Sugarcane nutrition proven benefits uses

sugar cane

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.)
Una (Ibn.)
Unas (Ilk.)
Unat (It.)
Noblecane (Engl.)
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.
DANISH: Suikerriet.
FRENCH: Canne a sucre.
GERMAN: Zuckerrohr.
HEBREW: Kaneh.
ITALIAN: Canna da zucchero, Canna mele.
JAPANESE: Satou kibi.
KHMER: ‘âmpëu.
KOREAN: Sa t’ang su su.
LAOTIAN: ‘o:yz.
MALAY: Tebu, Tebu telur, Tebu (Indonesia).
MALAYALAM: Karimbu, Karimpu.
NEPALESE: Ganna, Sahacar, Ukhu.
NORWEGIAN: Sukkerrør.
PORTUGUESE: Cana de açúcar, Cana do açúcar, Canna de assucar.
PUNJABI: Gacnaa.
RUSSIAN: Sakharnyi trostnik kul’turnyi, Sakharnyi trostnik lekarstvennyi, Trostnik sakharnyi.
SPANISH: Caña de azúcar, Caña dulce, Cañamiel, Caña melar, Caña sacarina, Caña común.
SWEDISH: Sockerrör.
TAMIL: Kaarumbu (Karumbu).
THAI: Oi daeng, Ton oi
URDU: Gannaa.
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.

Parts used

Roots, sugar.

Edibility / Nutritional

– Nutritious.

– 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.

Other uses


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.



Read about other interesting fruits

Acai berry        Ambarella         Avocado           Bael       Banana      Bilberry      Cocunut   

 Cantaloupe        Cashew apple      Dragon Fruit    Durian      Fig      Jack fruit   Jamun      

 Kiwi        Lychee      Malay apple     Mango        Mangosteen       Miracle fruit         Pomelo  

 Papaya     Passion fruit     Phalsa      Pineapple           Plum       Pomegranate       

Prickly pear      Quince       Rambutan           Roselle          Santol          Sapota       

Sea buckthorn       Sour Orange     Soursop           Sweet Lime         Star gooseberry 

Star Apple        Strawberry     Surinam Cherry          Sweet lime        Tamarind       Tomato 

Tree tomato      Wampi       Watermelon         Wood apple

Read about herbs and spices

Allspice          Alfalfa       Ashwagandha        Bay leaf              Black cohosh           

Black onion seeds       Black pepper       Cayenne pepper    Celery          Chives       

 Chamomile        Clove     Coffee senna    Coriander       Curry leaf         Cumin        

Eucalyptus       Fennel            Fenugreek       Garlic      Ginger         Gotu Kola       

Hibiscus         Holy basil    Jasmine     Kava Kava     Lavender     Licorice   

Long pepper    Lotus   Majoram      Marigold     Mugwort     Mustard seeds      

 Neem    Nutmeg       Oregano     Peppermint     Red  clover        Rose       Rosemary           

Sage         Sensitive plant   St.John’s wort        Tarragon        Thyme     Triphala powder        

Turmeric     Vetiver grass    Wheat grass      Wild amarnath