Lilyturf

Family • Liliaceae - Liriope graminifolia (Linn.) Baker - Mai men dong

Scientific names

Liriope graminifolia (Linn.) Baker Ophiopogon graminifolius (L.) W. Wehrhahn
Liriope spicata Lour. Asparagus graminifolia L.
Dracaena graminifolia Linn. He ye shan mai dong (Chin.)
Ophiopogon spicatus Ker

Common names

Lilyturf (Engl.)
Mai men dong (Chin.)

Botany
Lilyturf is an evergreen perennial stemless plant growing to a height of 0.3 meters. Tubers are pale yellowish-greenish, cylindrical and fleshy, translucent and flexible, 2.5 to 5 centimeters long, 0.3 to 0.6 centimeter in diameter, tapering at either extremity. Leaves are tufted, numerous, ensiform, 45 to 70 centimeters long, and 0.3 to 0.8 centimeters wide. Inflorescence is solitary, 20 to 33 centimeters long. Flowers are small and odorless, white or purplish.

Lilyturf

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Novel steroidal saponins from Liriope graminifolia (Linn.) Baker with anti-tumor activities / Wang KW, Zhang H, Shen LQ, Wang W. / Carbohydr Res. 2011 Feb 1;346(2):253-8. Epub 2010 Nov 21.

(2) Antioxidant activities of methanolic and hot-water extracts from leaves of three cultivars of Mai-Men-Dong (Liriope spicata L.) / Wen-Chi Hou, Wen-Chung Wu et al / Bot. Bull. Acad. Sin. (2004) 45: 285-290

(3) A novel C27-steroidal glycoside sulfate from Liriope graminifolia / Wang KW, Ju XY, Zhang L, Wang W, Shen LQ / Yao xue xue bao / Acta pharmaceutica Sinica 47:5 2012 May pg 619-23

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Distribution
– On open slopes at an altitude of about 1,400 meters in Luzon (Ilocos Norte, Rizal, Benguet Provinces) and in Batanes Islands.
– Occurs in Japan to Manchuria and southward to Hongkong and Taiwan.

Constituents
– Rich in mucilage.
– Root contains about 1.6% protein, 0.5% fat, 80% carbohydrates, and 2.3% ash.
– Study of underground parts isolated two new steroidal saponins–lirigramosides A and B along with four known compounds.
– Study of underground parts yielded an unusual novel C27-steroidal glycoside sulfate from the underground parts, together with three known compounds.

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Properties
– The drug consists of cylindrical fleshy tubers from 1 to 2 inches in length, and from 1/8 to 1/4 inch in diameter, tapering at either extremity, pale yellowish-grey in color, translucent, soft and flexible. A central ligneous cord runs longitudinally through each.
– Candied tubers considered tonic, pectoral and aphrodisiac.
– Plant considered refrigerant.

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Parts used
Tubers.

Uses
Edibility
– Roots, cooked. Also, candied.
– Root has a fleshy, tuberous part near its tip.

Folkloric
– Candied tubers eaten as tonic and aphrodisiac.
– In China, decoction of tubers used to fortify the lungs, for coughs, fevers and dysentery.
– In Chinese traditional medicine, used for asthma, bronchial and lung inflammation. Used as tonic to moisten yin.

Others
– Ground cover: A good drought-tolerant ground cover.

Study Findings
• Steroidal Saponins / Anti-Tumor Activities: Study isolated two new steroidal saponins – lirigramosides A and B along with four known compounds. The isolated compounds were evaluated for their cytotoxic activities against Hela and SMMC-7721 cells.
• Hemodynamic Effects: Study evaluated the acute hemodynamic effects of water soluble extract of Liriope spicata in anesthetized cats. Results showed the WSEL increased ventricular contractile force and might increase cardiac pump function.
• Antioxidant: Study of methanolic and hot-water extracts from leaves of three cultivars of Mai-men-dong (Liriope spicata L) showed all three hot water extracts to effectively scavenge hydroxyl radical, with dose-dependent anti-DPPH radical activities.
• Anti-Tumor: Study of isolated eight compounds. Compound 1 showed strong anti-tumor activity against human cervical carcinoma; compound 7, moderate anti-tumor activity against human cervical carcinoma and human hepatocellular carcinoma; compound 5, antiproliferative activity against human cervical carcinoma.
• Novel C27-Steroidal Glycoside / Cytotoxicity: Study of isolated an unusual novel C27-steroidal glycoside sulfate from the underground parts, together with three known compounds. Compound 1 (HR-MS, 1D and 2D NMR as (25S)-ruscogenin 1-sulfate-3-O-alpha-L-rhamnopyranoside) has cytotoxic activities against K562 and HL60 cells.
• Steroidal Saponins: Study isolated two new steroidal saponins–lirigramosides A and B along with four known compounds.

Availability
Wild-crafted.