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Nagarmotha: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & More!

By Dr Ashok Pal +2 more


Nagarmotha is also called Cyperus rotundus, and belongs to the family Cyperaceae. It is found throughout India. Cyperus is derived from Cypeiros, which means genus in ancient Greek, and the term rotundus means round (referring to the tuber) in Latin. It is known as nutgrass in the Southern states. It is a perennial, pestiferous weed with dark green, glabrous culms that emerge from underground tubers. The essential oil obtained from the tuber is used in making soap, perfumery, and insect repellent cream.1 

Nagarmotha (in Hindi) has other vernacular names like Chakranksha and Charukesara in Sanskrit; Purple nutsedge and nutgrass in English; Nagarmotha in Bengali; Nagaramothaya and Motha in Gujarati; Mushkezamin in Malaya; Saad Kufi in Urdu; Soad and Soadekufi in Arabic; Vomonniu in Burma; Korai and Muthakasu in Tamil; Tangahullu in Kannada; Muththann in Malayalam; Tungamuste in Telugu; Nagarmotha and Motha in Marathi.1,2 

Nagarmotha- Cyperus rotundus-nutgrass-tuber-inflammation-pain

Constituents of Nagarmotha: 

The major chemical components found in nagarmotha are essential oils, terpenoids, flavonoids, and mono sesquiterpenes.1 

Therapeutic Uses of Nagarmotha: 

In Ayurveda, the rhizomes of nagarmotha are considered to have the following properties:3 

  • diuretic  
  • astringent  
  • diaphoretic 
  • analgesic  
  • aromatic  
  • carminative  
  • antispasmodic  
  • antitussive  
  • litholytic (an agent that can dissolve stones)  
  • emmenagogue (an agent that increases menstrual flow)  
  • stimulant  
  • sedative  
  • vermifuge  
  • stomachic  
  • antibacterial  
  • tonic 

Also Read: Sitopaladi Churna: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & More!

Benefits of Nagarmotha for Health Condition: 

1. Benefits of Nagarmotha for Inflammation: 

The extracts of nagarmotha were evaluated for anti-inflammatory property in animal models. It was found that nagarmotha possess anti-inflammatory property beneficial in managing oedema. In another study, the ether extract of the rhizome of nagarmotha too exhibited anti-inflammatory activity against oedema in an animal model. The essential oil and the petroleum extract of nagarmotha were found to exhibit pain relieving activity.3 Human studies are needed to demonstrate if these anti-inflammatory properties may be useful in humans to relieve pain and swelling. 

The alcoholic extract and a specific fraction (obtained from petroleum ether extract) were evaluated in animal models and were found to reduce fever.3 

2. Benefits of Nagarmotha for Epilepsy: 

The ethanolic extract of nagarmotha was evaluated for anticonvulsant activity in animal models. The extract reduced the duration of convulsion and hind limb extension. The flavonoids present in nagarmotha might be responsible for this anticonvulsant activity. It might make nagarmotha a potent agent for treating epilepsy in humans, once safety studies are established.3    

Read More: All You Need To Know About Seizures!

3. Benefits of Nagarmotha for Wound Healing: 

The extracts of the rhizome of nagarmotha were evaluated for wound healing activity in lab animals. The extract was applied as an ointment on the wound, and it was monitored. The findings suggest that the ethanolic extract of nagarmotha can be a potential source as a natural wound healing agent, which might be due to the presence of β-sitosterol, flavanol glycosides, and active terpenes in the tuber part of nagarmotha.4 

4. Benefits of Nagarmotha as Germicide: 

The extract of rhizome of nagarmotha was tested for anti-microbial activity against E. coli, Aspergillus niger, Candida albicans, Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The study found strong antibacterial activity, comparable to well-established antibiotics gentamicin and amphotericin, which were used as controls.4 

5. Benefits of Nagarmotha for Obesity: 

The aqueous extract of tuber of nagarmotha was evaluated for anti-obesity activity in animals. The treatment significantly reduced the weight in studies. Larger studies in humans might help establish its utility as a weight loss agent.4  

Read More: World Obesity Day – How To Stay Committed To Weight Loss Goals?

6. Benefits of Nagarmotha as an Antioxidant: 

Nagarmotha extract demonstrated strong antioxidant activity in an in-vitro model. The antioxidant effect may be due to the presence of flavonoids, polyphenol, and ascorbic acid.4  

7. Benefits of Nagarmotha for Ulcers: 

The powder from the rhizome of nagarmotha was tested for anti-ulcer activity in gastric ulcers two different animal models: rats and guinea pigs. The rhizome powder reduced the ulcer index in both models, exhibiting significant anti-ulcer activity. This ulcer reducing effect might be due to the antioxidant activity of nagarmotha.4 

8. Benefits of Nagarmotha for Liver: 

The ethyl acetate rhizome extract of nagarmotha was evaluated for hepatoprotective activity in rats. The levels of AST (aspartate transaminase), ALP (alkaline phosphatases), and ALT (alanine transaminase) enzymes of the liver were measured. Extract of nagarmotha exhibited remarkable protective effect on the liver. 4  

Also Read: 12 Foods That Are Necessary For A Healthy Liver!

9. Benefits of Nagarmotha for Arthritis: 

The essential oil of nagarmotha was tested for anti-arthritic activity in rats. The swelling of the arthritic paw significantly reduced in the test animals. This means that the essential oils of nagarmotha have anti-arthritic potential.4 

10. Benefits of Nagarmotha for Heart: 

The methanolic extract of nagarmotha rhizome was tested for cardioprotective and cholesterol lowering activity in rabbits. It reduced the levels of serum lipid and cardiac marker enzymes and restored levels of antioxidant enzymes. The results exhibited that nagarmotha might be beneficial in lowering high serum lipid levels and preventing heart attack.4 

Also Read: Is Lemon Good for Hair? Exploring Research-Based Facts and Myths

11. Benefits of Nagarmotha for Cancer: 

Nagarmotha was investigated for anti-cancer effect. The test was done on human cancer cell lines including cell lines of cervical, liver, colorectal, prostate and breast. The extract showed protection against non-cancerous cells and also exhibited anticancer effect against cancer cell lines.4 

12. Benefits of Nagarmotha for Diabetes: 

The extract of nagarmotha showed strong anti-diabetic effect in lab studies in animals, which might be due to the presence of polyphenols.2,4  

Let me tell you, nagarmotha is not only valued for its aromatic properties but also for its potential as an appetiser. Thus, including nagarmotha in your diet may help stimulate your appetite, making your meals more enjoyable.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Read More: How To Control Diabetes Naturally?

How to Use Nagarmotha: 

Nagarmotha can be used in the following ways: 

  • Decoction 
  • Powder  
  • Paste 
  • Tablet
  • Pill 
  • Whole plant extract 
  • Root extract oil 
  • Poultice2  

From what I’ve observed, the tuber part of nagarmotha has been recognised since ancient times for addressing women’s health concerns. It might have a long history of traditional use for addressing dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation) and menstrual irregularities. Whether it’s easing menstrual pain or making periods regular, nagarmotha may be valued for its potential benefits in supporting menstrual health.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Precautions to Take with Nagarmotha: 

Consult your doctor before consuming nagarmotha during pregnancy and breastfeeding.  

Considering what I’ve observed, using the rhizome extract of nagarmotha externally might have shown positive effects on lactation. It may help to improve milk production and relieve common issues like inflammation, itching, and clogged milk ducts. It’s incredible to see how traditional remedies like nagarmotha might provide such practical benefits for nursing mothers. However, always consult your doctor before applying.

Dr. Smita barode, B.A.M.S, M.S.

Also Read: Safed Musli: Nutrition, Benefits, Precautions and More!

Frequently Asked Questions: 

In which forms can nagarmotha be taken? 

Nagarmotha can be used as powder, decoction, paste, pill, tablet, poultice, and as oil.2

What is nagarmotha called in English? 

Nagarmotha in English is termed as Nutgrass or Purple nutsedge.1,2 

Can nagarmotha be helpful in diabetes? 

Yes, it might help manage diabetes as it has anti-diabetic properties. It reduced the blood sugar level in a study conducted in animals. However, testing on humans is not yet reported.3 

Is bloating caused by nagarmotha? 

No, nagarmotha was found to improve digestion and symptoms like bloating and flatulence.3 

Can nagarmotha be consumed in pregnancy? 

Avoid consuming nagarmotha in pregnancy, as there is no sufficient data to support its safety in pregnancy. It is advisable to consult your doctor before taking nagarmotha during pregnancy.

Can nagarmotha cure epilepsy? 

Nagarmotha may help in managing epilepsy as it has anticonvulsant activity. It was found to decrease the duration of convulsion and hind limb extension in animal models.3 However, its anticonvulsant activity is not yet tested in humans. 

Is nagarmotha good for the stomach? 

Yes, nagarmotha was found to exhibit gastroprotective properties in an animal studies. There is no sufficient information in the case of humans.3 

Is nagarmotha useful for healing wounds? 

Yes, nagarmotha was beneficial in healing wounds in animal models. It might be due to the presence of β-sitosterol, flavanol glycosides, and active terpenes in the tuber part of nagarmotha.4  

Is nagarmotha good for treating malaria? 

Yes, it might be helpful in malaria. Nagarmotha was found to exhibit anti-malarial activity.4 

Can nagarmotha be used in skin disease? 

Yes, it may be helpful for skin diseases.3 

Can nagarmotha cure arthritis? 

Nagarmotha may be beneficial for arthritis. It was found to reduce the swelling of paw in rats.4 No sufficient data was found in humans. 

Can nagarmotha be used for obesity? 

Yes, nagarmotha may be used for obesity. In a pilot study of 30 obese people, nagarmotha was found to reduce weight, serum cholesterol and triglyceride in those people.3 Therefore, it can show beneficial effects for obesity. 

Can nagarmotha be consumed during breastfeeding? 

Avoid consuming nagarmotha during breastfeeding, as there is no sufficient data to support its usage during breastfeeding. It is advisable to consult your doctor before taking nagarmotha during breastfeeding. 

Also Read: Chamomile-Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & More!


1. Imam H, Lone A, Seikh A, Sofi G, Zarnigar. The incredible benefits of Nagarmotha (Cyperus rotundus). Int J Nutr Pharmacol Neurol Dis [Internet]. 2014;4(1):23. Available from: http://www.ijnpnd.com/text.asp?2014/4/1/23/124611 

2. Sofia N, Walter T, Merish S, Tamizhamuthu M. AN OVERVIEW OF NUT GRASS (CYPERUS ROTUNDUS) WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO AYUSH. World J Pharm Res [Internet]. 2014;3(6):1459–71. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/265208985_AN_OVERVIEW_OF_NUT_GRASS_CYPERUS_ROTUNDUS_WITH_SPECIAL_REFERENCE_TO_AYUSH 

3. Shivpalan R. Medicinal uses and Pharmacological activities of Cyperus rotundus Linn – A Review. Int J Sci Res Publ. 2013;3(5):2013.  

4. Kamala A, Middha SK, Karigar CS. Plants in traditional medicine with special reference to Cyperus rotundus L.: a review. 3 Biotech [Internet]. 2018;8(7):1–11. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13205-018-1328-6 

Also Read: Abhayarishta: Uses, Benefits & How to Use

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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