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lamajjaka - Cymbopogon jwarancusa

lamajjaka :

lamajjaka  : Cymbopogon jwarancusa Cymbopogon jwarancusa (Poaceae) is an important medicinal herb found as a weed throughout India. Though almost all of its parts are used in traditional systems of medicines, roots and shoots are the most important parts which are used medicinally. The present article gives an account of updated information on its phytochemical and pharmacological properties. The review reveals that wide numbers of phytochemical constituents have been isolated from the plant which is used for treatment for various diseases for example Blood, Skin, Vomiting, Abdominal Tumors, unconsciousness and Fever. The efficacy of ethanol extracts of C. jwarancusa for all the pathogens tested, as well as its higher antioxidant property portends the polarity based potential in biochemical which are present in the leaves


Traditionally, the species name has been derived from two Sanskrit words “Jwar & Ankusha” meaning “fever and breaker” respectively that recalls the much acclaimed medicinal property associated with the herb. In the recent years, several researchers have reported the usage of this plant against different diseases. Kirtikar and Basu, (1982) [7] reported the usage of this plant against different diseases like vomiting, abdominal tumers, unconsciousness, blood impurities, skin problems etc.

Taxonomical Classification

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta - Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Cymbopogon Spreng.
Species: Cymbopogon jwarancusa


Sanskrit: Roshisha, Lamjak , Amrinala, Avadahaka, Avadataka, Dirghamula, Ishthakapathika, Jalashaya, Laghu, Lamajjaka, Laya, Nalada, Sevya, Shighra, Sunala, Sunila
English: Jwarancusa Grass, Lemon Grass, Rosha Grass, Cetronella
Hindi: Lamjak, Khavi, Bur, Jwarankush
Urdu: IzkharMakki (Plant), BekheIzkar (Root)
Bengali: Karankusa
Marathi: Pivalavala
Gujarathi: PiloValo, Gandharu Ghaans, Ashkhar
Punjabi: Lamjak
Arabic: Izkhir
Japanese: Jamaroosa, Jamaroosagurasu
Chinese: Mei guicao
French: Herb de Citron, Citronnelle en herbe
German: Zitronengras
Persian: KahMakki


The name of genus, Cymbopogon is derived from Greek word kymbe = hallow boat like-vessel and pogon = beard. It Species name is jwarancusa, which is probable derived from Sanskrit word jwar=fever and Cusa / Kusha= grass, or Ankusha=breaker as this grass traditionally used to treat fever. Below is given taxonomical classification of plant.


Synonyms in Ayurveda: lamajjaka, jaladhara, dirghamula, jalashaya, ishtakapathaka, shighra, amrinala, sunalaka, ushira bheda


Major constituent of the essential oil is piperitone, 65% others include borneol, cadinene, camphene, camphor,farnesene, geraniol, alpha-and beta-pinene. The antibacterial activity is attributed to piperitone.

Parts used for medicinal purpose

Whole plant, ,


  1. The powder is taken in dose of 3-5 grams.
  2. This plant has emmenagogue action and therefore should not be used in pregnancy.


Habit Perennial; caespitose. Butt sheaths glabrous; persistent and investing base of culm; with compacted dead sheaths, or curly dead sheaths. Culms erect, or geniculately ascending; 30–150 cm long. Ligule an eciliate membrane; 0.5–4 mm long. Leaf-blades 15–30 cm long; 3–5 mm wide; aromatic. Leaf-blade apex attenuate; filiform. 2.2 Inflorescence Synflorescence compound; linear; 15–40 cm long; dense. Inflorescence composed of racemes; terminal and axillary; subtended by a spatheole; enclosed. Spatheole lanceolate, or elliptic; 1.5–2.5 cm long; red. Racemes 2; paired; deflexed; 1.3–2.2 cm long. Rhachis fragile at the nodes; semiterete; pilose on surface; ciliate on margins. Rhachis internodes linear. Rhachis internode tip transverse; cupuliform. Raceme-bases flattened; subequal. Spikelets in pairs. Fertile spikelets sessile; 1 in the cluster. Companion sterile spikelets pedicelled; 1 in the cluster. Pedicels linear; semiterete; ciliate; hairy on surface and margins. 2.3 Sterile Spikelet’s Basal sterile spikelets well-developed; 2 in number (lower raceme); 0 in upper raceme; with normal internodes; sessile and pedicelled. Basal sterile spikelet pedicels free; linear. Basal sterile spikelets equalling fertile. Companion sterile spikelets well-developed; male; lanceolate; 6 mm long; as long as fertile; deciduous with the fertile. Companion sterile spikelet glumes chartaceous; distinctly veined; 3–7 -veined; acute; muticous. Companion sterile spikelet lemmas 2; enclosed by glumes. 2.4 Fertile Spikelets Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets lanceolate; dorsally compressed; 4.5–5.5 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures. Spikelet callus base obtuse; inserted. 2.5 Glumes Glumes dissimilar; exceeding apex of florets; firmer than fertile lemma. Lower glume lanceolate; 1 length of spikelet; chartaceous; 2-keeled; keeled all along; keeled laterally. Lower glume intercarinal veins absent, or obscure; 0–2 in number. Lower glume surface concave. Upper glume lanceolate; 1-keeled. Upper glume apex acute. 2.6 Florets Basal sterile florets barren; without significant palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret hyaline. Fertile lemma lanceolate; hyaline; without keel. Lemma apex lobed; 2 -fid; incised 0.5 of lemma length; awned; 1 -awned. Principal lemma awn from a sinus; geniculate; 7–10 mm long overall; with twisted column. Column of lemma awn glabrous. Palea absent or minute

Geographical distribution:

 Socotra, Turkey, Middle East, Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Indian Subcontinent, Tibet, SichuanYunnan, Vietnam
Africa: northeast tropical. Asia-temperate: western Asia, Arabia, and China. Asia-tropical: India. It is reported to include about 140 species, 45 in Asia and more than 52 species in Africa. It is found on roadsides, field boundaries and waste places as a weed throughout India. 

General Use:

Cymbopogon jwarancusa is used in treatment of diseases of the blood, skin, burning sensations, leprosy, biliousness, thirst, vomiting, unconsciousness and fever. It is cooling, bitter, digestible, alexiteric, appetizer, stomachic and astringent. Externally, it is applied on applied to abdominal tumor.

Therapeutic Uses:

Cymbopogon jwarancusa is rich in medicinal properties. The understanding of these properties will help us to better utilize this herb. These also indicate the conditions in which we should avoid it. Below is given medicinal properties along with the meaning.

 It is used to purify blood. It is used as tonic in dyspepsia, especially that of children, stimulant and diaphoretic. It is also used in treatment of gout, rheumatism and fever.

Systemic Use:

Antioxidant: Reduces damage due to oxygen, such as that caused by free radicals.

Anti-rheumatic: Counteracting rheumatism and rheumatoid disease.

Blood purifier: Detoxifies.

Bechic: Remedy for a cough.

Carminative: relieving flatulence.

Diuretic: Causing increased passing of urine.

Emmenagogue: Stimulates or increases menstrual flow.

Lithontriptic: Dissolving or destroying stone in the bladder or kidneys

KEY WORDS: Cymbopogon jwarancusa, Jwarankusha, Medicinal properties, chemical constituents, pharmacological activities.

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