This plant is sometimes considered as a weed. The plant arises from a system of underground tubers or kizhangu. It has been widely used in Indian and Persian medicine to treat a variety of diseases ranging from ulcers, to fever and inflammation.
Several pharmacologically active substances have been identified in Cyperus rotundus: α-cyperone, β-selinene, cyperene, cyperotundone, patchoulenone, sugeonol, kobusone, and isokobusone, that may scientifically explain the folk- and alternative-medicine uses.In Siddha it has been employed as an ingredient of warm poultices in treatment of abscesses.
In Siddha medicine, the grounded paste of the tuber is applied over breast in lactating women to increase the milk secretion and also purifies the milk. When consumed mixed with breast milk, it can cure bloody diarrhoea. It is also used in swelling and pus discharge from breast.
The oil extracted from the tuber is used in conjunctivitis. It reduces the pain, redness and ocular discharges. The external application of its paste over the body daily before bath relieves itching and reduces the foul odour due to excessive sweating. It prevents and cures skin diseases like scabies, eczema etc.
Its dry powder is used in powder massage to reduce sub-cutaneous fat. Dried powder is used in diarrhoea, indigestion, etc. The kizhangu or the tuber is a very good immune modulator and alos useful in conditions like asthma, common cold, chest congestion etc. The decoction of the tuber is very effective for all intestinal problems including peptic ulcer and inflammatory conditions. A decoction prepared with the tuber along with dried ginger, piper longum and the root of Adatoda is very effective for curing fever especially in children.
Regular intake of this herb is effective in controlling cholesterol. It helps to promote and regulate menstruation Korai Kizhangu is a good diuretic and can be used with satavari (Asparagus racemosus) in proportions of 1:4 for burning sensation while urinating, urinary stones and blood and urine.