Cultivation of Medicinal Plant ‘Barhmi’ (Bacopa monnieri )
Brahmi [Bacopa monnieri (Linn.) ] belongs to the family Scorphulariaceae It is commonly known as Brahmi, it is a highly valuable medicinal creeping succulent herb found in humid and warmer regions of the world.
In India, it is found naturally growing in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Foothills of Himachal Pradesh, and Uttaranchal.
According to National Medicinal Plants Board, New Delhi, it is classified one among 32 medicinal plants identified for cultivation and conservation and denoted among the list of 178 medicinal plant species in high volume trade i.e. 2000 – 5000 MT (metric ton) annually.
The Major Content Found in Brahmi ;
Plant contains saponins, bacoside A and B, monnierin, hersaponin, betulic acid, c-mannitol, stigmasterol. B-sitosterol and stigmastanol.
Health Benefits of Brahmi ;
1) Brahmi is astringent, bitter, cooling, pungent, emetic, laxative, and improves intellect
2) useful in bed ulcers, tumors, and enlargement of the spleen.
3) The entire plant is used in the indigenous system of medicine as a nerve tonic and cure for epilepsy and insanity.
4) It is also being used as a diuretic and for treating dermatosis, anemia, dropsy, arthritis, anorexia, dyspepsia, emaciation, rheumatism. asthma and hoarseness.
5) Besides this, the Brahmi also has got good potency in controlling of cough, fever, diabetes, and snakebite.
6) Because of its inherent potential of enhancing memory and vitality, this miracle plant is gaining attention for its commercial cultivation globally.
7) This plant is considered among one of the “Celestrial drugs” (Divya Ausadhi) when consumed with milk for six months.
In the Siddha system of medicine, the plant is useful against painful joints, swelling in joints, peripheral neuritis, constipation, and burning urination.
8) It is also used in convulsions, mental retardation, chest congestion, and laryngitis.
Some commercial Products of Brahmi;
The whole plant is used in a variety of preparations like Brahmighrtam, Sarasvataristam, Brahmitailam, and Misrakasneham, etc.
Vernacular Names of Brahmi ;
English; Hyssop, Water hyssop, Herb of grace
Sanskrit; Nera Brahmi, Saraswathi
Hindi; Brahmi, jalnim
Kannada; Niru Brahmi
Soil and Climate Required for Brahmi Cultivation;
1)The plant grows very well in poorly drained soils under sub-tropical climates.
2) A temperature range between 33-40 °C with a relative humidity of 65-80% has been found good for its optimum vegetative growth.
Field Preparation for Brahmi Cultivation
1) The land is prepared well by repeated ploughing and harrowing.
Propagation of Brahmi Crop;
Manures and Fertilizers Requirement in Brahmi Crop;
Integrated application of organic manure and inorganic fertilizers [RDF (100:60;60 kg NPK/ha)+ FYM (10 t/ha)] results in the highest dry herbage yield (Approx16 t/ha).
Irrigation Requirement in Brahmi Crop;
Weeding Requirement in Brahmi Crop
Primarily, hand weeding (3-4) is needed at every 15 to 20 days interval but later on, as plants proliferate and form a dense mat of vegetation, thereafter weeding may be done as and when required.
Intercropping system in Brahmi Crop
Brahmi may fit well in the Kharif season rice-based cropping system in plains of North India with the following cropping sequence;
Pest and Diseases Management in Brahmi
Insects like grasshopper and tobacco cutworm defoliate the plants during the summer season. These insects cause mass defoliation which reduces the dry herbage yield. These pests can be controlled by spraying neem or pongamia based biopesticides and botanicals. No serious diseases have been reported on this crop.
Harvesting of Brahmi Crop;
1) First harvesting commences four months after planting. 2) Subsequent harvests can be done at 2-3 months intervals depending upon the season and growth.
The Yield of Brahmi Crop ;
Post-harvest handling and storage of Brahmi Crop;
1) The traditional method followed is to dry the harvested fresh material by spreading it on the ground under shade at room temperature.
Economics of Brahmi cultivation;
1) As per the latest price statistics (National Medicinal Plants Board, 2019), the price for the whole dry plant of Brahmi ranges from Rs 20-50/kg in different markets across India.
2) The cost of cultivation is around Rs 80,000/- per hectare with a mean yield of 10 tons of dry herb per hectare.
3) The gross return of 3.50,000/- per hectare can be obtained with a selling price of Rs 35/kg of dry herb.
4) Hence, a net return of 2,70,000/- can be obtained by cultivating Brahmi in a one-hectare area.