||Stem, root, whole plant
Tinospora cordifolia - a close view
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The species is endemic to India and is common throughout tropical and subtropical zones at an altitude of 600 m.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
Tinospora cordifolia - fruits and flowers
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.
- 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.
- The stem contains bitter substances, of which tinosporine, a bitter principle, is a marker compound.
- Other compounds include gilonin, gilosterol, gilenin, and furanoditerpenes.
- 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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