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  1. #1
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    ‘Darbha’ grass, a natural preservative


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    Every aspect of our tradition has some basis!

    ‘Darbha’ grass, a natural preservative

    L. Renganathan THANJAVUR:, March 16, 2015 22:02 IST


    Darbha (Desmotachya bipinnata) is a tropical grass considered a sacred material in Vedic scriptures and is said to purify the offerings during such rituals.



    Darbha (Desmotachya bipinnata) is a tropical grass considered a sacred material in Vedic scriptures and is said to purify the offerings during such rituals.

    Traditional tropical grass, Darbha, has been identified as an eco-friendly food preservative.
    This finding was evolved in a research study undertaken jointly by the Centre for Nanotechnology and Advanced Biomaterials (CeNTAB) and the Centre for Advanced Research in Indian System of Medicine (CARISM) of the SASTRA University, Thanjavur, under the supervision of Dr. P. Meera and Dr. P. Brindha respectively.


    Darbha (Desmotachya bipinnata) is a tropical grass considered a sacred material in Vedic scriptures and is said to purify the offerings during such rituals.
    At the time of eclipse, people place that grass in food items that could ferment and once the eclipse ends the grass is removed.
    A systematic research was conducted by the SASTRA University researchers, in which cow’s curd was chosen as a food item that could ferment easily.
    Five other tropical grass species, including lemon grass, Bermuda grass, and bamboo were chosen for comparison based on different levels of antibiotic properties and hydro phobicity.
    Electron microscopy of different grasses revealed stunning nano-patterns and hierarchical nano or micro structures in darbha grass while they were absent in other grasses.
    On studying the effect of various grasses on the microbial community of the curd, darbha grass alone was found to attract enormous number of bacteria into the hierarchical surface features.
    These are the bacteria responsible for fermentation of cow’s curd.
    During eclipse, the wavelength and intensity of light radiations available on the earth’s surface is altered. Especially, the blue and ultraviolet radiations, which are known for their natural disinfecting property, are not available in sufficient quantities during eclipse.
    This leads to uncontrolled growth of micro-organisms in food products during eclipse and the food products are not suitable for consumption. Darbha was thus used as a natural disinfectant on specific occasions, say researchers at SASTRA University.
    Further, the scientists say that darbha could be used as a natural food preservative in place of harmful chemical preservatives and the artificial surfaces mimicking the hierarchical nano patterns on the surface of darbha grass could find applications in health care where sterile conditions were required.
    This entire research was funded by the SASTRA University’s Research Fund.

    http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/...cle7000098.ece
  2. #2

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    I am not a scientist. I have no reason not to believe it.

    But it would be nice to get the research verified by a third party and to be published in a trade journal.
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  4. #3
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    Here is an article that was published in an Ayuved Journal

    Medicinal importance of Darbha- A review

    published in

    Journal of Ayurvedic and Herbal Medicine


    By A.Rama Murthy1 , Bidhan Mahajon2 1 Assistant Professor, PG Department of Dravyaguna Vigyana, National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur, Rajasthan302002, India 2 Ph.D. Scholar, PG Department of Dravyaguna Vigyana, National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur, Rajasthan-302002, India

    ABSTRACT

    Darbha is an important medicinal plant which has been used in Indian system of medicine since antiquity for the treatment of various ailments. There is enormous controversy between Kusha and Darbha in Ayurveda literature. Though the synonyms, actions and indications of Kusha, Darbha are mentioned together in different texts, the most of the Nighantus accepted both Kusha and Darbha as two different varieties and mentioned as synonyms for each other. Present study aimed to extensive review on the drug from Ayurveda as well as modern points of views. The review shows in spite of great controversy for botanical identity of this plant, most of the authors has considered Darbha as Imperata cylindrica Beauv., belongs to family Graminae. It contains various active principles like Cylindrine, Arundoin, Fermenol, Isoarborinol, Semiarenol, Cylindol A & B Gramenone A & B, Imperanene etc. On The basis of experimental and clinical studies conducted in various research centers, the drug possess various properties like diuretic, tonic, antipyretic, sedative, astringent, antiviral, vasodilator, vascular smooth muscle contraction inhibitory, plate late aggregation inhibitory properties and useful in hypertension, calculi, snake bite, thirst, gonorrhea, jaundice, diseases of blood, bladder and skin. Study may provide the scope of further research in different pharmacological area of this important medicinal plant. Keywords: Darbha, Kusha, Imperata cylindrical, Plant.

    INTRODUCTION

    Darbha is an important plant which has been used in Indian system of medicine since antiquity for the treatment of various ailments like mutrakriccha (urinary incontinence), mutraghata (urinary obstruction), ashmari (calculi) etc[1]. Literally and botanically there is some controversy regarding the proper identity of this well known drug. In Vedic and Samhita period both Darbha and Kusha were recognized as two separate drugs, because in several places both have been mentioned together[2]. This also indicates these two drugs have certain similar properties, actions and indications. On the basis of these similarities and morphological appearance, the later texts of Ayurveda have mentioned both Darbha and Kusha as synonyms for each other, which is the main origin of controversy among these two drugs. In some places of Ashtanga Hridaya we may find the words like Kushdvaya and Dvidarbha[3,4] which indicates that two types of Kusha and two types Darbha were mentioned in Astanga Hridaya without differentiation between Kusha and Darbha. Lexicons like Amarkosha (2/2/166) and Sivakosha (44, 94, and 403) has accepted Kusha and Darbha are synonyms [5,6]. Commentators like Arundutta (A.H.Su-25/24,25), Indu (A.S.K. 4/24;8/2), Adhmalla and Kashiram has considered both Darbha and Kusha as two varieties, while Hemadri (A.H.Su. 6/171) equates Darbha as Kusha[7]. Dalhana, commentator of Sushruta Samhita and the field botanist of Ayurveda, clearly differentiates Darbha and Kusha as follows. Kusha is small, soft and has leaves like needle (young shoots) while Darbha is thicker with scabrid and longer leaves (S.S.Su.35/75). He also mentioned Darbha and Kusha as synonyms (S.S.Su 38/8)[8]. Through the synonyms, actions and indications of Kusha, darbha are mentioned together the most of the Nighantus accepted both Kusha and Darbha as two different varieties and mentioned as synonyms for each other. Regarding the botanical source of these plants there is a great confusion. Many contemporary authors including Dymock (1893), Desai (1927), Kirtikar and Basu (1933), Nadakarni (1954) and Chopra (1958) have mentioned only one name i.e. Desmostachia bipinnata Stapf. for both of the drug, while others like Bappalal (1928), Yadavji (1950), Sharma (1956), Chunekar (1968) and Singh (1972) has opined that Darbha is a large and more scabrid variety of Kusha[9-13]. On further literary survey many authors like Gupta (1914), Dutta(1922), Majumdar (1927), Biswas (1952), Monier Williams (1899), Watt (1890), Sharma P.V.& Chunekar K.C. (1975) and Dubey S.D. (1985) have mentioned Imperata cylindrical Beauv. as Darbha


    Read more at: http://www.ayurvedjournal.com/JAHM_201623_08.pdf
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  6. #4
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    Darba = தர்ப்பைப்புல்.
    Kusha = விசுவாமித்திரப்புல்.

    Vaishnavites prefer and use Kusha only while performing karmas.
    Giving someone a piece of your soul is better than giving a piece of your heart. Because souls are eternal. --Helen Boswell
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  8. #5

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    Use of durva grass in Hindu rituals began in Vedic times, more than an estimated 3,500 years ago. The grass is variously known as kusha and durva. Scholars and priests are not clear if they refer to two separate species of grass or the same grass. Some of the species of grass identified as sacred grass include Cynodon dactylon, Desmostachya bipinnata, Imperata cylindrica and Panicun dactylon.


    The unique feature of kusha grass is that it has sharp edges and that of durva grass is that it is a hardy plant and, therefore, is a great survivor; its roots go deep in search of water.


    Pluck a blade of grass and it sprouts back, and this attribute makes it a powerful symbol of regeneration, renewal, rebirth, fertility, and hence prosperity. That is why the durva grass is offered to householder gods like Ganesha, and not to hermit gods like Shiva.

    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...w/7353195.cms?
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  10. #6

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    This article is on one of the practices widely used by Indian Brahmins all over using a Holy Grass named Dharbham or Dharbai. The botonical name is Eragrostis cynosuroides and Hindi they call as Kus or Kusha. Brahmins in general and Srivaishnavites in particular use this Darbai grass in all functions, auspicious or inauspicious, a performing person needs to wear a ring made of this Dharbham. But many have lost the reason of why it is to be used in the first place.
    https://www.trsiyengar.com/id65.shtml
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  12. #7

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    Eragrostis is commonly known as lovegrass or canegrass. The name of the genus is derived from the Greek words ἔρως (eros), meaning "love", and ἄγρωστις (agrostis), meaning "grass".

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eragrostis

    According to the
    Ramayana, Sita was banished from the kingdom of Ayodhya by Rama due to the gossip of the kingdom folk. She took refuge in the ashram of Sage Valmiki located on the banks of the Tamsa river. Lava and Kusha were born at the ashramam and were educated and trained in military skills under the tutelage of Sage Valmiki.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lava_(Ramayana)


    Did the name Luva and Kusha come from Greek?

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  14. #8
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    Thank you for the useful news.
  15. All views expressed by the Members and Moderators here are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the TamilBrahmins.com Website.
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  16. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaagmi View Post
    Darba = தர்ப்பைப்புல்.
    Kusha = விசுவாமித்திரப்புல்.

    Vaishnavites prefer and use Kusha only while performing karmas.
    There is another grass...sounds Sattva.
    C.Sativa.
    Last edited by renuka; 26-04-2018 at 06:31 PM.
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