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Spatial and harvesting influence on growth, yield, quality and economic potential of Kalmegh (Andrographis paniculata Wall Ex. Nees)
Andrographis paniculata, commonly known as Kalmegh, is used both in Ayurvedic and Unani system of medicines because of its immunological, antibacterial and hepatoprotective properties. This study was carried out to investigate the influence of four harvesting times (120,135,150 days after planting and at seed maturity) and four planting distances (30×15, 30×10, 20×15 and 20×10 cm) on growth, dry herbage biomass, seed yield and quality traits of Andrographis paniculata at CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, India in the two years 2005 and 2006. The treatments were laid out in a split plot design with three replications. The maximum values for dry herbage biomass yield (5.14 t ha^(-1)), net returns (760.00 EUR ha^(-1)), B:C ratio (2.59), andrographolide content (2.63%) and total yield (135.00 kg ha^(-1)) were detected 135 days after planting with an optimum planting distance of 30×15 cm. However, the maximum iron content was estimated 120 days after planting. The highest dry herbage (4.58 t ha^(-1)) and maximum seed yield (19.7 kg ha^(-1)) were registered at plants that were lined out with a distance of 20×10 cm.