AN UPDATE ON SIDDHA HERB KORAI (CYPERUS ROTUNDUS, L.): A REVIEWHTML Full Text
AN UPDATE ON SIDDHA HERB KORAI (CYPERUS ROTUNDUS, L.): A REVIEW
K. Samraj * 1, S. Thillaivanan 2 and K. Kanagavalli 3
Velumailu Siddha Medical College 1, Sriperumpudhur - 602105, Tamil Nadu, India.
Siddha, Tamil Nadu Medical Service 2, Sriperumpudhur, Tamil Nadu, India.
Department General Medicine, Government Siddha Medical College 3, Chennai - 600106, Tamil Nadu, India.
ABSTRACT: The Siddha System of Medicine (Traditional Tamil System of medicine), which has been most prevalent in the ancient Tamil land, is the foremost of all other medical systems in the world. Since, ancient times, several diseases have been treated by administration of plant extracts based on traditional medicine. Plants are the only economic source of some well established and important drugs. Indian Materia Medica includes about 2000 drugs of natural origin. The National Siddha Formulary of India lists more than 10000 well practiced Siddha formulations described in Gunavagadam (Siddha pharmacology). Cyperus rotundus Linn. belongs to the family Cyperaceae. It is the world worst weed native to India. It has a wide range of medicinal and pharmacological applications. According to the Siddha, C. rotundus rhizomes are considered astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, analgesic, antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative, anti-tussive, emmenagogue, litholytic, sedative, stimulant, stomachic, vermifuge, tonic and antibacterial. This paper provides a review of medicinal uses and various updated pharmacological properties of C. rotundus rhizome. The update is essential for developing the traditional system.
Korai, Nutgrass, Cyperus rotundus, Siddha medicine
INTRODUCTION: The Siddha System of Medicine (Traditional Tamil System of medicine), which has been most prevalent in the ancient Tamil land, is the foremost of all other medical systems in the world 1. Siddha medicine has demonstrated path with a record of 10000 years and forms part of the Health Service, existing alongside conventional medicine 2. Medicinal plants are part and parcel of human society to combat diseases, from the dawn of civilization 3.
According to the World Health Organization, 2003 about 80 % of the population of developing countries being unable to afford pharmaceutical drugs rely on traditional medicines, mainly plant-based; to sustain their primary health care needs 4. Herbal medicines are in great demand in the developed as well as developing countries for primary healthcare because of their wide biological and medicinal activities, higher safety margins and lesser costs 5. Also, they are also the source of chemical intermediates needs for the production of some drugs 6.
One of the prominent Siddha herb ‘Korai’ (Cyperus rotundus Linn.) has a number of pharmacological and biological activities including anti-Candida, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-diarrhoeal, cytoprotective, antimutagenic, antibacterial, and antioxidant, activities and it has some important phytochemicals like, flavanol, glycoside, saponin, phenol, terpenoids cardiac glycosides 7, 8.
This medicinal plant is also reported to be effective as attenuate antidyspeptic, aromatic, nervine ionic; alternative, diuretic, astringent in Siddha literatures 9. The rhizomes are initially white and fleshy with scaly leaves and then become fibrous, wiry, and very dark brown with age. C. rotundus is reportedly native to India, but it has been introduced around the World 10, 11, 12. Traditional Healers used its knotted tubers of black color for the cure of fever, diarrhea, dysentery, dyspepsia, anorexia, loss of appetite, vomiting, cholera, liver dysfunctions, and brain debility 13.
The tuber part of C. rotundus is one of the oldest known medicinal plants used for the treatment of dysmenorrheal and menstrual irregularities. Infusion of this herb has been used in pain, fever, diarrhea, dysentery, an emmenagogue, and other intestinal problems 14, 15, 16. The present attempt is to review and compile updated information on various aspects of C. rotundus Linn. (Family: Cyperaceae). A plant used all over the world. This plant is commonly known as Nut Grass and abundantly available in tropical and subtropical areas. The ancient history of India describes its diverse uses and also plays an appreciable role in Siddha.
Vernacular Names: 17
English Name: Nut Grass
Popular Names: Coco Grass, Purple Nut Sedge, Red Nut Sedge, Mustaka.
Common Indian Names:
Hindi: Motha, Mutha
Sanskrit: Bhadramusta, Granthi, Kachhda,
Mustako, Sugandhi-grant hill
Canarese: Koranarigadde, Tungegaddo, Tungehullu
Marathi: Bimbal, Nagarmotha, Motha
Scientific Classification: 18
Botanical Name: Cyperus rotundus, Linn.
Synonyms: Cyperus hexastachyos Rottb.
Kingdom : Plantae
Division : Magnoliophyta
Class : Liliopsida
Order : Poales
Family : Cyperaceae
Genus : Cyperus
Species : rotundus
Parts : Rhizomes
Habitat : Weed found all over India.
Botanical Description: It is a perennial shrub that attains a height of up to 40 cm. It has a dark green thin stem and the leaves are long and sharp, with a width of 1/6 to 1/3 inch. While the flower stem has a triangular cross-section, the flower is 2 to 8 inch in length, has three-stamina and a three-stigma carpel. It is also bisexual. The plant bears flowers in summer and fruits in winter. It has tuberous roots or rhizomes that are fragrant. A perennial, stoloniferous, rhizomatous, halophytic sedge. Rhizome many, slender; tuber-white, succulent when young, hard and black when mature; stem-leafy at base arising from a tuber. Culm-dark green, glabrous. Leaf dark green above, with reddish brown sheaths, clustered at the base of the stem. Inflorescence 3-9 is spreading rays bearing tassels of few, large spikelets; spikelet 20-40 flowered, red-brown to almost black. Fruit oblong ovate 19.
Plant Chemicals: Several chemical compounds have been isolated from world's worst weed C. rotundus 20, and some of these chemicals possess medicinal properties and are used in Latin America, China, India and elsewhere 21, 22, 23. Various preparations of C. rotundus have been used for centuries in perfumes, spices and traditional medicines in India, China, Arab and Africa.
Different phytochemical studies on C.rotundus revealed the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, starch, glycosides, furanochromones, monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, sitosterol, fatty oil containing a neutral waxy substance, glycerol, linolenic, myristic and stearic acids 24-27. The major compounds isolated from essential oil and the extracts of C. rotundus rhizome are alpha-cyperone, alpha-rotunol, beta-cyperone, beta-pinene, beta-rotunol, beta-selinene, calcium, camphene, copaene, cyperene, cyperenone, cyperol, cyperolone cyperotundone D-copadiene, D-epoxyguaiene, D-fructose, D-glucose, flavonoids, gamma-cymene, isocyperol, isokobusone, kobusone, limonene, linoleic-acid, linolenic-acid, magnesium, manganese, C. rotunduskone, Myristic-acid, Oleanolic-acid, Oleanolic-acid-3-o-neohesperidose, Oleic-acid, P-cymol, patchoulenone, pectin, polyphenols, rotundene, rotundenol, rotundone, selinatriene, sitosterol, stearic-acid, sugeonol, sugetriol 28, 29, 30, 31. C. rotundus contains an essential oil that provides for the characteristic odor and taste of the herb, comprised mostly sesquiterpene hydrocarbons, epoxides, ketones, monoterpenes, and aliphatic alcohols. Ses-quiterpenes include selinene, isocur-cumenol, nootkatone, aristolone, isorotundene, cypera-2, 4(15)-diene, and norrotundene, as well as the sesquiterpene alkaloids rotundines A-C. Other constituents include the ketone cyperadione, and the monoterpenes cineole, camphene, and limonene. C. rotundus has also been shown to contain miscellaneous triterpenes including oleanolic acid and sitosterol, as well as flavonoids, sugars and minerals 32, 33.
FIG. 1: SOME PHYTOCHEMICAL STRUCTURES 34, 35
Medicinal Uses: According to the Siddha, the rhizome is pungent, acrid, cooling, astringent, appetizer, stomachic, anthelmintic and useful in the treatment of leprosy, thirst, fever, blood diseases, biliousness, dysentery, pruritis, pain, vomiting, epilepsy, ophthalmia, erysipelas etc. 36
- The paste of nut grass is used in treating skin related ailments like scabies and eczema and helps in relieving itching.
- The paste is used in increasing the size of the breasts. It also purifies the breast milk, improves eyesight and helps in eye related ailments.
- The extract from the roots is instilled into eyes in conjunctivitis, to reduce the pain, redness and ocular discharges.
- Nutgrass, when taken in powdered form, improves digestive system, removes worms from the gastrointestinal tract, curbs infection and purifies the blood.
- The powder is massaged to reduce the subcutaneous fat deposition in case of obese people.
- It normalizes the menstrual disturbances and breast discomfort and maintains normal body temperature.
- Nutgrass proves useful in diseases like psychosis and epilepsy and mental diseases.
- The herb helps in healing wounds and uterine contraction and provides strength to the body.
- It is used as a diuretic to treat ulcers and as an emmenagogue and an ingredient in warm plasters
- Nutgrass is an effective remedy for distaste, vomiting, diarrhea, colitis, and dyspepsia.
- It is considered the best herb for treating any fever.
- The root is often used for developing high memory.
- Nutgrass is beneficial in treating cough and asthma since it alleviates the kapha.
- The herb harmonizes liver, spleen, and pancreas. It helps in curing thirst, bronchitis, dysuria and poisonous affections.
- It is often used as an insect repellent for perfuming clothing.
- It may be a good remedy for indigestion in the light of constituents present in it, for example, there are many enzymes for carbohydrates and minerals which act as a catalyst for various biochemical reactions and helps indigestion. It is also useful for the dietary management of psychotic diseases and metabolic disorders 37.
- They are used in treatment of Nausea and vomiting, dyspepsia, colic, flatulence, diarrhoea, dysentery, intestinal parasites, fever, malaria, cough, bronchitis, renal and vesical calculi, urinary tenesmus, skin diseases, wounds, amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, deficient lactation, loss of memory, insect bites, food poisoning, indigestion, nausea, dysuria, bronchitis, infertility, cervical cancer and menstrual disorders and the aromatic oils are made of perfumes and splash 38-42.
- It is also an important ingredient of anti-pyretic preparation of Nilavembu Kudineer 43.
TABLE 1: MEDICINAL USES OF C. ROTUNDUS
|S. no.||Activity||Plant Part/ Extract||Dose/ Model||Method||Standard Drug||Result|
|1.||Anti-inflammatory||Rhizome/ Alcohol||Albino Rats||carrageenan-induced edema||Hydro-cortisone||Showed highly significant (P<0.001) anti-inflammatory activity eight-time greater than that of hydrocortisone 44|
|2.||Antipyretic activity||Rhizome/ Alcohol||Albino Rats||Pyrexia produced in rats by dried Brewer’s yeast||Acetyl salicylic acid||Highly significant (P<0.001) anti-pyretic activity45|
|3.||Analgesic activity||Rhizome/ Petroleum Ether||300 mg/ Albino Mice||Tail-flick method||Diclofenac Na||Showed highly significant
results (5±0.45 sec reaction time) 46
|4.||Tranqulizing activity||Rhizome/ Ethanol||-||-||-||reduced the spontaneous motor activity47|
|5.||Anticonvulsant activity||Rhizome/ Ethanolic||100mg/kg, P.O.) /Mice||Leptazol induced convulsions||Phenytoin (25mg/Kg, I.P.) And Diazepam (4mg/Kg, I.P.),||Reduced hind limb extension and duration of convulsion significantly, (P<0.001) 48|
|6.||Anti-Emetic activity||Rhizome/ Ethanolic||128.1± 11.6 mg/kg/ Dogs||Apomorphine induced vomiting||-||49|
|500 mg/kg/ mice||charcoal meal test||atropine sulfate||55.94% inhibiting the intestinal motility49|
|8.||Inhibition of gastric motility activity||Rhizome/
|Rats||-||-||inhibition of gastric motility and endogenous prostaglandins may play an important role50|
|200 and 100 mg/kg / Rats||Gastric mucosal injury induced by ischemia and reperfusion in rats.||-||gastric mucosal injury induced by ischemia and reperfusion: significantly lower than that of control 51|
|250 and 500 mg/kg / Mice||Castor oil induced diarrhea||loperamide||anti-diarrheal effect through decreasing intestinal secretions52|
dyslipemia in rat
|Simvastatin (5 mg/kg/ day) and Fenofibrate (20 mg/kg/ day)||Significant (P < 0.05) reduction in serum TC, LDL, TG, HDL levels at the end of 15 days of intervention 53|
|13.||Hepatoprotective activity||Rhizome/ Ethyl Acetate||100 mg/kg / Rats||Inducing liver damage by carbon tetrachloride.||Silymarin||Significant protective effect by lowering serum levels of glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase, glutamic pyruvic transaminase, alkaline phosphatase, and total bilirubin 54|
|14.||Anti-obesity activity||Rhizome/aqueous||-||-||-||lipolytic action and mobilized fat from the adipose tissues in rats, thus helping to reduce the obesity 55|
|15.||Antiarthritic activity||Rhizome/aqueous||500 mg/kg/ Male Wistar rats||Formaldehyde
|16.||Wound healing activity||Rhizome/alcohol||a form of ointment/ rats||-||Nitro-furazone||wound contracting ability, wound closure time and tensile strength 56|
|17.||Antioxidant activity||Rhizome/ Ethanol||-||free radical 2,2'-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6sulphonicacid) (ABTS)||-||exerts a promising antioxidant potential against free radical-induced oxidative damage 57|
|18.||Anticancer activity||Rhizome/ Ethanolic||-||Neuro-2a Cells||-||Have only weak to
moderate anticancer activity (LC50=2.528-4.939 Mg/Ml calculated from dose-dependent cell death) 58
|19.||Anti-diabetic activity||-||500 mg/kg/ rats||alloxan-induced diabetes||-||Significantly lowered the blood glucose levels59|
|20.||Antimicrobial activity||Rhizome/ Ethanol||-||-||Amoxicillin||Moderate inhibition was observed in the case of A. niger and S. aureus (90and 70% respectively) 60|
|-||remarkable activity against gram-positive bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococus faecalis||-||observed against Salmonella enteritidis, Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecalis61|
|22.||Antimalarial activity||Rhizome/ Ethanol||-||in-vitro antimalarial activity against Plasmodium falciparum||-||62|
|24.||Ovicidal and larvicidal activities||Rhizome/ oil||-||-||-||The results obtained suggest that the essential oils of these Cyperus species can serve as a potential source of natural mosquitocidal agents 63|
Organoleptic Characters: The fresh rhizome of C. rotundus Linn. was studied for organoleptic characters such as appearance, color, odor, and taste 64. Organoleptic characteristics of Cyperus rotundus Linn Rhizome 65.
TABLE 2: ORGANOLEPTIC CHARACTERS
|S. no.||Organoleptic Parameters||Cyperus rotundus Linn. Rhizome|
|4||Taste||Slightly bitter & astringent|
Preparation of Specimens: 66 The healthy rhizome was cut and removed from the plant and fixed in FAA (formalin - 5ml + acetic acid - 5ml + 70% ethyl alcohol - 90ml). After 24 h of fixing, the specimens were dehydrated as per schedule. Infiltration of the specimens was carried by gradual addition of paraffin wax (melting point 58-60 °C) until tertiary-butyl alcohol solution attained supersaturation.
The specimens were cast into paraffin blocks. The paraffin-embedded specimens were sectioned with the help of Rotary Microtome 67. Dewaxing of the sections was carried out by standard procedure and stained the method published by O’Brien et al., 68. The photographs were taken through the microscope.
Physico-Chemical Analysis: Loss on drying, crude fiber content, total ash, acid insoluble ash, water soluble ash, sulphated ash water-soluble extractive, alcohol soluble extractive values were calculated as per Indian pharmacopoeia 69. Successive extractive values were observed with solvents of petroleum ether (60-80 °C), n-hexane, acetone, alcohol, aqueous 70, 71.
Fluorescence Analysis: The petroleum ether, n-hexane, acetone, alcohol and aqueous extracts and the powder samples of rhizomes of C. rotundus Linn. were subjected to fluorescence analysis as per Chase and Pratt 72.
Fluorescence analysis of Cyperus rotundus Linn. rhizome 65.
TABLE 3: FLUORESCENCE ANALYSIS
|Preparation Extracts||Day Light||UV Light|
|Petroleum ether||Pale brown||Dark Brown|
Phytochemical Screening: The extracts prepared for the study were subjected to preliminary phytochemical screening by using different reagents for identifying the presence of various phytoconstituents like steroids, phenolic compounds, flavonoids, glycosides, saponins, triterpenoids, alkaloids, anthraquinones, tannins, quinines coumarins and reducing sugars. The above phytoconstituents were tested as per the standard methods 73, 74.
FIG. 2: CYPERUS ROTUNDUS LINN. RHIZOME
FIG. 3: TRANSVERSE SECTION OF CYPERUS ROTUNDUS LINN, RHIZOME
CONCLUSION: The widespread survey of literature exposed that Siddha herb Cyperus rotundus Linn. is highly regarded as a universal solution in the herbal medicine with diverse pharmacological activity range. This Siddha medicinal plant is the unique resource of various types of chemical compounds, which are responsible for the various activities of the plant. Hence extensive investigation is needed to develop their therapeutic utility to fighting diseases. As the global scenario is now altering towards the use of non-toxic plant products having traditional medicinal use, development of modern drugs from C. rotundus should be emphasized for the organizing of various diseases. Further, evaluation needs to be carried out on C. rotundus Linn. to discover the concealed areas and their practical clinical applications, which can be used for the benefit of mankind.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Nil
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How to cite this article:
Samraj K, Thillaivanan S and Kanagavalli K: An update on Siddha herb Korai (Cyperus rotundus, L.): a review. Int J Pharmacognosy 2014; 1(4): 233-242. doi link: http://dx.doi.org/10.13040/IJPSR.0975-8232.IJP.1(4).233-242.
This Journal licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-commercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
K. Samraj*, S. Thillaivanan and K. Kanagavalli
Velumailu Siddha Medical College, Sriperumpudhur, Tamil Nadu, India.
02 January 2014
21 February 2014
28 March 2014
01 April 2014