Panchakavya – an Organic Growth Promoter for Plants

By Dr. Periasamy Alagesan* and M. Mahadevan
January 2009

The Authors are Post Graduate Researchers at the Centre for Advanced Research in Zoology, Yadava College, in Madurai, India. → See also:

1. Introduction

The progress of ancient Indian civilization pivoted around cow and its progeny. Cows were the symbol of prosperity, measure of wealth and hence. The cow is greatly respected, worshipped and is believed to be the abode of all the Gods. The one product that is revolutionizing parts of Rural Tamil Nadu today is Panchakavya, an organic product blended from five offerings that evolve from the cow, used in Indian medicine since time immemorial and now being used, with astonishing results, to safeguard plants and soil micro-organisms and to increase fruit and vegetable production.

The Sanskrit word Panchakavya means “mixture of five products”, and it has been used in traditional Hindu rituals throughout history. Panchakavya is a concotion prepared by mixing five products of Cow. The three direct constituents are dung, urine, and milk; the two derived products are curd and ghee. When the above five products of the cow are suitably mixed and used, these have miraculous positive influence on living organisms. In recent years Panchakavya has found a prominent position in the context of organic farming in Tamil Nadu.

2. Nutrient Content and Important Components of Panchakavya

3. Preparation of Panchakavya

A modified prescription for making 20 litres of Panchakavya is given below (Natarajan, 2003)

3. a) Materials Required

  1. Cow dung mixed with water – 5 kg
  2. Cow’s urine – 3 litres
  3. Cow’s milk – 2 litres
  4. Curd – 2 litres
  5. Ghee – 1 kg
  6. Ripe yellow Banana – 12 pieces
  7. Tender Coconut water – 3 litres
  8. Sugarcane juice – 3 litres
    (or ½ kg of jaggery mixed with 3 litres of water)

Wide mouthed mud pots are used for preparation of Panchakavya. The measured amount of cow dung and ghee were added first into the container and kept for about three days for fermentation. On the fourth day the remaining products were added to the container and kept for seven more days. The contents were stirred for 20 minutes each; both in the morning as well as evening to facilitate aerobic microbial activity. After ten days of incubation, different concentrations were prepared and used as foliar spray for plants.

3. b) Physico Chemical Properties of Panchakavya: (Perumal et al., 2006)

3. c) Cost

The cost of production of a litre of Panchakavya is around Rs. 30

4. Field Application of Panchakavya

On the 21st day, 1 litre of the Panchakavya solution is mixed with 10 litres of water, and then applied the solution in the soil. The Panchakavya is sprayed on crops to get the best results. Seeds can be soaked and seedlings can be dipped in 3 per cent solution of Panchakavya for about 30 minutes before sowing to get good results from the crops.

5. Benefits

5. a) Effect of Panchakavya on Plants

Various crops such as rice, a variety of vegetables, fruit crops such as mango, banana, guava, acid lime cash crops such as sugarcane, turmeric, jasmine and moringa and plantation crops have responded extremely well to application of Panchakavya.
Somasundaram et al., (2004) reported that Panchakavya contains the growth regulatory substances such as Indole Acetic Acid, Gibberalic Acid and Cytokinin and essential plant nutrients. It also contains beneficial, effective micro organisms, predominately lactic acid bacteria, yeast, actinomycetes, photosynthetic bacteria and certain fungi besides beneficial and proven biofertilizers such as Azotobacter, Azospirillum and Phosphobacterium. Jayasree and George (2006) observed a significant high yield and quality in chilli plant, Capsicum annuum treated with Panchakavya. Ravikiran (2005) opined that Panchakavya is not only an effective pesticide but also a natural fertilizer. Panchakavya also promotes growth, boost immunity in the plant system to repel pests and control diseases (Prabu, 2006).

5. b) Other Applications

5. c) Panchakaya on Human Health

It enhances the appetite, digestion, and elimination of wastes. It elevates the mood and sound sleep. It increases blood circulation to all organs thereby the ageing process is retarded and hence, Panchakavya becomes a “Kayakalpa medicine”. Panchkavya is very effective in treating AIDS patients, Diabetes mellitus, Ischemic heart disease, stroke, Arthritis, Peptic ulcer, Constipation, Infertility, Asthma, Thyroid diseases, renal failure and even early stages of cancer (Natarajan, 2003).

6. Conclusion

Panchakavya is easy to prepare, environmentally safe, economically sound biofertilizer. In agriculture, the application of the biopesticide, Panchakvya obtained from five products of cow will avoid pollution problems to a greater extent. India being agriculture based country, it could play a vital role in organic farming and considerably reduce and replace the use of chemical fertilizers.

References

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