Kaashful(Saccharum spontaneum)

Botanical Name: Saccharum spontaneum L.

Family: Poaceae
Kingdom: Plantae/ Poaceae
Genus: Saccharum
Order: Poales
Species: S. spontaneum
Common Name :Kans grass
Hindi Name: Kans, Kansi, Kas.
Bengali Name :Kaasful
Parts Used:Whole herb, Roots.

Habitat :Kans grass (Saccharum spontaneum) is a grass native to south Asia. It grows as wasteland weed.
Mountain slopes , gravelly river beds , low grassy places, forming colonies; below 2000 m. Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Afghanistan, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Guinea, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Vietnam; Africa, SW Asia, Australia, Pacific Islands

Description:

It is a perennial grass, growing up to three meters in height, with spreading rhizomatous roots. Culms 1-4 m tall, 0.4-1 cm in diam., 5-10-noded, often hollow in center, nodes bearded , softly pilose below inflorescence. Leaf sheaths pilose at mouth and margin , sometimes tuberculate-pilose throughout; leaf blades 60-180 × 0.2-0.8 cm, glaucous, glabrous , margins serrate, tapering to midrib at base , apex long attentuate; ligule brown, 2-8 mm. Panicle 20-40 cm, axis silky pilose; racemes 4-17 cm; rachis internodes 1.5-5 mm, pilose with long silky hairs. Spikelets 3-4 mm; callus hairs 3-4 times length of spikelet; lower glume papery and dark brown below middle at maturity, membranous and pallid above, back glabrous, margins ciliate above, apex acuminate; lower lemma ovate-lanceolate, equal to glumes; upper lemma linear or linear-oblong, awnless. Lodicules ciliate. Anthers 3, 1.5-2 mm. Fl. and fr. Jul-Sep. 2n = 40-128.

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There are numerous local strains comprising a complex series of chromosome numbers. This species hybridizes readily with cultivated sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) and is used in sugarcane breeding programs. The name S. spontaneum var. juncifolium Hackel (S. juncifo-lium (Hackel) Janaki-Ammal) has been applied to extreme forms with the leaf blades narrowed to the midrib along their whole length.

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Cultivation:
Kans grass’ has ability to quickly colonize disturbed soil has allowed it to become an invasive species that takes over croplands and pasturelands.

Medicinal Uses:
It is considered as valuable medicinal herb in traditional systems of medicine in India. It is popular folk medicine.
According to Ayurveda, roots are sweet, astringent, emollient, refrigerant, diuretic, lithotriptic, purgative, tonic, aphrodisiac and useful in treatment of dyspepsia, burning sensation, piles, sexual weakness, gynecological troubles, respiratory troubles etc.

Other Uses:
Planted to check soil-erosion.
Culm suitable for pulp to prepare different grades of papers.
Leaves are used for thatching.
Leaves are employed for cordage and broom.
Possess strong Allelochemicals and Allelopathic properties.
Used as material for sugarcane breeding.
Having religious importance

Click to see : Use of Saccharum spontaneum (wild sugarcane) as biomaterial for cell immobilization and modulated ethanol production by thermotolerant Saccharomyces cerevisiae VS3  :

In Nepal, Kans grass is harvested to thatch roofs or fence vegetable gardens.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saccharum_spontaneum
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/CropFactSheets/kans.html
http://zipcodezoo.com/Plants/S/Saccharum_spontaneum/

http://www.stuartxchange.org/Talahib.html
http://www.wildflowers.co.il/english/plant.asp?ID=410

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