Nagarmotha(Cyperus rotundus) essential oil/India(wild harvest)


Olfactory qualites of Nagarmotha(Cyperus rotundus)/India(wild harvest)

The tubers of the grass known as Nagarmotha(Hindi) or Mustaka(Sanskrit) yield a lovely essential oil which is little known in the West. It is in fact a plant which grows world wide but it is considered one of the most noxious invasive grasses but in India it has a revered history in traditional Ayurvedic and Unani systems of medicine for a treating a wide range of illnesses. The oil has many excellent aromatic virtues as well which we will now explore.
The essential oil of Nagarmotha has considerable variation in both color and odor so each description must be based on the the current stock in hand. It is a wild grown crop with the scented part being the small tubers, hence it will take on the qualities of the soil that it is grown in.
The current batch I have is amber colored slightly viscous oil having a fresh earthy-woody-rooty odor. As it matures in the atmosphere a powdery-spicy-cuminic note emerges.The earthy aroma that radiates from the oil has a lot of similarity to the wonderful odor coming from Mitti Attar which is a direct traditional distillation of the earth as is still done in Kannauj. The woody aroma is somewhat similar to Virginia cedarwood and the rooty odor to vetiver. It is a nice balance of the three odors and it has good tenacity making it a valuable fixative..

Blends well with aglaia odorata abas; amberi attar; ambrette seed eo, co2 and abs; agarwood eo and co2; artemisia oils; arucaria eo; bergamot eo; birch tar eo; cabreuva eo; cade eo; calamus eo and co2; cananga eo; cardamon eo and co2; cassie abs; cedarwood oils; champa abs and attar; cinnamon bark eo and co2; cistus eo and abs; clary sage eo and abs; coriander eo and co2; costus eo and co2; davana eo and co2fir balsam eo; fir silver eo; fir, giant eo; frankincense eo, co2 and abs; guaicwood eo; juniperberry eo and co2; henna flower attar and abs; galbanum eo and abs; labdanum eo and abs; mimosa abs; musk black attar; myrrh eo, co2 and abs; oakmoss abs; patchouli eo, co2 and abs; pine forest eo; rosa damascena abs and otto; rosa centifolia abs; rosa rugosa eo; rosa odorata eo; saffron co2; siam woood eo; sandalwood eo, co2 and abs; shamama attar; tagetes eo and abs; templin eo; vetiver eo, co2 and abs,; ylang eo and abs

In perfumery is used in oriental bouquets, forest blends, amber bases, musk bases; woody accords; fougeres; chypres; incense bouquets

Interesting facts of Nagarmotha

1. The dried and powdered tubers form a key ingredient in traditional incense
2. Traditionally the oil was used to perfume clothes and in Bengal sachets of the powdered tubers was used to impart its scent to fine fabric. The powered tubers are also used for scenting hair
3. The distilled tubers form an important part of the Shammama family of Indian attars. It is particularly valued for its synergistic relationship with agarwood as these two oil complement each other and bring out the finest qualities of both
4. The tubers can be used as a famine food
5. The reed like stalks are used for making mats and baskets
6. In addition, the tubers are an important nutritional source of minerals and trace elements for migrating birds such as cranes.
7. Cyperus grows rapidly and fills the soil with its tangle of roots and rhizomes; this one species (C. rotundus) can produce up to 40,000 kg/hectare of underground plant material.
8. The genus name Cyperus is from the Greek "cyper(us)" meaning "a rush or sedge."
The species epithet rotundus derives from the Latin "rotund" meaning "round, spherical" referring to the tubers of the stolons.

Links for Cyperus rotundus/Nagarmotha

Wikipedia article on Nagarmotha
Use of Nagarmotha in Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine
Nagarmotha; its chemistry, uses and description
Nagarmotha in Herbal Tradition of India
Worldwide Ethnobotanical uses