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Title: Dracocephalum heterophyllum Benth. : A new potential cash crop for high hill temperate regions
Authors: Sood, Ruchi
Megeji, Nima W
Singh, Yirendra
Kaul, V K
Issue Date: Dec-2006
Publisher: NISCAIR-CSIR, India
Abstract: Dracocephalum (Dracocephalum heterophyllum Benth .) belongs to family Lamiaceae. The synonyms are D. acanthoides Edgew, D. kaschgaricum Rupr, and D. pamiricum Briq. It is a native of western Himalayas. In India, it has been reported growing wild in northern parts including Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Sikkim at an elevation of 3000-5200m. It is found growing wild as annual in temperate regions and as perennial in sub-temperate region s. It thrives best in well drained sandy loam soils rich in organic matter which are exposed to morning sun. Dracocephalum is used in treating eye ailments like redness of eyes, irritation and conjunctivitis by the native people of the Spiti valley in Himachal Pradesh and in Ladakh region. Use of tubers as vegetable and as pasture for sheep and goat has also been reported. Essential oil content of D. heterophyllum varied from 0.17 -0.25%. It is the next best source after Damask rose of cis- and trans-rose oxide, which is used in fragrance industries. Dracocephalum oil has certain medicinal properties. It is mainly propagated by seed and stem cuttings. Nursery raising should be done in April-May (high hills) and September-October (mid hills). Harvesting is done manually during September at high hills whereas in sub-temperate region harvesting was done twice during May and July-August. The fresh herb yield is 4-7 t/ha which corresponds to weight yield of 0.6-1.0 t/ha. The oil yield is 10-12 kg/ha The crop has high regeneration capacity and can give 2-3 harvests each year. As the Dracocephalum oil is rich in certain volatile constituents its demand will likely to increase in near future. IHBT is working at exploring this short duration, valuable crop.
Page(s): 131-136
ISSN: 0975-2412 (Online); 0771-7706 (Print)
Appears in Collections:BVAAP Vol.14(2) [December 2006]

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