Thursday, January 2, 2014

PONNANGAANI ( പൊന്നാങ്ങണ്ണി )


  ENGLISH NAME :  Sessile Joyweed.
BOTANIC NAME : Alternanthera sessilis    
FAMILY: Amaranthaceae  

HABIT: A prostrate or ascending much branched shrub.

DESCRIPTION: 

         PLANT      : Perennial herb with rooting at the nodes, often found in moist       wastelands.
         LEAF         : Simple, opposite, somewhat fleshy, linear oblong or elliptic, about 2.5  x 0.4 cm.

         FLOWER   : Flowers small, white, in axillary clusters,flower heads globose,       becoming cylindrical  later.
        FRUIT/SEED: Seeds are lenticular, inverse and tiny.

PROPAGATION : By seed and vegetative means. Seeds are spread naturally by wind  and water.
FOOD VALUE: Leaves along with the tender stems are used as vegetable.

MEDICINAL USES:

Folkloric:  
It is used as febrifuge (reduces fever).
As a galactagogue ( increases secretion and flow of milk).
As a cholagogue (activate flow of bile).
It is diuretic, tonic and cooling and deemed to be beneficial to eyes.
It is applied as astringent (to contract the tissues and stop bleeding).
Studies: 
Herb contains hydrocarbons, ester and sterols.

LOCAL NAMES: Meenankani, Ponnankannikkira (Malayalam), 
Matsyaksi, Matsyadanee, Paragapattura,Salincha, Gogihua ( Sanskrit)
  Dwarf copperleaf, Joyweed, Racaba  (English), 
Garundi, Gudrisag, Guroo (Hindi), 
Ponnanganni (Tamil), 
Ponnagantikura (Telugu),
 Honagonne, Honaganna  ( Kannada) ,
 Jaljambo, Phakchet, Kanchari, Madaranga ,Koypa ,Udahta,Kshetraja,Hemakanya.

Foot note:
In India, Alternanthera sessilis is a traditionally used food under the name “Ponnanganni”.
But Seven plants are now known by the common name “Ponnanganni” .

Foot note:
 Actually out of the seven Ponnanganni species, six were alien and only one is the native variety. It is very difficult for common men to distinguish the native one from the alien varieties. 

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