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Hard Rush

Image of Hard Rush
HermannSchachner, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hard Rush (Juncus inflexus)

Juncus inflexus, is a perennial plant native to Central Europe that can be found in wet soils, such as salt marches, ditches, and wet meadows (Adamus et al., 2001; El-Shamy et al., 2015; Tóth et al., 2016) . Several plants from the Juncus species are used in traditional medicine as sedatives and to treat different health disorders, such as insomnia (El-Shamy et al., 2015). J. inflexus is known to have antibacterial properties, and one study shows the potential of the plant to be used for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (Tóth et al., 2016). One study indicates that J. inflexus may inhibit enzymes connected to the onset of neurological disorders, such as dementia (Rodrigues et al., 2017) and that J. inflexus may be useful in delaying the progression of some cancers (Tóth et al., 2016).

Historical Use

The rare herbal, Kreuterbuch, Kuntstliche Conterfeytunge Der Baume, Stauden, Hecken, Kreuter, Getreyde, Gewurte, authored by Adam Lonicer and published in 1587 contains a description of Juncus and its uses:
“Binken/Schmelen/or Binkenhelmer/ in Greek Schoino.In Latin Iuncus or Scirpus. Dioscorides tells that there are three kinds / namely the big pond rush / the needle rush / and the black rush. It is the smooth rush seen most frequently. It has a smooth stalk / without any outgrowths or knots / such that men use them to fasten or bind / and indeed will weave baskets and other such works from it.
Power and Effect
The pulp of the Binkenhelmen / or stem is used in a pot or container.
The mixture is boiled in wine/ and is drunk for stomach ache and diarrhea.
This herb boiled in wine and drunk is good for not-so-bad poison and jaundice. It is also employed for cattle and hounds.”

Excerpt from Kreuterbuch, Kuntstliche Conterfeytunge Der Baume, Stauden, Hecken, Kreuter, Getreyde, Gewurte, authored by Adam Lonicer and published in 1587. This book is available in the John R. Martin Rare Book Room in Hardin Library

This excerpt, from A nievve herbal, produced in 1578 by Rembert Dodoens, describes the virtues of the Juncus species and warns, “to be taken in [too] great a [quantity], it [causes headache].”  

Latest Research

  • Plant cultural indicators of forest resources from the Himalayan high mountains: implications for improving agricultural resilience, subsistence, and forest restoration
    by Shiekh Marifatul Haq on April 24, 2024 at 10:00 am

    CONCLUSION: Our data show that local and indigenous forest knowledge and practices could significantly contribute to forest conservation and ecological transition. This may happen if stakeholders generate clear frameworks and biocultural conservation strategies aimed at both dynamically preserve natural habitats and ways of traditional management of local natural resources.

  • Fungal Planet description sheets: 1284-1382
    by P W Crous on February 14, 2024 at 11:00 am

    Novel species of fungi described in this study include those from various countries as follows: Antartica, Cladosporium austrolitorale from coastal sea sand. Australia, Austroboletus yourkae on soil, Crepidotus innuopurpureus on dead wood, Curvularia stenotaphri from roots and leaves of Stenotaphrum secundatum and Thecaphora stajsicii from capsules of Oxalis radicosa. Belgium, Paraxerochrysium coryli (incl. Paraxerochrysium gen. nov.) from Corylus avellana. Brazil, Calvatia nordestina on soil,…

  • Fungal Planet description sheets: 1284-1382
    by P W Crous on September 11, 2023 at 10:00 am

    Novel species of fungi described in this study include those from various countries as follows: Antartica, Cladosporium austrolitorale from coastal sea sand. Australia, Austroboletus yourkae on soil, Crepidotus innuopurpureus on dead wood, Curvularia stenotaphri from roots and leaves of Stenotaphrum secundatum and Thecaphora stajsicii from capsules of Oxalis radicosa. Belgium, Paraxerochrysium coryli (incl. Paraxerochrysium gen. nov.) from Corylus avellana. Brazil, Calvatia nordestina on soil,…

  • New and Interesting Fungi. 5
    by P W Crous on February 15, 2023 at 11:00 am

    Nine new genera, 17 new species, nine new combinations, seven epitypes, three lectotypes, one neotype, and 14 interesting new host and / or geographical records are introduced in this study. New genera: Neobarrmaelia (based on Neobarrmaelia hyphaenes), Neobryochiton (based on Neobryochiton narthecii), Neocamarographium (based on Neocamarographium carpini), Nothocladosporium (based on Nothocladosporium syzygii), Nothopseudocercospora (based on Nothopseudocercospora dictamni), Paracamarographium…

  • Chromosome-scale genome assemblies and annotations for Poales species Carex cristatella, Carex scoparia, Juncus effusus, and Juncus inflexus
    by Jose Planta on August 17, 2022 at 10:00 am

    The majority of sequenced genomes in the monocots are from species belonging to Poaceae, which include many commercially important crops. Here, we expand the number of sequenced genomes from the monocots to include the genomes of 4 related cyperids: Carex cristatella and Carex scoparia from Cyperaceae and Juncus effusus and Juncus inflexus from Juncaceae. The high-quality, chromosome-scale genome sequences from these 4 cyperids were assembled by combining whole-genome shotgun sequencing of…

References

Adamus, P., Danielson, T., & Gonyaw, A. (2001). Indicators for Monitoring Biological Integrity of Inland, Freshwater Wetlands: A survey of North American Technical Literature (1990-2000). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water, Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds. 

El-Shamy, A. I., Abdel-Razek, A. F., & Nassar, M. I. (2015). Phytochemical review of Juncus L. genus (Fam. Juncaceae). Arabian Journal of Chemistry, 8(5), 614–623. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arabjc.2012.07.007 

Rodrigues, M. J., Gangadhar, K. N., Zengin, G., Mollica, A., Varela, J., Barreira, L., & Custódio, L. (2017). Juncaceae species as sources of innovative bioactive compounds for the food industry: In vitro antioxidant activity, neuroprotective properties and in silico studies. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 107, 590–596. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2017.04.006 

Tóth, B., Liktor-Busa, E., Kúsz, N., Szappanos, Á., Mándi, A., Kurtán, T., Urbán, E., Hohmann, J., Chang, F.-R., & Vasas, A. (2016). Phenanthrenes from Juncus inflexus with Antimicrobial Activity against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Journal of Natural Products, 79(11), 2814–2823. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jnatprod.6b00581