|Hindi name||Agia, Arni|
|Parts used||Roots, root and stem, bark and leaves|
Premna integrifoliaTherapeutic uses
- Plant root of arni is anti-inflammatory, stomachic, and anti-pyretic, and is prescribed in liver complaints, cold, obstinate fevers, flatulence, urticaria, rheumatism, and neuralgia.
- The roots of the plant are constituent of Ayurvedic medicine ‘dashamula’ and used for a various ailments.
- Premna is a scandent, erect shrub or small tree, more or less thorny on the trunk and large branches.
- Leaves are opposite or whorled and entire or serrate.
- Flowers are small, irregular, arranged in terminal corymbs.
- Bracts are small and linear; calyx is four to five lobed or two-lipped and corolla is tubular and two- lipped.
- Ovary is four-celled, with one ovule per cell.
- Fruits (drupes) and seeds are oblong in shape.
- Flowering occurs in April–June and fruits appear during August–September.
- The species is common along the Indian peninsular and Andaman coast.
- It is also recorded as occurring in the plains of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Assam, Khasi hills, and tarai.
- In Orissa, it is found on land periodically covered by tides in Mahanadi delta.
- The plant prefers warm and humid climate.
- It grows well in sandy loam type of soil with good organic content.
- At least one-year-old stem cuttings are used as planting material, which are procured from mature trees in February–March.
- Stem cuttings are used as planting material.
- The cuttings are planted in polybags filled with potting mixture consisting of sand, soil, and FYM (farmyard manure).
- Commercially available rooting hormones may be used for the cuttings.
- Cuttings may also be planted in sand in shade houses or mist chambers and transplanted to polybags after rooting.
Propagule rate and pretreatment
- About 2500 rooted cuttings are required for 1 hectare of plantation at a spacing of 2 m × 2 m.
Land preparation and fertilizer application
- The land may be ploughed and harrowed using a disc harrow to bring the soil into fine tilth and make it free of weeds.
- Pits of appropriate size, that is, 45 cm × 45 cm × 45 cm, are dug at the recommended distance and filled with a mix- ture of sand, soil, and FYM in 1:1:1 ratio.
Transplanting and optimum spacing
- About 2500 rooted cuttings are required for plantation on 1 hectare of land at a spacing of 2 m × 2 m.
- They are planted in the prepared pits just before or at the onset of monsoon.
- The plant is generally grown as a mono crop, but may well be intercropped with vegetables like onion and garlic, if grown away from coastal areas.
Interculture and maintenance practices
- NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) fertilizers each @ 50 g per plant should be applied, preferably during rainy season.
- Intercultural operations include manual weeding and hoeing at regular intervals as and when required.
- However, three weedings in the first six months of planting are essential.
- Irrigation is required at an interval of 15–30 days during dry season, especially in the first year, that is, from December to May.
Disease and pest control
- No serious disease or pest or any other physiological disorder has been observed under experimental conditions.
Premna integrifolia-harvested plantHarvest management
Crop maturity and harvesting
- The plant should remain in the field at least for a period of three years.
- Harvesting should be done thereafter towards the end of rainy season, that is, September–October.
- The base of the plant is carefully dug up to take out the plant with roots intact.
- The roots are separated from the rest of the plant and the bark is peeled off.
- The bark and the roots are chopped into small pieces and dried in shade.
- The dried plant parts packed in clean polybags and stored in a dry place.
Yield and cost of cultivation
- Dry root yield is about 500–850 g per tree, thus 1250 kg root/hectare is obtained from a three-year-old plantation.
- The estimated cost of cultivation is Rs 11 000 per hectare.