July 23, 2018

Paragis with its scientific name of Eleusine indica is a wayward weed growing in vacant lots, along rice fields and river banks, and practically everywhere in the Philippines. But what a lot of people don’t know is that it also grows in other parts of Asia, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Laos, Japan, etc. It also grows in Africa, Sri Lanka, South America, and India where it is believed to have primarily originated from.

However, studies indicate that the use of wild Paragis was also traced to the Arabs and nomadic peoples of Northern Africa who used it to produce flour and gruel during times of food shortage. It now also grows in Italy, Portugal, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States. In the United States, it is known largely as a weed and unlike in Asia and Africa, its use as a medicinal plant is still gaining ground.

Paragis’s popularity as a medicinal plant had been well-established. Previous scientific studies have shown it to be antiplasmodial, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, cytotoxic, anthelmintic, a diuretic, diaphoretic, antileishmanial, and a febrifuge.

Paragis in Many Languages

In the Philippines it is called “Paragis”. But in different parts of the globe, it’s called by the following names:

  • ARABIC: Kalassindra (Chad)
  • BANGLADESH: Binna challa, Chapra, Gaicha, Malangakuri
  • CHINESE: Long zhao ji, Niu jin cao, Xi shuari cao
  • FRENCH: Pied de poule de l’Inde
  • GUJARATI: Bajari
  • INDIA: Jangali marua, Jhingari, Nandimukha, Nandiaa; Mahaar, Naachni; Thippa Ragi
  • INDONESIA: Rumput belulang
  • ITALIAN: Panico indiano
  • JAPANESE: Ohi shiba, Ohi jawa
  • KANNADA: Ragi
  • LAOS: Nya phak kole
  • MALAWI: Chinsangwi, Chigombe, Kanggodza, Chipikamongu
  • MALAY: Rumput kekuasa
  • MALAYSIA: Rumput sambau
  • MARATHI: Nachani
  • MYANMAR: Sin-ngo-let-kyar, Sin-ngo-myet
  • NEPALESE: Kode vanso
  • ORIYA: Mandiaa
  • PORTUGUESE: Pata de galinha, Capim de caradouro
  • PUNJABI: Bajra
  • RUSSIAN: Elevzina indiiskaia
  • SHONA: Makha
  • SPANISH: Grama de caballo, Hierba dulce, Natajo dulce, Pata de gallina, Pata de ganso, Yerba dulce
  • TAMIL: Kelvaraku , Kevuru
  • THAILAND: Yaa teen-ka
  • TELUGU: Ragi
  • VIETNAMESE: Mantrau, Nuggcan

Because of its antioxidant, cytotoxic, and anti-inflammatory properties, Paragis is also being currently tested and experimented as a treatment for certain kinds of cancer.

So what do you think of Paragis as a remedy and treatment for various kinds of ailments and diseases? Share your opinions in the comments below.

Image by Artist / CC1 .0