Eleusine indica L Gaertn f

[From Greek, Eleusinios = Demeter, celebrated at Eleusis in Attica and from Latin, indica = from India]

Physical description: It is a tufted annual tropical grass which grows to a height of 60 cm common in sunny disturbed places in lawns and along dirty roads and tracks up to 900 m elevation. The plant is native to the Old World Tropics and is naturalized in the New World. The stems are flattened and glabrous. Leaves: straight, flattened, keeled, slightly hairy along margin and at the base. The sheath is 1 cm long. The blade is 6cm-30cm x 3mm-8mm, and glabrous. The midrib and upper margin are scabrous. The inflorescences consist of 2-7 terminal, one sided spikes which 0.3cm-0.7cm long (Fig. 408).

Common names: Goose grass, crab-grass, wire grass, sword grass; rumput sambau (Malay); coman trau, thanh tam (Vietnamese); singnomyet (Burmese); choeung kras (Cambodian).

Uses: In Malaysia, the juice expressed from Eleusine indica (L.) Gaertn. f is used to promote menses after childbirth, to treat encephalitis, heat stroke, malaria, uterus and rectum prolapse, leucorrhea and dysentery. In the Philippines, a decoction of the fresh plant is drunk to promote urination and to treat dysentery. In Vietnam, a decoction of 60g-100g of this herb is drunk to assuage liver discomfort, stomachache, promote urination, treat influenza and to lower blood pressure. In Cambodia, the whole plant is used to combat fever. The therapeutic potential of Eleusine indica (L.) Gaertn. remains unexplored. Note that Eleusine species are known to produce flavonoids such as vitexin and tricin (Hilu KW etal., 1978).

Fig. 408. Eleusine indica (L.) Gaertn. f.
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