Lophatherum gracile Brongn.

Last updated: 26 September 2016

Scientific Name

Lophatherum gracile Brongn.


Acroelytrum urvillei (Steud.) Steud. ex Miq. Allelotheca urvillei Steud. Lophatherum annulatum Franch. & Sav. Lophatherum elatum Zoll. & Moritzi ex Steud.Lophatherum humile Miq. Lophatherum japonicum (Steud.) Steud. Lophatherum lehmannii Nees ex Steud. Lophatherum multiflorum Steud. Lophatherum pilosulum Steud. Lophatherum zeylanicum Hook.f. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Rumput buluh [2]; resam buluh, rumput kelurut, rumput jarang, rumput bulu, rumput ulu-ulu, rumput ubi buluh [3]
English Bamboo-leaf [4]
China Dan zhu ye [4]
Hong Kong Dam Juk Yip [3]
Indonesia Rumput kelorak, rumput bambu, tangkur gunung (Sundanese) [3]
Thailand Phai pen lek (Trang); yaa khui mai phai (Prachin Buri) [3]
Vietnam D[aj]m tr[us]c di[eej]p, c[or] m[aa]y, c[or] l[as] tre [3]
Korea Dam Juk Yeap [5][6]
Japan Tan Chiku Yo [3].

Geographical Distributions

Lophatherum gracile is widely distributed in tropical and subtropical Asia, from southern India, Sri Lanka, Burma (Myanmar), Indo-China, southern China and Thailand to Korea, Japan, the whole Malaysian region and northern Australia. [3]

Botanical Description

L. gracile is a member of the family Poaceae. This is a perennial and tufted herb, which can reach up to 120 cm tall, with short and branched rhizome. The roots are fibrous, locally thickened to spindle-shaped tubers, which are up to 4 cm long and erect, compressed and hollow culms. [3]

The leaves are distichously alternate arranged, simple, ovate-lance-shaped, 10-30 cm x 1-5.5 cm. It is contracted into 6-18 mm long pseudo-petiole at base, acuminate at apex, scabrous margins, smooth to hairy and distinctly cross-veined. The sheath is hairless, but margins are ciliate. The ligule is very short and truncate. [3]

The inflorescence is a spike-like panicle, up to 45 cm long, consisting of irregularly and distantly placed spiciform racemes that up to 15 cm long with spikelets are in 2 rows. The 9-13 mm long spikelets are ovate-lance-shaped, very short stalk, with 1 bisexual floret, which is having lower glume with a size of 3.5-4.5 mm long and 5-veined. The upper glume is 5-6.5 mm long and 5-7-veined. The lemma is 6-7 mm long and 7-9-veined while the palea is 5-6 mm long and strongly 2-veined. Spikelet is on top with 5-13 sterile lemmas, which are gradually becoming smaller and retrorsely scaberulous awns up to 2 mm long. Lodicules are broadly wedge-shaped. There are 2 stamens with linear anthers. The ovary is with 2 long styles that connate at base and long stigmas. [3]

The fruit is an oblong-fusiform caryopsis and about 3.5 mm long. [3]


L. gracile usually occurs in mixed forest, in shaded, not too dry localities up to 1500 m altitude. It is locally common. [3]

Chemical Constituent

L. gracile has been reported to contain arundoin, b-sitosterol, campesterol, cylindrin, friedelin, isorientin, isovitexin, orientin, stigmasterol, taraxasterol and vitexin. [2][7][8]

Plant Part Used

Leaves and tuberous roots. [2][6]

Traditional Use

L. gracile is much revered by Chinese in traditional medicine. The whole plant form part of the ingredient in a pot herb prepared for women after delivery. The tuber is considered an aphrodisiac and is believed to increase semen production. [2][6] The considered the plant to be sweet, bland and cold and is associated with the heart, small intestine and stomach meridians. It helps in clearing heat in stomach, heart and small intestine and promotes urination. [9] The leaves are used to treat canker sores in the mouth, buccal sores, swollen gums and pharyngitis. Decoction of the leaves is also used to treat urinary tract infection and at the same time relieves haematuria, oliguria, dysuria and strangury. [4][10][11]

Preclinical Data


Antibacterial activity

Studies found that the extract of L. gracile had inhibitory effects on Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus haemolyticus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli. The extract also had very good heat stability and effective in the pH range of 4-9. [12]

Vasorelaxant activity

The ethanol extract of L. gracile showed vasorelaxant activity in isolated aortic tissue of rats. The mechanism of action is via an endothelial dependent NO-cGMP signalling pathway which is in part related to the function of the K+ channels. [13]


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical findings

L. gracile form part of the ingredient of a herbal preparation which was the subject of study for the treatment of minimal brain dysfunction (MBD). Studies done by Zhang et al found that the group receiving this preparation had their clinical symptoms and signs eliminated, their IQ raised by 10 units, the EEG showed recovery and there were no cases of recurrence during the first six months of follow up after recovery. [14]

Side effects

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of L. gracile [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Lophatherum gracile Brongn. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2016 Sept 27]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-422947.
  2. Batugal PA, Kanniah J, Sy L, Oliver JT, editors. Medicinal plants research in Asia - Volume I: The framework and project workplan. Serdang: International Plant Genetic Resources Institute-Regional Office for Asia, the Pacific and Oceania (IPGRI-APO), 2004; p. 122.
  3. Lemmens RHMJ, Bunyapraphatsara N, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia 12(3): Medicinal and poisonous plants 3. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers; 2003.
  4. USDA, NRCS. Plant database. Lophatherum gracile Brongn. [homepage on the Internet]. c2016 [cited 2016 Sept 27]. Available from: http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=LOGR7.
  5. Kimura T, But PPH, Guo J, Sung CK, editors. International collation of traditional and folk medicine: Northeast Asia part I. Singapore: World Scientific, 1996; p. 197.
  6. Zakaria M, Mustafa AM. Traditional malay medicinal plants. Institut Terjemahan Negara Malaysia Berhad Kuala Lumpur: Fajar bakti, 2010; p. 103.
  7. Chang HM, But PPH. Pharmacology and applications of chinese materia medica. Vol II. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing, 1987; p. 1207.
  8. Yuan K, Xue YQ, Yin MW, Lou LH. Simultaneous determination of four glycosylflavones from Lophatherum gracile by RP-HPLC. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2008;33(19):2215-2218. Chinese.
  9. Naturopathy Digest. Lophatherum gracile. [homepage on the Internet]. c2011 [updated 2009 July 27; cited 2016 Sept 27]. Available from: http://www.naturopathydigest.com/nutrition_herbs/herbs/lophatherum.php
  10. Xinrong Y. Traditional chinese medicine: A manual from A – Z: Symptoms, therapy and herbal remedies. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 2003; p. 104.
  11. Etkin NL. Plants in indigenous medicine and diet. New York: Routledge, 1986; p. 62
  12. Liu X. Study on antimicrobial effect of the extract from Lophatherum Gracile Brongn. J Guangdong Industry Tech Col. 2008;02.
  13. Hye YK, Xiang L, Dae GK, Ho SL. Effect of Lophatherum gracile Brongn on the mechanism of vasorelaxation in thoracic aorta. FASEB J. 2010;24:915-986.
  14. Zhang H, Huang J. Preliminary study of traditional Chinese medicine treatment of minimal brain dysfunction: analysis of 100 cases. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 1990;10(5):260,278-279. Chinese.