|Scientfic names||Common names|
|Saccharum violaceum F.-Vill.||Agbo (Ibn.)|
|Saccharum officinarum Linn.||Caña dulce (Span.)|
|Saccharum chinense Roxb.||Tubo (Tag., Bik.)|
|Saccharum officinale Salisb.||Tubu (Sul.)|
|Sugar cane (Engl.)|
|Hong gan zhe (Chin.)|
|Other vernacular names|
|ARABIC: Qassab es sukkar.|
|BENGALI: Aankha, Ukha, Uuka.|
|CHINESE: Hong gan zhe, Guo zhe, Gan zhe.|
|FRENCH: Canne a sucre.|
|ITALIAN: Canna da zucchero, Canna mele.|
|JAPANESE: Satou kibi.|
|KOREAN: Sa t’ang su su.|
|MALAY: Tebu, Tebu telur, Tebu (Indonesia).|
|MALAYALAM: Karimbu, Karimpu.|
|NEPALESE: Ganna, Sahacar, Ukhu.|
|PORTUGUESE: Cana de açúcar, Cana do açúcar, Canna de assucar.|
|RUSSIAN: Sakharnyi trostnik kul’turnyi, Sakharnyi trostnik lekarstvennyi, Trostnik sakharnyi.|
|SPANISH: Caña de azúcar, Caña dulce, Cañamiel, Caña melar, Caña sacarina, Caña común.|
|TAMIL: Kaarumbu (Karumbu).|
|THAI: Oi daeng, Ton oi|
|VIETNAMESE: Cây mía, Mía.|
Sugarcane is a large, coarse and erect grass. Stems are solid, polished, green, yellow or purplish, attaining a height of 1.5 to 4 meters, 2 to 5 centimeters thick, with long and short internodes. Leaves are very large and broad, with blades 0.9 to 1.25 meters long and 4 to 5 centimeters wide. Panicles are very large, white, drooping and terminal, 40 to 80 centimeters long; branches up to 35 centimeters long. Spikelets are very numerous, 1-flowered, about 3 millimeters long, with surrounding white villous hairs about twice as long as the spikelets.
– Cultivated many parts of the world, very extensively in some islands and provinces.
– One of the major crops of the Archipelago.
Sucrose is the product of the sugar cane juice.
– Crystals are odorless and sweet.
– Considered antidote, antiseptic, antivinous, bactericidal, cardiotonic, demulcent, diuretic, emollient, cooling, laxative, stimulant.
Edibility / Nutritional
– Largely used for preserving meat and fruit.
Folkloric traditional medicinal benefits and uses of the sugarcane
– Refined sugar has been used for fevers, lack of secretion, dry coughs.
– Molasses is used as a laxative.
– Sugar is applied to wounds, ulcers, boils, and inflamed eyes.
– Pulped sugar used to dress wounds; the cane used for splinting broken bones.
– In Mexico used to relieve coughs.
– Malay women use it in childbirth.
– Decoction of root used for whooping cough.
– In India, plant juices used for abdominal tumors.
– In Cote-d’-Ivoire, leaf decoction used for hypertension.
Scientific studies on the benefits and uses of sugarcane
• Immunostimulating Effect:
The phagocytic activity of peripheral blood leucocytes in chickens increased significantly when orally administered sugar cane extracts, with higher antibody responses and delayed type hypersensitivity responses.
• Prokinetic Effect:
S officinarum was one of seven known herbs in a polyherbal formulation. Study showed increased gastric emptying and suggests a potential for use as a gastrointestinal prokinetic to improve gastrointestinal motility.
• Hypoglycemic Effect:
Study reports the hypoglycemic effect of juice from sugar cane stalks. The isolated constituent, saccharin, provided a transient reduction of blood glucose. The transient hypoglycemic effect of complex polysaccharides is suggested to be possibly from increased glucose utilization in the liver and peripheral tissues.
• Phytochemicals / Antioxidant:
Study of sugarcane leaves yielded luteolin-8-C (rhamnosylglucoside), with radical scavenging activity. The juice yielded flavones diosmetin-8-C-glucoside, vitrexin, schaftoside, isoschaftoside and 4′,5′-dimethyl-luteolin-8-C glucoside. Its content of flavonoids suggest a potential for sugarcane as a dietary source of natural antioxidants.
• Steroidogenesis / Testosterone Effect:
Study investigated the effect of sugar cane (S. officinarum) molasses on steroidogenesis in testis cell culture. Results showed low concentrations of molasses increase testosterone secretion. Study suggests molasses may be a potential diet supplement to increase testosterone levels.
• Optimization of Cytochrome C Production:
Comparative study of Manihot Esculenta and Saccharum officinarum showed S. officinarum to be a better optimizer for cytochrome C production. Sugarcane had the higher rate of carbohydrate yield compared to Cassava in terms of inoculum volume with a difference of 5.57%.
Toxicity concerns !
Sugarcane contains hydrocyanic. Sugar cane is a known teratogen. Molasses in excess amounts, alone or mixed with feeds, may cause diarrhea, colic, urticaria, kidney irritation, sweating and paralysis in domestic stock; horses seem more susceptible, and toxicity could prove fatal.
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