Herb: Bermuda Grass

Latin name: Cynodon dactylon

Family: Gramineae (Grass Family)

Medicinal use of Bermuda Grass:

Bermudagrass is reported to be alterative, anabolic, antiseptic, aperient, astringent, cyanogenetic, demulcent, depurative, diuretic, emollient, sudorific, and vulnerary. A decoction of the root is used as a diuretic in the treatment of dropsy and secondary syphilis. An infusion of the root is used to stop bleeding from piles. The juice of the plant is astringent and is applied externally to fresh cuts and wounds. When mixed with the powder of a clove (Syzygium aromaticum), it is used as an anthelmintic. Internally, it is used in the treatment of chronic diarrhoea and dysentery. It is also useful in the treatment of catarrhal ophthalmia. The juice is also diuretic and is used in the treatment of dropsy and anasarca. The leaf juice has also been used in the treatment of hysteria, epilepsy and insanity. The plant is a folk remedy for anasarca, calculus, cancer, carbuncles, convulsions, cough, cramps, cystitis, diarrhoea, dropsy, dysentery, epilepsy, headache, haemorrhage, hypertension, hysteria, insanity, kidneys, laxative, measles, rubella, snakebite, sores, stones, tumours, uro-genital disorders, warts, and wounds.

Description of the plant:


30 cm
(11 3/4 inch)

August to

Habitat of the herb:

Sandy shores in southern Britain.

Other uses of Bermuda Grass:

Plants are sometimes grown as a cover for warm sunny banks and are sometimes used for lawns. They stay green even in hot and dry weather. Plants give complete ground cover in 4-8 weeks when planted 30-45 cm apart. They succeed on most soil types and requires very little mowing on poor soils. Valuable for soil conservation due to its long runners that root at the nodes. Plants are used to produce biomass. Annual productivity ranges from 4 to 52 tonnes per hectare.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out into their permanent positions in late spring. There are almost 4,000,000 seeds per kilo. Division in late spring. Very simple, plants can be propagated easily from rooted sideshoots, establishing quickly when planted straight into the soil.

Cultivation of Bermuda Grass:

Sandy shores in southern Britain.

Known hazards of Cynodon dactylon:

Bermuda grass is reported to be photosensitizing in animals. Under certain environmental conditions the plant can produce hydrocyanic acid and so is potentially toxic to livestck. The plant is also said to cause contact dermatitis and, with its high production of pollen, can be a major cause of hayfever.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.