Cultivation of Coleus
Common Name : Medicinal Coleus
Botanical Name : Caleus forskholil
Family : Lamiaceae
Brief Description and Uses:
A perennial shrub producing dull orange coloured roots, cultivated m Gujarat, Kamataka States. Roots contain forskholin an alkaloid used in the treatment of hyper tensions and glaucoma, an eye disorder.
The plant called the Coleus, Botanic name Coleus forskohlil is an aromatic perennial plant about two feet tall when fully mature. Coleus possesses tuber like roots and a straight anderect stem with colourful leaves. The coleus has an aromatic fragrance resembling the scent of the camphor plant.
Remedies made from the coleus were traditionally employed as a digestive remedy in the folk medicine of certain areas in India. This folk medicine is different from the well developed and ancient Ayurvedic tradition in India. Coleus became famous during the 1970s in Western medical circles due to the discovery of the compound forkolin from coleus extracts.
The coleus belongs to the Lamiaceae family of plants, often called the mint family of herbs. The coleus is indigenous to the plains of India and was . traditionally used in folk medicine. These days, the coleus is prized as an ornamental plant around the worid and is often grown as an ornamental garden herb. Coleus was traditionally prized for its roots in the folk medicine of India -a remedy prepared from the roots was used as a medicine in treating different disorders. The early historical use of the coleus as a remedy can be confirmed from ancient Sanskrit tests, that state that the coleus was employed as a medical herb in treating insomnia and convulsions, as well as heart and lung diseases, in addition to problems such as intestinal muscular spasms.
Other Medicinal Uses : Cardiomyopathy
Habitat and Cultivation :
The coleus plant is native to Indiana and originally grew only there. These days, the coleus is used as an ornamental plant In many gardens and herbaria around the world. Coleus is also cultivated in other Asian countries with a
tropical or sub tropical climate as well aTnTsome eastern African countries with a tropical climate. Coleus grows at an optimal ;rate in soils that have.good drainage. Coleus can grow equally well in sites with direct exposure to sunlight as well as in partially shaded areas.
Coleus contains volatile oil, diterpenes (forskolin).
* Solenostemon auiranii (Briq.) J.K. Morton
* Solenostemon rotundifolius(Poiret) JJC Morton
* Solenostemon scutellarioides (Linnaeus) Codd
* Solenostemon shriensis (Gurke) Codd
* Solenostemon pumilus
There are two ways to propagate Coleus. Seeds are inexpensive and easily obtainable. To germinate, simply sprinkle seeds on the surface soil and press down. Seeds need light to genrminate, so avoid covering the seeds. To keep seeds moist, grow in a container and cover with plastic, or mist seeds daily. Sprouts can show colour in as little as two weeks. Alternatively, cuttings can be taken. Cuttings root readily in plain water, without the addition of rooting hormone (although it is still beneficial).
One disease that can affect coleus is downy mildew. This mildew appears on the leaves making the plant took because it is brown m colour. The orpnism is called Peronospora sp. And can also result in curled and twisted leaves. Sometimes symptoms are not found on leaves which make the disease harder to control.
Another disease is top aliens necrotic spot virus which causes brown or yellow spots on leaves, rings, black or brown stem discoloration and brow & leaf veins, ultimately resulting in plant death. The disease is spread by an insect called a thrips that carries the virus from and infected plant to an uninfected plant. It only takes a few of these insects to insects to infect a whole greets house.