Saccharum munja Roxb

Synonym ► S. sara Roxb. S. bengalense Retz. Erianthus munja Jesw.

Family ► Gramineae; Poaceae.

Habitat ► Throughout the plains and low hills of India.

Ayurvedic ► Munja, Bhadramuja, Vaana, Shara, Sara, Raamshara.

Siddha/Tamil ► Munjipul, Munjap-pullu.

Action ► Refrigerant. Useful in burning sensation, thirst, dyscrasia, erysipelas and urinary complaints.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India recommends the use of the root in dysuria, giddiness and vertigo.

The stem is a good source of furfural (yield 5.67%, dry basis). It yields 19.5% (on dry weight) of reducing sugars when digested with sulphuric acid; glucose, xylose, galactose and rhamnose have been identified in the hydrolysate which contains 34.5% fermentable sugars. (It can be used as a potential source of alcohol.)

In Kerala, Saccharum arundinaceum Retz. is used as Shara for dysuria, diseases due to vitiated blood, erysipelas, leucorrhoea and piles. The grass is known as Raamshara in North India. It can also be used for the production of furfural (yield 5.1% dry basis) and yields 24.1% of reducing sugars when digested with sulphuric acid. The hy-drolysate contains 65% of fermentable sugars, viz. glucose, xylose, galactose and rhamnose.

Dosage ► Root—20-50 g for decoction; 6-10 g powder. (API, Vol. III.)

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