Introduction: Panchagavya for Organic Gardening
Vrikshayurveda is an ancient treasure of knowledge in India which deals with every aspect related to the life of plants. The Sanskrit term 'Vrikshayurveda' means "The Science of Plant Life". Divided into twelve chapters, it advocates the use of natural resources in Agriculture in maintaining the balance between plants, animals and humans. Presently, there is only one copy on palm leaves of this ancient treasure remains in the world, kept in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, United Kingdom. This ancient literature contains many formulations for preparation of pest repellents, plant disease inhibitors and fertilizers from naturally available resources. Panchagavya is one such concoction described in Vrikshayurveda.
What is Panchagavya...?
The Sanskrit term Panchagavya means "five products from the cow". These are cow dung, cow's urine, milk, curd and ghee. By mixing all these ingredients in equal proportion and allowing the mixture to ferment will produce Panchagavya.
Sometimes, you may find 'Panchagavya' wrongly pronounced as 'Panchakavya'. However, the correct pronunciation is Panchagavya. Gavya means related to cow and Kavya means poetry.
Here is a step-by-step Instructable for making a small batch of Panchagavya and how to use it.
Step 1: Ingredients and Equipment Required
- About 500 grams of fresh cow dung
- About half a liter of fresh cow's urine
- Half a liter of fresh cow's milk
- 500 grams of curd made from cow's milk
- 500 grams of Ghee made from cow's milk
For how to make ghee, please read this Instructable : Home-Made Ghee (Long-term Butter Storage) by Javin007
You also need a wide mouthed earthen pot of about five liters capacity for mixing and fermenting the mixture. Wash the pot thoroughly before using it for making Panchagavya.
Step 2: Preparation : 1
- Take about 500 grams of cow dung in a clean earthen pot
- Add about half a liter of cow's urine
- Mix them well using a wooden stick. I have used a coconut leaf stem for mixing.
In cities and urban areas, you may not get fresh cow dung and fresh cow's urine. Do not worry, you can use a day old stock also. I have brought mine from a farm house near by and they are about eight hours old.
Step 3: Preparation : 2
To the above mixture, add half a liter of fresh cow's milk and again mix well using the wooden stick. Do not use refrigerated or heated milk.
Step 4: Preparation : 3
Add 500 grams of curd and mix well
Step 5: Preparation : 4
Now to this mixture, you can add ghee made from cow's milk. You can lightly warm the ghee in a water bath, so that it flows freely and mix well with the other ingredients.
Step 6: Optional
Now this is optional.
You can add about 100 grams of country made jaggery to this mixture. This type of jaggery is made by boiling the sugar cane juice and pouring into molds. No chemicals and other additives are used for making this. This will act as additional food for the microorganisms in the mixture and reduce the time required.
Step 7: Cover and Keep in a Warm Place
Cover the pot containing the mixture with a clean cotton cloth. Keep the pot in a warm place. You can keep it in a corner of your kitchen also. Do not keep in direct sun light
Step 8: Stir the Mixture Well
See how the mixture looks in the morning. You need to stir the mixture well using the wooden stick atleast twice or thrice in a day. You can also see gas bubbles released from the mixture. The mixture has a somewhat pleasant smell like toddy. If it smells bad like a sewer, then something went wrong and you have to discard the whole bunch.
The fermentation process may take about fifteen to twenty days, some times more during winter. You have to stir it regularly to release the gases.
Panchagavya is ready when the gas formation stops.
Step 9: Diluting Panchagavya
When the gas formation in the mixture stops, you know that your Panchagavya is ready. It has a pleasant smell and is in a semi liquid state. You can keep this stored in the same earthen pot covered with the cotton cloth for about six months. If it gets very thick, you can dilute it using a little amount of cow's urine or milk.
Panchagavya should be used after diluting with water only. Make sure you use only bore well water and not the chlorinated water. the dilution ratio may be one part of Panchagavya to about 30 to 50 parts of clean, chlorine free water.
Step 10: How to Use Panchagavya Solution
- You can hand-spray diluted solution directly on small plants either in early morning or in the evening (Once in every 10 to 15 days)
- You can also use a mechanical sprayer for this. Please make sure that the sprayer has not been used for chemical pesticides. When using a mechanical sprayer, you need to filter the diluted solution. Otherwise the sprayer nozzle may get blocked
- For big trees, add the diluted solution at the root zone while watering
- For pest infected plants, spray the entire affected area once in a week