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  • Crops & Vegetables

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera health benefit

Also called "the elixir of youth" by the Russians,"the herb of immortality" by the old Egyptians or

Saturday, 23 April 2011 Comments


Aparajita (Clitoria tern

Aparajita has several synonyms in Ayurvedic scriptures like gokarnika, ardrakarni, girikarnika, supu

Saturday, 23 April 2011 Comments



Image - Arecanut

PlantCharacteristics The arecanut palms grow under a variety of climatic and so

Monday, 14 March 2011 Comments

Ash Gourd

ASH GOURD (Benincasa his

Image - ASH GOURD (Benincasa his

PlantCharacteristics It is annual vine trailing on the soil surface. It is also k

Monday, 14 March 2011 Comments

Crops & Vegetables

Aparajita (Clitoria ternatea)

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Aparajita has several synonyms in Ayurvedic scriptures like gokarnika, ardrakarni, girikarnika, supuspi, mohanasini, sveta etc. It is one of the herbs mentioned in all ancient scriptures of Ayurveda. The great sage Caraka has categorized it as sirovirecana- usefil in cleansing nasal therepy (Caraka Samhita. Sutra-4) In Raja Nighantu it is cited as caksusya- beneficial to eyes in ophthal mopathy. In Dhanvantari Nighantu it is mentioned as visadosaghni – which alleviates toxins. Sustruta has also mentioned it as visaghna – which eliminates toxins.

Aparajita grows throughout India. It is a beautiful-looking plant, hence cultivated in gardens. It is a perennial twining herb having 7 leaflets, which are elliptic and obtuse; There are few varieties with white, violet and blue flowers. The pods are 5-7 cm long, flat with 6 to 10 seed, in each pod. The flowers resemble in shape to cow’s ear, hence the synonym- gokarnika.

The botanical name of aparajita is Clitoria ternatea and it belongs to family Fabaceae, Pipilionaceae. The root bark contains starch, tannin and resin. The seeds contain a fixed oil, a bitter acid resin (the active principle), tannic acid, glucose (a light brown resin) and ash. The taste of the seeds is brittle and contains a cotyledon, which is full of granular starch. From leaves, clitorin and kaempferol have been isolated. A lactone-aparajitin from leaves, sitosterol from seeds, taraxerol from roots and sitosterol and anthoxanthin from seed are isolated (Ind. J. Pharm. 1968, 30, 167.) Isolation and identifi-cation of cyanine chloride and kaempferol from the flowers has been done. From seed-oil palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic and linolenic acids are yielded. Six acylated anthocyanins A, B, C, D, E and F are isolated from blue flowers along with kaempferol and its 3- glucoside, robinin, quercetin and 3-glucoside and ternatins A and B are partially characterized


Two varieties, blue and white flowered, are mentioned in Ayurvedic texts. Aparajita is bitter in taste (rasa), pungent in the post digestive effect (vipaka) and has cold potency (virya). It alleviates all the three dosas. It possesses light (laghu), dry (ruksa) and sharp (tiksna) attributes. It alleviates ama, oidema, toxins (visa) and pain. It is a valuable medicament for skin diseases. (Kaiyadeva Nighantu).

Medicinal Uses

The roots, seeds and leaves are used for medicinal purpose; Aparajita is used both, internally as well as externally. Externally, the paste of the roots, of white flowered variety, is applied in skin diseases and simultaneously, the seeds fried in ghee are powdered and given orally, with hot water. The same variety of roots is salutary in guinea worm infestation, to expel them out, by their topical application. The paste of its leaves, combined with little salt is applied in retroauricular adenitis, with great benefit. The seeds mashed with honey, applied topically, in tonsillitis render excellent relief. In migraine, the root juice instilled into nostrils helps to ward off kapha.

Internally, aparajita is used in various diseases. It works well as an appetizer, digestant, and vermicide and digests ama. The powder of its roots or seeds, combined with sunthi of fennel is recommended in ascites, with hot water. Being sharp in attribute, it breaks down the accumulations of dosas and malas. The sticky phlegm in cough and asthma is relieved, when the root juice with milk is given. It works well as febrifuge especially in gout. In glandular swellings like cervical adenitis, the root powder or juice is valuable. The decoction of its roots alleviates the burning sensation in the vagina, effectively. In habitual abortion, the roots of white varity, mashed in milk are given orally to avert the abortion and stabilize the foetus. The juice of its leaves mitigates the toxins. The fresh leaves juice, combined with ginger juice, effectively controls the excessive sweating. It is also used to promote the intellect (medhya).

Classical Ayurvedic Preparation

  • Aparajita bija curna
  • Mula curna

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Sida retusa

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Botanical name

Sida retusa (Linn.) Borssum



Sanskrit Synonyms

Bala, Vadyala, Kharayashti, Mahasamanga

Ayurvedic Medicinal Properties




Sara, Snigdha



Name of the herb in other languages


Common sida


Bariyar, Janglimedhi



Description of the Plant

A semi woody, erect undershrub grows up to 50 cm in height. Leaves short petioled, obovate, truncate often retuse and serrate; flowers yellowish white, solitary, axillary. Fruits enclosed in persistent calyx, seeds brown and smooth.

Medicinal Properties of the Plant as per Ayurveda

Plant pacifies vitiated tridoshas, arthritis, asthma, cough, flatulence, colic, burning sensation, hemorrhoids, intermittent fever and general debility.

Useful parts of the herb

Root, Leaves


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A great tree on earth. From root to coconut every bit of coconut tree can be utilized. As food, drinks, medicine, wooden pieces for building houses and furniture, coir and the usage goes on without end. That is why coconut tree is important to every Indian. According to farm land and production of coconut, India is in third place of all coconut producing countries. There are about 1914 hectors of land is used in India to produce coconut. Out of this 15840 millions of coconuts are being produced. This is comparatively less, because farmers are not giving enough care to coconut trees. That will create shortage of coconut oil.

Coconut trees can grow in different types of soil, zone and climate conditions. It is important to choose coconut seed and saplings for planting, because the quality and character of a coconut tree can be realized only after few years of planting.

Selection of farm land

The following conditions are not suitable for a successful coconut tree plantation and must avoid.

1. Rocky soil and soil with no depth

2. Low and waterlogged places

3. Grounds with clay

Waterlogged soil can be reused after mixing sand with the soil. Availability of regular rain or proper irrigation facility will help to get enough water for coconut trees.


Planting of coconut palms depends on types of soil and atmospheric conditions. If the ground is uneven and filled with bushes, then cut the bushes and level the ground. The required depth of pits depended on the type soil. If the soil is hard with rock underneath, then the size of pit could be 1.2m X 1.2m X 1.2m width, length and depth respectively. Before planting seedling, add a mixture of dried and powdered cow dung, ash and loose soil into the pit. Fill it about 60cm. If the soil is wet, sticky and soft then, make the pits with following size. 1m X 1m X 1m and add the same mixture to the pit and it is recommended that fill upto 50cm. Before filling the pit with soil, arrange the bottom of the pit to maintain moisture.


In coconut plantation all the trees must be kept in a good distance. You can keep a distance of 7.5 meter between each trees. According to this method you can have upto 124 to 177 coconut trees per hector in rectangular shape. Planting trees in triangular shape will add 20 to 25 trees more in a hector.

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Brahmi Plant

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Other names : Bacopa, Babies tear, Bacopa monnieri, Hespestis monniera, Nirbrahmi, Indian Pennywort, Jalanevari and water hyssop are the other names that are used for Brahmi. In English it is commonly called as the 'Herb of Grace'.

Description : Brahmi is the small creeping herb with the numerous branches. It grows to a height of 2 -3 feet and its branches are 10 -35 cm long. It has oval shaped leaves that are 1-2 cm long and 3- 8 mm broad. Leaves are formed in pairs along the stems. Small- tubular, five petaled flowers are white- purple in colour. Its stem is soft, succulent, and hairy with the glands. Roots emerge out of the nodules and directly go to the soil. The fruit is oval and sharp at apex.

Other Species : Herpestis monniera, or Moniera cuneifolia is the other specie of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri).

Location : Brahmi is found in marshy areas near streams and ponds throughout India especially in the North eastern regions. It is found at an elevations from sea level to altitudes of 4,400 feet. It is found in `Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Foot hills of Himachal Pradesh & Uttaranchal. It is also widely grown in the Bandhavgarh National Park in India. 

Cultivation methods :Brahmi is propagated by seed, cuttings and also by the root division. Before establishing the plant cutting the field should be ploughed properly ans must be made free of weeds. The cuttings should be 4-5 cm long and must contain roots and leaves. Hand weeding is required in every 5 -20 days. It grows faster in the high temperature (33- 42 Degree celcius) and humidity (65 -80%). It prefers wet spots. It is grown in the pots in the house garden. It can grow in both the sun and shade. It requires water from time to time as its roots are shallow. It also requires regular organic fertilizer for its growth. It gives flowers ans fruit in the summer season. It requires moderate to high lightening to grow well.

Medicinal uses : Brahmi is used in traditional Indian medicines for centuries. for the treatment of bronchitis, chronic cough, asthma, hoarseness, arthritis, rheumatism, backache, fluid retention, blood cleanser, chronic skin conditions, constipation, hair loss, fevers, digestive problems, depression, mental and physical fatigue and many more. It is used to treat all sorts of skin problems like eczema, psoriasis, abscess and ulceration. It stimulates the growth of skin, hair and nails. Brahmi posses anticancer activity. It is taken to get relief from stress and anxiety. According to the Ayurveda Brahmi has antioxidant properties. It has been reported to reduce oxidation of fats in the blood stream, which is the risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Brahmi is considered as the main rejuvenating herb for the nerve and brain cells. 

Other uses : Brahmi is rich in Vitamin C and can be used in the salads, soups and sandwiches. Brahmi oil restores and preserves the memory. In India it is given to the infants to boost memory power intelligence. 

Cultural importance : Brahmi is the name derived from the Lord Brahma. It is said that the use of Brahmi for the memory goes back 3000 years or more in India. Brahmi represents the creative energy of this earth.

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Pests of Rice

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Green leafhopper

  • Use resistant varieties like IR 50, CR 1009, Co 46, PTB 2 and PTB 18.
  • Nursery should not be raised near the lamp posts
  • Apply neem cake @ 12.5 kg/20 cent nursery as basal dose
  • Maintain the water level at 2.5 cm for 3 days

Brown plant leafhopper (Nilaparvata lugens)

  • Use resistant varieties like Aruna, Karnataka, Karthika, Krishnaveni, Makon,
  • Abhey, Asha, Divya, Py 3, Co 42, Ptb 33 and Ptb 21.
  • Avoid close planting and provide 30 cm rogue spacing at every 2.5 m to reduce the pest incidence.
  • Control irrigation by intermittent draining
  • Set up light traps to monitor pest population and to control
  • Release of natural enemies like Lycosa pseudoannulataCyrtorhinus lividipennis
  • Drain the water before the use of insecticides and direct the spray towards the base of the plants
  • Spray neem seed kernel extract 5% (25 kg/ha) (or) neem oil 2% (10 l/ha)

White backed planthopper (Sogatella furcifera)

  • Release of egg parasitoid, Anagrus sp. and adults and nymphs of the dryinid
  • Pachygonatopus sp. Predators recorded on the insect are Coccinella arcuata, Cyrtorrhinus lividipennis, Tytthus parviceps

Mealybug (Brevennia rehi)

  • The mealy bug is parasitised by Adelencyrtus sp., Dolihoceros sp., Gyranusa sp., Parasyrphophagus sp.,Xanthoencyrtus sp and predated upon by Gitonides perspicax, Leucopis luteicomis, Scymnus sp., Pullus sp.,Anatrichus pygmaeusMepachymerus ensifer.
  • Remove the grasses from the bunds and trim the bunds during the main field preparation before transplanting.
  • Remove and destroy the affected plants.

Rice black bug (Scotinophora lurida and S. coarctata)

  • Keep the field free from weeds and grasses
  • Drain the excess water from the field
  • Set up light trap during the full moon period to attract large number of bugs and kill
  • Conserve the predators viz., spiders, coccinellids and wasps to check the pest
  • Ducks can be allowed in the field to pick up the bugs

Rice earhead bug (Leptocorisa acuta)
Botanical powder formulations

  • Neem seed kernel extract 5%
  • Notchi leaf powder extract 5%
  • Ipomoea leaf powder extract 5%
  • Prosopis leaf powder extract 5%

Paddy stem borer (Scirpophaga incertulas)

  • Grow resistant varieties like Ratna, Jaya, TKM 6, IR 20 and IR 26
  • Clip the tip of seedlings before transplanting to eliminate egg masses
  • Avoid close planting and continuous water stagnation at early stages
  • Collect and destroy the egg masses
  • Pull out and destroy the affected tillers
  • Set up light traps to attract and kill the moths
  • Harvest the crop upto the ground level and disturb the stubbles with plough immediately after the harvest
  • Release the egg parasitoid, Trichogramma japonicum on 30 and 37 DAT twice @ 5 ml/ha/release followed by monocrotophos 36 SL spray thrice @ 1000 ml/ha on 58, 65 and 72 DAT reduce the damage.
  • Apply Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki and neem seed kernel extract in the combination of 2.5 kg/ml and 1% to reduce the oviposition by the stemborer.

Gall midge (Orseolia oryzae)

  • Encourage early planting of the crop to escape from infestation
  • Use resistant varieties like MDU-3, Shakthi, Vikram, Sureka
  • Harvest the crop and plough immediately
  • Remove the alternate host and adjust the time of planting
  • Use quick growing varieties
  • Set up light trap @ 1 / ha as a monitoring device
  • Infra red light trap attracts gall midge effectively
  • Release larval parasitoid: Platygaster oryzae through parasitized galls @ 1 per 10 m2 in the main field at 10 DAT.
  • The carabid beetle, Ophionia indica is an effective predator.
  • Conserve the spider predators like Tetragnatha and Argiope catenulata in rice ecosystem to feed on the adult midge.

Swarming caterpillar (Spodoptera mauritia)

  • Release larval parasitoids Apanteles ruficrusMeteorus sp., Charops bicolor,
  • C. dominans, Drino unisetosa, Pseudoperichaeta orientalisStrobliomyia aegyptia, Pseudogonia cinerascens, Tachinia fallan, Cuphocera varia, Sturmia inconspicua, Chelonus sp., Euplectrus euplexiaeE. spodopterae.
  • Pupa by Netelia sp., Actia sp., Drino sp. and Isomera cinerascensHexamermis sp. a parasitic nematode parasitises the larva.
  • The vertebrate predators of the larvae are Corvus splendens, C. macrorhynchus, Bubalcus coromandus, Ardeela grayi, Amaurovius phoenicocurus, Acridotheres tristis.
  • Flood the nursery to expose the hiding larvae to the surface and thus birds pick
  • them up.
  • Kerosenate the water while irrigation to suffocate and kill the larvae.
  • Allow the ducks into the field to feed on the larvae.

Rice case worm (Nymphula depunctalis)

  • Release larval parasitoids viz., Elasmus sp., Apanteles sp., Bracon sp., Hormiues sp.
  • Release pupal parasitoids viz., Pediobius sp., Apsilops sp., Eupteromalus parnarae
  • Drain water from the field
  • Dislodge the cases by running a rope over the young crop

Leaf folder (or) leaf roller (Cnaphalocrocis medinalis)

  • Use resistant varieties like TNAU LFR 831311, Cauveri, Akashi, TKM-6, IET 7511, IET 9225 and IET 9797.
  • Clipping of affected leaves reduces the pest population.
  • Keep the bunds clean by trimming them and remove the grassy weeds.
  • Avoid use of excessive nitrogenous fertilizer.
  • Set up light traps to attack and kill the moths.
  • Release Trichogramma chilonis on 37, 44 and 51 DAT thrice followed by three sprays of monocrotophos 36 SL @ 1000 ml/ha on 58, 65 and 72 DAT.
  • Spray neem seed kernel extract 5% @ 25 kg .

Grasshopper (Hieroglyphus banian)

  • Expose the eggs to be picked up by birds after ploughing and trim the bunds
  • Bio-control agents such as Cacallus spp., Barycomus spp. and Seelio spp., which are egg parasites should be encouraged.

Short horned grasshopper (Oxya nitidula)

  • Expose the eggs during summer ploughing and they will be picked up by birds.

Spiny beetle / Rice hispa (Dicladispa armigera)

  • The leaf tips containing blotch mines should be plucked and destroyed
  • Manual collection and killing of beetles with hand nets may help in reducing the population of the pest.

Integrated Pest Management in Rice
A. Cultural method

  • Remove / destroy stubbles after harvest and keep the field free from weeds.
  • Trim and plaster the bunds of rice field to expose the eggs of grasshoppers and to eliminate the bugs breeding in grasses.
  • Form the buds narrow and short to reduce the damage by rodents.
  • Use resistant varieties wherever available.
  • Provide effective drainage wherever there is problem of BPH.
  • Clip the tip of seedling before transplanting to prevent the carry over of egg masses of rice yellow stem borer from nursery to mainfield.
  • Organise synchronized planting wherever possible.
  • Leave 30 cm rogue space at every 2.5 m to reduce damage by BPH and rodents.
  • Avoid use of excessive nitrogenous fertilizers.
  • Use irrigation water judiciously (Alternative webbing x drying reduce BPH and case worm).
  • Remove the egg masses of stem borer in the mainfield.

B. Mechanical methods

  • Dig out the rat burrows and destroy the rats and young ones at the beginning of the season.
  • Set up light traps to monitor and control pests.
  • Set up-bow traps to kill rodents.

C. Biological methods

  • Release Trichogramma japonicum on 30 and 37 DAT twice 5 ml/ha/release against stem borer.
  • Release Trichogramma chilonis on 37, 44 and 51 DAT (Thrice) @ 5 ml/ha/release against leaf folder.
  • Release of Platygaster oryzae parasitized galls @ 1 per 10 m2 in the mainfield on, 10 DAT against gall midge.
  • Set up owl perches to reduce rat damage.

D. Plant products

  • Spray neem seed kernel extract 5% (25 kg/ha), neem oil 3% (15 lit/ha) to control brown planthopper.
  • Spray botanical powder formulation viz., NSKE, Vitex negundo (Notchi), Prosopis juliflora and Ipomoea carnealeaf extract 5% to control earhead bug and black bug.

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