Agriculture World

KAU Invents New Technology to Produce Tree-turmeric Seedlings

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Prestigious Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) has recently invented a germination technology to produce seedlings of maramanjal(tree turmeric), a medicinal plant. 

During the process, a large number of year-old polybag seedlings of the plant have been made ready for cultivation. The plant which is also known as daruharidra in Sanskrit and daruhadi in Hindi, the root and stem of ‘tree turmeric’ has excellent antibiotic and antiseptic properties. 

Tree turmeric, which belongs to Menispermaceae family and botanically known as Coscinium fenestratum, is a native and quite familiar in the natural evergreen forests of South India. It required highlands with relatively high humidity and shade for its ideal growth. Its root and stem are widely used in various Ayurvedic, Unani, Sidha. It’s also used as traditional medicinal preparations for the treatment of diabetes, skin diseases, jaundice, wounds, and ulcers. Even, its stem worked as a relief to treat snake bites. 

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The main medicinal properties in the plant are Berberin which contained an active ingredient which worked wonders on the mentioned diseases. 

It’s rated as one of the largest trading medicinal plants from the tropical forests. But unfortunately, almost 80 percent of tree turmeric plants in South India has been lost.

Realizing the medicinal and commercial potential of this endangered species, KAU has taken up conservation-oriented research work on the flowering, fruit set, seed viability and dormancy of tree turmeric. 

After rigorous research works on seeding pattern as well as alternate propagation methods such as air layering, KAU scientists developed hormone treatment to synchronizes the flowering pattern and to produce more viable seeds. Now, plants are available for cultivation where the polybag seedling cost only ₹500 per plant. 

 

 



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Krishi Jagran