Phragmites karka Trin ex Steud

Family ► Gramineae; Poaceae.

Habitat ► The Himalayas, from Kashmir to Kumaon up to an altitude of 4,000 m.

English ► Common Reed.

Action ► Rhizomes and roots—diuretic, emmenagogue, diaphoretic, hypoglycaemic, antiemetic.

The rhizomes are rich in carbohydrates; contain nitrogenous substances 5.2, fat 0.9, N-free extr. 50.8, crude fibre 32.0, sucrose 5.1, reducing sugars 1.1, and ash (rich in silica) 5.8%; as-paragine 0.1% is also present. Leaves possess a high ascorbic acid content (200 mg/100 g).Nodes and sheaths yield 6.6% and the underground parts over 13% of furfural.

The root of common Reed is prescribed in Chinese traditional medicine as an antipyretic against influenza and fevers. Presence of polyols, betaines and free poline has been reported in the methanolic extract. The extract is reported to show bactericidal activity. The root gave a polysaccha-ride which contains sugars, arabinose, xylose and glucose in a molar ratio

Synonym ► P. roxburghii (Kunth) Steud.

P. maxima Blatter & McCann in part.

Family ► Gramineae; Poaceae.

Habitat ► Throughout India, in marshy places.

English ► Common Reed-grass.

Ayurvedic ► Nala. (Arundo donax Linn. is also equated with Nala.)

Siddha/Tamil ► Perunanal.

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