Medicinal and Aromatic Plants:
In the present context of ‘back to nature’ in health care, the medicinal and aromatic plant species are gaining importance and are promoted for commercial cultivation in order to meet the increasing demand within the domestic and export markets. The medicinal plants find application in pharmaceutical, cosmetic, agricultural and food industry. They find an important role in herbal industry, their derivatives being used for various herbal treatments and therapies. Medicinal plant cultivation has proved to be profitable for farmers even above cash crops.
Tamil Nadu has great potential for development of medicinal plants as a commercially viable venture. Its rich bio-diversity and varied agro-climate provide a conducive atmosphere for promotion of medicinal plants as a successful commercial venture.
In Tamil Nadu, Medicinal and Aromatic plants are cultivated in an area of 11684 Hectares. The important medicinal plants grown in Tamil Nadu are Senna (Cassia angustifolia), Periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus), Kanvali Kizhangu (Gloriosa superba), Marunthu Koorkan (Coleus forskohlii), Anatto (Bixa orellana), Kadukkai (Terminalia chebula), Aswagandha (Withania somnifera), Kizhanelli (Phyllanthus amarus), Sothu Kathazhai (Aloe vera), Thulasi (Ocimum sanctum), Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana), Pudina (Mentha piperita), Thyme (Thymus vulgaris), Geranium (Geranium aconitifolium) among which, 5321 Hectares is under cultivation of Gloriosa superba followed by Coleus (Coleus forskohlii) for 3869 Hectares.
The medicinal values of some of the important medicinal plants below:
Senna : Cures constipation piles and used as natural laxative.
Periwinkle : Cures high blood pressure, menstrual bleeding and used as an astringent.
Kanvali Kizhangu : Medicine for arthritis.
Marunthu Koorkan : Used as medicine for curing blood pressure.
Anatto : Coloring agent used in food colours.
Ashwagandha : Cures stomach ulcers, increases resistance, aphrodisiac, diuretic and has anti-biotic and anti-bacterial properties.
Kizhanelli : Cures Hepatitis, Eye sight problems, migraine, anemia and lever problems.
Sothu Kathazhai : Used in skin lotions and cures burns.
Tulsi : Bactericide, Insecticide, digestive and used in treatment of bronchitis, ear-ache, urinary complaint, coughs and cold.
Stevia : Alternative to sugar for sugar patients.
Mint : Digestive, medicine in rheumatic pains, head-ache and used as cough-drops and mouth washes.
Thyme : Bactericide.
Geranium : Flower paste acts as antidote for insect bites and root paste is applied on ulcers, wounds of cattle.
In Tamil Nadu, the production of these plants are concentrated in Tirunelveli, Tuticorin,
Kanyakumari, Madurai, Theni, Dindigul, Nilgris, Coimbatore,Erode,Salem, Dharmapuri, Tiruvannamalai and Perambalur districts.
Area, Production and Productivity of major Medicinal & Aromatic plants in Tamil Nadu:
|S.No||Crop||Area (in ha)||Production (in MT)||Productivity (MT/ha)|