Nagarmotha (Cyperus Rotundus) - Usage, Dosage, Benefits and Indications
- Latin name - Cyperus rotundus
- English name - Nut grass, Java grass, Nutsedge, and Purple nutsedg
- Indian name - Mustak, Nagarmotha, Motha
- Kannada Name - Tunge Gadde
- Telugu Name - Tunga Mustalu
- Tamil Name - Muthakach
- Sanskrit Name - Krodeshta, Hima, Varida
Cyperus in India is known as Mustak, Nagarmotha, and Motha. And in other part of the world, Cyperus is referred to as Nut grass or Purple nutsedge, and the nut is the rhizome (or tuber).
The plant is considered an invasive weed; it has been called "the world's worst weed." It has a vast growing range, crossing the globe and particularly noted in the Pacific Islands (where its leaves are used for weaving) as well as along coastal regions. It is especially prevalent in southern India, where its essential oil is used in perfumery. As an invasive weed, it is considered to be troublesome in 92 countries and adversely affects more than 50 crops, including sugar cane, corn, cotton, rice, and many vegetables. Cyperus grows rapidly and fills the soil with its tangle of roots and rhizomes; this one species (C. rotundus). The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist or wet soil.
Cyperus, like other plants, has numerous chemical constituents, many of which may show pharmacological activity, but the main active components appear to be the sesquiterpenes. These are aromatic, spicy tasting molecules.
Among the main sesquiterpenes identified in Cyperus rhizomes thus far are:α-cyperone, β-selinene, cyperene, cyperotundone, patchoulenone, sugeonol, kobusone, and isokobusone.
Cyperus also contains other terpenes, such as the commonly occurring plant component pinene (a monoterpene), and several derivatives of the sesquiterpenes, such as cyperol, isocyperol, and cyperone. These active constituents are found in the volatile oil of cyperus rhizomes, which makes up only about 0.5-1% of the dried rhizome; prolonged cooking of the herb will cause loss of some portion of these constituents. Their main pharmacological actions may be antispasmodic and analgesic effects.
Benefits of Nut Grass
- Nut grass is recommended for fevers and obesity in Ayurveda.
- This herb used in herbal medicines regulates menstruation, and it is effective for signs such as menstrual irregularities, overdue periods, and abdominal pain during menstruation, and depression in emotionally inhibited women.
- Nut grass is a pungent bitter-sweet herb by taste that relieves spasms and pain, acting mainly on the digestive system and uterus. They are used internally in the treatment of digestive problems and menstrual complaints.
- The plant is used in the treatment of cervical cancer.
- Cyperus rotundus is thought to have originated in India and then spread from there during the past 2,000 years (it first appeared in a Chinese medicine book around 500 A.D.). The rhizome is used in Ayurvedic medicine, usually called musta, mustak, or mustaka, and is mentioned in the ancient Caraka Samhita (ca. 500 A.D.). Its uses in modern Ayurvedic medicine are primarily for treating fevers and digestive system disorders (diarrhea, vomiting, indigestion, etc.). It is also known as an Emenagogue (treats delayed menstruation) and an analgesic that is useful for dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation). Cyperus is considered as a diuretic, but it must be combined with other diuretics to yield a desired result in treating urinary disorders. It is classified as being bitter and astringent, light and dry, cold, pungent (aromatic), and pacifying kapha and pitta. Cyperus is an ingredient in popular Ayurvedic formulas such as the herbal honey Chyawanprash, and the women's blood tonic and uterine regulating formula Ashokarishta. It may also be used as a single herb remedy for obesity, digestive problems, and fever.
Powder 3-6 gm, decoction 50-100 ml in divided doses per day.
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