Family: Cyperaceae

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Mutha, Nagarmutha, Bhadailla.

English Name: Nut Grass.

Description of the Plant

A slender, glabrous sedge; stolons slender, 10-20 cm long, bearing ovoid, black, fragrant tubers, 0.8-2.5 cm diam. Leaves shorter or longer than the stem, narrowly linear, 4-8 mm broad. Umbel simple or compound; rays 2-8, the longest reaching 7.5 cm long, bearing short spikes of 3-10 slender, spreading red-brown spikelets.

Using Information

Tubers are astringent, digestive, tonic, stimulant, stomachic, diuretic, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue and vermifuge. Decoction of the tubers is given in fever, diarrhoea, dyspepsia, and stomach complaints; infusion is useful in dysentery, vomiting and cholera. Fresh tubers are applied to the breast as galactagogue. Root paste is applied for healing wounds and sores.

Aquous extract of tubers is hypotensive in cats and cause systolic heart arrest in frogs; extract is potential anti-inflammatory, also antipyretic and analgesic. Aquous extract from MeOH extract is useful in conjunctivitis (Asolkar et al., 1992).

Chemical Constituents

The nutty tubes/rhizomes contain an essential oil of antibiotic nature, consisting of mono-, sesqui- and triterpenoid compounds including patchoulenone, cyperonone, cyperotundone, a- and ß-rotunol and nor-sesquiterpenes, kobusone, iso-kobusone. Mustakone, copadien, epoxyguaiene, rotundone, cyperolone, oleanolic acid, its glycoside and ß-sitosterol have also been reported in essential oil.


Rhizome contains cyperene-1 (a tricyclic sesquiterpene), cyperene-2 (a bicyclic sesquiterpene hydrocarbon), cyperolone and a new sesquiterpenoid – sugetriol triacetate. Cyperene, ß-selinene, cyperenone and a-cyperone have also been isolated from rhizome (Ghani, 2003; Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1990 & 93).


Throughout the country in fallow lands.

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