Sep 3 - 9, 20

Khus or Votive in English is a type of aromatic grass which is known to have its origin in India. In western and northern India, it is popularly known as khus. Haiti, Java, Japan, China and Cuba also grow khus as well as produce its byproducts.

Khus can grow up to 1.5 meters high. The stems are tall and the leaves are long, thin, and rather inflexible. The flowers are brownish-purple. Khus is most closely related to Sorghum but shares many morphological characteristics with other fragrant grasses.

In Indo Pak sub continent the Britishers rulers during the hot summer season used Khus grass as a natural cooler for their rooms. This was not only used by the Britishers but also by the rich people in those days for cooling their rooms.

Khus grass is grown for lots of different purposes. The plant helps to stabilize soil and protects it against erosion.

Khus mulch increases water infiltration and reduces evaporation. It protects soil moisture under hot and dry conditions.

Mats made by weaving Khus grass roots and binding them with ropes or cords are used in India to cool rooms in a house during summer. The mats are generally hung in a doorway and kept moist by spraying with water at regular time intervals. They cool the passing air as well as letting out a refreshing aroma.

The leaves of khus are a useful byproduct to feed cattle, goats, sheep and horses.

Indian utilized khus root to treat high fever, inflammation and sexual diseases. Root paste was used for headaches, fever, diarrhea and chronic dysentery; root ash was used to treat acidity; root juice was used as an anthelmintic and root vapor was used to treat malaria.

Leaf paste was used for rheumatism and sprains; and root and stem juice was used for boils, burns, epilepsy, scorpion stings, snakebites and mouth ulcers.

Khus oil has tremendous medicinal uses. Internally it is used for control of nervous problems and externally it is being used as tonic bath to ease muscular pains as well as treatment of lice.

This is useful in vomiting and heat related fever. This will improve breast milk also, when added with milk.

The fragrant essential oil obtained from the plant root is used extensively in the perfume industry and in the manufacture of scented toiletries. It is also used in the food industry as a flavoring agent.

The fragrant essential oil obtained from the plant root is quite famous throughout the world. It is used in high-end perfumes, for its fixative properties.

The oil obtained from khus has sedative effect and aids in the treatment of emotional outbursts, such as anger, anxiety, epileptic and hysteric attacks, restlessness, nervousness, etc.

The oil obtained from khus is known to be safe, non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing.

It is used as a remedy for insomnia, epilepsy, anger, anxiety and even hysteric attacks. This also has a good curing effect on gout, arthritis, rheumatism, and other bone related diseases.

The Khus grass is also useful in treating blood in urine, Pus in urine, excess sweat, skin problems, ulcer, nausea, vomiting, flatulence, fever, diarrhea headache, general debility, etc.

It has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic effects that provide relief from inflammations in circulatory system and nervous system.

Khus is used to create a tonic bath, which is the reason why it is often included in high quality soaps. In addition, it finds an application in fighting lice as well.

It is a blessing for individuals suffering from rheumatism, arthritis, gout, muscular aches, dryness and cracking of skin etc.

Poppy seeds are also referred to as khus-khus in nations of the Asian continent. The following are a few of the key advantages of the poppy seeds.

Poppy seeds add taste to several food items such as cookies, rolls, breads, cakes and drinks among others. This particular herb is usually added to water used in earthen pots for providing a distinct flavor and aroma to food.

These seeds act as a vital source for various minerals like manganese, zinc, copper, magnesium and iodine. They are also good carbohydrate sources and therefore they increase the energy levels for performing routine body functions.

Poppy seeds have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effects that offer relief from inflammations present in the nervous system as well as the circulatory system.

The oil that is obtained from poppy seeds is sedative in nature. That is the reason why people use it as a relief for anger, anxiety, nervousness, hysteric attacks, restlessness and epilepsy among others. Aside from that, this herb is used to relieve pain in diseases like arthritis, muscular aches, gout and rheumatism.

Mats made from the poppy seed plant are usually hung in houses in order to cool rooms effectively during the summer season. Additionally, they add a delightful aroma in the room, especially when sprinkled occasionally with water.

If khus is taken in huge amounts, it can cause constipation and dizziness. It is not recommended for pregnant women since it causes nausea.

Not so much of any research work has been done for Khus in Pakistan and so not much can be said about it in the present circumstances

It is mostly limited to Multan, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Rawalpindi and Jhelum districts of Punjab and restricted to Thatta and Badin areas of Indus Delta. If serious research is done for its uses in Pakistan and cultivated in other areas then it can provide jobs to the locals from the farming areas to the value-added khus based goods.

Khus grass has a promising future in Pakistan as its use does not have any serious side-effects. It is heartening to see that aroma therapists are now giving heed to khus whereas pharmaceutical companies are already using khus aroma in their syrups. Significant use of the khus or its by-products should be considered in the near future.