Kaunch Agrotechnology

Uploaded on : August 2009

Product and its applications

Medicinal plants form an integral part in India 's rich heritage of traditional system of medicine. Over 8000 species of medicinal plants and tubers are reported to be used for medicinal purposes in one form or the other.

Kaunch (Mucuna pruriens ) is a medicinal plant which is also known as Kivacc in Hindi; Kapikacchu or Atmagupta in Sanskrit and Cowhedge in English .

Kaunch is well established for its aphrodisiac qualities as it is known to increase the sperm count and to boost testosterone levels. The herb is also identified to help the body build lean muscle & to break down unwanted fat and thus boon for people willing to follow a weight loss plan. Hence Kaunch is often used by athletes and body builders. The herb is good for boosting the mood for sexual desire and it possesses anti-depressant effects. This herb is well known to increase testosterone levels. Many health experts also opine taking Kaunch to help maintain the practical performance of the nervous system.

An interesting fact about Kaunch is that it contains a natural source of L-Dopa that was brought to attention by the movie 'Awakenings' with Robin Williams. The component stimulates the brains production of dopamine which would improve mood, sexuality and co-ordination. The herb has gone through many trials and studies showing its positive effects on Parkinson's disease.

According to ancient Indian medicinal science, Kaunch possesses important properties to enhance the libido and therefore, the drug has been used as an aphrodisiac. Kaunch is still in use to increase libido in both men and women due to its dopamine inducing actions. Dopamine has a sound influence on sexual function.

Kaunch is also used as a dietary supplement and it helps the deposition of protein in muscles and hence, can increase muscle mass and strength. The extract is also known to restore mental alertness and to improve coordination.

There are many researches and clinical trials indicating this herb as a very effective nervine tonic. Studies have evidenced its usefulness in maintaining optimal performance of the central nervous system in human beings. It has also been reported assisting normal nerve cell function. It contains active constituent alkaloids such as mucanine, pruridine, tannic acid, resin, lecithin and L-dopa.

Another favorable benefit of Kaunch is that it can increase the production of human growth hormone (HCG) and extracts are commonly highlighted as body building supplements. It is considered to be an agent that increases tissue resiliency and hence improving coordination in a dull person.

Market Potential

Importers , buyers within the country, processors, traditional practitioners, Ayurvedic and Siddha drug manufacturers throng the markets for procurement of this plant every year. Its domestic demand is quite large. As the production is much less in India , the internal market itself is highly potential.

Basis and Presumption

  • The agricultural land and related infrastructure is available with the entrepreneur.
  • Prices are calculated as per the prevailing market rates.
  • The yields depend on proper implementation of package of practices.
  • Economics of cultivation greatly improves on scale of operation.
  • This activity provides tax-free high returns. Additionally a number of government support schemes are available. Latest provisions need to be checked up.
  • Market for medicinal plants is volatile and economics may vary from time to time.

Agri practices

Soil & Climate

Tropical and sub-tropical climates are suitable for the growth of Mucuna pruriens . It is sensitive to frost and frost prone areas and can withstand drought. A wide range of soils are suited for this species. However, well drained sandy to clay loam soils are best suited.

Land Preparation

The field is ploughed 2-3 times to a fine tilth and later divided into beds of convenient size. Support plants, which are fast growing in nature, are required to enable this twine to climb. These plants may vary based on climatic conditions Sesbania grandiflora, Jatropha curcas, Moringa oleifera, Bambusa arundinaceum are few of them. Shade plants like Gloriosa superba and Rauvolfia serpentina can also be grown. The support plants are maintained carefully for a year. In the second year, Kaunch seeds are planted in June-July close to these.


Direct sowing of seeds is done at a spacing of 60 cm within rows with support plants. In case the support plants are not grown the spacing should be 60 x 45 cm. Seeds are dibbled on the slope of the ridges. Seeds take 8-10 days to sprout.


FYM 15t and 100, 80 and 75 kg N, P and K per hectare are the recommended doses of fertilizer out of which, entire quantity of FYM and Phosphorus are applied at the time of land preparation. Nitrogen and Potash are applied in two equal splits at 30 and 60 days after sowing.


Initially irrigation is required at an interval of 4 days and later increased to 7 days interval. One to two weedings are required for the crop in the initial stages. Weeding in the later stages coincides with the time of top dressing of fertilizers.

Plant Protection

In order to control leaf eating caterpillar, 0.2 % Metacid is sprayed at fortnightly interval. Leaf spot can be controlled by spraying 20g Dithane M-45 in 10 L of water at weekly intervals.


Within one month, the plant climbs on to the support trees. Flowers come out in October- November and pods by December-January. In 170-180 days duration the crop is ready for harvest which takes place 3-4 times in the season. It is essential to use gloves while harvesting the pods as they are covered with bristly hairs which produce intense itching.

Post harvest operations


The harvested pods are collected, sun dried and seeds separated. These seeds are packed separately. In the last week of January, the roots are taken out.


On average the seeds are produced @ 20-25 t per hectare, priced at Rs. 60-80 per kg. In addition 0.2 – 0.4 t roots are also obtained fetching a price of Rs. 50-60 per kg.

Economics of cultivation per hectare land

Kaunch cultivation yields an average net income of Rs. 80,000 – 120,000 per ha.

Addresses of Some Dealers in Medicinal plants/ Planting material

Tropical Forest Research Institute
Mandla Road , Jabalpur (M.P.)

Cedmap 60, Jail Road , Jahangirabad,
Bhopal (M.P.)

KRD Musli Farm,10/47, Station Road, Rau,
Indore-453331 (M.P.)

Mittal Musli Farm and Research Centre,
Jamod, Jalgaon ( Maharashtra )

Regional Research Laboratory
Jorhat ( Assam )

Jeevan Herbs & Agro Farms
178, Keshav Ganj, Sagar (M.P.)

SSS Biotic.com
C/o biosourcing.com (P)Ltd.
A-41, Janpath, Ashoknagar
Bhubaneswar (Orissa)

Kasiraj Exports,
37, Santhai Road ,
Tuticorin (TN)

A.Y. Agritec Private Limited
16-7-382/18, Azampura Masjid,
Hyderabad (A.P.)

Contact for more information

Information Manager
TIMEIS Project
E-mail: timeis@ficci.com