Paragis is an annual, erect, tufted,
adventitious, glabrous grass, 10 centimeters to 1 meter in height. Leaves are 10 to 30 centimeters long, sometimes involute when dry, 3 to 7
millimeters wide, distichous, rather flaccid, with flattened sheaths. Spikes are 3 to 6, all in a terminal whorl, or one or two lower down, 2.5 to 10 centimeters long, 3 to 5 millimeters thick. Spikelets are very numerous, crowded, 3- to 5-flowered, 3 to 4 millimeters long, the first glume 1-nerved and small, the second, 3-nerved, and the third and succeeding ones ovate, acute.
- An abundant weed in waste places and along river banks, roads, and settled areas throughout the Philippines.
- Strictly xerophytic.
- Also found throughout warm countries.
- Ash of leaves contain SiO, 16-47%; CaO, 10-13%; and chlorine, 6-7%.
- Study showed the dry matter content to be 35.8%, crude protein 12.4%.
- Methanol extract yielded flavonoids +++, tannins +, alkaloids ++, cardiac glycosides ++, anthracene glycosides ++, anthraquinones +.
- Elemental analysis (dry weight basis expressed as ppm) yielded: calcium 21240 ± 213, potassium 25050 ± 223, magnesium 4049 ± 28, phosphorus 2375±84, B 24.74 ± 1.19, copper 55.12±2.14, iron 455.0 ± 5.10, manganese 163.8 ± 2.64, molybdenium 13.49 ± 1.32, and zinc 80.23 ± 2.17. Calorific value cal/g was 3753 ± 223, ash % 11 ± 0.22. (see study below) (21)
- Study of aqueous extract for total phenolic content yielded 14.9±0.002 mg/g gallic acid equivalent per gram of extract. (see study below) (11)
- Studies have isolated two main flavonoids i.e., schaftoside (6-C-β-glucopyranosyl- 8-C-α-arabinopyrano-sylapigenin) and vitexin (8- C-β- glucopyranosylapigenin). (39)
- In a study of 10 botanicals, E. indica yielded the highest calcium content (165.0 mg/100 g). Iron content was 9.7 mg/100 g. The plant also yielded alkaloids, carotenoids, flavonoids, saponins, and steroids. (45)
- Plant considered diuretic,
antihelmintic, diaphoretic, febrifuge.
- Studies have shown anti-inflammatory, antiplasmodial, antidiabetic, phytoremediative, pancreatic lipase inhibitory, antioxidant, antileishmanial, antioxidant, cytotoxic, anticonvulsant, antibacterial properties.
Whole plant, leaves, roots, leaf juice.
Edibility / Culinary
- Roots and seeds are edible.
eaten raw, young seedling raw or cooked.
- Grain is a famine food in India and parts of Africa.
- Used as millet, cooked whole or ground into flour and used in making cakes, gruel.
- Decoction of fresh leaves used as antihelmintic.
- Decoction of the fresh plant used as a diuretic and for dysentery.
- In Surigao del Sur, decoction of leaves drunk three time daily as diuretic. (41)
- In Sablan, Benguet Province, decoction of leaves used for kidney problems and arthritis. (45)
- Whole plant mixed with gogo used for dandruff; also prevents hair loss.
- Decoction or fresh juice of leaves prescribed after childbirth.
- Decoction of roots used for fever.
- Poultice of leaves applied to sprains and lumbago.
- Decoction of whole plant (roots to flowers) taken for hemoptysis.
- Used for hypertension.
- Bakwiri people of West tropical Africa use infusion of whole plant for hemoptysis.
- Ayta people of Porac, Pampanga burn dried leaves and stems as repellent against hematophagous insects. (24)
- In Singhalese Materia Medica, reported as useful for sprains and dislocation.
- In Malaysia, decoction of roots used for
- In coastal Guyana, decoction of plant used
to relieve pains from abdominal muscle strain; applied to wounds to
stop the bleeding. Decoction of grass used as tonic and to relieve bladder
- In Malaya, leaf juice given after childbirth
to help expel the placenta.
- In Sumatra, used as anthelmintic.
- In Cambodia, used for fevers and liver
- In Venezuela, seed decoction given to infants suffering from black jaundice.
- In Nigeria, leaves used for diabetes and malaria.
- In Colombia, decoction of plant for diarrhea, dysentery and convulsions.
- In Cameroonian folk medicine, used for diarrhea, dysentery, epilepsy, and intestinal occlusion. (18) Also used in the treatment of infertility in females. (24)
- In Sri Lanka, for muscle sprains, roots or the entire plant mixed with scraped coconut and a piece of Curcuma domestica is pounded well and heated till cooked, then packed over sprained muscles and bandaged.
- In Myanmar, leaves used for treatment of hypertension. (26)
- In Bangladesh, roots used in a mixture of herbal plants for the treatment of prolapsed uterus. (32) Crush plants are bandaged to areas of fractures. Plant decoction drunk to treat convulsion in children. Whole plant extract taken for liver disorders. (47)
- In India, roots used for treatment of snake bites: 20 g of roots are crushed into a paste with 10 g of Zingiber officinale and nine pieces of black pepper, half taken orally with honey and the other applied to the snake bite. (43)
- Weaving: Stems used for making
mats, baskets, hats.
- Paper: Plant suitable for paper making.
- Ritual: In Bontoc, used in mangmang rituals. Malays hold the grain in their hand in
- Fodder: Grass, when young, is eaten by cattle.
- Veterinary: In West Bengal, India, used as antipyretic for herbivores. After collection, plants at succulent stage are washed and whole root and 1-2 centimeters of stems and fed fresh to ailing animals. (29)
Inhibition of Airway Inflammatory Processes: C-glycosylflavones from the aerial
parts of Eleusine indica inhibit LPS-induced mouse lung inflammation: Study may justify the
popular use of EI against airway inflammatory disorders. (3)
• Apoptotic Induction Activity: Study of grass extracts of D. aegyptium and Eleusine indica showed selective inhibitory growth inhibition effect on human lung cancer and cervical cancer (HeLa) cells. The activity was probably mediated through induction of apoptosis. (5)
• Antiplasmodial / Antidiabetic: Study evaluated an ethanolic leaf extract of E. indica as antidiabetic and malarial remedy. Results showed significant (p<0.01-0.001) schizonticidal activity during early and established infections with significant mean survival time. Treatment of alloxan-induced diabetic rats a leaf extract caused significant reduction in fasting blood glucose levels in acute and prolonged treatment study. (6)
• Nutritional Potential / Fodder: Study showed the dry matter content to be 35.8%, crude protein 12.4%. Forage was found to be fairly palatable when fed to goats, with no adverse effect. E. indica presents a potential alternative for the problem of green roughage scarcity. (10)
• Hepatoprotective/ Antioxidant: Study evaluated an aqueous extract of E. indica against carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced hepatic injury in rats. Results showed hepatoprotective effects which may be attributable to its antioxidant and free radical scavenging property. The extract reduced the stable DPPH level in a dose-dependent manner. (see constituents above) (11) Study concluded E. indica and T. latifolia could be used as hepatoprotective agents with the potential for treatment or prevention of degenerative diseases where oxidative stress is implicated. (16)
• Antibacterial/ Antioxidant: Study evaluated various extracts of Eleusine indica for antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-cancer effects. A MeTH extract showed the highest total phenolic contents and scavenging activity on DPPH assay. An ethyl acetate extract showed broad spectrum antibacterial activity against all tested bacteria except B. subtilis, while a hexane extract showed remarkable activity against methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus and P. aeruginosa. Study failed to show cytotoxicity against tested cancer cell lines. (13)
• Fodder / Nutrition Analysis: Study showed a dry matter content of 35.8% and crude protein content of 12.4%. The forage was found fairly palatable with no adverse effects when fed to goats and suggests a potential source for green roughage during periods of scarcity. (14)
• EDTA-Assisted Heavy Metal Phytoremediation: Study showed the possibility of using the grass E. indica for phytoremediation especially phytostabilization of Cu, Cr and possible phytoextraction of Pb. (15)
• Pancreatic Lipase Inhibitory Activity / Obesity Treatment Potential: Study evaluated the lipase inhibitory activities of methanolic extracts of thirty two selected medicinal plants in Malaysia for potential use in the treatment of obesity. Eleusine indica showed the highest pancreatic lipase inhibitory activity of 31.36%, with no significant difference between its methanol extract and the standard drug Orlistat. (17)
• Antiplasmodial / Antidiabetic / Leaves: Study an ethanolic leaf extract of Eleusine indica for antiplasmodial activity in Plasmodium berghei infected mice and antidiabetic activity in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Results showed significant (p<0.01-0.001) schizonticidal activity during early and established infection, comparable to standard drug chloroquine. Leaf extract showed significant (p<0.01) reduction in FBS of alloxan-induced diabetic rats. (20)
• Mineral Analysis: In a study of 10 grasses for mineral analysis, Eragrostis amabilis and Eleusine indica showed large amounts of major and minor elements which suggest potential for cultivation to fulfill mineral deficiency in livestock feeding. (see constituents above) (21)
• Remediation of Crude Oil Polluted Soil: Study evaluated the potential of two weed plants (Eleusine indica and Panicum maximum) and a crop plant (Pennisetum glaucum) in remediation of crude oil contaminated soil. Of the three, P. glaucum showed greatest potential to remediate. E. indica had greatest impact on soil with 2%, 3%, and 4% levels of crude oil. (22)
• Antioxidant / Cytotoxic / Antileishmanial / Leaves: Study evaluated an ethanol leaf extract of Eleusine indica for cytotoxicity activity against HeLa cells, antioxidative burst activity, and antileishmanial activity. The extract showed moderate cytostatic activity, significantly inhibited oxidative burst activity and also exhibited moderate antileishmanial activity against promastigotes of Leishmania major inn vitro. (23)
• Anti-Herpes Simplex Virus Type-Activity: Study evaluated the antiviral activity of methanol extract of E. indica whole plant in relation to mode of action, attachment, penetration or virucidal activity. Results suggest E. indica is safe with an antiviral and prophylactic potential via inhibition of viral attachment, penetration, and virucidal effect. (25) MTT screening against Vero of crude extract showed the crude extract and hexane fraction showed non-cytotoxicity with CC50 values of 2.07 and 5.62 mg/ml, respectively. The antiviral activity towards HSV-1 for the ME and hexane fraction were 12.2 and 6.2, respectively. (27)
• Crude Oil Remediating Potential: Study compared the crude oil-remediating potential of Cynodon dactylon and Eleusine indica in a completely randomized experimental screenhouse design. Results showed E. indica has a higher crude oil pollutant remediating potential on soil than C. dactylon. (28)
• Lipid-Lowering Effects on High-Fat-Diet Hyperlipidemic Rats: Study investigated the lipid-lowering effects of various extracts of E. indica using both in vitro and in vivo models. Hexane extract exhibited strong potential in the inhibition of porcine pancreatic lipase (27.01±5.68%). Acute oral toxicity on animal models was Category 5 (low hazard) on the Globally Harmonized System with no observed mortality, clinical toxicity symptoms, and pathologic changes. The HE also significantly reduced body weight, improved serum lipid profile, with reduction in TC, LDL, triglycerides and increase in HDL. (30)
• Antimicrobial / Antidiarrheal / Anthelmintic: Study evaluated the antimicrobial activity of E. indica on selected pathogens usually associated with diarrhea i.e., S. dysenteriae, E. coli, S. typhi, S. aureus, S. faecalis and L. lactis. Results showed concentration dependent antimicrobial activity with the aqueous extract showing highest susceptibility. Plant also showed marked anthelmintic activity against Strongyloides stercoralis. (31)
• Growth Inhibition and Pro-Apoptotic Action: Study evaluated the possible mutagenicity and/or cytotoxicity activity of E. indica using the Allium test to investigate root growth, mitotic index and micronuclei formation. Results strongly suggest the plant possess cytotoxic compounds with microtubule affinity interaction without mutagenicity activity. (33)
• Anticonvulsant: Study evaluated the anticonvulsant potential of ethanolic extract of Eleusine indica in albino Wistar mice. Results showed dose-dependent statistically significant (p<0.001) increase in latency of clonic convulsions and decrease in duration of tonic convulsions. The protection provided against mortality was similar to standard drug diazepam. (34)
• Antibacterial: Study evaluated the in-vitro antimicrobial potentials of whole plant extracts of E indica against E. coli, P. aeruginosa, S. aureus, B. subtilis and one fungi, C. albicans. The ethyl acetate extract showed the widest zone of inhibition against Staphylococcus aureus and also showed broad spectrum of antibacterial activity against P. aeruginosa, E. coli and B. subtilis. None of the extracts showed activity against Candida albicans. Activity was attributed to the presence of flavonoids, alkaloids, and tannins in the extracts. (35)
• Diuretic / Toxicity Study: Study evaluated the diuretic potential and secondary metabolic profile of crude alcoholic extract and fractions of Eleusine indica. The crude alcoholic extract was non toxic at 1000 µg/mL on brine shrimp assay and 2,500 mg/kbw in mice. An aqueous ethanolic fraction was found to possess the highest diuretic activity, significantly higher than standard furosemide. (36)
• Lipid Lowering and Anti-Obesity Effects: Study evaluated the lipid-lowering effects of fractionated crude methanolic extracts of E. indica in both in-vitro and in-vivo models in Sprague-Dawley rats. A hexane fraction demonstrated marked inhibition in development of obesity and hyperlipidemia in HFD-induced hyperlipidemic rats. Study also demonstrated anti-obesity properties suggesting a potential role as an anti-obesity agent from natural sources. (37)
• Antiurolithiatic / Roots: Study evaluated the antiurolithiatic potential of different concentrations of Eleusine indica root extract on ethylene glycol induced nephrolithiasis in Rattus novergicus (albino rats). Results showed antiurolithiatic effect. The concentration of 500 mg/ml showed best results with reduction of serum creatinine, BUN, and uric acid, with prevention of nitrituria, proteinuria and oxaluria among the treatment groups. (38)
• Toxicological Assessment: Study evaluated the toxicological effects of E. indica extract in adult albino Wistar rats. Silymarin was used as standard drug. Extract was administered at doses of 200, 400, and 600 mg/kg on alternate days for 28 days. While organ weights were not affected, animal weights increased significantly (p<0.01-0.0010). At high doses, the spleen and lungs showed moderate inflammation. The lungs also showed moderate interstitial fibrosis. Study suggests its use as herbal remedy should be for short periods at a time. (39)
• Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibition / Antihypertensive / Leaves:Study evaluated solvent fractions and decoction of E. indica leaves for ability to inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), an important component of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system critical in the regulation of arterial blood pressure. An ethyl acetate fractions exhibited the highest antihypertensive action with 51.51% inhibition. (40)
• Ascaricidal /
Leaves and Stems:Study evaluated an alcohol extract from fresh leaves and stem of Eleusine indica and decoction of fresh samples against hog Ascaris lumbricoides. Of all solutions tested, the 20% water solution of alcohol free extract concentrate exhibited the highest ascaricidal effect. (42)