Family • Poaceae / Graminaceae - Eleusine indica (Linn.) Gaertn. - WIRE GRASS, DOG'S TAIL - Long zhao ji

Scientific names

Eleusine indica (Linn.) Gaertn.
Cynosurus indicus Linn.
Eleusine barbata  Vidal
Eleusine polydactyla Steud.
Niu jin cao (Chin.)

Common names

Ba-gañgan (Bik.)
Bakis-bakisan (Tag.)
Barañgan (Bik.)
Bikad-bikad (Sul.)
Bila-bila (P. Bis.)
Bugtusan (Bis)
Dinapaiuk (If.)
Gagabutan (Tag.)
Kabit-kabit (Tag.)
Palad (C. Bis.)
Palagtiki (Bis.)
Paragis (Tag.)
Parañgis (Ilk.)
Parañgis-sabuñgan (Pamp.)
Sabung-sabuñgan (Tag., Pamp.)
Sambali (Tag.)
Dog’s tail, wire grass (Engl.)
Crab grass (Engl.)
Fowl-foot grass (Engl.)
Goosegrass (Engl.)
Wire grass (Engl.)
Yard grass (Engl.)
Xi shuai cao (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

ARABIC: Kalassindra (Chad).
BANGLADESH: Binna challa, Chapra, Gaicha, Malangakuri.
CHINESE: Long zhao ji.
FRENCH: Pied de poule de l’Inde.
INDIA: Jangali marua, Jhingari, Nandimukha, Nandiaa; Mahaar, Naachni; Thippa Ragi.
INDONESIA: Rumput belulang.
ITALIAN: Panico indiano.
JAPANESE: Ohi shiba, Ohi jawa.
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.
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
VIETNAMESE: Mantrau, Nuggcan.

Paragis is an annual, erect, tufted, glabrous grass, 10 centimeters to 1 meter in height. Leaves are 10 to 30 centimeters long, sometimes involute when dry, 3 to 7 millimeters wide, distichous, rather flaccid, with flattened sheaths. Spikes are 3 to 6, all in a terminal whorl, or one or two lower down, 2.5 to 10 centimeters long, 3 to 5 millimeters thick. Spikelets are very numerous, crowded, 3- to 5-flowered, 3 to 4 millimeters long, the first glume 1-nerved and small, the second, 3-nerved, and the third and succeeding ones ovate, acute.


– An abundant weed in waste places and along river banks, roads, and settled areas throughout the Philippines.
– Strictly xerophytic.
– Also found throughout warm countries.

– Ash of leaves contain SiO, 16-47%; CaO, 10-13%; and chlorine, 6-7%.
– Study showed the dry matter content to be 35.8%, crude protein 12.4%.

Plant considered diuretic, antihelminthic, diaphoretic, febrifuge.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Eleusine indica / Plants For A Future: Database Search Results

(2) Eleusine indica (L.) Gaertn. POACEAE / Plants For Use

(3) C-glycosylflavones from the aerial parts of Eleusine indica inhibit LPS-induced mouse lung inflammation Planta medica ISSN 0032-0943 CODEN PLMEAA / 2005, vol. 71, no4, pp. 362-363

(4) A Review on Medicinal uses of Weeds in Sri Lanka / E.R.H.S.S. Ediriweera / Tropical Agricultural Research & Extension 10, 2007

(5) Apoptotic induction activity of Dactyloctenium aegyptium (L.) P.B. and Eleusine indica (L.) Gaerth. extracts on human lung and cervical cancer cell lines / Pintusorn Hansakul, Chatri Ngamkitidechakul et al / Songklanakarin J. Sci. Technol., 31 (3), 273-279, May – Jun. 2009

(6) Sorting Eleusine names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 – 2000 The University of Melbourne.

(7) A Guide to the Medicinal Plants of Coastal Guyana / Deborah A. Lachman-White, C. Dennis Adams, Ulric O’D Trotz / Google Books

(8) Re-growth and Nutritional Potentials of Eleusine indica (L.) Gaertn. (Goose Grass) / P.R. Regmi, N.R. Devkota, J. Timsina / Journal of the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, Vol 25 (2004)

(9) Eleusine indica L. possesses antioxidant activity and precludes carbon tetrachloride (CCl₄)-mediated oxidative hepatic damage in rats. / Iqbal M, Gnanaraj C. / Environ Health Prev Med. 2012 Jul;17(4):307-15. / doi: 10.1007/s12199-011-0255-5. Epub 2011 Dec 30.

(10) Eleusine indica / GLOBinMED


Parts used

Edibility / Culinary
– Roots and seeds are edible.
– Roots eaten raw, young seedling raw or cooked.
– Grain is a famine food in India and parts of Africa.

– Antihelminthic: Decoction of 20 gms in 1 liter of water. Two tablespoons of fresh leave juice every hour.
– Decoction of the fresh plant used as a diuretic and for dysentery.
– Dandruff: whole plant mixed with gogo; also prevents hair loss.
– Post-partum: Decoction or fresh juice of leaves prescribed after childbirth.
– Fever: Decoction of roots; boil 20 gms to a liter of water, 4 to 5 glasses a day.
– Sprains and lumbago: Apply poultice of leaves 4 times daily.
– Hemoptysis: Boil the whole plant from root to flowers, boil 20 to 30 grams in a liter of water, as decoction.
– Used for hypertension.
– Bakwiri people of West tropical Africa use infusion of whole plant for hemoptysis.
– In Singhalese Materia Medica, reported as useful for sprains and dislocation.
– In Malaysia, decoction of roots used for asthma.
– In coastal Guyana, decoction of plant used to relieve pains from abdominal muscle strain; applied to wounds to stop the bleeding. Decoction of grass used as tonic and to relieve bladder disorders.
– In Malaya, leaf juice given after childbirth to help expel the placenta.
– In Sumatra, used as anthelmintic.
– In Cambodia, used for fevers and liver complaints.
– In Venezuela, seed decoction given to infants suffering from black jaundice.
– In Nigeria, used for diabetes and malaria.
– In Colombia, decoction of plant for diarrhea, dysentery and convulsions.
– In Sri Lanka, for muscle sprains, roots or the entire plant mixed with scraped coconut and a piece of Curcuma domestica is pounded well and heated till cooked, then packed over sprained muscles and bandaged.


– Weaving: Stems used for making mats, baskets, hats.
– Paper: Plant suitable for paper making.
– Ritual: In Bontoc, used in mangmang rituals. Malays hold the grain in their hand in spirit-summoning rituals.
– Fodder: Grass, when young, is eaten by cattle.

Study Findings
• Airway Inflammatory Processes: C-glycosylflavones from the aerial parts of Eleusine indica inhibit LPS-induced mouse lung inflammation: Study may justify the popular use of EI against airway inflammatory disorders.
• Apoptotic Induction Activity: Study of grass extracts of D. aegyptium and Eleusine indica showed selective inhibitory growth inhibition effect on human lung cancer and cervical cancer (HeLa) cells. The activity was probably mediated through induction of apoptosis.
• Antiplasmodial / Antidiabetic: Study of ethanolic leaf extract showed significant schizonticidal activity during early and established infections. Treatment of alloxan-induced diabetic rats a leaf extract caused significant reduction in fasting blood glucose levels in acute and prolonged treatment study.
• Nutritional Potential / Fodder: Study showed the dry matter content to be 35.8%, crude protein 12.4%. Forage was found to be fairly palatable when fed to goats, with no adverse effect. E. indica presents a potential alternative for the problem of green roughage scarcity.
• Hepatoprotective/ Antioxidant: Study evaluated an aqueous extract of E. indica against carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced hepatic injury in rats. Results showed hepatoprotective effects which may be attributable to its antioxidant and free radical scavenging property. The extract reduced the stable DPPH level in a dose-dependent manner.