The Himalayan region is a rich source of high value aromatic crops. Under Aroma Mission of CSIR, the Institute is working on development of improved varieties, agrotechnology, processing and value addition of Himalayan aromatic crops for improving rural economy of this region. The Institute is promoting extensive cultivation of aromatic crop for doubling the farmer’s income. Through technical advice, distribution of high quality planting materials and training in distillation technology, the Institute is striving to increase the production of high quality essential oils by the farmers to meet the industrial demand. This website will facilitate in cultivation and processing of aromatic crops for boosting the essential oil trade.

Major Aromatic Crops at CSIR-IHBT

Tagetes minuta (Wild marigold)

It is a hardy plant and suitable for mid Himalayan region. Crop gives higher oil yield of better quality among all cultivated species. Institute has standardized agro- and processing technologies and released an improved variety “Himgold”. By adopting standardized agrotechnology, crop biomass upto 200 q/ha can be harvested. The oil content ranges between 0.25 to 0.40%. Major constituents of the Tagetes oil are Ocimene (Z and E) , Limonene, Dihydro tagetone, Tagetone (Z and E). The oil used in blending high grade perfumes. The crop gives a net return of Rs 1.5 to 2.00 lakhs per hectare.

Rosa damascena (Damask Rose)

It is important species among the scented roses. The plant is perennial shrub with economic life of over is 10 years. The rose can be grown from 250 to 2500 m altitude in sub tropical to temperate climate. The rose flowers produce highly fragrant and commercially valuable essential oil and its content in the flowers is 0.025%. About 25-30 q/ha fresh flowers are harvested from one ha area which produce 0.625 kg rose oil. The market price of oil ranges between Rs. 5.0 to 6.0 lakh/kg. After deducting all costs, this crop gives an average net return of Rs. 2.00 lakh/ha. Other products from damask rose are rose concrete, rose absolute & rose water.

Valeriana jatamansi (Muskbala)

Valeriana jatamansi is an important medicinal herb of the valerianceae family, which is commonly known as Indian Valerian (English), Muskbala, Sugandhbala (Hindi) and Tagar (Sanskrit). V. jatamansi has long been in use in the Ayurvedic and Unani system of medicine. It grows in temperate zones of the western Himalaya at an altitude of 1300-3300 m asl,. Valeriana jatamansi can be propagated by seed or by using portions of the root- stock. The rooted propagules are planted in the field in June-July, while seedlings are transplanted in August at higher elevations and in October at lower elevations. On an average, the yield of dried roots is 0.8-1 tonnes/ha in the second year. However, dried root yields of 1500 kg/ha are available under good conditions. Indian valerian root and rhizomes yields volatile oil upto 0.5-2.12%. An average oil yield was obtained around 15 kg /ha. The market value of dried roots and rhizomes of mushkbala depends on quality and degree of processing and ranges from Rs. 180-200/kg. The current price of valerian oil is about Rs. 25000/kg.

Dracocephalum heterophyllum Benth

Dracocephalum heterophyllum prefers sub-humid and sub- temperate climate conditions. It grows well in sandy loam soils rich in organic matter (humus) content with adequate moisture and good drainage. The rooted propagules are planted in the field during June-July, while seedlings are transplanted in August at higher elevations and in October at lower elevations. The average yield on fresh weight basis is 4-7 tones/year under good conditions. Fresh parts contain 0.17-0.45 % essential oil.

Cymbopogon flexuosus (Lemongrass)

Lemongrass is a tropical perennial plant which yields aromatic oil on steam distillation of the herbage. The oil has a typical lemon-like odour. The crop is suitable for marginal and waste lands in tropical and subtropical areas. It is the principal source of carotene which is extensively used for the synthesis of viamin A and a number of other chemicals including synthetic violet perfumes. The biomass production is 20-25 MT/ha/year. It is less in first year but it increases in the subsequent years. Oil content ranges from 0.4 to 0.6%. Citral is the major constituent in the oil. The oil finds uses in perfumery, flavouring and pharmaceutical industries. Net profit of Rs 1.0 to 1.5 lakhs/ha is obtainable with its scientific cultivation

Artemisia maritima (Sea wormwood)

Belonging to Asteraceae family (syn. A. brevifolia), the plant commonly grows wild in the cold desert Himalayan region at altitudes of 4000 m. This plant traditionally used as an insect repellent. Potential use of its essential oil, so far, has remained unexplored. Essential oil yield ranges between 0.3%-0.5 %. Major constituents of the oil are 1,8 Cineole and Sesquiterpene Hydrocarbons. There exists lot of scope for its commercial cultivation in cold desert region

Rosemarinus officinalis (Rosemary)

Rosemary is a stiff, erect bush with dark evergreen green, spiky with narrow leaves perennial, and it grows up to 2 m. The crop comes well in a pH range of 6.5 to 7.0. Cold climate with 15 to 25°C is suitable for growth. Since it is a perennial in nature, can be grown commercially until twelve years. The first harvest of leaves begins from 8 months after planting, and subsequent harvests can be taken at an interval of 3 to 4 months. The average yield of green leaves is 12 to 15 t/ha/year and oil yield of about 85 to 100 kg/ha/year. Oil extracted from the Rosemary is widely used in perfumes, facial and bath soaps and decorative items. Rosemary oil is also used in various health problems, including indigestion, stomachache, and blood pressure.

Meet the Growers

The Institute is generating quality planting materials in large scale so that quality of planting material could be supply to the farmers and growers.



CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology

(Council of Scientific & Industrial Research)

Post Box No. 6 Palampur (H.P.) 176061, INDIA

Tel: +91-1894-230411, Fax: +91-1894-230433

E-mail: director@ihbt.res.in