Scientific name: Plectranthus barbatus. Name in different languages:- English: Indian coleus, Coleus forskohlii, forskohlii. Sanskrit: Pashanabheda. Hindi: Pashan Bhedi, Patharchur. Marathi: Mainmul. Gujarati: Garma. Malayalam: Makanthi, Panikoorka, marunnu koorka.
Indian coleus or Plectranthus barbatus is considered as a divine herbal medicine and this has no side effects at all. Indian coleus or Plectranthus barbatus is an excellent medicine for heart diseases, hypertension, asthma etc. It has been proved that indian coleus or plectranthus barbatus can prevent premature greying of hair. The botanical name of indian coleus is Coleus forskohlii also known as plectaranthus barbatus. It belongs to the family Lamiaceae and the tubers are used as medicine. The tuber contains a chemical called forskolin, which has high medicinal value. The medicinal value of this herb was discovered only recently. Indian coleus or plectranthus barbatus should be grown in soil with less moisture content. If grown in places with good rainfall, the tubers may lose the content of forskolin.
Indian coleus or plectranthus barbatus can be cultivated in any soil without water logging. The area chosen for cultivation should get at least 75% sunlight. The stems of indian coleus or plectranthus barbatus are used for propagation. The stem with buds on the top are used for planting, while the stem with inflorescence are not used for the same. The stem used for propagation should be 10 cm long and dipped in 1% Bordeaux mixture before planting in order to resist fungal attack. The polythene cover used for planting should be big enough and filled with top soil and dried animal manure. The stems should be placed 3 cm deep in the soil. Within a month, the saplings starts to sprout and it is ready to be replanted.
Platforms are made 1 meter wide and 25cm high from the ground level and saplings are planted at a distance of 30 cm each. Small pits are made in the platform and the saplings are removed gently from the cover and planted. Ash and powdered cow dung is added as manure. Watering should be at a minimum quantity, as this enhances the amount of forskolin in the tubers. After 4 months watering can be stopped and also de weeding should be done up to 3 months. After a month of planting add ash and cow dung again and repeat it in 15 days time. The flowers should be plucked out in the beginning it self. At 5 months it is time to harvest indian coleus or plectranthus barbatus. In areas with red or sandy soil, plants are watered before uprooting the tuber, while in laterite soil, the tubers are picked with a fork . From a well- kept indian coleus or plectranthus barbatus plant, around 600 gm of tuber can be harvested. These tubers are washed and dried in shade before selling.