The organic farming practice of medicinal herbs in India is increasing rapidly. Medicinal herbs are considered as valuable and profitable cash crops. The herbs have a good export potential also. Growing, processing and selling medicinal herbs are a better opportunity for the farmers. Medicinal herbs growing in India is considered as commercial cash crop cultivation.
India Govt. has formed Central Herbal Agro Marketing Federation of India to provide the marketing facility to the herbs growers. Any individual having sufficient land and irrigation source can start herbs business in India. From a commercial point of view, it is important to have a prior feasibility report of the particular herbs that you are planning to grow.
In this article, we intend to explore some of the basic consideration in medicinal herbs farming and a list of 20 most profitable medicinal herbs to grow with the small investment.
Questions To Ask Before Starting Medicinal Herbs Farming
For successful medicinal herbs farming business, you must take it as a profit making commercial venture. Just as like any other business. These are the basic questions, you must ask yourself before getting into the field.
- What should I plant? According to the climate, soil condition, and available irrigation facility, you must select a right species for farming.
- How much area does it require? According to the land available, select the right herb. Because, some of them have high yield capacity and they generate profitability with a small piece of land, but some of them are just opposite. Smaller acreage will not give a close cost-of-goods production figure. This data is critically important for any successful expansion program. Each crop has its own idiosyncrasies.
- How much money do I need? This is one of the most important factors. You must have a detailed financial plan before start the plantation.
- Do I have suitable land for herb? You must take into the account about the soil quality and of course the PH balance. Check about the irrigation facility.
- Should I go with monoculture or polyculture? For a small herb farm venture, it is advisable to use what is known as a polyculture situation. This is where more than six crops are grown, rather than a monoculture program. This gives to the small farmer is protection against saturated markets, giving him better stability in both marketing and cash flow.
- Where is the market? This is the most crucial factor for a small scale medicinal herbs farm. Your product must be organically grown and labeled. It is recommended to get into the export.
“For Further Reading”
List Of Medicinal Herbs To Grow Commercially With Botanical Name
#1. Aloe vera – Aloe Barbadensis miller
Aloe vera is a high-value medicinal herb. It has several usages in the industry. Such as in cosmetics, medicine, and beverages. You can start the farming with small capital investment.
#2. Amla – Phyllanthus Emblica
Amla is an important crop in India. It has high medicinal value. Amla is used in medicine and cosmetics industry. This is a tropical plant. You can grow amla in light and medium heavy soil except for purely sandy soil.
#3. Ashwagandha – Withania Somnifera
ashwagandha grows well in the dry and sub-tropical region. Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan are the major grower states in India. Organically grown ashwagandha has good market potential.
#4. Basil – Ocimum basilicum
In India, basil is known as tulsi. The plant is considered as “Queen of Herbs”. The plant has many medicinal properties. In addition, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, and processed food industries are the major consumers of it. Furthermore, you can grow basil in any type of climate, including tropical and sub-tropical.
#5. Brahmi – Bacopa Monnieri
Brahmi has high medicinal value. It is one of the traditional and early age herbs in India. The plant has fleshy, oval shaped leaves 1-2cm long, from opposite along the stems. Small, tubular, five-petaled, white flowers develop in leaf terminals and can blossom over many months of the year.
#6. Calendula – Calendula officinalis
Calendula is easy to grow the plant. It has huge medicinal values. In addition, you can grow calendula on poor land with the partial or full sun. However, it does require regular watering. So you must be careful about the irrigation system of your calendula farm.
#7. Daruharidra – Berberis Aristata
Daru Haridra is an important ayurvedic medicine. It also used in juice production and in the cosmetics industry. The plant prefers light, medium and heavy soils. In addition, you can grow this plant in heavy clay and even in nutritionally poor soil.
#8. Guggal – Commiphora Wightii
Rajasthan is in the top position in guggul farming in India. It has rich medicinal value since long back. The plant is a woody shrub with knotty, crooked, spring brown bracties. Guggal is considered as a drought aria salinity resistant plant.
#9. Jatamansi – Nardostachys Jatamansi
Basically, medicine, perfumery, and cosmetics industries are the major consumers of Jatamansi. Generally, Jatamansi is harvested for local use and for the trading purpose of its roots and rhizomes.
#10. Jatropha – Jatropha curcas
Jatropha is one of the best oilseed plants. It has medicinal properties and as well as in industrial purpose. The plant prevents soil erosion. Additionally, you can grow the crop in the wasteland, poor soil, low rainfall and drought areas.
#11. Kesar – Crocus sativus
Saffron is known as Kesar. It is the most expensive spice in the world. Saffron is majorly used in culinary seasoning and to get color with taste in different food products. It has high medicinal value.
#12. Lavender – Lavandula
Generally, lavender farming is profitable in India. Basically, you can grow lavender only in the Himalayan region, wherever it snows. Because it requires water only when first planted.
#13. Lemon Grass – Cymbopogon
Basically, lemongrass is a perennial plant. Lemon grass is one of the commercially cultivated crops in India in a wide range. Apart from medicinal value, the major use in perfumery, cosmetics, soaps, detergents, and beverages.
#14. Parsley – Petroselinum crispum
Parsley prefers a well-drained, moisture retaining soil. Additionally, parsley requires a good amount of light to grow. You must have frequently watering system in summer.
#15. Patchouli – Pogostemon cablin
Patchouli is one of the important aromatic plants. Additionally, you can cultivate the crop for its oil. Humid climate with plenty of sunlight is suitable for this crop. The plant grows well as an intercrop in partial shade. However, you must avoid the complete shade.
#16. Safed Musli – Chlorophytum Borivilianum
This plant has some excellent ayurvedic properties. You can grow anywhere in the country. Commercial cultivation with good crop management practice will give you wonderful profit.
#17. Sarpagandha – Rauvolfia Serpentina
Sarpagandha has different medicinal values. Basically, Sarpagandha is a profitable herb. The plant prefers soil with plenty of humus and rich in the nitrogenous and organic matter with good drainage. Alkaline soils are not suitable for commercial cultivation.
#18. Stevia – Stevia Rebaudiana
Basically, stevia is popular as a sugar substitute. Additionally, stevia cultivation in India is profitable. It has medicinal values and also used in the cosmetics industry.
#19. Vanilla – Vanilla planifolia
Vanilla is one of the costliest spice in the market after saffron. Additionally, Ayurveda, medicines and processed food industries are the major consumers of vanilla. However, Karnataka is in the top position in India in vanilla cultivation.
#20. Yashtimadhu – Glycyrrhiza glabra
The English name is Liquorice. Yastimadhuis one of the most popular medicinal herbs in India and also in abroad. The root of the plant (liquorice) contains a substance called glycyrrhizin which is 50 times sweeter than sugar.
There are thousands of herbs that grow in India. Here, we have listed 20 most profitable medicinal herbs that have several applications and good market potential.