Imperata cylindrica

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Imperata cylindrica

Scientific name : Imperata cylindrica
Family: Gramineae
Common name : Cogongrass
Local name : Lalang

Roots of Imperata cylindrica

Height : 1-3 feet
Distinguish Features : Green leaves with sharp edges. Whitish fibrous root.
Found : Open sandy habitats, commonly found on impoverished soils. And as ground cover.
Commercial: Sold as dried roots in Chinese medicated store.

For the Chinese, the roots of cogongrass are used to treat high fever. The roots are used as astringent, antifebrile, antivinous, diuretic, emollient, haemostatic, restorative and tonic. It has antibacterial and anticancer properties.

Sugar and Salt from Imperata cylindrica
During the Japanese Occupation, the villagers dug on the ground and patiently bundled the roots and cut off one end to collect the sap that drained from the plant. The sap was boiled to form sugar. The ashes of the burnt cogongrass or lalang were mixed with water and filtered for salt.

Cogongrass is a cheap and effective remedy for heatiness in our body. Use it with other herbs to reduce our body's Yang. However, DO NOT take it excessively as it might be TOO "cold" for some people. If after taking the concoction, and you find that you have joint pain (eg shoulder joint or wrist pain) then it is a sign that you have taken too much of the roots. Stop taking immediately. Don't worry, the pain will subside as it is only temporary.

For Heatiness

  1. Dig out some roots (about a handful).
  2. Wash them.
  3. Boil the roots for 2 hours in a pot.
  4. Add brown sugar (optional).
  5. Drink when cool.

Roots can be dried and kept for future use.

Reference: YinYangherbs.Com