Research and Media Network

Bringing people together to improve communication of research findings

Traditional medicinal knowledge about medicinal insect Spodoptera litura (Fabricius, 1775) [Noctuidae: Lepidoptera] feeding on Bramhi (Bacopa monnieri), in Chhattisgarh, India. Updated Version.

Traditional medicinal knowledge about medicinal insect Spodoptera litura (Fabricius, 1775) [Noctuidae: Lepidoptera] feeding on Bramhi (Bacopa monnieri), in Chhattisgarh, India. Updated Version. 

Pankaj Oudhia



Entomophagy and Entomotherapy are well known in Asia since generations. Unfortunately not much work has been done to document valuable Traditional Medicinal Knowledge about Insects. Pankaj Oudhia is documenting this knowledge since year 1990. The present note is updated version of his previously published online research document available through

Keywords: Entomophagy; Entomotherapy; Medicinal Insects; Ayurveda; Chhattisgarh;


Bramhi is a prostrate herb distributed in damp, marshy areas throughout India. Bramhi holds a reputed position as medicinal herb in different systems of medicine in India. According to the reference literatures, the active principle Hersaponin, resembles reserpine and Chloromazine in its central action and is reputed to be promising new tranquilizer. The dense forests of Chhattisgarh are rich in natural population of Bramhi herb. The natives and traditional healers have in depth traditional medicinal knowledge about this herb. Bramhi is under cultivation also in fairly large areas. The infestation of Spodoptera litura was first observed by the herb growers of Chhattisgarh Plains in the year 1999. Every year the area under its infestation is increasing. When the traditional healers of Chhattisgarh specialized in use of medicinal insects were contacted, they replied that in wild population the attack of Spodoptera caterpillars is very common and many healers are utilizing the full fed caterpillar as medicinal insect. During the ethnoentomological surveys conducted in different parts of Chhattisgarh, I have noted that the traditional healers of Chhattisgarh Plains and Southern parts are more aware of different medicinal uses of Spodoptera. They use it externally in most of the cases. Its uses in treatment of Adhasisi (Migraine) and Mirgi (Epilepsy) are most common. The healers collect the full fed caterpillars and after killing, dry it in shade. After drying, the caterpillars are converted into powder and stored for future use. In treatment of Adhasisi, they mix the powder and Sonth (Dried Ginger) in equal proportion and with the help of water, prepare an aqueous paste. This paste is applied externally on painful parts. According to the traditional healers, this combination can be used in normal times also in order to prevent the attack. They further informed that Sonth alone can serve the problem but the addition of caterpillar powder result in synergistic effects. I have tried this combination many times successfully. In treatment of Mirgi (Epilepsy), the healers use the caterpillar powder in combination with dry leaf powder of Kukronda (Blumea lacera). During the attack, the combination is burnt and smoke is directed towards the patient’s nose. This smoke provides great relief to the patient. The traditional healers are not aware of its other medicinal uses. As the infestation of this insect is not very common in Bramhi herbs, many herb vendors collect and sell the full fed caterpillars in form of dry powder to the traditional healers. For the healers, there is no testing method to confirm that the powder is of the caterpillars fed on Bramhi leaves but it is a faith, they believe on the herb vendors. 

[New comments added on April, 2014: Through recent surveys I have collected new information about medicinal uses of Spodoptera feeding on Bacopa. Spodoptera is added as important ingredient in over 1800 Formulations used at different stages of Epilepsy. Most of these Formulations are used internally. In Acorus based Formulations Spodoptera is added as secondary ingredient by the Healers of Bastar whereas the Healers of Odisha add it as nonary ingredient. In Mucuna based Formulations it is added as tertiary ingredient. The Healers of Jharkhand having expertise in treatment of advanced stage of Epilepsy add it as secondary ingredient in Mucuna based Formulations. In Cassia based Formulations it is added quinary ingredient. In these Formulations roots of 50 different species of herbs are used with Spodoptera collected from Bramhi. These Formulations are popular among the Healers. In Ocimum based Formulations it is added as septenary ingredient by the Healers of North Chhattisgarh. In Telia Kand based Formulations used in treatment of complicated cases of Epilepsy it is added as secondary ingredient. The Healers claim that without it these Formulations fail to give the desired effects. In Cyperus based Formulations it is added as octonary ingredient. I t is also added as tertiary ingredient specially when these Formulations are used to treat young patients. In Vanda based Formulations it is added as nonary ingredient whereas in Ailanthus based Formulations it is added as quaternary ingredient. It seems that there is endless knowledge present among the Healers about this medicinal insect. The efforts are on to document this knowledge. Please visit for complete Formulations and information on dosage.]  

These traditional medicinal uses of Spodoptera litura feeding on Bramhi have yet not been reported in reference literatures. This research article is the first written document on his aspect. Through the on-going ethnoentomological surveys I am trying my best to gather more information on this important aspect. You will find the details in coming articles. 

Thank you very much for reading the article.

Related References

Oudhia, Pankaj and Thakur, B.S. (1996). New record of the leaf beetle on a weed. Current Research 25: 218.

Oudhia, P. (1997) Evaluation of host specificity of Blumea leaf beetle (Chrysolina sp. nr. madrasae Jackoby). Insect Environment. 3 (3): 80.

Oudhia, P. and Ganguali, R.N. (1998). Is Lantana camara responsible for Sal-borer infesttation in M.P.? Insect Environment. 4 (1): 5.

Oudhia, P. (1998). Medicinal insects and spiders. Insect Environment. 4(2): 57-58

Banwarilal and Oudhia P. (1999). Beneficial effects of Allelopathy: I . Crop Production.Indian J. Weed Sci. 31(1&2): 103-105

Oudhia, P. (1999) Effect of some botanicals on hatchability of Blumea leaf beetle eggs. Insect Environment. 4(4): 154

Oudhia, P. (1999). Studies on Allelopathy and medicinal weeds in chickpea fields. International Chickpea and Pigeonpea Newsletter (ICRISAT) 6: 29-33.

Oudhia, P. (1999) Blumea leaf beetle in Chhattisgarh Plains. Insect Environment. 5 (1): 22.

Oudhia, P. and Ganguli, J. (1999). Outbreak of Tortoise beetle Aspidomorpha miliaris F. (Coleoptera ; Chrysomelidae) in Chhattisgarh plains. Insect Environment 5(3): 110-111.

Oudhia, P. (1999). Effects of Total Solar Eclipse on activities of some insects and mites. Insect Environment 5(3): 113-114.

Oudhia, P. (1999). Traditional medicinal knowledge about Red velvet mite Trombidium sp. (Acari : Trombidiidae) in Chhattisgarh. Insect Environment 5(3): 113.

Oudhia P., Pandey N. and Tripathi R.S. (1999). Allelopathic effects of obnoxious weeds on germination and seedling vigour of hybrid rice. Internaitonal Rice Research Notes (IRRI). 24(2) : 36.

Oudhia P, Pandey N, Ganguli RN & Tripathi RS (1999) Gall midge (Orseolia oryzae) infestation in hybrid rice as affected by agronomical practices. Insect Environment 4: 123–124.

Oudhia P, Pandey N, Tripathi RS & Ganguli RN (1999) Effect of nitrogen and water management practices on gall midge (Orseolia oryzae) infestation in hybrid rice. Insect Environment 4: 119–120.

Oudhia P, Pandey N, Tripathi RS & Ganguli RN (1999) Reaction of hybrid rice varieties to gall midge (Orseolia oryzae).. Insect Environment 4 (4): 134.

Oudhia P, Pandey N, Tripathi RS & Ganguli RN (1999) Effect of different fertility levels on the gall midge (Orseolia oryzae) infestation.. Insect Environment 4 (3): 66-67.

Gupta A., Thakur M.P. and Oudhia P.(2000). Effects of different Homoeopathic drugs prepared from common weeds on radial growth of Oyster mushroom (Pleurotus membranaceus) under in vitro condition. Research on Crops 1(2):255-257.

Oudhia, P. (2000). Studies on host specificity and preference of the metallic coloured Tortoise beetle (Aspidomorpha miliaris F.) Ecol. Env. And Cons. 6(3):357-359.

Oudhia, P. (2000). Effects of leaf extracts on Metallic Coloured Tortoise beetle Aspidomorpha miliaris F. Insect Environment 5(4): 165.

Oudhia, P. (2000). Toxic effects of Parthenium leaf extracts on Aspidomorpha miliaris F. and Zonabris pustulata Thunb. Insect Environment 5(4): 168.

Oudhia, P. and Ganguli, R. N. (1999) Chrysolina madrassae: A potential bio-control agent for Blumea lacera. VIII Biennial Conference of Indian Society of Weed Science held at BHU, Varanasi 5-7 Feb. p 134.

Oudhia,P. (2000).Evaluation of some botanicals against orange banded blister beetle(Zonabris pustulata Thunb.).Crop Research 20(3):558-559

Oudhia,P.(2000).Record of Orange Banded Blister Beetle Zonabris pustulata Thunb.(Coleoptera: Meloidae) on Safed Moosli(Chlorophytum borivilianum).Insect Environment.6(3):138

Oudhia,P.(2000).Effect of some leaf leachates on hatchability of Blumea leaf beetle(Chrysolina madrasae Jackoby) Eggs.Indian J. Weed Sci. 32(3&4):206-207.

Oudhia, P. (2000). Traditional medicinal knowledge about green leaf hopper, Nephotettix spp. in Chhattisgarh (India). International Rice Research Notes.25 (3):40

Oudhia, P. (2000). Common housefly Musca nebulo Wiedemann (Diptera: Muscidae) as medicinal insect in Chattisgarh. Insect Environment. 6(1):36-37.

Oudhia, P. (2000). Germination and seedling vigour of kodomillet as affected by Allelopathy of Ipomoea carnea Jacq..Indian J. Plant Physiol. 5(4) NS :383-384.

Oudhia, P. (2001). Traditional medicinal knowledge about Pod borer Helicoverpa armigera in Chhattisgarh, India. International Chickpea and Pigeonpea Newsletter.8:14-15.

Oudhia, P. (2001). Allelopathic research on chickpea seeds in Chattisgarh (India) region: An overview. Ecol. Env. and Cons.7(1):31-34.

Oudhia, P. (2001). Medicinal insects of Kharif crops and weeds of Chattisgarh (India). VII National Science Conference, Bharitya Krishi Anusandhan Samitee, Directorate of Cropping System Research, Meerut, India, 12-14 April.

Oudhia, P. (2001). Record of Aphis craccivora Koch.(Hemiptera: Aphididae) on medicinal crop Mucuna pruriens L. in Chhattigarh (India). Insect Environment. 7(1):24.

Oudhia, P. (2001). Traditional medicinal knowledge about Bed Bug Cimex lectularius L.(Hemiptera: Cimicidae) in Chhattisgarh (India). Insect Environment. 7(1):23.

Oudhia, P. (2001). Phyllotreta crucifera Goeze: A new pest of medicinal crop Lepidium sativum L. in Chhattisgarh (India).In: Souvenir cum Abstracts. National Research Seminar on Herbal Conservation, Cultivation, Marketing and Utilization with Special Emphasis on Chhattisgarh, ‘The Herbal State’. Srishti Herbal Academy and Research Institute (SHARI) and Chhattisgarh Minor Forest Produce (Trading & Dev.) Co-operative Fedration Ltd., Raipur (India), 13-14 December, 2001. p.74.

Oudhia, P. (2001). Improved cultivation practices for medicinal crops: glimpses of research of farmers' fields in Chhattisgarh (India).In: Oudhia P, editor. Souvenir-cum-abstracts. National Research Seminar on Herbal Conservation, Cultivation, Marketing and Utilization with Special Emphasis on Chhattisgarh, The Herbal State, Srishti Herbal Academy and Research Institute (SHARI), 13-14 December 2001. p 44.

Oudhia, P. (2001). Evaluation of Allelopathic effects of some fruit tree leaf extracts on emergence and seedling vigour of Lathyrus var.Biol-212.Legume Res. 24(3):207-208.

Oudhia, P. (2001). Germination and seedling vigour of wheat as affected by allelopathy of some obnoxious weed.Agric.Sci.Digest. 21(4):275-276.

Oudhia, P. (2001). Phyto-sociological studies of rainy season wasteland weeds with special reference to Parthenium hysterophorus L. in Raipur (India) district. Asian Jr. of Microbiol. Biotech & Env. Sc.3(1-2):89-92.

Oudhia, P. (2001). My experiences with world’s top ten Indian medicinal plants: Glimpses of research at farmer’s field in Chhattisgarh (India).In: Abstract. Workshop cum Seminar on Sustainable Agriculture for 21st Century, IGAU, Raipur, India, 20-21 Jan.

Oudhia, P. (2002). Traditional medicinal knowledge about common insects and mites in India. Eco. Env and Consv. 8(4):339-340.

Oudhia, P. (2002). Rice-Acorus intercropping: a new system developed by innovative farmers of Chhattisgarh (India).International Rice Research Notes. Notes. 27 (1):56.

Oudhia, P. (2002). Traditional medicinal knowledge about Red Ant Oecophylla smaragdina (Fab.) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Chattisgarh, India. Insect Environment.8(3):114-115.

Oudhia, P. (2002). Traditional medicinal knowledge about Fireflies, Photuris sp.(Coleoptera : Lampyridae)in Chhattisgarh (India). Insect Environment, Vol.8 (1):25

Oudhia, P. (2005). Traditional Knowledge about medicinal insects and mites in Chhattisgarh, India: An overview. International Conference on “Promotion and Development of Botanicals with International Coordination: Exploring quality, safety, efficacy and regulations”. February 25- 26, 2005 Supported by: Drug Information Association, USA Secretariat: School of Natural Product Studies Jadavpur university, Kolkata 700032.)

Costa-Neto, E. M. (2005). Entomotherapy, or the medicinal use of insects.Journal of Ethnobiology25(1), 93-114.

Senthilkumar, N., Barthakur, N. D., & Rao, M. L. (2008). Bioprospecting with Reference to Medicinal Insects and Tribes in India: an Overview. Indian Forester134(12), 1575-1591.

Kumari, B., & Kumar, S. (2009). An insight into the ethnozoology of Panch Pargana area of Jharkand, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa1(8), 441-443.

Dossey, A. T. (2010). Insects and their chemical weaponry: New potential for drug discovery. Natural product reports27(12), 1737-1757.

Horgan, F. G., & Crisol, E. (2013). Hybrid rice and insect herbivores in Asia. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata148(1), 1-19.



Oudhia, Pankaj (2014). Traditional medicinal knowledge about medicinal insect Spodoptera litura (Fabricius, 1775) [Noctuidae: Lepidoptera] feeding on Bramhi (Bacopa monnieri), in Chhattisgarh, India. Updated Version.

Views: 141

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of Research and Media Network to add comments!

Join Research and Media Network

© 2020   Created by Matthew Wright.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service