Musta – Cyperus Rotundus


Musta commonly known as “Nut grass” is a rhizomatous perennial Ayurvedic herb that grows like a weed in the fields with water resources. The word “Musta” in Sanskrit indicates that the plant grows gregariously with clustered tubers. The word Cyperus is derived from greek word kupros meaning “cup” and rotundus means “round”. The plant grows like a weed in waste fields.

Various experiments performed by Dr. Gupta’s IAFA have proven the actions of this herb, like appetizer, digestant, astringent and anthelmintic or antihelminthic. Musta has been comprehensively recommended in the diseases like diarrhoea, fever, liver disorders and even in alcoholism. The anthelmintic property shows its action against microbes as well as other external factors and hence used in allergic diseases. The extracts found in the plant have actions like analgesic, anti inflammatory and genotoxic nature. Various studies shows that the extracts from aerial parts of Cyperus rotundas contain potent components like flavonoids that are useful for modulating the immune cell functions, provoking antioxidant and anti inflammatory effects. The decoction of Cyperus rotundas found to have antidiarrheal action by mechanisms other than direct killing of the pathogens. Due to its wide range of therapeutic applications it is used widely in both modern and classic ayurvedic treatments.

Action of Cyperus rotundus or Musta in Allergy

Phytoconstituents naturally found in Cyperus rotundus or Musta are Cyperene, Cypernone, Keto alcohols, essential oils which contains Pinene, Cineol, Myristic acid etc. These chemicals contribute to its digestant, astringent and anthelmintic actions. Studies also explored the analgesic, anti inflammatory and genotoxic activities of extracts from the anterior parts of Cyperus rotundus or Musta. All these action contribute to the effective use of this herb in allergic diseases. The drug is found to be successful in case of food allergic conditions also. The extracts in the plant helps to reduce microbial activities in the stomach and assures a good digestive power. 

Vernacular Names

Hindi name  Motha, Nagarmotha
Sanskrit name Musthakam, Krodesta, Varidnamakam, Kuruvinda, Musth
English name  Java Grass, Nut Grass, purple Nutsedge, Coco Grass
Malayalam name  Muthanga
Tamil name Muthakach
Kannada name  Tunge Gadde

Botanical Name

Cyperus Rotundus Linn.



Phytomorphology of Musta Cyperus rotundus

Cyperus rotundus is commonly known as “coco-grass” is a perennial plant with maximum height of 5-6 feet. Stem with triangular cross-section having leaves originates from the base of plant which divides into three, of height approx 2–8 inch. The flower inflorescence pattern is unequal and spiky in nature. Young plant stem sends out root and shoots known as rhizome. Rhizomes grow downward or horizontally, and form chains of dark reddish-brown tubers.

Ayurvedic Reference of Musta

Habitat of Musta (Cyperus rotundus)

Cyperus rotundus prefers moist soils, and often grows in low lands, water logged area and in rice crop fields.

Phytoconstituents Musta (Cyperus rotundus)

Different classes of organic compounds with various medicinal uses have been found in cyperus rotundus. The tubers of it contain following main chemical constituents- cyperene, humulin, selinene, zierone, campholenic aldehyde, longiverbenone, copaene, limonene etc.

Parts Used of Musta Cyperus rotundus

Cyperus rotundus also called as “Nut Sedge”. Its tubers are used for medicinal purpose which resemble like nuts although botanically nothing to do with nuts.

Preparation and dosage of Musta

  • Powder (choornam) – 3-6 gm per day
  • Decoction– 30-90 divided doses in a day

Medicinal Properties and Uses of Musta

  • Food Intolerances– recommends in IBS with butter milk to cure repeated bowel habits.
  • Worm infestation- helps to cure pin worm in children. 
  • Psoriasis- used externally mixed with butter milk as Takra Dhara in psoriasis.
  • Breast milk purification: helps to balance vitiated breast milk causing indigestion to the feeding baby.
  • Post partum case: externally apply to relieve inflammation and to open the clogged ducts of milk glands. Also used for improving the milk production. 
  • Skin Diseases: used as a dusting powder in eczema, ringworm and excessive sweating type of skin disorders.
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Home remedies of Cyperus rotundus or Musta

Musta is an easily found herb and it is used in various medical conditions from ancient ages. In olden ages it was collected from grasslands by the shepherds for distributing in villages. The vast medicinal properties made it as a drug of choice for “common man”.

  • Musta in diarrhoea: Decoction of Musta root is prepared then taken with honey will check all kinds of diarrhoea. Two to three handful of Musta root can be taken for making decoction in 200 ml of water. Decoction must be taken early morning for 1-3 days for the best results. 
  • Musta in fever: administration of decoction or cold infusion prepared from Musta and Parpata(Fumaria parviflora) is beneficial in fever. 100 ml decoction can be made from two -three handful of Musta root. The decoction intake can be continued for three to seven days.
  • Musta in chronic obstructive jaundice: One pinch of Ayasa curna( fine iron powder in edible form) mixed with 5 gram of Musta powder and taken with decoction of 100 me Khadira(Acacia catechu). The decoction intake can be continued for 4-6 weeks. 
  • Musta in Gout (Vatarakta): Continuous use of decoction of Musta, Amalaki (Phyllanthus emblica) and Nisa(Curcuma longa) cures Vatarakta or Gout.
  • Musta in Alcoholism (Madatyayam): Decoction of Musta is very useful in alcoholism. 100 ml decoction can be taken daily for 4-6 weeks for attaining the best result.
  • Musta in indigestion (Ajirna): Musta is made into Arishta (fermented form) and taken after food reduces indigestion. 
  • Musta in Anorexia: The decoction made by crushing the tubers of Cyperus rotundas is effective towards anorexic conditions. 
  • Musta in healing Ulcers: Its tuber fine powder has a general wound healing, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect. The paste made of Musta root is taken along with honey for healing ulcers. 
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Dr. Sahil Gupta completed his Bachelor of Ayurveda in Medicine and Surgery (B.A.M.S.) and Master’s Degree in Health Administration (MHA) India. He is Registered Ayurvedic Doctor & Vaidya in India having Registration No. 23780. He is the CEO and founder of IAFA. After completing BAMS, Dr. Sahil Gupta started practicing Ayruveda by giving prime importance to allergic disorders management. He became the first Ayurvedic doctor to cure Food Allergies through Ayurveda. Read More About Dr. Sahil Gupta.

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