TOI: Vallabh Medha – a high yielding medical plant variety of Mandukaparni developed by Anand-based Directorate of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Research (DMAPR), an institute of the Indian Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR), has been selected for national release.
Before two years, scientists at DMAPR had identified Vallabh Medha as a variety of Mandukparani, which also acts as ‘Brahmi’ that is used in various Ayurveda medicines as a source for memory enhancement. Now, the All India Coordinated Research Project on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, a body of ICAR has selected the variety for national release. Scientists of DMAPR have used ‘Vallabh’ as a prefix for the newly identified variety of medicinal plant as a mark of respect to the Iron Man of India Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. “Mandukaparni is a slightly aromatic perennial herb which is used as a raw drug source for treatment of leprosy and skin diseases and also to improve memory. The pharmacological properties of the species are also proven in clinical studies. The plant is used as an antidote to Cholera and is also used as an external application in Rheumatism, Elephantiasis among others,” says Dr Satyabrata Maiti, director of DMAPR who led the team of scientists that developed ‘Vallabh Medha’ after conducting field trials for two years. “After the national release, this variety will be easily available to farmers from our institute.”
After field trials, where the scientists compared Vallabh-Medha with normal variety, they observed that Vallabh Medha variety was superior in both fresh and dry herb yields.
“The fresh herb yield from Vallabh Medha was 123.31 quintal per hectare and dry herb yield was 21.13 quintal per hectare much higher compared to normal variety in which we get 20.50 quintal per hectare and 3.92 quintal per hectare yield respectively,” says Maiti.
In the past 25 years, 34 different varieties of crops identified and developed by DMAPR have been released nationally. “But it is for the first time that this variety that belongs to Mandukaparni species that has high medicinal value has been released,” adds Maiti.