Ethnic Use, Phytochemistry, and Pharmacology of Cyperus rotundus: A Medicinal Plant

Ethnic Use, Phytochemistry, and Pharmacology of Cyperus rotundus: A Medicinal Plant

Mohammed Rahmatullah (University of Development Alternative, Bangladesh), Khoshnur Jannat (University of Development Alternative, Bangladesh), Gerald R. Reeck (Kansas State University, USA), Rownak Jahan (University of Development Alternative, Bangladesh), Taufiq Rahman (University of Cambridge, UK), Nasrin A. Shova (University of Development Alternative, Bangladesh) and Maidul Islam (University of Development Alternative, Bangladesh)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1320-0.ch005


Cyperus rotundus (nut grass in English) is a perennial erect sedge plant and is distributed in over 90 countries of the world, where it has been mostly classified as a highly invasive weed. Despite this classification, the plant has been considered from traditional times to be medicinally important. The traditional uses of the plant in various countries include uses against various gastrointestinal tract disorders, skin diseases, leprosy, fever, and neurological disorders. Evaluation of the plant and especially its rhizomes in a scientific manner has revealed the presence of numerous phytochemicals and wide-ranging pharmacological activities, which include anti-microbial, gastrointestinal, wound healing, anti-diabetic, anti-cancer, anti-malarial, anti-obesity, hepatoprotective, and anti-pyretic activity. The scientific validation of a number of traditional uses strongly indicates that the plant may prove useful in the discovery of a number of lead compounds and novel drugs.
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Cyperus rotundus L. is a perennial herbaceous plant belonging to the Cyperaceae family. It has an extensive network of rhizomes, tubers, bulbs and roots through which it can propagate easily, which has made it a very invasive plant and as such been classified as an invasive weed in the more than 90 countries that the plant is now found. The plant is believed to have originated from India, where its Sanskrit name as in Ayurveda is ‘nagarmotha’ (Bajpay, Nainwal, Singh & Tewari, 2018). The plant is found at present in various countries of Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, South America, and the Pacific Islands. Being present in so many countries, the plant has numerous names in the local vernacular. Some of the vernacular names given in The Global Invasive Species Database (GISD) [] are Chlorocyperus rotundus (L.) Palla, Chlorocyperus salaamensis Palla, Cyperus agrestis Willd. ex Spreng. & Link, Cyperus arabicus Ehrenb. ex Boeckeler, Cyperus bicolor Vahl, Cyperus bifax C.B.Clarke, Cyperus bulbosostoloniferus Miq., and Cyperus comosus Sm. The taxonomic hierarchy of the plant is given below.

  • Kingdom: Plantae

  • SubKingdom: Viridiplantae

  • Division: Tracheophyta

  • Subdivision: Spermatophytina

  • Class: Magnoliopsida

  • Order: Poales

  • Family: Cyperaceae

  • Genus:Cyperus

  • Species: Cyperus rotundus L.


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