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Medicinal Plant : Cultivation : A Scientific Approach : Including Processing and Financial Guidelines

by S.S. Purohit and S.P. Vyas

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World Health Organisation (WHO) has estimated that atleast 80% of the world population rely on traditional systems of medicine for their primary health needs. These systems are largely plant based. According to WHO over 21000 plant species are useful in the preparation of medicines. Due to the growing awareness about side effects and complications of chemical and synthetic medicines, cosmetics and health supplements, usage of herbal products has gained importance both in the Eastern and Western Worlds. Herbal plants have global market worth about US$ 62 billion per annum and India's share is only 0.2%. We hope that this market will grow up to about 15% in near future.

Planning Commission of Government of India in June 1999 has established a task force to study the export market. The task force suggested to fix up the target of medicinal plant export to the tune of Rs. 3000 crores by 2005 and Rs. 10,000 crores by 2010. This is the proper time for India to make relentless efforts to take substantial cultivation and share in current herbal market.

The uncontrolled collection and sale of large quantities of plant material from the forest leads to destruction of many forest plants. Local communities, traditional medicinal herbalists and herbal medicine vendors popularly collect roots, bark and whole shrubs. This is a serious problem.

Cultivation of medicinal plants especially high value medicinal plants is creating new dimension in the field of agriculture. The medicinal plant industry puts together the various facets of this multi-disciplinary industry and its global interest. The need for developing countries to acquire technologies and techniques for programmed cultivation of medicinal plants is a current issue. Various aspects of medicinal plant cultivation includes old philosophies, modern impact of traditional medicines, and methods of assessing the spontaneous flora for industrial utilization, climatic variations, biological assessment, formulation, process technologies, phytochemical research and information sources.

Indian herbal industry is at blooming stage, however cultivation of medicinal plants is not so easy. It is a challenging task because less is known about their seed biology. Much efforts have not been made to search elite specimens and their propagation.

There is a need for a scientific approach for propagation of medicinal plants and to collect relevant information regarding agro technology, genuine planting material, economics of field cultivation, high yielding varieties etc. One has to explore wild medicinal plant species and to bring them under cultivation. Sometimes plants selected from the wild population may be suitable for the cultivation and there is no immediate necessity for any improvement programs in it.

Scientific cropping of industrially important medicinal plant is an integrated approach with agricultural and forestry with optimum land and water resources utilization. In India, various medicinal plants are cultivated and domesticated, therefore, International trade is looking to procure medicinal plant materials from India for the production of pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and cosmeticeutical preparations. India is also making efforts for cultivation, collection, characterization, planned hybridization programs for improvement of the plant species, and conservation medicinal plants restoring their genetic resources, etc for commercial cultivation. Plant the breeders of medicinal plant play key role in improvement of medicinal plants because he cares for stable produce, uniform plant growth maturity, economic to grow and of good quality.

Indian farmers are facing various problems in cultivation of medicinal plants because of lack of proper agro-technology, high fees for packages developed by various organizations, lack of reliable and standardized technology package, lack of planting material, market potential and system, cultivated vs wild plants, organic farming techniques, etc. Knowledge of post-harvest processing technology of plants for the extraction of chemicals and preparations of active formulations is still needed. For this purpose one has to take help of research organizations, private institutes, farmers, NGO's public sector institutes etc. for better technical know-how of cultivation and post-harvest techniques of medicinal plants.

Role of women in particular in harvesting most of the forest produce and collecting fuel wood is of paramount importance. This has generated income for them and in turn improved quality of their life.

The purpose of the present book to gives overall information about general cultivation practices of medicinal plants. Individual plant has also been discussed with its cultivation techniques. Procedure for getting financial aids through various financial agencies has also been mentioned.


  • Section I : General practices of cultivation, processing and financial guidelines :
    1. Medicinal plants: present and future:
      1. Market scenario of medicinal plants
      2. New hopes for herbal market
      3. Challenges ahead
      4. Future strategy for medicinal plants
    2. Classification, identification and naming of medicinal plants:
      1. Scientific and botanical systems of classification
      2. Taxonomic groups
      3. Other classification systems (operational)
      4. Classification of fruits
      5. Classification of vegetables
      6. Classification of ornamental plants
      7. Other operational classification
      8. Classification based on hardiness (adaptation)
    3. Production and management of medical plants on farms:
      1. Yield maximization
      2. Time of planting
      3. Preparation of soil for sowings
      4. Depth of sowing
      5. Preparation of beds
      6. Crop establishment techniques
      7. Planting techniques for field crops
      8. After cultivation practices
    4. Cultivation of medicinal plants: an eco-friendly approach:
      1. Eco-friendly farming
      2. Organic farming
      3. Biological farming
      4. Nature farming
      5. Regenerative agriculture
      6. Permaculture
      7. Alternate agriculture
      8. Ecological agriculture
      9. Ecological farming systems
      10. Biodynamic agriculture
      11. Organic agriculture system
      12. Basic standards and general principles for organic agriculture
      13. Principle requirements and pre-conditions
      14. Conversion from conventional to organic farming
      15. Important tips for cultivation of medicinal plants
      16. Multi tier agriculture system for cultivation of medicinal plants
      17. Indigenous agricultural practices for cultivation of medicinal plants
    5. Mulching practices :
      1. Why mulching is essential?
      2. Drawbacks of mulching
      3. Types of mulch
    6. Propagation of medicinal plants:
      1. Why plant propogate
      2. Knowledge of plants
      3. Some complexities
      4. Hardiness affects propagation
      5. Objectives of the nursery
      6. Classification of nurseries
      7. Site of nursery
      8. Organization and development of nursery
      9. Nursery production
      10. Important components of a nursery
      11. Important nursery operations
      12. Use of greenhouse for nursery production
      13. Rootstocks for fruit plants
      14. Propagation through cuttings
    7. Diseases of medicinal plants:
      1. What is a plant disease?
      2. A healthy plant
      3. Plant and pathogen relationships
      4. Steps in disease development
      5. Nature and classification of plant diseases
      6. Classification of plant diseases
      7. The diseases of medicinal plants
      8. Belladonna
      9. Cinchona
      10. Coleus
      11. Digitalis
      12. Dioscorea
      13. Datura
      14. Ginseng
      15. Glycyrrhiza
      16. Opium poppy
      17. Hyoscyamus
      18. Periwinkle
      19. Plantago
      20. Podophyllum
      21. Rauvolfia
      22. Senna
      23. Withania (ashwagandha)
    8. Pests and pest management in medicinal plants:
      1. A healthy plant
      2. Ecological pest management
      3. Cultural control
      4. Physical and mechanical control
      5. Biological control
      6. Melia azadircta (neem)
      7. Custard apple (annona spp)
      8. Vitex nirgundo
      9. Sweet flag in pest control
      10. Seed treatment with Rhizome powder and cow's urine
      11. Poison nut, agave, neem, pongam extract
      12. Garlic
      13. Use of neem for pest management
      14. Cow's urine in pest management
      15. Host resistance
      16. Ecological management of pest
    9. Harvest technology and value addition of medicinal plants:
      1. Processing
      2. Parts of medicinal plant to be used
      3. Standardization of medicinal plants
      4. Active constituents of medicinal plants
    10. Who guidelines for the assessment of herbal medicines:
      1. Traditional medicine programme
      2. Importance of plant-derived drugs
      3. Guidelines for assessment of herbal medicines
      4. Recommendations on guidelines for assessment of herbal medicines
      5. Assessment of quality, safety, and efficacy and intended use
    11. Improvement of medicinal plants:
      1. Breeding system for medicinal plants improvement
    12. Conservation strategies of medicinal plants:
      1. Why conservation
      2. What is conservation
      3. Types of conservation
      4. Legislation for protection of traditional knowledge and related natural resources
    13. Medicinal plants in trade:
      1. Prospects of medicinal plants in trade
    14. National medicinal plants board:
      1. National medicinal plants board
      2. Conservation of medicinal plants
    15. Sources of financial aids for medicinal plant cultivation:
      1. National medicinal plants board
      2. Farmer's credit card (Fcc)
      3. Insurance schemes of medicinal plants.
  • Section II : Plant wise uses and cultivation practices:
    1. Abelmoschus moschatus Linn (Maskdana)
    2. Acacia arabica Lamk. willd (babul)
    3. Acacia catechu L.F. willd (khair)
    4. Achyranthes aspera Linn (puthkunda, chirchitta, latjira)
    5. Aconitum heterophyllum wall (attis)
    6. Adhatoda vasica nees (adulasa)
    7. Aegle marmelos correa ex roxb. (bale)
    8. Albizia odoratissima benth (black Siris or Ceylon rosewood/kala siris)
    9. Allium sativum Iinn (Garlic)
    10. Aloe vera toun ex linn (Aloe)
    11. Alstonia scholaris R. Br. (Devil's Tree)
    12. Anacardium occidentale Linn (Cashew)
    13. Andrographis paniculata Nees (King of Bitters)
    14. Apium graveolens Linn (Celery)
    15. Areca catechu Linn (Areca-Nut/Betel-nut palm)
    16. Asparagus racemosus willd (shatavari)
    17. Atropa belladonna Linn (Belladonna/Indian Atropa)
    18. Bacopa monnieri (Linn.) Pennell (Barami)
    19. Balsamodendron myrrha (Bol/Bal)
    20. Bambusa arundinacea retz. willd (bans)
    21. Bergenia ligulata wall (pashanabheda)
    22. Boerhaavia diffusa Linn (Gadahpurna)
    23. Bombax malabaricum Dc (Shaalmali)
    24. Butea monosperma Lam/Erythrina Monosperma Lam (flame of the forest)
    25. Cassia angustifolia vahl (senna)
    26. Cassia fistula Linn (Amaltas/Indian Laburnum)
    27. Cassia tora Linn (chakunda)
    28. Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don. (Sadabahar)
    29. Caesalpinia bonduc (Linn) Roxb (Kantkarej)
    30. Chamomilla recutita (German Chamomile)
    31. Chlorophytum borivillionam (safed musli)
    32. Cinchona sp. (Cinchona)
    33. Cinnamomum sp. (Cinnamon)
    34. Coleus forskohlii (willd) Briq. (pathar-choor or Pashan Bhadi)
    35. Comiphora wightii Arn. (Guggal)
    36. Costus speciosus (Koen. Ex Retz.) (Kebu or Keyu)
    37. Curcuma angustifolia Roxb. (Tikhur)
    38. Cymbopogon martinii (Roxb.) wats (Rusa grass)
    39. Cyperus scariosus R. Br. (Nagar-Motha)
    40. Embelia ribes Burm. F. (Vayvidamg, Bhabhiramg)
    41. Datura sp. (Datura)
    42. Digitalis sp. (Tilpushpi)
    43. Dioscorea sp. (greater yam/asiatic yam)
    44. Duboisia myoporoides (corkwood tree)
    45. Elettaria cardamomum maton (Cardamom)
    46. Eucalyptus sp. (Eucalyptus)
    47. Fagopyrum esculentum Moench (Buckwheat)
    48. Ficus bengalensis Linn (Banyan tree)
    49. Ficus glomerata Roxb./F. Racemora Linn (Gular fig)
    50. Foeniculum vulgare mill (saunf)
    51. Gloriosa superba Linn (Glory Lily)
    52. Glycyrrhize glabra Linn (Mulhatti)
    53. Grewia tilifolia vahl (Bhimal/Grewia)
    54. Hemidesmus indicus (Linn) R. Br. (Anantamul)
    55. Hyoscyamus niger Linn (Henbane/Khurasani-Ajvayan)
    56. Jatropha curcas L. (Ratanjyot)
    57. Lawsonia inermis Linn (Mehandi)
    58. Lepidium sativum L. (Chandrasur)
    59. Leptadenia reticulata W. & A. (Jivanti)
    60. Mentha arvensis Linn (Pudina)
    61. Mucuna pruriens Bak (Kawanch)
    62. Murraya koenijii Linn (Spr. English/Curry leaf tree)
    63. Oxystelma secamone Linn (Dudhialata)
    64. Ocimum basilicum L. (Tulsi)
    65. Phyllanthus emblica Linn (Indian Gooseberry/Amla)
    66. Picrorhiza kurroa Royle Ex Benth (Kutaki)
    67. Pimenta diocia (Linn). Merrill (Allspice)
    68. Piper longum Linn (pipli)
    69. Plantago ovata Forsk (Isaphgol)
    70. Psoralea corylifolia Linn (Babchi)
    71. Rosa sp. (Gulab)
    72. Saraca indica Linn (Ashok)
    73. Saussurea lappa, C.B. Clarke (Kuth)
    74. Silybum marianum Linn (Holy Thistle)
    75. Strychnos nuxvomica Linn (Kuchala)
    76. Terminalia Arjuna Roxb. Pentaptera Arjuna Roxb (Arjun)
    77. Terminalia bellerica Roxb. Myrobalans bellerica Gaertn. (Bahera/Belleric Myrobalan)
    78. Terminalia chebula Retz. (Harara/Chebulicmyrobalan)
    79. Tinospora cordifolia (willd) miers. (giloe)
    80. Tribulus terrestris L. (Gokharu)
    81. Trigonella foenum-graecum Linn (Fenugreek)
    82. Valeriana sp. (tagar)
    83. Vitex negundo Linn (Nirgandi)
    84. Withania somnifera Dunal (Ashwagandha)
    85. Zingiber officinale rose (ginger).
  • Section III : Additional information :
    1. Glossary
    2. Appendices.



Detailed Product Info:

Title: Medicinal Plant : Cultivation : A Scientific Approach : Including Processing and Financial Guidelines
Author(s): S.S. Purohit, S.P. Vyas
ISBN: 8177542141
Year of Publication: 2004
Bibliographic Information: Pages: xxii+624, figs., tables
Language: English
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