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Kans (Saccharum spontaneum L.)

Pankaj Oudhia
Society for Parthenium Management (SOPAM)
28-A, Geeta Nagar, Raipur - 492001 India
pankajoudhia@gmail.com
www.pankajoudhia.com

Copyright © 2004. All Rights Reserved. Quotation from this document should cite and acknowledge the contributor.

Scientific Name: Saccharum spontaneum L.
Family: Poaceae
Hindi Name: Kans, Kansi, Kas.

General Description: It grows as wasteland weed. It is considered as valuable medicinal herb in traditional systems of medicine in India. It is popular folk medicine.

Botanical differences between major Saccharum species.

Characters S. spontaneum S. benghalense
Plant A stout, erect perennial, up to 6 m. high A robust, perennial grass
Stem Solid above, fistular below, polished, silky below panicles and minutely silky below upper leaf-insertions Pale, solid, pithy, smooth, with an inconspicuous growth-ring and root-zone.
Leaves Erect, glaucous, midrib white, margins scabrid, often villous above base, sheath longer than internode Linear, usually more than one meter long, margins scabrid, sheaths tight, silky at base, hairy on margins above
Panicles Conical-oblong, branches ascending, usually reddish or purplish, primary rachis silky with long, white hairs White villous
Spikelets In pairs, awnless, laceolate, sessile, pedicelled similar lower involucral glume of sessile spikelets glabrous In pairs, one sessile and the other pedicelled. Lower involucral glume of sessile spikelets villous
Flowering and Fruiting Oct.-Feb. Throughout the year

Useful Parts: Whole herb, Roots.

Medicinal Uses: According to Ayurveda, roots are sweet, astringent, emollient, refrigerant, diuretic, lithotriptic, purgative, tonic, aphrodisiac and useful in treatment of dyspepsia, burning sensation, piles, sexual weakness, gynecological troubles, respiratory troubles etc.

Other Uses
Planted to check soil-erosion.
Culm suitable for pulp to prepare different grades of papers.
Leaves are used for thatching.
Leaves are employed for cordage and broom.
Possess strong Allelochemicals and Allelopathic properties.
Used as material for sugarcane breeding.
Having religious importance.

References
Bhandari, M.M. (1990). Flora of the Indian desert. Pbl. MPS Repros, Jodhpur, India : 390-391.
Sastri, CST and Kavathekar, K.Y. (1990). Plants for reclamation of wastelands. Pbl. CSIR, New Delhi, India. : 360-362.

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