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Family Juncaceae
Juncus effusus Linn.

Deng xin cao

Scientific names Common names
Juncus bogotensis Kunth Badili (Ig.)
Juncus communis E. Meyer [Illegitimate] Balili (Bon.)
Juncus effusus Linn. Piñgot (Bon.)
Juncus fistulosus Guss. Sudsud (Ig.)
Juncus lucens Burnham Matting rush (Engl.)
Juncus luxurians Colenso Common rush (Engl.)
Juncus zebrinus Andre Cork screw rush (Engl.)
  Lamp rush (Engl.)
  Rush pit (Engl.)
  Soft rush (Engl.)
Juncus effusus L. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Deng xin cao, Den cao, Deng xin.
FRENCH: Jonc Diffus, Jonc à Lier, Jonc épars, Jonc pars.
GERMAN: Flatterbinse.
ITALIAN: Glunco comune.
SPANISH: Junquera.

Piñgot is a plant that usually forms circular, dense, matted tufts of finely striate stems, 30 to 90 centimeters high, soft and pithy. Base of the stalk is surrounded by short, sheathing leaves. Inflorescence is very variable, lax and pendulous, with slender branches and distant flowers, or globose and sessile with densely packed flowers. Sepals are lanceolate, exceeding the length of the obovoid brownish capsules. Seeds are minute, yellow, and very obtuse at each end.

- In open, swampy places at all altitudes from 1,400 to 2,300 meters in Luzon (Benguet, Bontoc Subprovinces).
- Also occurs in warmer parts of both hemispheres, especially common in the north temperate zone.

- Stems yield araban and xylan.
- Study isolated 13 compounds from the medullae - juncusyl ester A and B, 5-a spinasterol, B-sitosterol, effusol, p-coumaric acid, nobiletin, quercetin, rutinose, among others.
- Study isolated a new cycloartanelactone glucoside, Juncoside I.

- Dry stems yielded six phenolic constituents: 7-carboxy-2-hydroxy-1-methyl-5-vinyl-9, 10-dihydrophenanthrene, 2,3-isopylidene-1-O-ferulic acid glyceride, (2S)-2, 3-isopylidene-1-0-p-coumaroyl glycer- ide, dehydroeffusal, p-hydroxybenzaldehyde and luteolin- 5,3'-dimethyl ether.
- Study isolated 30 compounds. Six compounds were named 7-carboxy-2-hydroxy-1-methyl-5-vinyl-9, 10-dihydrophenanthrene (1), 2,7-dihydroxy-1-methyl-pyrene (2), 7-hydroxy-2-methoxy-1-methyl-pyrene (5), 2,7-dihydroxy-5-hydroxymethyl-1-methyl-phenanthrene (7), effusenone A (10), 2,3-isopropylidene-1-O-ferulic acid glyceride. The other 15 known compounds were identified as: dehydroeffusal (3), 2,7-dihydroxy-1, 6-dimethyl-pyrene (5), dehydroeffusol (6), juncusol (8),2,7-dihydroxy-1-methyl-5-vinyl-9,10-dihydrophenanthrene (9),β-sitosterol (11), 3β-hydroxy-5α,8α-epidiocyergosta-6E,22E-diene (12), 7-oxo-β-sitosterol (13), stigmast-4-en-6β-ol-3-one (14), (24R)-stigmast-4-ene-3-one (15), daucosterol (16), (2S)-2,3-isopropylidene-1-O-p-coumaroyl glyceride (18), p-hydroxybenzaldehyde (19), 3-hydroxy-2,5-hexadione (20), luteolin-5,3′-dimethyl ether (21). (see study below) (17)
- Study of aerial parts yielded eight phenanthrene viz. 7-carboxy-2-hydroxy-1-methyl-5-vinyl-phenanthrene (1); 2,7-dihydroxy-1-methyl-5-aldehyde-9,10-dihydrophenanthrene (2); dehydroeffusol (3); dehydrojuncusol (4); 7-carboxy-2-hydroxy-1-methyl-5-vinyl-9,10-dihydrophenanthrene (5); 8-carboxy-2-hydroxy-1-methyl-5-vinyl-9,10-dihydrophenanthrene (6); effusol (7) and juncusol (8). (see study below)     (20)
- Study isolated a new sesquilignan effususin E (1) and a new long chain fatty enamide effususin F (2), along with eight known compounds from the medullae of Juncus effusus. (see study below) (21)
- Bioactivity guided phytochemical investigation yielded seven new phenanthrenoids along with nine known compounds, including eight phenanthrenoids and a benzophenone from the dichlormethane soluble fraction of ME of medullae. (see study below) (23)

- Traditionally considered antilithic, antiphlogistic, depurative, diuretic, descutient, febrifuge, pectoral and sedative.
- Seeds are cathartic.
- Studies have suggested sedative, hypnotic, cytotoxic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anticancer, antioxidant properties.

Parts used
Pith, seeds.


- Pith is used for keeping open fistulous sores.
- Malays used the pith for urinary troubles.
- Decoction used as antilithic, pectoral and descutient.
- In traditional Chinese medicine, used for painful urination, insomnia and sleep restlessness, sore throat, and ulcerations of the mouth and tongue. Used to eliminate excessive "heart-qi" and induce urination.
- Cherokees use the herb as an herbal constituent in emetic preparations; also, used as cathartic.
- In China and Japan, folk medicine for fever, insomnia, eclampsia, and fever sores.
- Charred juncus used as sedative.
Basketry / Weaving: Stem piths used for basketry, weaving mats, and for making lamp wicks. Dried stems used for making rope.
Paper: Fiber from stems used for making paper.

Phenolic Contents:
Ethanolic extract of the dry stem of J effusus yielded six phenolic constituents. Compounds 5 and 6, p-hydroxybenzaldehyde and luteolin-5-3'-dimethyl ester were reported for the first time. (2)
Effusenone A / Phenolic Compounds: Study yielded a novel diterpene, effusenone A, and three novel phenolic compounds from the stem of J. effusus.
Dihydrodibenzoxepin / Cytotoxicity: Study isolated a novel dihydrodibenzoxepin and preliminary brine shrimp lethality assay showed it to be cytotoxic. (3)
Sedative / Hypnotic Effect: Study of extracts of JE showed influences on autonomic activity and sleeping time with pentobarbital sodium. The ethyl acetate extract showed to be the effective sedative and hypnotic fraction.
Dehydroeffusol / Anxiolytic / Sedative: Study isolated a novel phenanthrene chemical, dehydroeffusol, which showed anxiolytic and sedative properties. (9)
Chemical Constituents / Antibacterial: Study isolated 30 compounds, six of which were new. Compound 6 (dehydroeffusol) showed antibacterial activity, with good inhibitory effect on four gram positive bacteria and Candida albicans. (12)
Protective Effects from Cytotoxicity and Apoptosis / Root Bark: Study reports on two Chinese medical herbal extracts from roots barks of J. effusus and Paeonia suffruticosa that showed protective effect in NS-SV-Ac cells from cytotoxicity and apoptosis caused by CDDP (cis-platinum (II) diammine dichloride). Results explained the potency of the extracts as novel candidates for xerostomia in patients undergoing chemotherapy. (15)
Anti-Inflammatory / Pith: Study evaluated the effects of ethanol extract from pith of J. effusus on anti-inflammatory activities of RAW 264.7 cells. Results showed anti-inflammatory activity by suppressing the production of inflammatory mediators in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells and by attenuating edema in mice. (16)
Antibacterial: Study isolated thirty-one compound. Compound 6, dehydroeffusol, tested against nine bacterial strains, showed good inhibitory effect on four gram + bacteria and Candida albicans. (see constituents above) (17)
Remediation of Contaminated Mines: Water draining from abandoned mines is often highly acidic and contaminated with toxic metals. Study evaluated the remediation capacity of natural wetlands in Wales, UK. Study showed plant life might be absorbing some of the toxic elements; concentrations of iron, zinc, and copper were found reduced. The three most common plants in the wetland were soft rush (Juncus effusus), common reed (P. australis) and common cottongrass (Eriophorum angustifolium). Of these, soft rush was found to absorb the highest level of the three metals. (18)
Phenanthrenes / Anxiolytic and Sedative: Study of aerial parts isolated 8 phenanthrenes. Compunds 7 and 8 (effusol and juncusl, respectively) showed anxiolytic and sedative activities. (see constituents above) (20)
Cytotoxic / Anti-Inflammatory: Study isolated a new sesquilignan effususin E (1) and a new long chain fatty enamide effususin F (2), along with eight known compounds from the medullae of Juncus effusus. The new compounds, effususin E and F, were evaluated against five human cancer cell lines (SHSY-5Y, SMMC-7721, HepG-1, Hela, and MCF-7. Only compound 1 exhibited weak cytotoxic activity against SMMC-7721. Compounds 1 and 2 showed good inhibitory activity against NO production in lipopoly-saccharide-induced RAW264.7 macrophages, with IC50 of 8.59 and 13.73 µm, respectively. (21)
Anticancer / Antioxidant / Invention: Invention relates to a pharmaceutical composition having an antioxidant and anticancer effect with an extract of Juncus effusus as an active ingredient. In the invention the ethanol extract of J. effusus was fractionated and compound 1 and 2 (dehydroeffusol and effusol, respectively) were measure for antioxidant and anticancer effect. Both compounds showed more than 90% DPPH free radical and ABTS free radical scavenging activity. Both compounds showed similar or higher inhibitory effects on cancer cell growth (human gastric cancer cell line/AGS and lung cancer cell line/A549) than anticancer drug (CPA, cyclophosphamide). (22)
Dihydrophenanthrenes / OAT Inhibitors / Medulla: Study evaluated the interactions of J. effusus phytochemicals with human OAT1 and OAT3. Bioactivity guided phytochemical investigation yielded seven new phenanthrenoids along with nine known compounds, including eight phenanthrenoids and a benzophenone from the dichlormethane soluble fraction of ME of medullae. Compounds 10 and 16 were inhibitors of OAT1, and compounds of 1-3, 10, and 16 were inhibitors of OAT3 with IC50 values less than 5.0 µM. Dihydrophenanthrene 1 altered the pharmacokinetic parameters of the diuretic drug furosemide, a known substrate of both OAT1-and OAT-3, in vivo. (23)
Protection of Salivary Gland Acinar Cells from Apoptotic Cell Death Induced by Cis-Platinum Diammine Dichloride / Root Bark: Study reports on the protective effect of root barks of Juncus effusus ad Paeonia suffruticosa in NS-SV-Ac cells from cytotoxicity and apoptosis caused by CDDP. Effect was dependent on p53 pathway, protein kinase B7Akt1 and mitochondrial apoptosis related protein. Results suggest potential of the extracts as novel candidates for xerostomia and to improve quality of life of patients undergoing chemotherapy. (24)

Powders, pellets and extracts in the cybermarket.

Updated March 2020 / November 2015

IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph / Juncus effusus --Quarts Creek habit at Home Depot Nursery Kahului, Maui - Credit: Forest and Kim Starr - Plants of Hawaii - Image licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License, permitting sharing and adaptation with attribution. / click on image to go to source page AlterVISTA
MAGE SOURCE: Photograph / Closeup / Juncus effusus / Credit: Photo by Alfonso La Rosa. / AlterVISTA
MAGE SOURCE: Seeds / Juncus effusus / Common rush / Steve Hurst, hosted by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA
IMAGE SOURCE: Public Domain / Juncus effusus - USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. Vol. 1: 467. / AlterVISTA

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Two p-coumaroyl glycerides from Juncus effusus / Jom Dong-Zhe et al / Phytochemistry, Volume 41, Issue 2, February 1996, Pages 545-547 / doi:10.1016/0031-9422(95)00648-6 |
Isolation and identification of phenolic constituents from Juncus effusus / Li H X, Deng T Z et al /
Yao Xue Xue Bao. 2007 Feb;42(2):174-8.
A bioactive dihydrodibenzoxepin from Juncus effusus / Marina Della Greca et al / Phytochemistry, Volume 34, Issue 4, November 1993, Pages 1182-1184 , The International Journal of Plant Biochemistry / doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(00)90742-8
Juncoside I, a New Cycloartanelactone Glucoside from Juncus effusus / Marina Della Greaca et al / Natural Product Research, Volume 4, Issue 3 June 1994 , pages 183 - 188
Soft Rush / Juncus effusus / Plants For A Future

Diterpenoid and Phenolic Compounds from Juncus effusus L. / Guang Zhong Yang, Hong Xia Li et al / Helvetica Chimica Acta, Vol 90, Issue 7, pages 1289–1295, July 2007 / DOI: 10.1002/hlca.200790129
Sedative fraction from Juncus effuses L. / WANG Yan-long, HUANG Jian-me et al / Journal of Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 2006-03 / DOI cnki:ISSN:1006-2157.0.2006-03-011
Anxiolytic and Sedative Effects of Dehydroeffusol from Juncus effusus in Mice / You-Jiao Liao, Hai-Feng Zhai et al / Planta Med. 2011 Mar;77(5): pp 416-420 / doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1250517
Juncus effusus L. / Chinese names / Catalogue of Life, China
Juncus effusus (Common Rush) / Vernacular names / ZipcodeZoo
Studies on the Chemical Constituents and Biological Activities of Juncus Effusus L. / Thesis / China Papers
In vitro antioxidant properties and total phenolic contents of wetland medicinal plants in Taiwan / Yu-Ling HO, Shyh-Shyun HUANG, Jeng-Shyan DENG, Yaw-Huei LIN, Yuan-Shiun CHANG, and Guan-Jhong HUANG / Botanical Studies, 2012; 53: pp 55-66
Juncus effusus / Synonyms / The Plant List
Root bark extracts of Juncus effusus and Paeonia suffruticosa protect salivary gland acinar cells from apoptotic cell death induced by cis-platinum (II) diammine dichloride. / Mukudai Y1, Kondo S, Shiogama S, Koyama T, Li C, Yazawa K, Shintani S. / Oncol Rep., 2013 Dec; 30(6): pp 2665-2671 / doi: 10.3892/or.2013.2744
Anti-inflammatory effects of Juncus effusus extract (JEE) on LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells and edema models. / Park NY, Kim SG, Park HH, Jeong KT, Lee YJ, Lee E. / Pharm Biol. 2015 Apr 17: 54(2): pp 1-8 / https://doi.org/10.3109/13880209.2015.1029053
Studies on the Chemical Constituents and Biological Activities of Juncus Effusus L. / Master Thesis / China Papers
Acid mine drainage effectively remediated by natural wetlands / Science for Environment Policy / European Commision
Chinese Herb: Deng Xin Cao (Rush Pith, Juncus), Medulla Junci Effusi / Sacred Lotus-Chinese Medicine
Phenanthrenes from Juncus effusus with anxiolytic and sedative activities / Yong-Gang Wang, Yan-Long Wang, Haifeng Zhai et al / Natural product research, October 2011;  26(13):pp 1234-1239 / DOI: 10.1080/14786419.2011.561491
Cytotoxic and Anti-inflammatory Constituents from Juncus effusus / Wei Ma, Yunyung Ding, Feng Liu, Yue Zhang, Ning Li / Journal of the Mexican Chemical Society, June 2016; 60(2)
Drug composition containing extract of Juncus Effusus L. for anti-oxidative and anti-tumor activity / KR20140108796A: South Korea
Dihydrophenanthrenes from Juncus effusus as Inhibitors of OAT1 and OAT3 / Xue Li, Yilin Qiao, Xue Wang, Ruicong Ma, Tianxiang Li, Youcai Zhang, Robert P. Borris / Journal of Nat. Prod., 2019; 82(4): pp 832-839 / https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jnatprod.8b00888
Root bark extracts of Juncus effusus and Paeonia suffruticosa protect salivary gland acinar cells from apoptotic cell death induced by cis-platinum (II) diammine dichloride. / Mukudal Y, Kondo S, Shlogama S, Koyama T, Li C, Yazawa K, Shintani S / Oncology Reports, Sept 2013 / DO: 10.3892/or.2013.2744


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