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Family Poaceae

Saccharum officinarum Linn.
Hong gan zhe
Scientfic names  Common names
Arundo saccharifera Garsault Agbo (Ibn.)
Saccharifera officinalis Stokes [Illegitimate] Caña dulce (Span.)
Saccharum atrorubens Cuzent & Pancher ex Drake Tubo (Tag., Bik.)
Saccharum fragile Cuzent & Pancher ex Drake Tubu (Sul.)
Saccharum glabrum Cuzent & Pancher ex Drake Una (Ibn.)
Saccharum luzonicum Cuzent & Pancher ex Drake Unas (Ilk.)
Saccharum monandrum Rottb. Unat (It.)
Saccharum obscurum Cuzent & Pancher ex Drake Noblecane (Engl.)
Saccharum occidentale Sw. Sugar cane (Engl.)
Saccharum officinarum Linn.  
Saccharum officinale Salisb.  
Saccharum rubicundum Cuzent & Pancher ex Drake  
Saccharum spontaneum subsp. luzonicum Hack.  
Saccharum violaceum Tussac  

Saccharum officinarum L. is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
ARABIC: Qassab es sukkar.
BENGALI: Aankha, Ukha, Uuka.
CAMEROON: Nkogo'o.
CHINESE: Hong gan zhe, Guo zhe, Gan zhe.
DANISH: Suikerriet.
FRENCH: Canne a sucre.
GERMAN: Zuckerrohr.
HEBREW: Kaneh.
ITALIAN: Canna da zucchero, Canna mele.
JAPANESE: Satou kibi.
KHMER: 'âmpëu.
KOREAN: Sa t'ang su su.
LAOTIAN: 'o:yz.
MALAY: Tebu, Tebu telur, Tebu (Indonesia).
MALAYALAM: Karimbu, Karimpu.
NEPALESE: Ganna, Sahacar, Ukhu.
NORWEGIAN: Sukkerrør.
PORTUGUESE: Cana de açúcar, Cana do açúcar, Canna de assucar.
PUNJABI: Gacnaa.
RUSSIAN: Sakharnyi trostnik kul'turnyi, Sakharnyi trostnik lekarstvennyi, Trostnik sakharnyi.
SPANISH: Caña de azúcar, Caña dulce, Cañamiel, Caña melar, Caña sacarina, Caña común.
SRI LANKAN: Uk, Angarigai, Karumbu, Ikshu.
SWEDISH: Sockerrör.
TAMIL: Kaarumbu (Karumbu).
THAI: Oi daeng, Ton oi
URDU: Gannaa.
VIETNAMESE: Cây mía, Mía.

Tubo is a large, coarse and erect grass. Stems are solid, polished, green, yellow or purplish, attaining a height of 1.5 to 4 meters, 2 to 5 centimeters thick, with long and short internodes. Leaves are very large and broad, with blades 0.9 to 1.25 meters long and 4 to 5 centimeters wide. Panicles are very large, white, drooping and terminal, 40 to 80 centimeters long; branches up to 35 centimeters long. Spikelets are very numerous, 1-flowered, about 3 millimeters long, with surrounding white villous hairs about twice as long as the spikelets.

- Cultivated throughout the Philippines, very extensively in some islands and provinces.
- One of the major crops of the Archipelago.
- Introduced.

- Sucrose is the product of the sugar cane juice.
- Sugarcane wax is a whitish to dark-yellow powdery deposit n the surface of stalks and leaves which appears as a cuticle layer. (11)
- Refined sugar is the primary product of sugarcane juice, but processing yields various other valuable products in unrefined form i.e., brown sugar, molasses, and jaggery. (11)
- Studies of sugarcane wax, juice, and leaves have yielded the presence of various fatty acid, alcohol, phytosterols, higher terpenoids, flavonoids, glycosides and phenolic acids. (11)
- Proximate analysis of sugarcane pulp yielded high amount of moisture (71.91 ± 0.05%), low dry matter (28.09%) consisting of carbohydrate (58.55 ± 0.04 g/100g), fiber (29.88 g/100g), ash (6.69 g/100g) and some mineral elements. (12)
- Phytochemica analysis of sugarcane pulp yielded alkaloids (8.07 ± 0.04 µg/100 g), saponins(5.57 ± 0.01 µg/100g) and flavonoids (1.52 ± 0.02 µg/100g), along with mineral elements magnesium, potassium, calcium and others in trace amounts. (12)
- Phytochemical screening of aqueous ethanol extract yielded saponins, tannins, flavonoids, and reducing sugars. (14)
- Phytochemical analysis of ethyl acetate extract of Brazilian hybrids yielded ß-carotene (1), steroids steroids sitosterol (2), stigmasterol (3) and campesterol (4), α-tocopherol (5), vanillic acid (6), ferulic acids (7), tricin (5,7,4-trihydroxy-3,5-dimethoxyflavone) (8), sitosterol glucoside (9), p-hydroxycinnamic (10),and p-hydroxybenzoic (11). (see study below) (21)

- Crystals are odorless and sweet.
- Considered antidote, antiseptic, bactericidal, cardiotonic, demulcent, diuretic, emollient, cooling, laxative, stimulant.
- Studies have suggested immunostimulatory, prokinetic, hypoglycemic, antioxidant, steroidogenic, antimicrobial, hypolipidemic, hepatoprotective, anticancer, diuretic, antiurolithiatic, anticoccidial properties.

Parts used
Roots, leaves, juice.

Edibility / Nutritional
- Largely used for preserving meat and fruit.
- In India, sugarcane juice is known as a nutritional drink.
- In Nigeria, stem pulp is widely consumed as a snack for its sugar content.
- Suitable for use as rehydration and functional food plant. (12)
- Refined sugar has been used for fevers, lack of secretion, dry coughs.
- Molasses is used as a laxative.
- Sugar is applied to wounds, ulcers, boils, and inflamed eyes.
- Leaf ash used to treat sore eyes. Stem juice used for sore throats, snake bites, and wounds from poison arrows. (13)
- Pulped sugar used to dress wounds; the cane used for splinting broken bones.
- In Mexico used to relieve coughs.
- Malay women use it in childbirth.
- Decoction of root used for whooping cough.
- In India, plant juices used for abdominal tumors.

- In Cote-d'-Ivoire, leaf decoction used for hypertension. (5)
- In India, used in the treatment of jaundice, hemorrhage, dysuria, and various urinary diseases. (11)
- In Sri Lanka, leaf decoction taken for cough. Fresh stem juice with crushed ginger given for stomachaches in children. Treacle used as laxative. (18)
- In Sindh medicine, sugarcane dissolved in water or mixed with milk is applied to affected areas of hand burn. Paste of S. officinarum and Citrus limonum mixed with Cocos nucifera oil is applied to scalp for treatment of dandruff. Paste of S. officinarum and Triticum aestivum applied for wound healing. Paste of sugarcane and jaggery in oil used for wound healing. Paste of sugarcane and butter applied to areas of psoriasis. (22)
- In Ghana, sugarcane is boiled with fruit peels of Anonas comosus and leaves of Azadirachta indica and the decoction drunk three times daily for treatment of malaria. (25)
- in Ogbomoso, SW Nigeria, juice used for treatment of diabetes. (26)
- Wax: Used in the production of furniture, shoes, leather polishes, and waxed paper. (13)
- Alcohol / Fuel: Stem sap used for making alcohol and used as fuel. (13)
- Fiber: Stems are source of fiber for making paper. (13)
- Residue: Bagasse residue after extraction of sugar used for making fiberboard, paper pulp, furfural and cellulose. (13)

Immunostimulating Effect:
The phagocytic activity of peripheral blood leukocytes in chickens increased significantly when orally administered sugar cane extracts, with higher antibody responses and delayed type hypersensitivity responses. (1)
Prokinetic Effect: S officinarum was one of seven known herbs in a polyherbal formulation. Study showed increased gastric emptying and suggests a potential for use as a gastrointestinal prokinetic to improve gastrointestinal motility. (3)
Hypoglycemic Effect: Study reports the hypoglycemic effect of juice from sugar cane stalks. The isolated constituent, saccharin, provided a transient reduction of blood glucose. The transient hypoglycemic effect of complex polysaccharides is suggested to be possibly from increased glucose utilization in the liver and peripheral tissues.
Phytochemicals / Antioxidant: Study of sugarcane leaves yielded luteolin-8-C (rhamnosylglucoside), with radical scavenging activity. The juice yielded flavones diosmetin-8-C-glucoside, vitrexin, schaftoside, isoschaftoside and 4',5'-dimethyl-luteolin-8-C glucoside. Its content of flavonoids suggest a potential for sugarcane as a dietary source of natural antioxidants. (6)
Steroidogenesis / Testosterone Effect: Study investigated the effect of sugar cane (S. officinarum) molasses on steroidogenesis in testis cell culture. Results showed low concentrations of molasses increase testosterone secretion. Study suggests molasses may be a potential diet supplement to increase testosterone levels. (7)
Optimization of Cytochrome C Production: Comparative study of Manihot Esculenta and Saccharum officinarum showed S. officinarum to be a better optimizer for cytochrome C production. Sugarcane had the higher rate of carbohydrate yield compared to Cassava in terms of inoculum volume with a difference of 5.57%. (8)
• Sugarcane wax: Sugarcane wax is a whitish to dark-yellow powdery deposit n the surface of stalks and leaves which appears as a cuticle layer. It has widespread industrial applications, including cosmetic and pharmaceutical uses. It is a potential substitute for the expensive carnauba wax. The wax if a commercial source of long chain fatty alcohols, acids, esters, aldehydes and ketones. (11)
• Antimicrobial: Sugarcane extract showed highest growth inhibition against Staphylococcus aureus (8.67-24.00 mm) among the bacterial isolates and C. albicans (6.00-14.00 mm) for fungal isolates studied. (see constituents above) (12) Aqueous ethanol extract of bark showed inhibitory effect on gram negative bacteria E. coli and P. aeruginosa. (see constituents above) (14)
• Effect on Gonadal Integrity / Peel: Study evaluated the effects of an ethanolic extract of S. officinarum peel on hematological and histopathological parameters of testes and ovaries of albino Wistar rats. Results showed reduction in body weights, packed red blood cell volume, white blood cells, platelets, hemoglobin, and proliferation of ovarian tissues. Testes integrity was relatively intact. Adverse effects of the extract on ovary was evidenced by remarkable atretic ovarian follicle with loose ovarian stroma formation with a net effect of reduced folliculogenesis. (15)
• Hepatoprotective / Isoniazid Toxicity / Juice: Study evaluated the effect of S. officinarum juice on oxidative liver injury due to ING in mice. Results suggest the co-administration of S. officinarum juice may reduce INH related damage. S. officinarum treated mice showed significant decrease in elevated serum parameters of ALT, AST, ALP, and total bilirubin levels. Hepatoprotection was attributed to phytoconstituents, especially flavonoids and anthocyanins with strong antioxidant properties which can provide hepatoprotection against oxidative liver injury cased by INH. (16)
• Antidiabetic / Hypolipidemic / Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated the antidiabetic and antioxidant activities of aqueous extracts of Morinda lucida and Saccharum officinarum leaves in alloxan induced diabetic rats. Results showed significant reduction (p<0.001) in fasting blood glucose of diabetic rats with the plant extracts, both separately or with the extract mixture. There was also a significant decrease in total cholesterol and LDL. Activities of SOD (superoxide dismutase) was significantly increased along with a significant reduction of malondialdehyde. (17)
• Hypocholesterolemic: Study evaluated crude extracts of sugarcane and gumamela for effect in decreasing the LDL--C level and increasing HDL-C in cholesterol induced rabbits. The crude extracts and a synthetic drug showed significant reduction in LDL-C levels, with the synthetic drug showing the best result. The effect on HDL-C was not statistically significant compared to the control group. (19)
• Anticancer / MCF-7 Cancer Cell Line / Leaves: Study of Saccharum officinarum leaves showed good percentage of anticancer activity on MCF-7 breast cancer cell line. The anticancer activity was attributed to the flavonoid and tannin contents. (20)
• Anticancer / Phenolic Compounds / Tricin / Brazilian Hybrids: Study reported on the cytotoxic activity of mid-polarity sugarcane extracts from Brazilian hybrids against human cancer cell lines. Phytochemical analysis isolated steroids, sitosterol, stigmasterol and campesterol, phenolic acids p-hydroxybenzoic, p-hydroxycinnamic, vanillic and ferulic acid, terpenoids a-tocopherol and ß-carotene and a novel substance, the flavonoid aglycone tricin. The large amount of phenolic acids and flavonoid tricin may explain the cytostatic activity. There is also evidence that tricin has chemopreventive activity, as observed in intestinal carcinogenesis models in mice (Cai et al. 2005). (see constituents above) (21)
• Diuretic / Antiurolithiatic / Leaves: Study evaluated an ethanolic leaf extract of dried leaves of Saccharum officinarum for diuretic and antiurolithiatic activities. Treatment with S. officinarum leaf extract at 200 and 400 mg/kg p.o. showed diuretic effect as evidenced by significantly increased urine volume and antiurolithiatic effect by decrease in elevated calcium, phosphate, oxalate and creatinine concentrations in the urine. (23)
• Anticoccidial / Eimeria Oocysts: Study evaluated an aqueous methanolic extract of S. officinarum on sporulation and morphology of oocysts of four Eimeria species of poultry. Results showed anticoccidial activity of the extract against all Eimeria species as evidenced by dose dependent inhibition of oocyst sporulation. (24)
• Silver Nanoparticles / Antimicrobial / Leaves: Study reports on the rapid, cost effective and eco-friendly synthesis of silver nanoparticles using fresh leaves of S. officinarum. The AgNPs showed antibacterial activity against multiple drug resistant hospital isolates of E. coli, S. aureus, P. mirabilis and hospital isolates of S. typhi, K. pneumonia, and E. faecalis. The silver nanoparticles also exhibited synergistic effect with antibiotics against MDR hospital isolates. (27)

Toxicity concerns !
Sugarcane contains hydrocyanic. Sugar cane is a known teratogen. Molasses in excess amounts, alone or mixed with feeds, may cause diarrhea, colic, urticaria, kidney irritation, sweating and paralysis in domestic stock; horses seem more susceptible, and toxicity could prove fatal. Total phenolic content at 200 µg/ml


Updated September 2018 / February 2013

Photo © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
IMAGE SOURCE / Public Domain / File:Saccharum officinarum Blanco1.18-original.png / Flora de Filipinas / Franciso Manuel Blanco (OSA), 1880-1883 / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Immunostimulating effects of the polyphenol-rich fraction of sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum L.) extract in chickens / Kenji Hikosaka et al / PTR. Phytotherapy research 2007, vol. 21, no2, pp. 120-125
Saccharum officinarum L. / Poaceae / Sugarcane, Noblecane: James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. unpublished.
Prokinetic Effect of Polyherbal Formulation on Gastrointestinal Tract / Pharmacognosy Magazine Vol 4, Issue 17, Jan-Mar, 2009 Page 37-42
Hypoglycemic activity of polysaccharide fractions containing ß-glucans from extracts of Rhynchelytrum repens (Willd.) C.E. Hubb., Poaceae/
doi: 10.1590/S0100-879X2005000600010 Braz J Med Biol Res, June 2005, Volume 38(6) 885-893

Ethnobotanical Study of Plants Used to Treat Arterial Hypertension, in Traditional Medicine, by Abbey and Krobou Populations of Agboville (Côte-d’Ivoire) / N'guessan Koffi et al / European Journal of Scientific Research • Vol.35 No.1 (2009), pp 85-98
HPLC microfractionation of flavones and antioxidant (radical scavenging) activity of Saccharum officinarum L. / Fabiana C Vila et al /
J. Braz. Chem. Soc. vol.19 no.5 São Paulo 2008 / doi: 10.1590/S0103-50532008000500014
Preliminary study on the effect of sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum) molasses on steroidogenesis in testicular cell cultures / Farzana Rahiman and Edmund John Pool / African Journal of Food Science, Vol. 4(2) pp. 037-040, February 2010
Manihot Esculenta Crantz and Saccharum Officinarum as Media for the Optimization of Cythochrome C.
/ Source: Ma. Mercedita L. Mallari / Dept of Science and Technology
Sorting Saccharum names / Authorised by Prof. Snow Barlow / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.
Saccharum officinarum / Synonyms / The Plant List
Phytochemical profile of sugarcane and its potential health aspects / Amandeep Singh, Uma Ranjan Lal, Hayat Muhammad Mukhtar, Prabh Simran Singh, Gagan Shah, and Ravi Kumar Dhawan / Pharmacogn Rev., Jan-Jun 2015; 9(17): pp 45-54 / doi:  10.4103/0973-7847.156340 / PMID: 26009693
Nutritional and antimicrobial evaluation of Saccharum officinarum consumed in Calabar, Nigeria / Ima Okon Williams, Eridiong Ogbonna Onyenweaku and Item Justin Atangwho / African Journal of Biotechnology, August 2016; 15(33): pp 1789-1795 / DOI: 10.5897/AJB2015.14877
Saccharum officinarum / Used Tropical Plants
Phytochemical and Antimicrobial Properties of the Aqueous Ethanolic Extract of Saccharum officinarum (Sugarcane) Bark / Eneh Frank Uchenna, Okechukwu Amara Adaeze, Chukwuemeka Steve Adindu /
Journal of Agricultural Science, 2015; Vol 7, No 10 / DOI: 10.5539/jas.v7n10p291
Impact of Sugar cane peel (Saccharum officinarum) Extract on the Blood Status and Gonadal Integrity of Wistar Albino Rat / ASHADE, O.O., ABUBAKAR, R.O., NGUKA, O.O., YAKUBU, A.O., OYESANYA, O., OFOEGBU, C.C., BELLO, O.N., OSUNTADE, B.A. / IJAPBC, July-Sept 2014; 3(3)
PROTECTIVE EFFECT OF SACCHARUM OFFICINARUM L. (SUGAR CANE) JUICE ON ISONIAZID INDUCED HEPATOTOXICITY IN MALE ALBINO MICE / Sadia Wazir Khan, Mohammad Tahir, Khalid Pervez Lone, Bushra Munir, Waqas Latif / Journal of Ayub Medical College Abbottabad-Pakistan, 2015; 27(2)
Evaluation of the Anti-Diabetic and Antioxidant Activities of Aqueous Extracts of Morinda lucida and Saccharum officinarum Leaves in Alloxan-Induced Diabetic Rats / Oyesola Ojewunmi, Tope Oshodi, Omobolanle Ogundele, Chijioke Micah and Sunday Adenekan /
International Journal of Biochemistry Research & Review, July-Sept; Vol 3, Issue 3 / DOI : 10.9734/IJBCRR/2013/5043
Saccharum officinarum / A Collection of Medicinal Plants in Sri Lanka
The Effect of Saccharum officinarum Linn. (Sugarcane) and Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Linn. (Gumamela) Extracts on the Blood Cholesterol Levels of Oryctolagus caniculus (Rabbit) / Jane S. Gerozaga, Ruby Grace P. Jumarito, Jessa May Blanca T. Jimenez, Crissette L. Lagrama, Roxanne P. Baclao, Lexenieleoego R. Tapongot, Tara Katrina G. Villamor / LDCU-RPO: Asian Scientific Journals, 2014; Vol 2, No 1
Phenolic compounds and anticancer activity of commercial sugarcane cultivated in Brazil / Vanessa G. Alves, Alan G. Souza, Lucas U.R. Chiavelli, Ana L.T.G. Ruiz, João E. Carvalho, Armando M. Pomini and Clueza C. Silva / Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, 2016; 88(3): pp 1201-1209 / http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1590/0001-3765201620150349
Saccharum officinarum Linn. / Folk Medicine Sindh
In-vitro anticoccidial potential of  Saccharum officinarum extract against Eimeria oocysts / Asghar Abbas, Zafar Iqbal, Rao Zahid Abbas, Muhammad Kasib Khan & Junaid Ali Khan /
Boletín Latinoamericano y del Caribe de Plantas Medicinales y Aromáticas, 2015; 14(6): pp 456 - 461
Ethnopharmacological use of herbal remedies for the treatment of malaria in the Dangme West District of Ghana / Alex Asase, George A. Akwetey, Daniel G. Achel / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2010; 129: pp 367–376
Ethno-pharmacological and in-vitro anti-diabetic study of some medicinal plants commonly used in Ogbomoso, South Western Nigeria / Journal of Applied Biosciences 105:10064 –10084
Biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles using Saccharum officinarum and its antimicrobial activity / PR Chaudhari, SA Masurkar, VB Shidore, SP Kamble / IET Micro & Nano Letters, July 2012; Vol 7, Issue 7: pp 646-650 / DOI: 10.1049/mnl.2012.0135

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.
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