Cyperus rotundus is a thin perennial plant that spreads via a fibrous root system. Stems are thin, grow underground, known as rhizomes, which are white, fleshy and covered with scales, leaves are modified, but become brown and woody with age. Rhizomes are tubers that store starch as a food reserve and can generate new rhizomes or plants. Tubers measure about 1-3.5 cm in length and white in color and succulent when young, later, they become brown and hard. Tuber shape gives the scientific name of the plant, “rotundus” which means “round”.
The stems are smooth and erect, usually reaching about 30-40 cm in height, smooth, shiny with dark green color, having a grooved upper surface. The flowers of this species are borne in clusters (inflorescences) at the ends of stems. Plant produces a dried fruit, a single seed, having up to two millimeters in length, having brown-black in colour, with gray lines.
Chemical composition – Cyperus rotundus contains alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, starch, glycosides, furochromone, monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, sitosterol, a fatty oil containing a neutral waxy substance, glycerol, linolenic acid, myristic and stearic acid. Also contains essential oil of the rhizome. The major components of the essential oil are α-cyperone, cyperene, cyperotundone, cyperol, β-selinene, β-caryophyllene, valerenal, sugeonyl acetate, α-copaene, patchoulene, trans-pinocarveol, patchoulenenone, kobusone, sugetriol, isokobusone, isocyperol, sugeonol and sitosterol.
Properties – Diuretic, carminative, emmenagogue, anthelmintic, stomachic, stimulant, analgesic, hypotensive, anti-inflammatory, antidysenteric, antirheumatic, tonic for the liver, spleen, and pancreas.
Recommendation – Dermatological and ophthalmological problems, digestive problems, worms, infections, menstrual disorders, psychosis and epilepsy, memory problems, ulcers, vomiting, diarrhea, colitis, dyspepsia, fever, cough, asthma, bronchitis, dysuria etc..