Johnsongrass is a tall (up to 8 ft. [2.4 m]), rhizomatous, perennial grass that invades open areas throughout the United States. The 2 ft. (0.6 m) long, lanceolate leaves are arranged alternately along a stout, hairless, somewhat upward branching stem and have distinct, white midribs. Flowers occur in a loose, spreading, purplish panicle. Johnsongrass is adapted to a wide variety of habitats including open forests, old fields, ditches and wetlands. It spreads aggressively and can form dense colonies which displace native vegetation and restrict tree seedling establishment. Johnsongrass has naturalized throughout the world, but it is thought to be native to the Mediterranean region. It was first introduced into the United States in the early 1800s as a forage crop.
Edible Uses: Seed – The seeds are eaten raw or cooked. It can be used whole in a similar manner to rice or millet, or it can be ground into a flour and used as a cereal in making bread, cakes etc.
The seed is demulcent and duretic. A folk remedy for blood and urinary disorders.
Root juice (ca. 15 ml) mixed with long pepper (Piper longum) paste (ca. 5 gm) is given for the treatment of gonorrhoea by the
Lodhas. Root juice mixed with a pinch of table salt is given as a tonic in fever by the Santals. Grains
are boiled and given to the patient to cure dysentery by the Rabhas. Most of
the tribes of the state mix the root juice with ‘Pachai’ (Rice beer) to increase its potency.
The grass is a potential source of biomass with yields of up to 19 tonnes per hectare.
Known Hazards: The pollen can induce hay fever.
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.