A small must-have shrub in many households, and an integral part of every festive occasion, the ‘Gorintaku’ is now all set to go commercial, with an increasing demand for the medicinal plant in cosmetics prompting the Horticulture department to promote the endearing shrub as a bio-fence for various crops. The Horticulture department would also market it or facilitate tie-ups between farmers and the manufacturers of henna products.
Scientifically referred to as Lawsonia Inermis, henna is a medicinal herb used to dye hair, fingernails, leather, silk, wool and of course, the all-famous mehndi. In several parts of the world, it is traditionally used in various festivals and celebrations. However, its increasing usage as a medicinal herb has triggered a demand for the crop in recent times. “It acts as an anti-bacteria and anti-viral agent. Apart from being useful for human beings, it is also useful as a bio-fence for several crops as it protects them from pests,” said Prof Venkaiah, former professor of Botany department at Andhra University. Henna also acts as an anti-fungal and a preservative for leather and cloth.
Observing the commercial viability of henna, the Horticulture department has decided to turn henna crop into a bio-fence under promotional activities for the Development of Horticulture Plantation, and Watershed Development. Henna saplings will be supplied to farmers on subsidy, said G Prabhakara Rao, additional director of horticulture.