Mondo grass

Family • Liliaceae - Ophiopogon japonicus (Thunb.) Ker-Gawl. - DWARF LILY TURF - Mai men dong

Scientific names

Ophiopogon japonicus (Thunb.)

Common names

Dwarf lily turf (Engl.)
Mondo grass (Engl.)
Snakebeard (Engl.)

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Mai men dong.
FINNISH: Mukulakäärmeenparta.
JAPANESE: Ja-no-hige
KOREAN: jobnipmaekmundongajaebi.
RUSSIAN: ofiopogon japonskij.

Mondo grass is a low, stemless, glabrous, grasslike, perennial herb with branching rhizomes. Leaves are leathery, narrow-linear up to 30 centimeters long, gracefully arching and dark green. Flowers are small, drooping, violet-purple to lilac or white, borne on erect racemes up to 8 centimeters long.

Mondo grass

– Recently introduced io the Philippines.
– Used as ground cover.

Mondo grass2

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Inhibitory effects of ethanol extract from Radix Ophiopogon japonicus on venous thrombosis linked with its endothelium-protective and anti-adhesive activities / Vascular Pharmacology / Volume 43, Issue 3, September 2005, Pages 157-163 / doi:10.1016/j.vph.2005.06.004

(2) Homoisoflavonoids from Ophiopogon japonicus and Its Oxygen Free Radicals (OFRs) Scavenging Effects/ Yi-Feng Zhou et al / Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines Vol 6, Issue 3, May 2008, Pages 201-204 / doi:10.1016/S1875-5364(09)60017-0

(3) Influence of sulfation on anti-myocardial ischemic activity of Ophiopogon japonicus polysaccharide / Qin Zheng et al / Journal of Asian Natural Products Research, Volume 11, Issue 4 April 2009 , pages 306 – 321 / DOI: 10.1080/10286020902727363

(4) Five New Homoisoflavonoids from the Tuber of Ophiopogon japonicus / Jin-Ming Chang, Chien-Chang Shen et al / J. Nat. Prod., 2002, 65 (11), pp 1731–1733 / DOI: 10.1021/np020204o

(5) Ophiopojaponin D, a new phenylpropanoid glycoside from Ophiopogon Japonicus Ker-Gawl / Hao Fu Dai and Wen Li Mei / Archives of Pharmacal Research, Volume 28, Number 11 / November, 2005 / DOI 10.1007/BF02978205

(6) A polysaccharide, MDG-1, induces S1P1 and bFGF expression and augments survival and angiogenesis in the ischemic heart / Shuo Wang, Zhang Zhang et al / Glycobiology 2010 20(4):473-484; doi:10.1093/glycob/cwp199

(7) Shengmai San reduces hepatic lipids and lipid peroxidation in rats fed on a high-cholesterol diet / Hsien-Tsung Yao, Yi-Wei Chang et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol 116, Issue 1, 28 February 2008, Pages 49-57 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2007.10.043

(8) Ophiopogon japonicus—Dwarf Lilyturf / Common names / EOL Encyclopedia of Life

(9) Analysis of homoisoflavonoids in Ophiopogon japonicus by HPLC-DAD-ESI-MS / Min Ye, Dean Guo, Guan Ye, Chenggang Huang / Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, Volume 16, Issue 2, February 2005, Pages 234–243

(10) Anti-inflammatory homoisoflavonoids from the tuberous roots of Ophiopogon japonicus. / Ning Li, Jia-Yu Zhang, Ke-Wu Zeng, Liang Zhang, Ya-Yun Che, and Peng-Fei Tu / Fitoterapia, 05/2012; 83(6):1042-5. / DOI: 10.1016/j.fitote.2012.05.011

Mondo grass3Constituents
• Study yielded five new homoisoflavonoids from the extract of tuber of O. japonicus – ophiopogonanone C, ophiopogonanone D, ophiopogonone C, ophiopogonanone E, and ophiopogonanone F, plus six other compounds.
• Study isolated a new phenolic glycoside, ophiopojaponin D, with two other known compounds, from the tuber.

• Considered tonic and tranquilizing.

Parts utilized
Rhizomes, leaves and roots.

No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
• In China, traditionally used as anti-inflammatory. Also, as tonic and tranquilizer, treatment of cough, insomnia, diabetes, constipation, and diphtheria.
• Also, used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat sicca-associated disorders and cardiovascular disease. Used to nourish yin and promote production of body fluids.

• Six Juice Drinks: A Chinese concoction called “six juice drinks” for diabetes, has O. japonicus as a herbal constituent.

Mondo grass5Mondo grass4

Study Findings
• Anti-thrombotic: Study of the ethanol extract of Radix Ophiopogon japonicus showed in-vivo inhibitory effects on venous thrombosis probably from its endothelial cell-protective and anti-adhesive activities, supporting the therapeutic use of the plant for thrombotic diseases.
• Anti-thrombotic / Ruscogenin / Ophiopogonin D: Study showed the aqueous extract of Radix Ophiopogon japonicus exerted significant anti-thrombotic activity and ruscogenin and ophiopogonin D are the two active components.
• Antiinflammatory: Study of the Radix O. japonicus extract yielded two active components, ruscogenin and ophiopogonin D, and showed remarkable anti-inflammatory activity supporting its traditional use in inflammatory diseases.
• Diabetes: A Chinese study on the root tubers of O japonicus significantly lowered blood sugar of normal and alloxan-diabetic mice. In combination with Ginseng, there was blood sugar reduction in alloxan-induced diabetes but no significant effect in normal mice.
• Sjogren’s Syndrome: SS is an autoimmune disorder with lymphocytic infiltration of salivary and lacrimal glands, xerostomia, keratoconjunctivitis sicca. Th1/Th2 imbalance has been shown to have a role in its pathogenesis. In an autoallergic mouse model for SS, results provided a basis for the use of Ophiopogon japonicus for Sjogren’s syndrome.
• Homoisoflavonoids / Radical Scavenging Effects: Study yielded 10 homoisoflavonoids from O japonicus extracts with the majority showing radical scavenging effects.
• Anti-Myocardial Ischemia: O japonicus polysaccharide from Radix ophiogonis has shown antimyocardial activity. This study on a series of sulfated FOJ-5 (FOJ-5-S) showed that when the degree of substitution was in a certain range, the FOJ-5-S had excellent anti-myocardial ischemic activity.
• Cardiovascular Benefit / Anti-Ischemic / Angiogenesis: Study showed a water soluble b-D-fructan (MDG) from OJ had remarkable anti-ischemic activity and protects cardiomyocyte and HMEC-1 cells from ischemic-induced cell damage through cytoprotective and proangiogenic effects via the S1P/bFGF/Akt/ERK/eNOS signaling pathway.
• Shengmai San / Hypolipidemic / Anti-lipid Peroxidation: SMS is a traditional Chinese medicine composed of Panax ginseng, Schisandra chinensis and Ophiopogon japonicus used for treating coronary heart disease. Study showed that SMS may reduce hepatic lipids and lipid peroxidation in rats.
• Anti-Inflammatory Homoflavonoids / Roots: Tuberous roots yielded two new homoisoflavonoids, named ophiopogonone E and ophiopogonanone H, together with 13 known ones. Compounds 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11 showed potent inhibitory effects on NO production.