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Premna integrifolia

Plant Profile

Family Verbenacece
Ayurvedic name Agnimanth
Unani name Arni
Hindi name Agia, Arni
Trade name Agnimanth
Parts used Roots, root and stem, bark and leaves
pi 1

Premna integrifolia

Therapeutic uses

  • Plant root of arni is anti-inflammatory, stomachic, and anti-pyretic, and is prescribed in liver complaints, cold, obstinate fevers, flatulence, urticaria, rheumatism, and neuralgia.
  • The roots of the plant are constituent of Ayurvedic medicine ‘dashamula’ and used for a various ailments.

Morphological characteristics

  • Premna is a scandent, erect shrub or small tree, more or less thorny on the trunk and large branches.
  • Leaves are opposite or whorled and entire or serrate.

Floral biology

  • Flowers are small, irregular, arranged in terminal corymbs.
  • Bracts are small and linear; calyx is four to five lobed or two-lipped and corolla is tubular and two- lipped.
  • Ovary is four-celled, with one ovule per cell.
  • Fruits (drupes) and seeds are oblong in shape.
  • Flowering occurs in April–June and fruits appear during August–September.

Distribution

  • The species is common along the Indian peninsular and Andaman coast.
  • It is also recorded as occurring in the plains of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Assam, Khasi hills, and tarai.
  • In Orissa, it is found on land periodically covered by tides in Mahanadi delta.

Climate and soil

  • The plant prefers warm and humid climate.
  • It grows well in sandy loam type of soil with good organic content.

Propagation material

  • At least one-year-old stem cuttings are used as planting material, which are procured from mature trees in February–March.

Agro-technique

Nursery technique

Raising propagules

  • Stem cuttings are used as planting material.
  • The cuttings are planted in polybags filled with potting mixture consisting of sand, soil, and FYM (farmyard manure).
  • Commercially available rooting hormones may be used for the cuttings.
  • Cuttings may also be planted in sand in shade houses or mist chambers and transplanted to polybags after rooting.

Propagule rate and pretreatment

  • About 2500 rooted cuttings are required for 1 hectare of plantation at a spacing of 2 m × 2 m.

Planting in the field

Land preparation and fertilizer application

  • The land may be ploughed and harrowed using a disc harrow to bring the soil into fine tilth and make it free of weeds.
  • Pits of appropriate size, that is, 45 cm × 45 cm × 45 cm, are dug at the recommended distance and filled with a mix- ture of sand, soil, and FYM in 1:1:1 ratio.

Transplanting and optimum spacing

  • About 2500 rooted cuttings are required for plantation on 1 hectare of land at a spacing of 2 m × 2 m.
  • They are planted in the prepared pits just before or at the onset of monsoon.

Intercropping system

  • The plant is generally grown as a mono crop, but may well be intercropped with vegetables like onion and garlic, if grown away from coastal areas.

Interculture and maintenance practices

  • NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) fertilizers each @ 50 g per plant should be applied, preferably during rainy season.
  • Intercultural operations include manual weeding and hoeing at regular intervals as and when required.
  • However, three weedings in the first six months of planting are essential.

Irrigation practices

  • Irrigation is required at an interval of 15–30 days during dry season, especially in the first year, that is, from December to May.

Disease and pest control

  • No serious disease or pest or any other physiological disorder has been observed under experimental conditions.
pi 2

Premna integrifolia-harvested plant

Harvest management

Crop maturity and harvesting

  • The plant should remain in the field at least for a period of three years.
  • Harvesting should be done thereafter towards the end of rainy season, that is, September–October.

Post-harvest management

  • The base of the plant is carefully dug up to take out the plant with roots intact.
  • The roots are separated from the rest of the plant and the bark is peeled off.
  • The bark and the roots are chopped into small pieces and dried in shade.
  • The dried plant parts packed in clean polybags and stored in a dry place.

Yield and cost of cultivation

  • Dry root yield is about 500–850 g per tree, thus 1250 kg root/hectare is obtained from a three-year-old plantation.
  • The estimated cost of cultivation is Rs 11 000 per hectare.
Source : Agro-techniques of selected medicinal plants


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