Cyperus rotundus is a slender,
erect, glabrous, perennial grasslike plant, 10 to 40 centimeters high.
Rhizomes or underground stems are wiry, bearing black, hard, ovoid
tubers which are about 1 centimeter in diameter. Ground stems are usually solitary, distinctly
3-angled above. Leaves are 5 to 15 centimeters long, sometimes as long as the stems, about 3 millimeters wide, and narrowly linear. Umbel is simple or compound, 2 to 6 centimeters long, with 2 to 8 unequal primary rays. Spikes are dense or rather lax. Spikelets are 3 to 8, 10 to 25 millimeters long, brown, slender, with 10 to 25 florets in each spikelet, linear, and slightly compressed. Rachilla of the spikelet
distinctly winged. Glumes are 2.5 to 3 millimeters long, closely or loosely imbricate. Glumes of the floret distichously arranged,
the first 2 empty, the third one bisexual. Fruit is an achene, obovoid or oblong, black or granulate, 3-angled, one-seeded, covered with a scurfy bloom.
- Found throughout the Philippines in open areas at low and medium altitudes.
A common and invasive weed in gardens, lawns and wastelands.
- Pantropic in distribution.
• Plant yielded Norcyperone, a novel norsesquiterpene.
• Rhizome yields an essential oil.
• Tubers yield fat, sugar, gum, carbohydrates, albuminous matter, starch, fiber, ash, and traces of alkaloid.
• Phytochemical screening yielded tannins, saponins, carbohydrates and alkaloids, with an absence of protein and sterols.
• Study of essential oil yielded more than 33 compounds were identified. Principal compounds were cyperene, alpha-cyperone, isolongifolen-5-one, rotundene, and cyperorotundene were the principal compounds comprising 62% of the oil. (see study below) (24)
• Study of minor constituents of essential oil yielded three new sesquiterpene hydrocarbons (−)-isorotundene, (−)-cypera-2,4(15)-diene, (−)-norrotundene and the ketone (+)-cyperadione. (26)
• Ethanol extract of leaves yielded carbohydrates, alkaloids, phenolic compounds, tannins, glycosides, and phytosterols. (27)
• Major chemical components are essential oils, flavonoids, terpenoids, sesquiterpenes. Other constituents are cyprotene, acopaene, cyperene, aselinene, rotundene, valencene, cyperol, gurjunene, trans-calamenene, dcadinene, gcallacorene, cadalene, cypertundone, amuurolene, gmuurolene, cyperotundone, mustakone, isocyperol, acyperone, 4,11-selinnadien-3-one, and 1,8-cineole. (26)
• Study of rhizome extracts yielded
known compounds i.e., 5-hydroxymethyl furfural (1), methyl ferulate (MF) (2), (E)-ferulaldehyde (3), and N-trans- feruloyltyramine (4). Compound 4 was isolated from C. rotundus rhizomes for the first time. (see study below) (43)
• Study of rhizomes isolated three novel sesquiterpene alkaloids with an unprecedented carbon skeleton, Rotundines A, B, and C. (50)
• An ethanol extract yielded alkaloids, glycosides, steroids, tannins, carbohydrates and flavonoids. (see study below) (51)
• Considered as the world's worst invasive weed through tubers, sometimes dominating natural habitats by its ability to prevent herbivory, kill and suppress other plants in its vicinity. (45)
bitter tasting rhizome.
• Fragrance resembles lemon and cardamom.
• Considered analgesic, alternative, astringent, antispasmodic, antibacterial, carminative, contraceptive,
demulcent, emmenagogue, emollient, febrifuge, immunostimulant, laxative, stimulative, tonic, vermifuge.
· Harvest from December to January.
· Wash and sun-dry or heat-dry in a clean frying pan.
· Scrape off the fibrous roots.
- In the Philippines, used for dysentery.
- For indigestion and
constipation, 2 to 6 gms of dried material in a standard cup of water,
boil to concentration and drink.
- For skin diseases, wash the diseased portion with a warm decoction.
- For chest pains caused by deterred blood flow of blood and energy
circulation: boil to decoction 4 to 9 gms of dried drug preparation
together with 4 gms of Citrus (dalanghita, kahel, suha, kalamansi, etc.)
- Neurogenic gastralgia, abdominal distention, heaviness at the
chest, acidic vomiting: 3 to 9 gms dried material in decoction.
- Irregular menstruation, painful menstruation: 3 to 9 gms dried
material in decoction.
- Sprains and bruises, furuncle infections: Use pounded fresh
material as poultice or cook the pulverized drug material in vinegar
and apply as hot poultice.
- In various oriental traditional systems, rhizomes used for stomach and bowel disorders.
- In Ayurveda, used for leprosy,
fever, dysentery, itching, and as anthelmintic. Also for memory loss, depression and epilepsy.
- In India, used for wound healing. Roots used medicinally as a diaphoretic, astringent, stimulant, tonic, diuretic and demulcent. Also used as vermifuge and emmenagogue.
- In China, tubers used as tonic, stimulant, and stomachic.
- Fresh tubers applied to breast as paste or warm plaster as a galactagogue.
- Dried tubers used for spreading ulcers.
- In Indo-China, used for women in childbirth and to infants for indigestion.
- In Cambodia, tubers used for liver complaints with icterus, for malaria, and headaches.
- In Java, used for urinary problems.
- In Unani, used for ulcers and
sores, fevers, dyspepsia.
- Decoction of rhizome with stem bits of Tinospora cardifolia and dried ginger is used to treat malarial fever. Rhizome juice used to treat constipation. Fresh tubers applied to breast as galactagogue. (37)
- In traditional Iranian medicine, used to treat memory and cognition disorders. (40)
• Crafts: Elsewhere,
leaves used in the weaving of baskets and hats.
• Repellent / Scent: In Asia, tubers are used as perfume for clothing and as insect repellent.
• Oil: Essential oil from the tuber used in perfumery, soap making and insect repellent cream.
Antidiabetic / Antioxidant: Study evaluated the antidiabetic
activity of hydro-ethanolic extract of Cyperus rotundus in alloxan induced
diabetes in rats. Results showed CR significantly lowered the
blood glucose levels and showed antioxidant activity and radical scavenging
in vitro. (1)
Cytoprotective effects of Study of Cyperus rotundus against ethanol induced gastric
ulceration in rats showed cytoprotective action attributed to inhibition
of gastric motility and endogenous prostaglandins. (2)
• Wound healing / Tubers:
Study evaluated an alcoholic extract of tuber parts for wound healing potential in ointment form in excision, incision, and dead-space wound models on rats. Results showed considerable difference in response in all three models in wound healing parameters i.e., contracting ability,
wound closure time and tensile strength, comparable to standard drug nitrofurazone ointment. (3)
• Stress-Reducing Effects:
Physiological effects of herbal mixture with Cyperus rotundus
L. on blood pressure, norepinephrine, cortisol and psychological variables
in healthy medical students under examination: Herbal mixture that included
CR seems to help reduce stress-related physiological and psychological
Aqueous extract of C rotundus showed a hypotensive effect in rats probably acting both centrally and peripherally altering the peripheral resistance and cardiac mechanics. Phytochemical screening yielded tannins, saponins, carbohydrates and the absence of alkaloids, proteins and sterols. (4)
• Antimicrobial Activity: Study showed antimicrobial activity against K pneumonia, A niger and S aureus.
• Mosquito Repellent / Root Tuber: C rotundus extract was screened for repellent activity against mosquito vector Anopheles culicifacies, A stephensi, Culex quinquefasciatus. Study showed the tuber extracts to be more effective for repellency of all the mosquito vectors even at low dose. The extract can be applied as an effective personal protective measure against mosquito bites. (8)
• Polyphenols / Antioxidant: Study on the rhizome extract of Cyperus rotundus exhibited concentration-dependent scavenging effect on superoxide anion radicals, OH radicals, NO radicals, H2O2, metal chelating and reducing power. Results suggest CR rhizome extract can be a potential source of natural antioxidant. (9)
• Anti-Obesity Effect: Study of C rotundus tubers hexane extract for 60 days induced a significant reduction in weight gain without affecting food consumption or inducing toxicity. In vitro, the extract was able to stimulate lipolysis. The effect in weight gain may be partially mediated through activation of ß3-AR. Results suggest CR tuber extract has a potential as a herbal supplement for controlling body weight. (10)
• Anti-Candida Activity: Study of essential oils and ethanolic extracts of leaves and/or roots of 35 medicinal plants in Brazil were screened for anti-candidal activity. The essential oils of 13 plants, including Cyperus rotundus, showed anti-Candida activity. (12)
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study showed the methanol extract of rhizomes of CR showed inhibition of NO production in a dose-dependent manner from the suppression of iNOS protein, as well as iNOS mRNA expression. Results suggest a potential for the methanol extract to be developed as an anti-inflammatory agent for diseases mediated by overproduction of NO and O2. (13).
• Gastroprotective: Study results indicate that CR extracts have gastroprotective effect against acute mucosal lesions induced by ischemia/reperfusion. (14)
• Antimutagenicity / Essential Oil: Study shows the oil of CR does not seem genotoxic. The oil exhibited effects against both direct and indirect mutagens. (15)
• Infectious Diarrhea / Tubers: Study evaluated the antidiarrheal activity of C. rotundus tubers decoction. The decoction showed antigiardial activity, reduced bacterial adherence to and invasion of HEp-2 cells. However, the decoction does not have marked antibacterial activity and its antidiarrheal action was attributed to mechanisms other than direct killing of pathogen. (19)
• Antimicrobial / Rhizomes: Various rhizomes extracts were evaluated against six important pathogenic microbes (S. epidermis, B. cereus, P. aeruginosa, E. coli, A. niger, and C. albicans). An ethanolic extract showed the highest antibacterial activity . All extracts were ineffective against fungal strains tested. (20)
• Antiplatelet Effects / Nootkatone: Study of an EtOH extract showed significant and concentration-dependent inhibitory effects on collagen-, thrombin-, and/or AA-induced platelet aggregation. Of the eight components, (+)-nootkatone had the most potent inhibitory effect. (21)
• Anticonvulsant: Study showed pretreatment of mice with ethanolic extract of C. rotundus provided significant protection against strychnine and leptazol-induced convulsions in mice. Effect was attributed possibly to flavonoids. (22)
• Analgesic / Antimicrobial / Cytotoxic: Study of crude extract showed analgesic effect by the tail-flick method, antimicrobial activity, and non-toxicity at different concentrations in the brine shrimp bioassay. (23)
• Antioxidant / Cytotoxic / Apoptotic / Essential Oil: Essential oil showed antioxidant, cytotoxic and apoptotic properties. On on-vitro cytotoxicity assay, essential oil showed to be very effective against L1210 leukemia cell lines. Results correlate with significantly increased apoptotic DNA fragmentation. Oxidative effects were evaluated using DPPH, xanthine/xanthine oxidase assay, and scavenging of superoxide radicals. (see constituents above) (24)
• Antimicrobial / Leaves: Ethanolic extract of leaves were evaluated for antimicrobial activity against S. aureus, E. coli, P. aeruginosa, K. pneumonia, A. niger and C. albicans. Results showed significant activity against both bacterial and fungal pathogens. (see constituents above) (26)
• Decreasing Hair Growth / Role in Androgenic Hair / Essential Oil: Study evaluated the efficacy and safety of Egyptian C. rotundus essential oil in decreasing androgenic hair (hirsutism and axillary hair) in 91 female patients. Results showed topical application of essential oil is an effective method in treating moderate degrees of hirsutism and axillary hair., without affecting serum testosterone. (27)
• Lipid Lowering / Rhizomes: Study of alcoholic extract of rhizomes of Cyperus rotundus demonstrated statistically significant reduction of serum lipid profile. (28)
• Pesticidal / Tubers: Study of C. rotundus for pesticidal activity showed the tuber can me made into an effective pesticide, more effective than Carbamate, with almost the same efficacy as that of Organophosphate. (29)
• Bioethanol Production: Study evaluated C. rotundus for the production of bioethanol via enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation of CR biomass slurry. Findings showed 40% of simpler monomeric carbohydrate was converted into bioethanol. Results showed weed plants like C. rotundus can be a good alternative sources for ethanol production. (30)
• Effect on Learning and Memory in an Animal Model of Alzheimer / Tubers: Study suggests C. rotundus tubers ethanol extract has some repairing effects on the memory and behavioral disorders produced by lesioning of the NBM (nucleus basalis of Meynert) in rats. (31)
• Neuroprotective: Study investigated the possible neuroprotective effects of an EE of CR on a model of transient global ischemia in rat. Results showed the EECR cannot reduce ischemia-induced, cognitive impairments after transient global cerebral ischemia but can prevent pyramidal cell loss in CA1 region of the hippocampus. (32)
• Antimicrobial / Anti-Inflammatory / Tonsillitis: Study evaluated the antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activity of C. rotundus for tonsillitis. Results showed antibacterial activity against Streptococcus pyogenes responsible for throat infection. (33)
• Analgesic / Antioxidant / Modulation of Splenocyte Function: Study evaluated various extracts of C. rotundus showed peripheral analgesic activity with reduction of number of abdominal contractions caused by acetic acid in mice. There was no toxicity in mice up to dose of 300 mg/kbw. The extracts also showed significant enhancement of lymphocyte proliferation at 1 mg/ml. The extracts yielded potent components such as flavonoids which may be potentially useful in the modulation of immune cell functions, provoking analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antioxdant effects. (35)
• Ovicidal / Larvicidal / Essential Oil from Tubers: Study evaluated essential oils extracted from tubers on eggs and fourth instar larvae of Aedes albopictus. Results showed remarkable ovicidal and larvicidal activities indicated by EC50 values of <5 ppm and LC50 and LC90 values of <20 ppm. Results suggested the essential oil as a potential source of natural mosquitocidal agents. (36)
• Antimalarial / Tubers: Study of C. rotundus tubers isolated patchoulenone, caryophyllene or-oxide, 10,12-peroxycalamenene and 4,7--dimethyl-l-tetralone. The antimalarial activities of these compounds are in the range of ECso 10-4-10-6 M. A novel sesquiterpene, 10,12-peroxycalamenene, exhibited the strongest effect at ECso 2.33 × 106 M. (36)
• Biosorption of Crystal Violet: Study evaluated the biosorption potential of two agricultural wastes, Citrillus lanatus rind and Cyperus rotundus to remove Crystal violet (CV) from aqueous solution. Results showed good sorption capacities of 46.68 and 54.24 mg/g for CV biosorption by C. lanatus rind and C. rotundus, respectively. (37)
• Antiamoebic / Cytotoxicity: Study evaluated the in-vitro antiamoebic activity and cytotoxicity (MTT assay) of an ethanol extract of C. rotundus whole plant. In an in-vitro study against E. histolytica trophozoites, the extract showed 100% mortality at concentration of 500 ppm. In cytotoxicity study, the MTT assay verified the safety of the extract with an IC50 of less than 100 µg/ml. (38)
• Antimicrobial / MDR P. aeruginosa Strains: Study evaluated ethanolic extracts of C. rotundus tubers for antimicrobial effect of multiple drug resistant (MDR) Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains. Extract concentrations greater than 01 mg/ml suppressed growth of all antibiotic sensitive and resistant P. aeruginosa strains. Results antimicrobial properties that can be used in treating MDR Pseudomonas aeruginosa-induced wounds and infections. (39)
• No Effect on Scopolamine Induced Learning Deficit in Mice: Study evaluated various extracts and essential oil of C. rotundus on scopolamine induced memory deficit in mice. Results showed none of the tested doses of extract or essential oil changed the memory status of animals, indicating either lack of effective ingredient or unsuitable method of evaluation. (40)
• Anti-Emetic: An ethanolic extract of C. rotundus at dose of 128.1 ± 11.6 mg/kg showed anti-emetic activity in 50% of dogs against apomorphine induced vomiting. (A pharmacological study of Cyperus rotundus / Singh N, Kulshrestha VK, Gupta MB and Bhargava K P,.Indian J Med, Res, 1970; 58(80): pp 103-109) (41)
• Toxicological Studies: Acute toxicity study using OECS guidelines showed an extract of rhizomes was safe up to 2000 mg/kg. On subchronic toxicity study, food, water consumption and body weight of animals didn't vary significantly. Hematological parameters showed an increase in WBC and Hb levels. Renal and hepatic functions showed no changes even after prolonged exposure. (41)
• Analgesic / Anti-Inflammatory / Rhizomes: Study evaluated methanol, chloroform and ethyl acetate extracts of C. rotundus rhizomes for analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities. All extracts exhibited significant dose dependent analgesic effects in acetic acid and hot plate pain models, with the ethyl acetate extract showing most significant activity similar to standard drugs. Carrageenan-induced paw volume was significantly reduced by the EA extract similar to diclofenac sodium. (see constituents above) (43)
Antioxidant / DNA Damage Protective / Cytotoxic / Antibacterial Against Foodborne Pathogens / Rhizomes Essential Oil: Study of rhizomes essential oil yielded α-cyperone (38.46%), cyperene (12.84%) and α-selinene (11.66%) as major components. The EO exhibited excellent antioxidant activity, protective effect against DNA damage, and cytotoxic effects on human neuroblastoma SH-Sy5Y cells, and antibacterial activity against several foodborne pathogens, with greater activity against Gram-positive bacteria than Gram-negative bacteria. The biologic activities were dose-dependent. Results showed potential applications of the EO in food and pharmaceutical industries. (44)
• Inhibition of Acetylcholinesterase Activity / Tubers: The study investigated whether chemicals in nutgrass target neuronal and non-neuronal acetylcholinesterases to affect surrounding animals and plants. A methanol extract of tubers strongly inhibited activity of AChE from electric eel, wheat, and tomato. Results suggest the inhibitor of AChE in nutgrass might act as a protective agent of the plant's war against herbivore animals and competition with other plants trying to grown in the same habitat. (45)
• Anticancer / Ehrlich
Ascites Carcinoma / Rhizomes: Study evaluated the anticancer effects of C. rotundus rhizomes extracts on experimentally induced Ehrlich ascites carcinoma in mice. Results showed increase life span by 36% and 20% at 250 mg/kbw and 500 mg/kbw doses, respectively. Hematological parameters were restored to normal levels, along with an increase in antioxidant enzymes. (46)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Anti-Ulcer / Neuropharmacological Effects / Pilot Study: A crude extract showed significant anti-inflammatory effect in a carrageenan induced model in rats. The antiulcer activity was 41.2% at dosage of 500 mg/kg. On neuropharmacological testing using open field, head dip, rearing traction and forced swimming test, results showed mild decrease in all tests with a slight muscle relaxant effect. (47)
• Inhibition of Axillary Hair Growth
/ Comparable to Laser Photo-Epilation / Topical C. rotundus Oil: Topical CR oil is effective and safe for use in decreasing hair growth. This open-label pilot study evaluated the efficacy of CR essential oil for reducing unwanted axillary hair. Results showed the EO is as effective as Alexandrite laser photo-epilation for decreasing the growth of axillary hair (both dark and white). (48)
• Protective Effect on Amyloid ß-Peptide Induced Memory Impairment: Study evaluated the protective effects of CR as antioxidant on amyloid ß (Aß)-induced memory impairment in Wistar male rats using Morris water-maze (MWM). Results showed CR could improved learning impairment following Aß treatment, and suggest potential for treatment of AD (Alzheimer Disease)-induced cognitive dysfunction. (49)
• Anti-Angiogenic / Antioxidant: Study evaluated an ethanol extract of CR for anti-angiogenic activity. Results showed significant dose-dependent blood vessels inhibition using an ex vivo rat aorta ring assay. The extract showed significant free radical scavenging activity using DPPH assay. The anti-angiogenic activity was attributed to the presence of antioxidant compounds. (see constituents above) (51)
• Antigiardial /
Cytotoxicity / Whole Plant: Study evaluated the in-vitro antigiardial activities (Giardia lamblia) and cytotoxicity (MTT assay) of ethanol extract of whole plant of CR. Results showed potent activities against Giardia lamblia trophozoites in vitro. MTT assay verified the safety of the examined extract. (52)
• Anthelmintic: Study evaluated the in-vitro anthelmintic activity of a methanolic extract of C. rotundus against Indian earthworm Pheretima posthuma. Results showed significant activity at higher concentrations when compared to standard Albendazole group. (53)
• Antidepressant: Study evaluated the antidepressant effect of CR extract in a Wistar rat model of depression using tail suspension test or forced swimming test.
Results showed significant antidepressant effect in rats. The effect of 800 mg/kg was more potent (MAO B inhibitory activity of p<0.01) than the positive drug fluoxetine. (54)
• Anticonvulsant / Antioxidant / Rhizomes: Study evaluated the anticonvulsant and antioxidant effect of a hydroalcoholic extract of CR rhizomes on pentylenetetrazol-induced kindling model in male mice. Results showed decreased intensity and duration of seizure, along with an increase in level of SOD and NO and decreased MDA level in mice brain. The antiepileptic effect was attributed to its antioxidant properties. (55)
• Antispasmodic / Antidiarrheal / Tubers: Study evaluated a CR extract of tubers for antidiarrheal
effect in castor oil induced diarrhea and antispasmodic effect in a charcoal meal test models in mice. Results showed antidiarrheal effect through decrease in intestinal secretions and antispasmodic effect via inhibition of intestinal motilitsy. (56)
• Ferulic Acid Content / Rhizomes: Ferulic acid is one of the main active constituents of C. rotundus with effects of antioxidation, pain relief, and inhibition of platelet aggregation. Study reports on a simple, rapid, and accurate HPLC method of determining ferulic acid in C. rotundus rhizomes. The ferulic acid content of CR collected from twelve sources in China varied from 0.027-0.0462%. (57)
• Antidiabetic / Rhizomes: Study evaluated an ethanolic extract of CR rhizomes for antidiabetic activity in STZ-induced diabetic Swiss mice. At dose levels of 250 and 500 mg/kbw, the extract exhibited significant antidiabetic activity, improved body weight, and reduction in elevated biochemical parameters such as SGPT, SGOT, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. (58)
- Extracts, oil and tinctures in the cybermarket.