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Purple nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus)


Also listed as: Cyperus rotundus
Related terms

Related Terms
  • Adenosine, alkaloids, alpha-copaene, alpha-cyperone, alpha-rotunol, ammiol, aristolone, benzo-alpha-pyrone (coumarin), beta-cyperone, beta-pinene, beta-rotunol, beta-selinene, beta-sitosterol, beta-sitosterol glucoside, boeai, caffeic acid, calcium, camphene, caryophyllene alpha-oxide, chaguan humatag, chlorogenic acid, chrysoeriol, cineole, clovane-2,9-diol, cocograss, copaene, cypera-2,4(15)-diene, Cyperaceae (family), cyperadione, cyperene, cyperenone, cyperine, cyperol, cyperolone, cyperorotundene, cyperotundone d-copadiene, Cyperus rhizome, Cyperus rotundus, d-epoxyguaiene, d-fructose, d-glucose, ellagic acid, epiorientin, essential oil, ethyl-alpha-D-glucopyranoside, (E)-caffeoylmalic acid, flavonoids, gamma-cymene, gondla, gondla jadi, hama-suge, isocurcumenol, isocyperol, isolongifolen-5-one, isorhamnetin, isokobusone, isotorundene, kaempferol, kangen-karyu (KGK), khellin, khellol glucoside, kili'o'opu, kobusone, limonene, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, luteolin, magnesium, manganese, methanol (MeOH), muskezamin, musta, mustakone, mutha, myricetin, myristic acid, nagar motha (Hindi), n-butyl-beta-D-fructopyranoside, nootkatone, norcyperone, norrotundene, nutsedge, nutgrass, oleanolic acid, oleanolic acid 3-o-neohesperidoside, oleic acid, orientin, pakopako, patchoulenone, p-coumaric acid, p-cymol, pectin, peroxycalamenene, polyphenols, protocatechuic acid, purple nut, quercetin, quercetin 3-O-beta-D-rutinoside, red nut, roekoet teki, rosenonolactone, rotundene, rotundine A, rotundine B, rotundine C, salicylic acid, se'd (Arabic), sedge, selinatriene, sesquiterpene alkaloids, sitosteryl (6'-hentriacontanoyl)-beta-D-galactopyranoside, so ken chiu, so ts'ao, souchet, stearic acid, stigmasterol, stigmasterol glucoside, sugeonol, sugetriol triacetate, tage-tage, tagernut, teki, tetralone, tiririca, topalak, tricin, tryptophan, uridine, visnagin, vitexin woeta, xiang fu (Mandarin Chinese).

  • Purple nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus) is a species of sedge (Cyperaceae family) native to Africa, southern and central Europe, and southern Asia. Sedges are a family of grass-like flowering plants. Purple nutsedge is considered an invasive weed in North America and is a common lawn weed. The therapeutic components of purple nutsedge are located in the tubers (a type of underground stem), which resemble nuts in appearance (hence the name nutsedge).
  • Purple nutsedge has been used extensively in Asian therapies, especially Indian (Ayurvedic), Chinese, and Japanese (Kampo) traditions, to treat a wide variety of ailments, including bacterial infections, inflammation, and pain. In traditional medical systems in the Middle East, both fresh and dried forms of purple nutsedge have been used in a paste to heal skin wounds, ulcers, and sores.
  • Modern research on purple nutsedge has investigated its possible antioxidant, antimicrobial, antidiabetic, and weight control effects. At this time, there is a lack of high-quality human trials supporting the efficacy of purple nutsedge for any indication.

Evidence Table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. GRADE *
* Key to grades

A: Strong scientific evidence for this use
B: Good scientific evidence for this use
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work)
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)

Tradition / Theory

The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

  • Analgesic (painkiller), antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antimutagenic, antioxidant, antispasmodic, antitussive (anti-cough), aphrodisiac (increases sex drive), astringent, back pain, blood disorders, blood flow stimulation, blood thinner, bursitis, cancer (cervical), carbuncles (abscesses), carminative (antigas), carpal tunnel syndrome, cervical spondylosis (excess wear on neck cartilage and bone), birth control, cosmetic uses, degenerative joint disease/osteoarthritis, demulcent (soothes and protects mucous membranes), dental cavities, diabetes, diaphoretic (promotes sweating), diarrhea, digestive system disorders, diuretic (improves urine flow), dysentery, dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation), emmenagogue (stimulates menstruation), enhanced immune function, epilepsy, estrogenic agent, eye inflammation (ophthalmia), fever, fibromyalgia, fragrance (detergents, perfumes, soaps), fungicide, gastrointestinal disorders, headache, high blood pressure, hives, immune stimulant, inflammatory conditions, itching, joint disorders, kidney stones, leprosy, leukemia, liver protection, lymphoma, malaria treatment, memory enhancement, menstrual disorders, nausea/vomiting, nocturnal leg cramps (night time leg cramps), pain (general), parasites and worms, rheumatic diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, arthralgias, muscle pain), sciatica (back and leg pain), sedative, sexual function/impotence, skin care, skin ulcers, stimulant, tonic, weight loss, wound infection.


Adults (18 years and older)

  • There is no proven safe or effective dose of purple nutsedge in adults. Traditionally, purple nutsedge tea has been taken by mouth (prepared by boiling the powdered rhizome (underground stem) in water).

Children (under 18 years old)

  • There is no proven safe or effective dose of purple nutsedge in children.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.


  • Avoid with known allergy or hypersensitivity to purple nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus), its components, or members of the Cyperaceae family.

Side Effects and Warnings

  • Purple nutsedge may increase the risk of bleeding. Caution is advised in patients with bleeding disorders or taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary.
  • Purple nutsedge may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may need to be monitored by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, and medication adjustments may be necessary.
  • Avoid in patients with known allergy or hypersensitivity to Cyperus rotundus, its components, or any member of the Cyperaceae family.
  • Avoid in pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

  • Avoid in pregnant and breastfeeding women, due to lack of sufficient scientific data.


Interactions with Drugs

  • Purple nutsedge may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants ("blood thinners") such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
  • Purple nutsedge may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. Patients taking drugs for diabetes by mouth or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
  • Purple nutsedge may also interact with antibiotics, anticancer agents, antidiarrheals, anti-inflammatory agents, antimalarial agents, cholinesterase inhibitors, and drugs that affect GABA.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

  • Purple nutsedge may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this has not been proven in most cases.
  • Purple nutsedge may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.
  • Purple nutsedge may also interact with anticancer agents, antidiarrheals, anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements, antimalarial herbs and supplements, antioxidants, and cholinergic herbs and supplements.

  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (

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Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (

The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.