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Training manual on Propagation Techniques of Commercially Important Medicinal Plants

Prepared for Andhra Pradesh State Forest Department

Manual designed and developed by B S Somashekhar Manju Sharma

Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions, Bangalore March 2002

Title of the Manual:

Propagation techniques of commercially important medicinal plants B S Somashekhar, Coordinator Manju Sharma, Research Fellow Communication & Training team, FRLHT, Bangalore Sumy Oommen Research and Botanical survey team, FRLHT, Bangalore B S Somashekhar, 2001. Principles of Nursery management- Training module prepared for the Forest field staff of the MPCAs and MPDAs of South India. FRLHT, Bangalore. B S Somashekhar, 2001. Propagation of Medicinal Plants- Training module prepared for the Forest field staff of the MPCAs and MPDAs of South India. FRLHT, Bangalore.

Manual designed and developed by:

Primary information contributed by: Additional source of information:

Manual elements:

Introduction to the module Illustrated lessons Species wise propagation techniques Appendix FRLHT Photo library Computers and Informatics, FRLHT, Bangalore Nandini Vishwanatha FRLHT, Bangalore March 2002 118 pages + Appendix

Photo credits: Systems support:

Pages designed by: Year Released: No. of pages:


Section 1Introduction to the Manual Background Manual and its purpose Objectives of the manual Structure of the manual How to use the manual 1. Medicinal Plants and their Cultivation 5 7 1 2 3 3 3

Medicinal plants under cultivation in Andhra Pradesh Area under medicinal plants cultivation in Andhra Pradesh 2. Medicinal Plants Nurseries and the VSS

Nurseries in the context of VSS Significance of a nursery VSS and medicinal plants nursery Box: Medicinal plants that contribute to village economy 3. Principles of Nursery Management

10 10 11 12

Site selection; Design and lay out Land clearing, Development of infrastructure Equipment & tools, Demand assessment & species choice Managing the nursery and Seedlings distribution Nursery terms used in the manual Box: How to make the VSS nurseries sustainable?

13 14 14 15 16 18


Understanding the Principles of Plant Propagation 19 19 19 19 20 21 21 21 23 23 24 26 28 28

What is plant propagation? Significance of propagation in the life cycle of a plant What are the methods of plant propagation? Sexual method of propagation Advantages and limitations of sexual propagation Box: Seed dormancy and Seed viability Asexual method of propagation Advantages and limitations of Asexual propagation Different methods of asexual propagation a. Propagation through cuttings b. Propagation through layering c. Propagation through grafting d. Propagation through budding e. Propagation through modified organs

Section 2Propagation techniques of prioritised medicinal plants for the VSS of Andhra pradesh Propagation details of 81 medicinal plant species Herbs 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Achyranthes aspera Acorus calamus Aloe barbadensis Andrographis paniculata Bacopa monnieri Boerhavia diffusa Cassia absus 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 30

8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. Shrubs 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34.

Catharanthus roseus Centella asiatica Chlorophytum borivilianum Coleus barbatus Curculigo orchioides Cyperus rotundus Cyperus scariosus Eclipta prostrata Phyllanthus amarus Plumbago rosea Plumbago zeylanica Psoralea corylifolia Solanum nigrum Tephrosia purpurea Trachyspermum ammi Tribulus terrestris Vetiveria zizanoides 55

38 39 40 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54

Abelmoschus moschatus Acacia sinuata Adhatoda zeylanica Baliospermum montanum Bixa orellana Caesalpinia bonduc Caesalpinia digyna Cassia angustifolia Catunaregam spinosa Helicteres isora

56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65

35. 36. 37. 38.

Holarrhena pubescens Lawsonia inermis Rauvolfia serpentina Withania somnifera

66 67 68 69

Climbers 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. Trees 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. Aegle marmelos Anogeissus latifolia Azadirachta indica Boswellia serrata Buchanania lanzan Butea monosperma 85 86 87 88 89 91 Abrus precatorius Asparagus racemosus Celastrus paniculatus Citrullus colocynthis Decalepis hamiltonii Embelia ribes Gloriosa superba Gymnema sylvestre Hemidesmus indicus Holostemma ada-kodien Jatropha curcas Piper longum Mucuna pruriens Rubia cordifolia Tinospora cordifolia 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84

60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81.

Cassia fistula Cochlospermum religiosum Emblica officinalis Gardenia gummifera Ichnocarpus frutescens Limonia acidissima Litsea glutinosa Madhuca indica Mesua ferrea Mimusops elengi Pongamia pinnata Pterocarpus marsupium Pterocarpus santalinus Sapindus emarginatus Semecarpus anacardium Sterculia urens Strychnos nux-vomica Strychnos potatorum Terminalia arjuna Terminalia bellirica Terminalia chebula Wrightia tinctoria

92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 101 102 103 104 105 107 108 109 110 111 112 114 116 118

Appendix Species Propagation method Matrix

Section 1 Introduction to the manualBackgroundMedicinal plants constitute a considerably large component of natural vegetation. Several of these species are in great demand for domestic consumption as well as for commercial use by the herbal industry. About 800 species are estimated to be in trade with a turn over of Rs.4000 crores per year. Except about 60-80 species whose produce comes from cultivated sources, the rest of the raw material being traded comes from the wild collections. This high demand by the herbal industry has put enormous pressure on the wild populations leading to destructive collection of the produce. Absence of commercial cultivation of these species, results in increased dependence on the wild collections, which has further aggravated the situation. Today, a large number of medicinal plants species are considered threatened due to such high demand and destructive collection practices. Thus, the conservation efforts are of immediate need to save these species in the wild by maintaining their wild populations, without which the species may be wiped out. Propagation of such prioritised species in the nurseries is a means towards conserving their genetic stocks. Through the nurseries it is possible to make available planting material of these species for cultivation. Bringing more species under large-scale cultivation helps reduce the pressure on the wild stocks. However, in the absence of comprehensive information on the propagation techniques, nursery management and agro-technology of medicinal plants, the initiatives to establish medicinal plants nurseries and cultivate them asPropagation of Commercially Important Medicinal Plants 1

commercial crops have not witnessed considerable success in the past.

Manual and its purposeThis manual is a step towards bridging this gap. It has attempted here, to bring together the available information on the propagation techniques of 81 medicinal plant species and discusses the basic principles of plant propagation and nursery management. The species included in the manual are of the following category: Species, which are native and are suitable to the soil and climatic conditions of Andhra Pradesh. Species, which witness a high demand by the herbal industry and vigorously traded Species, which have a potential for commercial cultivation Species which witness a high degree of collection from the wild, hence require possible remedial measures to replenish the stock Species which are recommended by the local communities as they are found in the local trade Species which are already in cultivation to a certain extent Species, which are red listed, hence require possible remedial measures to replenish the stock The manual has tried to make available the information in a userfriendly style.

Propagation of Commercially Important Medicinal Plants


Objectives of the manualWhile doing so, the manual focuses on the following objectives. To make the VSS understand the significance of raising nurseries of commercially important medicinal plants To orient the VSS towards the techniques for raising and managing medicinal plants nurseries To familiarise the VSS with the propagation methods of commercially important medicinal plants species To provide an overview of the cultivation status of commercially important medicinal plant species

Structure of the manualWhile addressing these objectives, the manual has been structured keeping the needs of the VSS. In order to facilitate easy understanding, the information has been made available in two sections. The first section provides an overview of the cultivation and propagation of medicinal plants and illustrates the basic principles involved in plant propagation and nursery management. The second section describes the propagation techniques of the selected medicinal plants species. Information in this section is presented in the form of easy to follow step-by-step instructions.

How to use the manualThe manual is user friendly. It can readily serve as a training tool. The manual has to be referred and used by a VSS member as a reference guide for training and orientating the VSS and the local communities about the propagation of medicinal plants. The first section of the manual helps in discussing the necessary background information about the cultivation and propagation. It further orients the VSS to the principles of plant propagation. In thePropagation of Commercially Important Medicinal Plants 3

second section, a VSS can concentrate on its choice of species. Details of