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Tinospora cordifolia

Plant Profile

Family Menispermaceae
Ayurvedic name Amrita, Guduchi
Unani name Giloe
Hindi name Giloe, Gurcha
Trade name Giloe
Parts used Stem, root, whole plant
tic 1

Tinospora cordifolia - a close view

Therapeutic uses

  • Giloe is a tonic and has alterative, diuretic, and aphrodisiac properties.
  • It is a febrifuge used in malarial and chronic fever.
  • It is also a liver tonic.
  • The plant is used in general debility, loss of appetite, fevers, urinary disorders, diabetes, rheumatism, and dyspepsia.
  • Fresh plant is more efficacious than dried plant.

Morphological characteristics

  • Gurcha is a gregarious glabrous, twiner.
  • Older stems are up to 2 cm in diameter and have corky bark.
  • Aerial roots arise from nodal scars of branches.
  • Stem and branches are specked with white vertical lenticels.
  • Bark is grey-brown or creamy white, warty, papery thin, and peels off easily.
  • Leaves are 5–15 cm, ovate, and acute.
  • They are membranous when young but become more or less leathery with age.

Floral characteristics

  • Flowers are yellow, unisexual, minute, and less than 2 mm in size.
  • Male flowers are grouped in axillary racemes, while female flowers are solitary.
  • Fruit is an ovoid and succulent drupe, lustrous, red in colour, and of the size of a large pea, having a single seed.
  • Seed is fleshy and curved. Flowering occurs in May–June, while fruiting is witnessed in September–October.

Distribution

  • The species is endemic to India and is common throughout tropical and subtropical zones at an altitude of 600 m.
tic 2

Tinospora cordifolia - plant

Climate and soil

  • The plant grows in subtropical and tropical climate.
  • Light medium sandy loam soil rich in organic matter, and with adequate drainage, is suitable for its cultivation.
  • It does not tolerate high rainfall or waterlogged conditions.

Propagation material

  • Stem cuttings are the best planting material for raising commercial crop.
  • The cuttings can be obtained from mother plants in June–July.
  • The plant can also be raised using seeds. Seeds take almost more than double the time to mature and yield the same quantity of drug.

Agro-technique

Nursery technique

Raising propagules

  • The stem cuttings are sown directly in the field.
  • Cuttings are obtained from older stems with nodes.
  • Cuttings should be sown within 24 hours of their removal from the mother plant. Meanwhile, they should be half-dipped in water vertically.

Propagule rate and pretreatment

  • About 2500 cuttings are required for plantation in 1 hectare of land.
  • No specific treatment is required before sowing.
tic 3

Tinospora cordifolia - crop view

Planting in the field

Land preparation and fertilizer application

  • The land is ploughed, harrowed, and made weed-free.
  • A basal dose of FYM (farmyard manure) @ 10 tonnes per hectare and half dose of nitrogen (75 kg) are applied at the time of land preparation.

Transplanting and optimum spacing

  • The stem cuttings with nodes are sown directly in the field.
  • An optimum spacing of 3 m × 3 m is recommended for better yield.
  • The plant requires support to grow, which can be provided by raising wooden stakes or trellis.
  • Already growing shrubs or trees can also support the plant.

Intercropping system

  • Being a large twiner, it needs a host to twine and covers the host in a very short period.
  • If the stem cuttings with aerial roots are thrown over trees, they start growing and strike roots in the ground.

Interculture and maintenance practices

  • Follow-up dose of 10 tonnes of FYM with 75 kg nitrogen (20% nitrogen content) is recommended.
  • About two to three weedings and hoeings are required for good growth of twiner.
  • The inter-row spaces between plants should be kept weed-free by frequent weeding and hoeing, as the plants may get suppressed by weeds, especially during early stages of growth.

Irrigation practices

  • The crop is grown under rain-fed conditions.
  • However, occasional irrigation during extremes of cold and hot weather may help the crop survive adverse conditions.

Disease and pest control

  • No serious insect pest infestation or disease has been reported in this crop.
tic 4

Tinospora cordifolia - fruits and flowers

Harvest management

Crop maturity and harvesting

  • The stem is harvested during autumn when it develops to a diameter of more than 2.5 cm. Basal part is left for further growth.

Post-harvest management

  • The stem should be cut into small pieces and dried in shade.
  • It can be stored in gunny bags, and kept in cool and airy storage godowns.
  • Stem bark peels off even by touch, thus stem should be cut very cautiously as peeled stem decays very soon.

Chemical constituents

  • The stem contains bitter substances, of which tinosporine, a bitter principle, is a marker compound.
  • Other compounds include gilonin, gilosterol, gilenin, and furanoditerpenes.

Yield

  • The plant yields about 1500 kg of fresh woody stem, reduced to 300 kg of dry weight per hectare in about two years.

Source :Agro-Techniques of selected medicinal plants



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