Musta: Cyperus rotundus Uses, Research, Side Effects

Musta – Cyperus rotundus improves lactation, relieves fever, burning sensation, excessive thirst. Commonly known as nut grass, it is also used in treating diarrhoea, dyspepsia, herpes and more.
Botanical Name- Cyperus rotundus Linn.
Family – CYPERACEAE

Vernacular names

Names in different languages: 
Hindi Name- Motha, नागार्मोथा– nagarmotha
English Name- Nut grass, Purple nutsedge, Nutsedge, Java Grass, Coco grass, purple nutsedge, Red nutsedge, Khmer kravanh chruk
Kannada Name – Tunge Gadde
Telugu Name – Tunga Mustalu, తున్గాముస్తలు
Tamil Name – Muthakach, கோரி  கிழங்கு – korai kilangu
Arabic name – So Ad Kufi
Farsi name – Mushke Jami
Malayalam name- മുത്തങ്ങ – muthanga

Bhadramusta

Sanskrit synonyms

Krodeshta, Hima, Varida, Gundra, Gangeya, Ghana, Megha, Raja Kaseruka
Abda, Ambhoda,  Ambudhara, Jalada, Jalavaha – grows in moist places
Sugandhi – having good fragrans
varidnamakam- “ambhodaha, ghanaha, varid” – originated from water
Gangeyi – grows in the banks of Holy river Ganga
Granthila – “granthirupa” – Nodular tubers
mustakam- muste sanghate jayate iti – grows in bushes
sughandhi – “shobhagandhayukta” – tubers are aromatic.
kacchota -katccheshu jalaprayabhumishu jayate iti  – grows in aquatic and subaquatic region.
kuruvinda- ” kurun vidanti “Available in Kuru pradesh
krodeshta- “krodanam varahanamishta priya ” – It is liked by pigs.
Gangeyi – “gangayastatavartipradesheshu bhava ” – found near ganga tat.
prachya- “prachi bhava” _ commonly found in eastern regions

Cyperus rotundus

Classical categorization

Charaka-
Lekhaniya – Group of herbs useful in obesity treatment
Trishna Nigrahana – Thirst satiating group of herbs
Kandughna – Group of herbs relieving itching
Stanya Shodhana – Breast milk cleansing and detoxifying group of herbs
Susruta- Mustadi, Vachadi
Vagbhata- Mustadi, Vachadi
Kaiyadeva Nighantu:
Trikarsha –
Ativisha, Shunti and Musta
Chaturbhadra – Ativisha, Shunti, Musta and Guduchi
Sarvaushadhi – Jatamansi, Mura, Shati, Musta, Haridra (Nisha), Ela, Kushta, Champaka, Varanga (Ela), Nata, Shaileya
Sugandhamalaka – Sarvaushadhi + Amalaki

Musta

Varieties, distribution

Following types are mentioned in different contexts in Ayurvedic text books-
Musta (Nagaramusta) – Cyperus scariosus
Bhadra Musta – Cyperus rotundus
Kshudra Musta – kasheruka  Sciprus grossus  – Water chestnut
Kaivarta or Jala Musta- Cyperus  esculentus (Earth almond) – grows in moist areas.
Distribution: Grows in rice fields, low lands, water logged areas across India.

Mustaka Dry tuber

Chemical constituents

Cyperus rotundus Chemical Constituents:
Cineol(+) copadiene, Copaene, Cyperol, Cyperolone, a- Cyperone,(+) epoxyguaiene, isocyperol, isokobusone, Kodusone, Mustakone, Patchilene, (+) rotundone, a- & b- selinene, Sugenol, b- sitosterol etc.
(Reference: Illustrated Dravyaguna VIjnana, Vol. II, by Dr JLN Shastry)

Nut grass

Medicinal properties

Nut grass  medicinal Properties:
Rasa (taste) – Tikta (bitter), Katu (pungent), Kashaya (astringent)
Guna (qualities) – Laghu (lightness), Rooksha (dryness)
Vipaka- Katu – Undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion
Veerya- Sheeta – Cold potency
Effect on Tridosha – Balances Kapha and Pitta

Part used, dosage

Part Use: Tuber
Dosages: powder 3-6 g: decoction 50-100 ml in divided doses per day.

How to take?
For an adult – A tablespoon of Musta powder is added with 2 cups of water, boiled and reduced to half a cup, filtered and administered within 8 hours of preparation. – This is Musta Kashaya (water decoction).

Sanskrit verse

Nut grass benefits

Benefits

Musta – Cyperus rotundus benefits:
 मुस्तं साङ्ग्राहिकदीपनीयपाचनीयानाम् | Charaka Sutrasthana 25
Of all the herbs useful as absorbent, digestive and carminative, Musta is the best.
मुस्तापर्पाटकं ज्वरे । (A.Hr. Su) – Musta and Parpataka are the best herbs to relieve fever.
Grahi – absorbent, useful in diarrhea, IBS
Deepana – improves digestion strength
Pachana – Digestive, relieves Ama Dosha
Trushnahara – Relieves thirst
Aruchihara – useful in relieving anorexia
Krumi Vinashini, Jantughna – Relieves worm infestation, useful in infected wounds
Raktajit – useful in blood disorders
Pittajwarahara –Relieves fever with burning sensation and gastritis
Jwaratisarahara – relieves fever associated with diarrhea

For post partum care

Nut grass for post partum care: 
It helps to improve breast milk production and also relieves milk duct clogs. If the baby has mild fever or diarrhoea, a water decoction of this herb is made and administered to the mother.  Read more about after-delivery care of mother.
External application is done on breasts to improve lactation. It also relieves pain, inflammation and itching.

External application

External application for lactation improvement:
Hi, this method is a bit rarely used.
Half a teaspoon of Musta powder is made into paste with water, applied on breasts, left for 30-40 minutes, then washed off (bathing).
This is done once a day.

As dusting powder

Charaka explained Musta as one among Avachurnana dravya, along with herbs like Kushta, Vidanga, Lodhra, Sarjarasa etc. The body of the patient is smeared with sesame oil. Then the body is dusted with the above powder mix. Dusting process is called Avachurnana.
It relieves Kitibha –  ringworm, Kandu – pruritus, Pama – keloids, Vicharchika – Eczema. Reference: (Charaka Sutrasthana 5th chapter)

Jalamusta synonyms, benefits, use

Jalamusta – Cyperus  esculentus (Earth almond) Benefits and usage:
Synonyms: Jala Musta, Daashapura, Vaneya, Paripelava, Shaivala, Jalaja,
Taste: Tikta, Katu, Kashaya – Bitter, pungent and astringent in taste.
Kantida – improves skin tone and complexion
Medhya – improves intelligence
Vatahara – useful in treating disorders of Vata Dosha imbalance  such as neuralgia, paralysis, constipation, bloating, etc
Visarpahara – useful in herpes
Kanduhara – useful in relieving pruritis (excessive itching)
Kushtahara – useful in skin diseases
Vishahara – Anti toxic
Musta is used as a substitute for camphor.
It is useful in urinary tract infections, dysuria and vaginal white discharge.

Research

Research on Cyperus rotundus:
Antimicrobial investigation
Anti-platelet effects
Physico-chemical and phyto-chemical studies

Side effects

Side effects of Javagrass:
There are no known side effects with this medicine. However, people with constipation may find the symptoms worsen with this medicine.
It is safe to use in children and during lactation. Consult your doctor for its usage during pregnancy.

Interaction with medicines, supplements

Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.

Can this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets, Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most of the dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.

With western medicines
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.

Ayurvedic medicines

Ayurveda medicines with Mustaka ingredient:
Musta Karanjadi kashayam – Used in treating ‘Ama’, indigestion and diarrhoea.
Mustharishtam – used in digestive complaints like diarrhea, indigestion, etc.
Navaka Guggulu – used for weight loss treatment and Rheumatoid arthritis.
Panchatiktarishta – antipyretic and blood purifier.

Use in Takradhara

Nagarmotha for Takradhara
Takradhara is a traditional Ayurvedic treatment used for the treatment of psoriasis, hypertension etc. Here, medicated buttermilk is poured over a particular body part for specified amount of time.
To prepare the medicated buttermilk (Takra), Nagar Motha is used, as below.

Procedure:

  • 2 Prastha quantity (128 tola – 1536 grams approximately) of cow’s milk is mixed with 8 prastha quantity (512 tola – 6144 grams approximately) of water and 2 pala (8 tola – 96 grams approximately) of Musta Churna (powder of Cyperus rotundus) are added.
  • The contents are heated on moderate fire until all the water evaporates and only milk is left over.
  • After the milk gets cooled, a small quantity of curd is added and the milk is curdled
  • To this, Amalaki Kwatha (decoction prepared from coarse powder of amla) is added in a quantity of 1 prastha (64 tola – 768 grams) and churned well so as to prepare buttermilk
  • The resultant mixture is used for Takra Dhara
  • Read more about methodology and benefits of Takradhara treatment

17 thoughts on “Musta: Cyperus rotundus Uses, Research, Side Effects”

  1. External application done on breast to improve milk production, for how long I Need to keep this on breast n how many times in a day I should apply? Pls pls reply

    Reply
  2. Useful information in detail.organised neatly. Thank you sir hebbar for doing your bit to educate all of us.

    Reply
  3. Hi.. I would like to know.. can Musta powder be used for facial hair removal.. My daughter has lots of facial hair.. and she is a kid.. I am searching for natural product that helps to remove unwanted facial hair..

    Reply
  4. Is this also known as Musta Vachadi? Can this be used for benign lumps in breast/fibrocyst, which change size with menstruation cycle?

    Reply

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