Annual, erect, tufted, glabrous plant, up to 1 meter in height. Leaves are 10-30 cm long, 3-7 mm wide, flaccid, with flattened sheaths. Spikes are in a terminal whorl; the spikelets numerous, crowded, 3- to 5-flowered, 3-4 mm long.
Ubiquitous, especially in warm places, along river banks and roads.
Constituents and medicinal properties
Plant considered diuretic, antihelminthic, diaphoretic, febrifuge.
Parts used and preparation
Edible: roots and seeds; roots eaten raw, young seedling raw or cooked. Folkloric
Antihelminthic: Decoction of 20 gms in 1 liter of water. Two tablespoons of fresh leave juice every hour. Dedcoction of the fresh plant used as a diuretic and for dysentery. Dandruff: whole plant mixed with gogo; also prevents hair loss. Post-partum: Decoction or fresh juice of leaves prescribed after childbirth. Fever: Decoction of roots; boil 20 gms to a liter of water, 4 to 5 glasses a day. Sprains and lumbago: Apply poultice of leaves 4 times daily. Hemoptysis: Boil the whole plant from root to flowers, boil 20 to 30 grams in a lilter of water, as decoction. Hypertension.
In Malaysia, decoction of roots used for asthma.
In coastal Guyana, decoction of plant used to relieve pains from abdominal muscle strain; applied to wounds to stop the bleeding. Decoction of grass used as tonic and to relieve bladder disorders. source In Malaya, leaf juice given after childbirth to help expel the placenta. In Sumatra, used as anthelmintic.
In Cambodia, used for fevers and liver complaints.
In Venezuela, seed decoction given to infants suffering from black jaundice. In Nigeria, used for diabetes and malaria.
In Colombia, decoction of plant for diarrhea, dysentery and convulsions. In Sri Lanka, for muscle sprains, roots or the entire plant mixed with scraped coconut and a piece of Curcuma domestica is pounded well and heated till cooked, then packed over sprained muscles and bandaged. Others
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