Paragis is an annual, erect, tufted,
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)
- Plant considered diuretic,
antihelminthic, diaphoretic, febrifuge.
- Studies have shown anti-inflammatory, antiplasmodial, antidiabetic, phytoremediative, pancreatic lipase inhibitory, antioxidant, antileishmanial, antioxidant, cytotoxic properties.
Whle 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.
- Decoction of fresh leaves used as antihelminthic.
- Decoction of the fresh plant used as a diuretic and for dysentery.
- 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.
- 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.
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 of ethanolic leaf extract showed significant schizonticidal activity during early and established infections. 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. (11) Study concluded E. indica and T. latifolia could be used as hepatoprotective agents with the potetial for treatment or prevention of degenerative diseases where oxidative stress is implicated. (16)
• Antibacterial/ Antioxidant: Study evaluated various extracts of Eleucine 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)