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Family Gramineae
Chrysopogon aciculatus (Retz.) Trin.

Zhu jie cao

Scientific names Common names 
Andropogon acicularis Willd. Amor-seco (Span.) 
Andropogon aciculatus Retz. Amorserko (Bis.)
Andropogon javanicus Steud. Dalekedek (Bon.) 
Andropogon subulatus J.Presl. Dalukdul (Bon.) 
Centrophorum chinense Trin. Lakut-lapas (Sul.) 
Chrysopogon aciculatus (Retz.) Trin. Marisekos (Tag.) 
Chrysopogon subulatus (J.Presl.) Trin. ex Steud. Mariskos (Tag.) 
Chrysopogon trivialis (Lour.) Arn. & Nees Pagippi (Ibn.) 
Holcus aciculatus (Retz.) R.Br. Tinloi (Tag.) 
Rhaphis aciculata (Retz.) Honda Golden beardgrass (Engl.)
Rhaphis trivialis Lour. Grass seed (Engl.)
Rhaphis trivialis Lour. Lesser speargrass (Engl.)
Sorghum aciculatum (Retz.) Kuntze Love grass (Eng.) 
  Mackie's pest (Engl.)
Chrysopogon aciculatus (Retz.) Trin. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Zhu jie cao.
HAWAIIAN: Manienieula.
INDIA: Chorkanta, Chui-kanta.
INDONESIAN: Kalikanji, Jukut domdoman, Rumput jarum.
MALAYSIAN: Kemuchut, Temuchut.
MYANMAR: Maung-yin-ngo-myet, Nauk-po-myet.
NEPAL: Chirchiri, Nakasurka, Chhindari, Chhimra, Ghore dubo, Sarauth.
THAI: Yaa jao chu.
OTHERS: Inifuk, Matapekepeke, Pilipiliula.

Common name "love grass"
comes from the seeds produced by inflorescences which adheres to objects, clothing, humans and animals. It can also penetrate the skin.

Amor-seco is a dense, leafy perennial grass, creeping and branching below, with short horizontal stems. Flowering stems are erect, 20 to 60 centimeters high. Leaves are short, linear-lanceolate, 3 to 10 centimeters long, 4 to 6 centimeters wide. Panicles are purplish, open, with few whorled branches, 5 centimeters long, or less, bearing few-flowered spikes. Sessile spikelet is very narrow, about 3 millimeters long; callus is elongated, barbed; fourth glume is linear, acuminate, with a short scabrid awn.

- Found throughout the Philippines in open places at low and medium altitudes.
- A troublesome pest of a weed on lawns and golf courses, the seeds adhering to trousers and dresses.
- Also occurs from India to China and southward through Malaya to tropical Australia and Polynesia.

- Study suggests substantial amounts of sterols and terpenes in the flowers.
- Phytochemical screening of methanol extract yielded saponins, tannins, phenols, terpenoids, and phytosterols, while an n-hexane extract yielded tannins, terpenes and phytosterols. (see study below) (6)

- Needle-like prickly spikelets can be source of injury to animals and humans and annoyance of spikelets sticking to clothing or fur that can penetrate the skin. (12)
- Antidiarrheal, diuretic, antidotal, antirheumatic.

Parts utilized
Entire plant

· In the Philippines decoction of root is used for diarrhea.
· In Ternate decoction used for those who might have swallowed poison.
· Decoction of entire plant as a diuretic.
· In Indonesia, plant used as poison antidote.
· In Bangladesh, root juice used for liver pain.
· Ashes of burned roots taken internally for rheumatism.
· In ancient Hindu medicine, one of several plants – Curcuma longa, Berberis asiatica, Ocimum basilicum, Trichosanthes dioica, Azadirachta indica, among others, ground and mixed in equal proportion and applied over the body as an ointment for pruritus, skin eruptions, urticaria, and tumescence. Also mixed with other herbal plants as a purgative, pustulant and anodyne.
· In Bangladesh, leaves of Chrysopogon aciculatus, Saraca asoca and Vitex negundo are warmed and applied topically to areas of pain and paralysis, 2-3 times daily. (8)
· In India, fresh rhizome along with 3-5 black pepper is crushed into a paste and taken every morning for one month on an empty stomach for gastric disorder or stomach aches. (11)
· In East Sepik of Papua, New Guinea plant used for swelling. In Ayurveda, used as diuretic. (13)
· Ground cover: Grows extensively by rhizomes to form a dense ground cover. Also used for erosion control. (12)
· Livestock: In Bangladesh, whole plant used for cattle leg swellings.
· Weaving: Straw used for weaving hats, mats, etc.

Study evaluated phytochemicals and antimicrobial activity of methanol and n-hexane extracts of Andropogon aciculatus. A methanol extract of A. aciculatus showed antimicrobial activity against gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis. (see constituents above) (6)
Aciculatin / Cytotoxic / Anti-Inflammatory: A new flavone-glycoside aciculatin from Chrysopogon aciculatus have been shown to have cytotoxic, anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritis activity. Limited availability from natural sources have limited further biologic studies. Study reports on the total synthesis of aciculatin with an overall yield of 8.3%. (7)
Aciculatin / Anti-Cancer: Aciculatin, a natural compound from Chrysopogon aciculatus has shown anti-cancer potency. Study showed that aciculatin induces cell death in human cancer cells and HCT116 mouse xenografts due to G1 arrest and subsequent apoptosis. Results suggest the induction of cell cycle arrest and apoptosis occurs via inhibition of MDM2 expression, thereby inducing p53 accumulation without significant DNA damage and genome toxicity. (9)
Aciculatin / Inhibition of Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor / Anti-Arthritic Potential: Study shows aciculatin inhibits IL-1ß-stimulated G-CSF expression and the subsequent neutrophil differentiation, suggesting it might have therapeutic potential for inflammatory arthritis. (10)
• Remediation Potential / Nickel Contaminated Soil: Study assessed the performance and remediation potential of C. aciculatus grown in nickel contaminated soil. Results showed C. aciculatus can tolerate Ni contamination in soil and can be used as turf grass on Ni polluted soils. (14)


Update January 2018 / June 2016

Photos ©Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
An Interpretation of Ancient Hindu Medicine / CHANDRA CHAKRABERTY

An Ethnobotanical Study of Madhupur, Tangail
/ M. Anisuzzaman, A.H.M.M. Rahman et al / Journal of Applied Sciences Research, 3(7): 519-530, 2007
A phytochemical study of Andropogon aciculatus Retz flower-amor-seco / Chua, Nenita Garcia / DOST Union Catalog
Chrysopogon aciculatus / Synonyms / The Plant List
Vernacular names / GlobinMed
Phytochemical Screening and In Vitro Antibacterial Activity of Crude Extracts from Andropogon aciculatus
retz. (Poaceae)
/ ELYROSE KIM C. RUIZO / A research paper submitted to the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics University of the Philippines Visayas Tacloban College, Tacloban City / 2013
Total Synthesis of the Naturally Occurring Glycosylflavone Aciculatin
/ Chun-Hsu Yao, Chi-Hui Tsai, and Jinq-Chyi Lee*/ J. Nat. Prod. / DOI: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.5b01051
A survey on the ethnomedicinal practices of a folk medicinal practitioner in Manikganj district, Bangladesh / Sayeda Shahnaj, Ummarin Asha, Tanjila Mim, Nur Shalma Haque Rumi, Sharmin Akter, Subarna Rani Ghose, Sharmin Akter, Md. Tabibul Islam, Protiva Rani Das and Mohammed Rahmatullah* / Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research, 2015, 7(8): 690-696
Aciculatin Induces p53-Dependent Apoptosis via MDM2 Depletion in Human Cancer Cells In Vitro and In Vivo / Chin-Yu Lai, An-Chi Tsai, Mei-Chuan Chen, Li-Hsun Chang, Hui-Lung Sun, Ya-Ling Chang, Chien-Chih Chen, Che-Ming Teng , Shiow-Lin Pan / PLoS ONE 7(8): e42192 / doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0042192
Aciculatin Inhibits Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor Production by Human Interleukin 1β-Stimulated Fibroblast-Like Synoviocytes / Kao-Shang Shih, Jyh-Horng Wang, Yi-Wen Wu, Che-Ming Teng, Chien-Chih Chen, Chia-Ron Yang / PLoS ONE 7(7): e42389. / doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0042389
Some less known folk medicine in Bhadrak and Kendrapara districts of Odisha, India / Taranisen Panda*, Nirlipta Mishra, Bikram Kumar Pradhan, Rajballav Mohanty / MicroMedicine 2016; 4 (1): 8-20
Chrysopogon aciculatus / Useful Tropical Plants
An ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants used in the East Sepik province of Papua New Guinea / Michael Koch et al / J Ethnobiol Ethnomed, 2015; 11: 79 / doi:  10.1186/s13002-015-0065-8
Performance and remediation potential of Chrysopogon aciculatus (Retz.) Trin. grown in nickel-contaminated soils / S. Oydeji, O O Agboola, K S Olorunmalye and O M Olagundoye / Ceylon Journal of Science 46(2) 2017: 39-48 / http://doi.org/10.4038/cjs.v46i2.7428

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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