CYMBOPOGON CITRATUS (DC.) Stapf.

Synonyms: Andropogon citratus DC.

Family: Poaceae

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Ghandhabena, Lebugandhi Ghas.

Tribal Name: Dhan sabrang, Kukisawarang (Chakma).

English Name: West Indian Lemongrass, Lemongrass.

Description of the Plant

A tall aromatic grass with tufted leaves. Leaf blades linear, long-attenuated towards the base and tapering upwards to a long setaceous point, up to over 90 cm long. Flowers occationally. Panicle long, narrow.

Using Information

The plant is carminative, antiseptic, stomachic, laxative, appetizer and anthelmintic; useful in vomiting, bronchitis, leprosy, cholera and epileptic fits. The oil extracted from the leaves is a remedy for flatulence, spasmodic affections of the bowels and gastric irritability.

Externally it forms an excellent embrocation in rheumatism, neuralgia, sprains and other painful affections. Tea of leaves is drunk to cure fever. The leaves are much used as flavoring in Chinese soup. In Khagrachari leaves are used in cold and headache. Leaves are chewed for sore gums; useful in elephantiasis.

Essential oil is insect repellent; possesses strong antimicrobial properties (Asolkar et al., 1992).

CYMBOPOGON CITRATUS (DC.) Stapf.
CYMBOPOGON CITRATUS (DC.) Stapf.

Chemical Constituents

Leaves contain an essential oil with citral as the chief (about 70%) constituent. Essential oil also contains citrinellal, geraniol and myrcene, triterpenes, cymbopogonol and cymbopogone. Luteolin, luteolin glucoside, luteolin neohesperoside, homoorientin, chlorogenic, caffeic and p-coumaric acids, octacosanol, triacontanol and dotriacontanol have been identified in the leaves.

Leaf wax contains triterpenes, cymbopogonol and cymbopogone. Rhizome contains alkaloids (hordenine, gramine), saponin glucoside, ß-sitosterol, hexacosanol and triacontanol, alkaloid, saponin glucoside and the phenolic compounds, p-coumaric acid, protocatechuic acid, ferulic acid and phloroglucinol carboxylic acid. An alkaloid with an indole nucleus has been isolated from the rhizome of this plant. (Ghani, 2003).

Distribution

Cultivated more or less throughout the country.


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