Moras is a coarse, erect, tufted perennial, growing 1 to 2 meters high. Roots are fibrous and fragrant. Leaves are arranged in two rows, about 1 meter long, 1 centimeters or less in width, and folded. Panicles are terminal, erect, purple or greenish, about 20 centimeters long; the branches are slender, whorled, spreading or ascending, 5 to 12 centimeters long. Sessile spikelets are about 4 millimeters long and muricate; the awn of the fourth glume is very short or absent.
- Widely distributed in the settled regions of the Philippines.
- Commonly planted on dikes of rice paddies and on river banks to prevent erosion.
- Native of tropical Asia.
- Introduced into the Philippines.
- Now pantropic.
- Yields an oil known as vetiver oil; also, as cuscus.
- Vetiver oil yields various substances: vetivenes, vetivenol, vetivenic acid, vetivenyl acetate and other similar compounds.
- Study of roots yielded khusimol (2) together with other sesquiterpenes, including ß-vetivenene (1), vetiselinenol (3), isovalencenol (4), vetivenic acid (5), α-vetivone (6) and β-vetivone (7). (see study below)
- Study of essential oil identified 25 compounds. Major components were cedr-8-en-13-ol (12.4%), α-amorphene (7.80%), β-vatirenene (5.94%) and α-gurjunene (5.91%). (see study below)
- Study of roots for essential oil yielded sesquiterpenes (3-4%), sesquiterpenols (18-25%), and sesquiterpenones (7-8%). Economically active compounds were khusimol, α-vetivone and ß-vetivone which constitute about 35% of the oil. (16)
- GC-MS analysis of essential oil yielded major components of khusimol (19.57%), E-isovalencenol (13.24%), α-vetivone (5.25%), ß-vetivone (4.87%), and hydroxy-valencene (4.64%). (see study below) (17)
- Study of roots by steam distillation yielded an essential oil composed mainly of sesquiterpenes (3-4%), sesquiterpenols (18-25%), and sesquiterpenes (7-8%). Among the economically important active compounds are khusimol, α-vetivone, and ß-vetivone constituting about 35% of the oil. (25)
- Root reported as cooling, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, refrigerant, tonic, stomachic.
- Studies suggest antimicrobial, repellent, antihypertensive, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic and hypoglycemic properties.
Roots, essential oil, leaves.
- Oil sometimes used to flavor sherbets.
- Decoction of roots used for tonic baths.
- Decoction of roots taken internally as a lithotripic - to dissolve or break kidney stones.
- Roots used for thirst, inflammation, acne, stomach irritability.
- Weak infusion of roots used for fever.
- In Ayurveda, different plant parts used for various ailments and diseases, including boils, burns, epilepsy, fever, scorpion stings, snakebites, mouth sores, headaches, lumbago, malarial fever.
- Essential oil of vetiver used in aromatherapy for relieving stress, anxiety, nervous tension, and insomnia.
- Root used as carminative, stimulant, and diaphoretic.
- Root decoction taken internally for nervous and circulatory problems. Externally, used for tonic baths, muscle pains and treating lice.
- In West Bengal, root paste used for headache, rheumatism, and sprains. Stem decoction used for urinary tract infection. In Madhya Pradesh, the Mandla and Bastar tribes used the leaf juice as anthelmintic. In Varanasi, root vapour inhaled for malarial fever. (24)
- Crafts / Weaving: Roots used for weaving fans, baskets, and making fragrant mats. Dried culms used for making brooms and to thatch roofs. Flower stalks are used in making mats, and occasionally, brooms. Leaves sometimes made into awnings and sunshades.
- Perfume: Prized for its agreeable odor, akin to that of sandal wood. Dried roots used to perfume clothes. Shavings used for filling sachet bags.
- Vetiver oil: Vetiver oil is a constituent of high-grade perfumes and cosmetics. Used for making agarbattis, massage blends, soaps, soft drinks, pan masala. (•) Oil is mixed in sorbets and beverages as flavoring agent. Oil claimed to have an aphrodisiac effect. (23) Vetiver oil is also known as Oil of Tranquility, with a fragrance all of its own, and with no synthetic substitute. Annual world trade in vetiver oil is estimated around 250 tons (about $20-200 million a year). Main producers are are Haiti, Indonesia, China, Japan, India, and Brazil, while main consumers are USA, Europe, India, and Japan. (25)
: A super-absorbent and deep rooted perennial grass with use for landfill rehabilitation, erosion, and leachate control. Also recommended for rehabilitation of mining areas.
- Planting uses: Harvested leaves, culms, and roots utilized after processing as mulch, compost, nursery block of planting medium.
Fodder: Young leaves grazed by cattle and sheep.
- Construction / Industrial products:
Used for roof thatching, vetiver-clay composites, veneer-fiber board, ash for concrete work, straw bales, pulp and paper products.
• Antihypertensive / Antispasmodic: Study of aqueous-methanolic crude extract of A muricatus showed a cardiodepressant effect on the rate and force of spontaneous contractions. In isolated rabbit jejunal preparations, it showed a relaxation of spontaneous and high K-induced contractions, suggesting a spasmolytic effect mediated possibly through calcium channel-blockade. Phytochemical screening yielded phenols, saponins, tannins, and terpenes, which may be responsible for the cardiodepressant, vasodilator and antispasmodic effects. (1)
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study showed that A. muricatus extract possesses anti-inflammatory property by inhibiting serotonin, histamine and prostaglandin biosynthesis.(2)
• Termite Repellent and Toxicant / Nootkatone: Study isolated nootkatone which was found to be a significant repellent and toxicant of termites. Nootkatone is an effective repellent or toxicant either alone or as an addition to other substrates, including mulches made from vetiver grass roots or other wood products. It is non-toxic to humans and environmentally safe. (3)
• Phytoremediation of Arsenic-Contaminated Soils: A greenhouse study evaluated the capacity of vetiver grass to accumulate arsenic from pesticide-contaminated soils. Results showed vetiver is capable of tolerating moderate levels of arsenic. High biomass, widespread root system and environmental tolerance makes it an attractive choice for remediation of soils contaminated with arsenic. (7)
• Antimicrobial / Roots: Study of roots yielded khusimol (2) together with other sesquiterpenes (1, 3-7). Kushimol was slightly active against tested microorganisms. (see constituents above). (10)
• Essential Oil / Anti-Inflammatory / Antioxidant: Study of essential oil yielded 25 compounds. VZEO may suppress inflammatory responses of LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages, including NO production and cell apoptosis, by regulating expression of inflammation-related enzymes, inducible NO synthase and COX-2 and inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, interleukin-1ß and interferon-ß. The anti-inflammatory activity correlated with its antioxidant activity. (see constituents above) (11)
• Decontamination of Irrigation Water: Study evaluated the phytoremediation potential of Vetiver grass in decontaminating leachate from conventional agricultural irrigation. Analysis of water and leachates indicated the species significantly decreased the concentration of some chemicals such as nitrates, nitrites, and phosphates. (12)
• Anti-Diabetic / Roots: Study evaluated C. zizanioides roots extracts in STZ-induced diabetic Wistar rats. Results showed significant improved glycemic control, antioxidant and hypolipidemic properties, together with protective effect against hepatic and renal injury associated with diabetes. (13)
• Synergistic Sedative-Hypnotic Effects: Study evaluated the sedative-hypnotic effects of two dose levels of ethanolic extract and one dose of essential oil of VZ root. Ethanolic extract and essential oil showed significant sedation and hypnosis in Swiss albino mice. Findings show comparable therapeutic efficacy with diazepam in insomnia. (14)
• Phytoremediation for Tetracycline: Study evaluated the potential of vetiver grass as phytoremediative agent in removing tetracycline from aqueous media. Results showed a cost-effective in-situ phytoremediation technique to remove TC from wastewater. (15)
• Antinociceptive / Anti-Inflammatory / Essential Oil: Study evaluated the antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of C. zizanioides essential oil in rodents. EO at 50 and 100 mg/kg significantly reduced the number of writhes (51.9 and 64.9%, respectively) and the number of paw licks during phase 2 (56.7 and 86.2%, respectively) of a formalin model. In paw edema test, 100 mg/kg of EO inhibited all three phases of edema equally well, suggesting a non-selective inhibitory effect on the release or action of these mediators. (see constituents above) (17)
• Bioremediation of Uranium Mill Tailings: Study evaluated the uranium immobilization potential of vetiver grass under simulated conditions using complex tailings. Results showed the plant could bioremediate up to 49% of the uranium at the 90th day of experiment. The remediation efficiency of vetiver increased with time and the uranium was predominantly localized in the roots. (18)
• De-Fluoridation Efficiency: Consumption of fluoridated water (>1.5mg/L) leads to fluorosis which has no cure. Of the 1.21 billion living in India, 62 million suffer from fluorosis. Study evaluated the de-fluoridation efficiency of C. zizainoides and Ocimum tenuiflorum leaves alone and in combination. Results showed 70%-40% de-fluoridation in C. zizainoides treated water. Fresh Ocimum tenuiflorum leaves showed fluoride reduction from 60%-30%, and adsorbent combination of 1:2 showed maximum reduction of 89% in 1 mg/L solution. (19)
• Analgesic / Anti-Inflammatory: Study evaluated an ethanolic extract of V. zizainoides in Wistar rats and Swiss albino mice showed analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity possible mediated through central and peripheral mechanisms. (20)
• Antihyperglycemic / Roots: Study evaluated an ethanol extract of roots of V. zizainoides for anti- hyperglycemic activity in alloxan induced diabetic rats. Results showed significant reduction of blood glucose levels. The antihyperglycemic effects were compared with those of glibenclamide. (21)
• Biosynthesis of Nanoparticles: Study reports on a simple biological and ecofriendly method for the synthesis of silver and gold nanoparticles using Chrysopogon zizainoides. The nanoparticles can have clinical use as antibacterial, antioxidant, and cytotoxic agent and can be used for biomedical applications. (22)
• Essential Oil: Essential oil is extracted from roots by steam distillation; freshly harvested roots giving higher yield than stored roots, decreasing with increased period of storage. Low recovery of traditionally distilled oil fetches highest price in the perfumery market. Oil has been attributed various properties i.e., anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, aphrodisiac, cicatrizant, nervine, sedative, tonic and vulnerary. (23) Over 150 compounds have been isolated and characterized from vetiver oil. The major portion of the oil consists of sesquiterpene alcohol. (24) The chemical composition of vetiver essential oils from nine countries i.e., Brazil, China, Haiti, India, Java, Madagascar, Mexico, Reunion, and Salvador yielded 110 compounds, with characteristic constituents of ß-vetispirene (1.6-4.5%), khusimol (3.4-13.7%), vetiselineol (1.3-7.8%), and α-vetinone (2.5-6.3%). (25)