Goosegrass/Paragis- 10 Potential Health Benefits, Use and General Information


Goosegrass (whole plant) known as Paragis in the Philippines
Goosegrass by
 NY State IPM Program at Cornell University's Photostream
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Goosegrass (also called wire grass or yard grass) is an obnoxious weed with scientific name Eleusine indica (Linn.) Gaertner. In the Philippines, it is commonly known as paragis, apidan, bikad-bikad, bakis-bakisan, bugtusan, barangan, gagabutan, dinapulak, kabit-kabit, palagtiki, parangis-sabungan, sambali, and sabung-sabungan (this is due to the many dialects). This plant, classified as a grass, is a trending topic after a person posted on social media that after drinking the goosegrass "tea", her ailment miraculously was cured. Everyone is looking for a miracle; she is lucky to have found hers.

Eleusine indica is a weed found in many places and can withstand temperatures as low as -7°C. It is native to tropical Asia, Papuasia, and Africa while it is naturalized in Australia, the Mediterranean, the Americas particularly South America and various islands. It was first described and named by Carl Linnaeus in his book Species Plantarum (1753) but was reclassified into today's valid botanical systematics by Joseph Gaertner, a German Botanist, in 1788, hence its scientific name. Eleusine sp. was named after the ancient city and deme (town, division, community) Eleusis of Africa, famous for the mysteries of Ceres. Eleusis is said to have been the place where Demeter (Ceres for Romans), the Greek Goddess of Earth's Fruits, sown the first seeds of corn. Demeter was the first daughter of Cronus and Rhea, sister of Zeus, and mother of Persephone ( sired by Zeus).


There are many herbal medicines or supplements that are readily available and are being commercially distributed. There's mangosteen, turmeric, gingko biloba, ginger, lagundi, guava, grapes, and the list goes on. There's so many to choose from to use as a supplement for our diet or help in curing us of the common cold. People are decidedly health conscious and in that respect, are finding out more ways to live longer and healthier lives. With health and lifestyle being a usual trend, more unusual herbal remedies are coming out. It's either someone out there is trying to market a certain product to an unsuspecting public or cause a genuine awareness. This is the case of this unusual trend of using goosegrass as a herbal remedy. Because of its recent popularity, dubbing it as "God's gift to man", research and studies are currently being done to learn more about the supposed health benefits from this plant.

This weed has taken the Philippines by storm and now is the trending herbal remedy/supplement among the masses for it is readily available(you can find it in your backyard). I was actually surprised to hear about the latest trend regarding herbal plants and have heard that people are actually taking it. I do hope these people who have taken this plant did some research to know if it is actually safe to consume. Please take note that the use of goosegrass as a herbal remedy (halamang-gamot) has not been approved by the Department of Health. So I do recommend people to take with caution. What doesn't harm a goat, doesn't mean it can't harm a human. Well, don't worry...I took the liberty to research and learn about goosegrass looking into all possible literature regarding this plant. Studies on goosegrass are currently in the early phase but, I have found that it is extensively being studied in Africa and by researchers in Asia according to researchgate.net. Unfortunately, the studies being conducted are still ongoing and tentative results are still inconclusive but, there is positive feedback regarding the health benefits that can be derived from this plant which makes future studies on this grass potentially significant health-wise.

Read: Sabah Snake Grass (Clinacanthus nutans) Health Benefits and Medicinal Uses

In India and Africa (also for Arab people) the finger millet (E. coracana) is cultivated as a cereal grain, used as flour for bread and even made into soup during times of drought, scarcity, and famine. In these 2 places, there is evidence of the use of goosegrass as a pharmacopoeial plant. In Ayurveda, goosegrass is known as madhulika and even made into wine (ragi sura) and is used for excessive thirst, sprains, renal calculi, liver disorders, dislocations, dyspnea, cough, hemoptysis, malaria, diarrhea, and convulsions and metabolic distress during a high fever. Aside from these, Ayurveda has also cited additional related medicinal properties of goosegrass: it is used as a diaphoretic (stimulates sweating), diuretic, antipyretic, and antihelmintic. In Africa, many tribes use E. indica for amnionitis or to promote the discharge of afterbirth. It is also used in ceremonies against undesirable fates and spells.

Notable literature regarding Eleusine indica state that goosegrass is used as a sudorific, febrifuge and also used in liver complaints (cited 1986). Fresh root is fed to treat gonorrhea by tribal people (cited 2014). Leaves are used as diuretic after boiling in Philippines (cited 2014). The plant is long prescribed to relieve dysuria, fever, inflammation, jaundice, centipede and scorpion poisoning by being soaked in alcohol in Thailand (cited 2000). Whole plant decoction is used in anti-inflammatory agent in Nigeria (cited 2007). Decoction used orally for traumatic injury, rheumatism, infantile indigestion in China (cited 2015).
Botanical line drawing of E.indica
Image credit: The Tired Mama-ph

10 Potential Health Benefits from Goosegrass (Recommended dose according to The Institute of Ayurveda is 5-10g)

I would like to stress that the health benefits that I will list here are potential health benefits as goosegrass is not yet recognized by the Department of Health (Philippines). Further studies and research should be conducted. Before taking, I strongly advise consulting a health professional first.

1. Antimalarial and anti-diabetic
According to a study cited in the International Journal of Drug Development and Research, the ethanol extract of Eleusine indica showed positive antiplasmodial and antidiabetic properties when administered to rodents. It indicated substantial schizonticidal activities in rodents in the early phase of malaria. In the same study, the authors found that E. indica extract also caused a drop in blood glucose levels in alloxan-induced rodents showing promise as an antidiabetic.

2. Dysentery
According to the Philippine Traditional Knowledge and Ethnopharmacology Library, oral consumption of the decoction of boiled roots of the goosegrass cures dysentery due to its antimicrobial properties.

Close-up to see spikelets.
Image copyright: The Tired Mama
3. Antipyretic
A study on the Use of Eleusine indica as an antipyretic medicine of herbivores produced positive results as an antipyretic. This is attributed to its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Leaves of the plant were used directly as medicine 3-4 times a day on livestock. The study went on saying that this type of cure is eco-friendly, part of organic farming, and sustainable, since goosegrass is easily obtainable and is found in widespread areas.
As I had stated earlier, in Ayurveda, goosegrass is used for its antipyretic properties.

4. Fertility and as an Oxytocic Drug
In this research, Phytotherapy and Women's Reproductive Health: The Cameroonian Perspective, the leaves of Eleusine indica is a known treatment for tubal blockage of the fallopian tubes among tribal women. Tubal blockage accounts for 40% of infertility cases and is one of the major causes of infertility worldwide. Moreover, the flowering plant of E. indica is also used in amnionitis and promotes discharge of afterbirth- proof of its ability to aid in childbirth as an oxytocic drug. Infusion of E. indica applied externally eases vaginal bleeding.

5. Anthelmintic and Anti-microbial
Eleusine indica flower.
Image copyright: The Tired Mama
In the published research entitled Antimicrobial and Anthelmintic Activity of Eleusine indica, the researchers found that the strains of bacteria that are usual causes of stomach upsets was susceptible to extracts of E. indica justifying the use of goosegrass for diarrhea. Moreover, the extracts of E. indica on the intestinal worm Strongyloides stercolis resulted in the death of the worms exhibiting its anthelmintic properties. According to a website www.africanmuseum.be, which lists extensive pre-literature regarding E. indica, the roots of E. indica carbonized into powder is used to treat filariasis. The powder is applied locally to the infected area while a root decoction is consumed. An enema of roots crushed in water can also be done for deworming. Also, published in the Therapeutic Use of Medicinal Plants and the Extracts (vol.1), plant decoction of goosegrass is recommended for deworming (practiced in Indonesia), coughs, lung troubles, dysentery, heart problems, bladder and kidney stones, spleen, liver complaints and high blood pressure.

6. Anti-inflammatory
Also stated in the Therapeutic Use of Medicinal Plants and the Extracts (vol.1), a poultice of the leaves of the goosegrass applied locally for a sprain, dislocation of bones, lower back pain and arthritis. Also, it aids in wound healing.

7. Diuretic and diaphoretic
For urine retention and kidney and bladder problems, an infusion of macerated leaves and water is orally ingested. It is a potent diuretic, may aid in lowering blood pressure and causes sweating to expel toxins through the skin.

8. Antiviral
As viruses are becoming resistant to prescribed antiviral drugs, experiments and studies are ongoing to see the antiviral potential of extracts from plants. One of them is E. indica. Cited in the published work Phytochemistry, Cytotoxicity and Antiviral Activity of E. indica (sambau), the authors have concluded that crude extract and hexane fraction prepared from E. indica contains antiviral active compounds and could be a potential antiviral.

9.Anti-cancer
Currently being studied is the cytotoxic effects of goosegrass against cancer cells. One notable study showed for the first time that indeed E. indica is cytotoxic to cancer cells (human lung and cervical cancer) and that it is mediated through apoptosis (programmed cell death that cancer cells seem to evade).

10. Cleanses the lymphatic system, antioxidant and stops dandruff and hair fall.
According to some articles I've read on the Internet, goosegrass is apparently known for its ability to clean the lymphatic system and aids in curing glandular disorders. A study on carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatic injury in rats showed that the hepatoprotective effects of goosegrass might be attributed to its antioxidant and free radical scavenging property.
Also, a formulation of minced goosegrass leaves and stems mixed in coconut oil (applied on head) stops dandruff and hair fall and promotes hair growth. Do remember to wash your hair before going to bed.
E. indica is rich in Vitamin C, a known antioxidant.

Toxicology of Goosegrass
Of course with the good comes the bad. Eleusine indica contains cyanogenic or hydrogen cyanide that if taken in large amounts by livestock, can be poisonous and has been reported to cause deaths among calves and sheep. Goosegrass has high amounts of nitrates and may cause nitrate toxicity in animals.  Also during cold temperature, there is a certain fungus that infects goosegrass. When the fungi-infected goosegrass is eaten by pregnant cattle results in abortion. Published in the Database of Toxic Plants in the US, Triglochin spp. and Eleusine indica can be found under the common name of goosegrass. Triglochin spp. when ingested may cause ataxia and death due to cyanogenic glycosides. As for E. indica may cause gastric distress due to high alkaloid content.
It was presented in the study Antiplasmodial and antidiabetic activities of Eleusine indica that extracts given that was more than 1-5g/kg produced toxicity and consequent death among test rodents.

Risks
Goosegrass contains coumarin which is a blood thinner. For those who are taking blood thinners, please consult your physician before taking.

Eleusine indica
Image copyright: The Tired Mama

How to use Goosegrass as an herbal remedy:
• For diabetes, malaria, worms, kidney/bladder problems(UTI, renal calculi), cough, fever, post-partum, infertility in women, asthma, jaundice, cysts, myoma, and epilepsy (I was only able to find 3 articles regarding neurological disorders and the African tribes describe the disorder as madness. It was not very clear so, I did not include the research in my post.).
- boil washed leaves and stem (20g) in 1L of water for 10 minutes. Strain decoction into a container. Drink decoction as tea 3 times a day. For worms, 2 tablespoons of fresh leave juice (more potent) every hour but consumption of decoction is fine.

• For dysentery/diarrhea
- according to Philippine Ethnopharmacology literature, roots are used to make a decoction. Boil washed roots (20g) in 1L of water for 5 minutes or simply soak washed roots in boiled water for infusion(for at least 30 minutes). Strain decoction or infusion into a container. Drink as tea 4 times a day.

• For sprains, wounds, body pain, arthritis, dislocation of bones, dandruff and falling hair.
-heat pounded leaves. Apply as a poultice on affected areas. Change poultice every 4 hours. For dandruff and falling hair, mix minced leaves and stem in coconut oil and leave for 15 minutes. Apply the oil to scalp and let it stay for 30 minutes. Wash hair.

• For weight loss
-In China, goosegrass is used as a weight reducing vegetable. Use young plant and limit to 5-10g. Old foliage is tough to eat. May eat leaves and stem. Make sure to wash properly before ingestion.

Recommendations
For the phytoremediation of land, research has found that land that has been poisoned or contains toxic substances and was planted with Eleusine indica, the soil became able to sustain vegetation again.

This post's aim is to promote awareness of the potential health benefits of goosegrass (Eleusine indica) as a herbal remedy. Goosegrass, if recognized by the Department of Health, would be a great addition to the numerous medicinal plants because it is easily obtainable. Definitely, God's gift to mankind. Again, please consult a health professional before taking. Stay healthy and happy.

Paragis/Goosegrass tea
Goosegrass tea by Noemi Sarino via
Trending News Portal


Disclaimer: I, The Tired Mama PH, am not endorsing the use of Indian Goosegrass. This post has been written for educational purposes only. Do consult your physician for medical advice.

Credit to sources:
Iqbal, Mohammad et.al " Eleusine indica L. Possesses Antioxidant Activity and Precludes Carbon Tetrachloride (CCl4)- mediated Oxidative Hepatic Damage in Rats", Environ Health Prev Med 2012 July, 17: pp.307-315 (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
Okokon, J.E. et.al "Antiplasmodial and Antidiabetic Activities of Eleusine indica", International Journal of Drug Development and Research 2010 February 27 (www.ijddr.in)
Ibrahim, Rashidah et.al "Phytochemistry, Cytoyoxicity, and Antiviral Activity of Eleusine indica (sambau)", AIP Conference Proceedings 2015 September (aip.scitation.org)
Hansakul, P. et.al " Apoptopic Indication Activity of Dactyloctenium aegyptium (L.) P.B. and Eleusine indica (L.) Gaerth. Extracts on Human Lung and Cervical Cancer Cell Lines", Songklanakarin J. Sci. Technol. 31(3) 2009, May-June: pp. 273-279
Morah, F. et.al "Antimicrobial and Anthelmintic Activity of Eleusine indica", Acta Scientiae et Intellectus 2015 November (www.research gate.net)
Njamen, D. et.al "Phytotherapy and Women's Reproductive Health: The Cameroonian Perspective", Plants Medica 2013 March (www.research gate.net)
Alamgir, A.N.M.; Therapeutic Use of Medicinal Plants and the Extracts Vol. 1 Pharmacognosy (https://books.google.com.ph)
Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeial Plant and Expanded Therapeutic Drugs (https://books.google.com.ph)
Quattrocchio, Umberto; CRC World Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonous Grass (https://book.google.com.ph)
Philippine Traditional Knowledge Ethnopharmacology Digital Library of Health
Database of Toxic Plants in the US (www.webpages.uidaho.edu)
Prelude Medicinal Plants Database (www.africamusuem.be)




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Comments

  1. There's a lot about this Paragis that's circulating around social media. Some woman drank the tea,and out came her cyst. I don't know if that's possible. Although your post has cited valuable information regarding the weed, it still seems far from what that woman described. I also think more research is needed. Great post though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My names are HARRY MARY I’m a citizen of United Kingdom, My younger sister was sicking of breast cancer and her name is HARRY Sandra I and my family have taking her to all kind of hospital in UK still yet no good result. I decided to go to the internet and search for cancer cure so that was how I find a lady called peter Lizzy she was testifies to the world about the goodness of a herbal man who has the root and half to cure all kind of disease and the herbal man email was there. So I decided to contact the herbal man for my younger sister help to cure her breast cancer. I contacted him and told him my problem he told me that I should not worry that my sister cancer will be cure, he told me that there is a medicine that he is going to give me that I will cook it and give it to my sister to drink for one week, so I ask how can I receive the cure that I am in UK, he told me that I will pay for the delivery service. The courier service can transport it to me so he told me the amount I will pay, so my dad paid for the delivery fee. two days later I receive the cure from the courier service so I used it as the herbal man instructed me to, before the week complete my sister cancer was healed and it was like a dream to me not knowing that it was physical I and my family were very happy about the miracle of Doctor so my dad wanted to pay him 5 million us dollars the herbal man did not accept the offer from my dad, but I don't know why he didn't accept the offer, he only say that I should tell the world about him and his miracle he perform so am now here to tell the world about him if you or your relative is having any kind of disease that you can't get from the hospital please contact drsujuherbalhome@gmail.com or call him and whatsApp him <+2348168259521> he will help you out with the problem.

      Delete
  2. Symptoms Can Be Treated In Paragis plants:


    1.) Wound bleeding – it can viably treat wounds and scratches. Keeping in mind the goal is to stop bleeding, you can apply this Paragis grass on the affected part.
    2.) Diabetes – keeping in mind the end goal to treat diabetes, you have to drink Paragis grass tea. The reason behind why it is effective because it contains anti diabetic properties.
    3.) Fever – Low-fat utilization, Paragis can bring down the high fever experienced.
    4.) Cancer – it has antioxidants that can fight tumor and cancer cells in the body.
    5.) Sprain – It is trusted that putting the pound Paragis leaves on the influenced parts of the body will enable it to recuperate quick.
    6.) Dandruff – minimize the appearance of dandruff. Blend minced leaves and stems with coconut oil. Utilize it as a cleanser and gently massage it on your scalp.
    7.) Dysentery – watery the runs with a vein can be dealt with by drinking the Paragis plant.
    8.) High blood pressure – the stem and the leaves of this Paragis grass can adjust and bring down the danger of hypertension.


    Cherry Brown MD

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  3. Thank you for noting. Unfortunately, even if there is proven health benefits given by Paragis, it is not recognized by the Department of Health (Philippines). Plus, side effects have not been documented (it contains a form of cyanide). So as of now, I do not want to cheat the pubic or give out misinformation. Trusted by some (like Ayurveda) but, when it has been recognized and more studies and research have been conducted on humans then I will change the title to 10 Health Benefits. It's very hard to educate without proper documentation. There are notable citations in books but, they do not give out details with regards to scientific research on humans.

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  4. Hi, will I be able to grow paragis if I'll plant some of the seeds? How wpuld i know if the seeds are ripe enough to plant? Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  5. This is actually the first time someone has asked about planting goosegrass. Usually, people want it removed from their garden. In all honesty, I have no idea if one can actually grow goosegrass by planting its caryopses (seeds). When the florets of the spikelets are open showing a pinkish or reddish dot (seeds), this means the seeds are ripe enough to germinate. Goosegrass thrives well in sunlight; this makes summer its preferred season. In all honesty, I "transplanted" an already grown and mature goosegrass plant in a pot. I have also spread some seeds I collected in a pot to see if I can grow goosegrass via its seeds. Caution for planting goosegrass: it is hard to "remove" if you are maintaining a garden/landscape. Better separate the weed from your flowers.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Is it okay to drink paragis tea like from this website https://theparagis.com/ and drink it every morning? is it same sa natural paragis grass tea?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! I have seen many people who are selling paragis tea in powdered form. Usually, powdered tea has been processed, that is dried then powdered. I have no studies done on the efficacy of fresh leaves as compared to dried leaves. In a post I wrote about Sabah Snake Grass, researchers concluded that fresh young leaves are more beneficial (in its medicinal aspect) compared to mature and/or dried leaves. Of course, convenience wise, powdered tea is better. But, if you want a more potent remedy, fresh goosegrass is best. https://www.tagaloglang.com/paragis/

      Paragis tea can be taken in the morning or before bed.

      Delete

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