By: Nutrition expert- Vidula Kozarekar, Mumbai.
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Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. is a perennial grass that has a variety of medicinal properties. It is cultivated throughout the tropics and subtropics. Whole herb and its root stalk are used for medicinal use (1), (2).
Cynodon dactylon belongs to the family Poaceae. It is also known as Durva grass, Bermuda grass, Dog’s Tooth grass, Bahama grass, Devil’s grass, Couch grass, Indian Doab, Scutch grass, Dhub, Doob and Durba in different parts of the world (Oudhia, 2003). Durva is a Sanskrit word that means, which is cut or eaten by the animals. It is the most sacred plant of India next to tulsi. Hindus worship the God Ganesha with the leaves durva religiously (3).
The plant contains crude proteins, carbohydrates, mineral constituents, oxides of magnesium, phosphorous, calcium, sodium and potassium. The whole plant affords β-sitosterol, flavanoids, alkaloids, glycosides and triterpenoides. Other compounds like vitamin C, carotene, fats, palmitic acid etc. are also reported. Green grass contains (on dry matter basis) 10.47% crude protein, 28.17% fiber and 11.75% of total ash (4).
Traditional uses: (5)
- Doob is used as a folk remedy for anasarca, calculus, cancer, carbuncles, convulsions, cough, cramps, cystitis, diarrhea, dropsy, dysentery, epilepsy, hemorrhoids, leucoderma, headache, hemorrhage, hypertension, hysteria, bronchitis, asthma, tumors, measles, rubella, snakebite, sores, stones, tumors, urogenital disorders, warts, wounds, eye disorders and weak vision.
- It is also useful against pains, inflammations, toothache and grippe in children. The expressed juice of plant act as astringent and is applied to bleeding cuts and wounds to stop bleeding.
- The paste made of the plant mixed with honey is used in epitaxis.
- Oral administration of the juice of the plant with honey 2-3 times a day for few days effective treats menorrhagia.
- Local application in the form of paste of the plant extract upon the lower abdomen reduces severe bleeding in vagina.
- A decoction of Cynodon dactylon mixed with sugar is useful in the problem of urine retention.
- According to Ayurvedic system of medicine it acts as an appetizer, anthelmintic, antipyretic, alexiteric agent.
- Durvadi kvatha, Durvadya ghrta, Durvadya taila and Durvadi yoga are some classical Ayurvedic preparations of the plant.
- According to Unani system of medicine, Cynodon dactylon is used as a laxative, coolant, and expectorant, carminative and as a brain and heart tonic.
- In Homoeopathic systems of medicine, it is used to treat all types of bleeding and skin troubles.
An investigation showed that the aqueous extract of Cynodon dactylon has high antidiabetic potential along with significant hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects (6).
- Immunity booster
Durva grass juice contains Cynodon Dactylon Protein Fractions or CDPF, a protein element responsible for triggering the immune system. In addition, it is also heaped with powerful antioxidants, vitamins A and C which scavenges free radical damages, avert chronic inflammation and keep diseases at bay. Also Read: Vitamin C – Functions, Food Sources, Deficiencies and Toxicity (7).
- Skin health
The goodness of Durva grass juice is beneficial to heal various skin ailments like eczema, psoriasis, treat wounds and fungal infections. The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory nature of Durva grass juice aids in healing skin rashes, eczema, itching and leprosy. Apply Durva grass juice mixed with turmeric on the affected skin area to treat fungal infections. It also guards the skin against harmful UV rays. Drinking Durva grass juice regularly on an empty stomach detoxifies the system and enhances the skin glow and radiance.
- Potent Diuretic
Durva grass juice is an effective natural remedy to treat kidney stones and urinary tract infections. It functions well as a good diuretic by flushing out the toxins, getting rid of excess water and clears out kidney stones.
- Relieves acidity
Durva grass juice is highly praised for its potent alkaline property. It works well by increasing the alkaline level and lowers acidity. Bermuda juices aid in treating acidosis, lowering internal inflammation and battle gut infections. To get instant relief from acidity take 3 teaspoons of arugampul juice mixed in a glass of water on an empty stomach.
How to incorporate Durva grass in our diet?
- Using a mixer grinder, pulverize the grass by mixing with clean drinking water.
- Strain the juice using a fine cloth or tea filter and throw away the fibrous remains.
- You can add a little bit of salt and black pepper powder for taste.
- Take a glass of the filtered juice early morning in empty stomach.
Durva grass with remarkable amounts of healing plant compounds helps in the detoxifying the system and keeps you energetic and refreshing the whole day.
- Kritikar, K.K. and B.D. Basu, 1980. Indian Medicinal Plants. 2nd Edn., International Book Distributors, Dehradun, pp: 26-50.
- Oudhia, P., 2003. Traditional Medicinal knowledge about useful herb Doobi (Cynodon dactylon) in Chhattisgarh, India. http://www.botanical.com/site/column_poudhia/111_doobi.html
- Paranjpe, P., 2001. Durva. In: Indian Medicinal Plants: Forgotten Healers. 1st Edn., Chaukhamba Sanskrit Pratishthan, Delhi, pp: 75-76.
- Chopra, R.N., S.L. Nayar and I.C. Chopara, 1999. Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), 1st Edn., Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi, pp: 88.