Indian common names that are prevalent in Bombay (Nagpur is nearby), one of India's largest cities and a center for publication of Ayurvedic literature. ITM has adopted a common naming system as follows:
For the presentation of herbs in the following section, the subject of each monograph has been arranged alphabetically according to the name adopted by ITM. To aid in identification, the commonly accepted botanical name for the herb is also provided. In the list of formula ingredients, both the Indian name and the common name are given.