Ayurveda is an ancient Indian medical system wherein we believe our body as well as the plants and animals are composed of the same too. Any imbalance of these mahabhutas and in dosha, dhatu and mala can be brought back to equilibrium with any other plant, dravya or animal product as they contain the mahabhutas too. that this whole earth and beyond is formed of panch-mahabhutas i.e. Pruthvi, jal, Agni, vaayu and Akash. Similarly Hence, in Ayurveda , nature itself can be the cure to various disorders and there are innumerable options to choose from.. One among such is Durva or the ‘ Bermuda grass’ that grows In abundance and easily available.. This article will further highlight its medicinal properties and uses.
Durva grass is a traditional herb used in the preparation of Ayurvedic medicines since time immemorial
Durva is considered very divine and inseparable from various Hindu ceremonies
Durva is found throughout India as well as many other parts of world. Some consider it as common grass. It is a perennial grass which grows in any type of soil. It penetrates about 2 meters in depth in soil and can survive in the toughest conditions. Durva is a creeping grass which spreads along the ground wherever the nodes touch the soil. The blades are grayish green in colour and grow up to 30 cm tall with rough edges. Flowers bloom on the blades with 3-7 fingers like spikes that originate from a single point. Each of the spikes is 1-3 cm long. Seeds are produced in these spikes and are wind pollinated. It grows well under direct sunlight. The spreading nature of the grass could be the reason for Durva to be known as the Devil’s grass.
It is known with different names throughout India-
Durva in Sanskrit means “which is cut or eaten by animals”.
The English name is Bermuda grass.
Other names of Durva grass are Bahama Grass, Devil’s grass, Couch Grass, Wire Grass, Indian Doab, Grama, or Scutch Grass.
- It is known as Doob (Hindi),
- Garika, Gerike, Harvali (Telugu),
- Ambate- Hullu (Kannada),
- Durba (Bengali),
- Karuka Pulli (Malayalam) and
- Arugam Pullu in (Tamil)
- Kingdom- Plantae (Plants),
- Subkingdom -Tracheobionta (Vascular plants),
- Super division- Spermatophyta – (seed plants),
- Division- Magnoliophyta – (Flowering plants),
- Class- Liliopsida (Monocotyledons),
- Subclass- Commelinidae,
- Order- Cyperales
- Family- Poaceae (Grass family),
- Genus- Cynodon,
- Species- Cynodon dactylon (L.)
Durva grass is a storehouse of healthy nutrients like proteins, calcium, potassium, fiber, phosphorous, carotene, sitosterol. Durva has diuretic, antitoxic antifungal, hypoglycemic, antilithic, hypotensive, coagulant, antibiotic, anticancer properties. Durva grass has anti microbial and anti viral properties thus used to improve the overall immunity of the body. It also helps the body to fight against various diseases. Durva grass contains cynodon dactylon protein fractions which enhance the immune modulator activity that helps in optimizing the immune system. Durva grass contains Phenolic Phytotoxins (Ferulic, Syringic, P-coumaric, Vanillic, PHydroxybenzoic and O-Hydroxyphenil acetic acid). Durva also acts as a general tonic and aphrodisiac.
Durva plant contains vitamin C, cartone, palmitic acid, triterpenoides, alkaloids, crude proteins, carbohydrates and mineral constituents, oxides of magnesium, phosphorous, calcium, sodium and potassium. Durva can be used both internally and externally for medicinal purpose.
According to Ayurveda, this holy plant is considered to be full of medicinal properties. Its roots and leaves have many therapeutic properties too.
Durva roots are fibrous, cylindrical, up to 4 mm thick, with minute hair-like roots arise from the main roots. These are cream in colour. The roots of plant contains Phenolic Phytotoxins and Flavonoids.
It’s uses and implementation in various conditions and disorders-
Durva is rich in anti inflammatory, antiviral and antiseptic properties. It is used to treat various skin ailments like leprosy, scabies, itching, skin rashes and eczema. A paste of the Durva grass mixed with turmeric and applied on the affected area is a remedy for a host of skin related disorders.
BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS:
Durva grass has hypoglycemic effect thus used to reduce the blood sugar levels in the body. Regular consumption of the Durva grass along with neem leaves lowers the risk of associated effects of high blood sugar levels in the body.
INSOMNIA AND FATIGUE:
It is a natural remedy for insomnia and for fatigue. Consumption of Durva grass juice regularly relieves stress and strengthens the nervous system.
Durva grass is a natural blood purifier and maintains the alkalinity of blood. Juice of Durva taken every morning on an empty stomach is said to detoxify the body.
OBESITY AND CHOLESTROL:
Regular consumption of Durva grass juice helps in reducing weight and the cholesterol levels. It also enhances the cardiac function. It acts as an anti arrhythmic agent.
A few drops of the juice is dropped in the eyes to treat conjunctivitis.
Durva contains 65% of chlorophyll thus is a natural remedy for treating anemia as it increases the red blood cells which will improve the Hemoglobin levels in the body.
Regular consumption of Durva grass is a natural detoxifier and reduces acidity. It is also effective in treating constipation.
A spoon of the Durva grass juice taken along with yoghurt is effective in treating Urinary tract infection and vaginal discharge in women. Durva strengthens the uterus and is highly beneficial for curing abortion. It is a natural remedy for PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome) and boosts production of prolactin hormone thereby aiding in lactation. It is very effective in treating excessive blood loss during menstruation, nosebleed or blood loss during injuries.
DENTAL PROBLEMS AND ULCERS:
Durva grass is rich in flavonoids that helps fight against ulcers. It is effective in treating cold and reduces the phlegm in the lungs. It is used to treat bleeding gums and bad breath.
One simple way in which Durva can be administered as a medicine is by drinking it’s juice. Below is how you prepare it-
PREPARATION OF THE DURVA GRASS JUICE
A handful of durva grass washed and cleaned, should be made into a fine paste by adding few drops of water. A spoon of the paste in a glass of warm water taken daily will act as an energizer and boost the overall immunity of the body. No food or drink should be taken for at least 3 hours after consuming the Durva juice.
The grass can be dried and powdered. The dried powder can be mixed with honey and taken or simply taken with water.
Because of its vast medicinal and therapeutic potential as well as easy availability, Durva is considered to be one of the most important medicinal plant in Ayurveda. Since it is easily available, it is cost efficient and easily affordable to all classes of people. I strongly believe that Durva being mentioned in our Mythology and used in various Hindu auspicious ceremonies was just a simple way of incorporating it into our daily lives and make one aware of such a useful medicine easily accessible to all. This plant is one of the numerous gifts of Ayurveda to mankind and hence one should utilize it to their benefit.
Dr. Smita, B.A.M.S