Medicinal Plants

Solanum (Solanum khasianum / Solanum viarum)


  • Solanum is a stout, much branched, annual, medicinal undershrub growing to a height of 75 - 150 cm.
  • The mature berries contain glycoalkaloid, solasodine, which is widely used for synthesis of antinflammatory, anabolic, aritifertility (oral contraceptive) drugs. The plant grows wild in many parts of India and is cultivated in Maharashtra.
  • This can be grown as an irrigated crop throughout Andhra Pradesh in a wide variety of well drained soils, except in water logged soils.


  • RRL20-2, RRL-SL-6, Glaxo and Arka Sanjivini are improved varieties of Solanum.


  • The crop is propagated through seeds. 1.0 to 1.5 kg seeds are sown in rows 8 - 10 cm apart in nursery beds in the month of June and are irrigated daily. The plants are ready for transplanting in about 4 weeks after sowing.


  • The land is prepared by ploughing twice, harrowing and planking. 5 - 10 tonnes of farm yard manure, 250 kg of single superphosphate, 65 kg of muriate of potash and 25 - 50 kg of zinc sulphate per hectare are aplied basally.
  • The seedlings taken from the nursery are transplanted in the main field during rainy season with a spacing of 50 cm between rows and 50 cm between plants (40,000 plants / hectare and the field is irrigated immediately.
  • The crop is irrigated at 15 - 20 day intervals during non - rainy days.

Interculture - Fertilizers

  • The first weeding is done 4 weeks after planting, thereafter, one or two weedings / hoeings are done to keep the field weed free.
  • The crop is fertilized with 175 - 220 kg urea in three splits, 50 % at the time of transplanting and 25 % each 6 and 10 weeks after transplanting. Micronutrients and growth regulators may be sprayed atleast once for good yields.

Pests and Diseases

  • Damping - off of seedlings, yellow vein mosaic, leaf spot and wilt diseases occur occasionally. Seed treatment with organomercurial compound (0.1%) before sowing, Dimethoate (0.2%) + Zineb (0.2%) spray 3 - 4 weeks after sowing is advised.
  • To control aphids, mites, fruit borer and weevil grub, the crop may be sprayed with Phosphamidon, Quinolphos, Carbaryl or Malathion.
  • Pests and diseases do not cause heavy damage to the crop under normal conditions.

Harvesting - Profits

  • Thr fruits / berries are harvested when their colour changes from green to yello and before they over - ripe.
  • The crop takes about 6 months to be ready for harvesting. The harvested berries are sun - dried from 4 - 5 days and stored.
  • Under good management, the crop yeilds 75 - 100 quintals of dried berries and a net profit of Rs. 25000 - 33000 per hectare per year. Higher profits can be obtained if the solasodine content of the berries is higher.
  • Farmers are advised to workout purchase tie-up arrangements with interested firms before starting cultivation.