Añgañgi is a smooth herb that grows in water or marshy places. Stems are stout, erect, simple, 30 to 60 centimeters in length, and rarely branched above. Leaves are linear-oblong or oblong-lanceolate, 2 to 6 centimeters in length, 0.5 to 1 centimeter in width, opposite and whorled, with pointed tip, rounded and clasping base, and toothed margins. Flowers are pink or pale purple, and borne singly or in whorls in inflorescences at the axils of the leaves, with long, very slender pedicels 1 to 1.5 centimeters long. Calyx is about 4 millimeters long, glandular, and divided into lanceolate segments. Corolla is 1.2 centimeters long. Capsules are oblong and pointed at the tip.
- In marshes and open wet places at low and medium altitudes, ascending to 1,600 meters.
- Found in Ilocos Norte, Bontoc, Benguet, Nueva Viscaya, and Camarines Provinces in Luzon; in Palawan, Polilo and Mindanao.
Occurs in India to Taiwan and southward through Malaya to tropical Australia.
- Analysis of essential oil showed the major components were limonene (15.09%), (+)-trans-isolimonene (14.52%) and α-humulene (6.04%). (see study below) (1)
- Other oil constituents are perillaldehyde and a monoterpenoid ketone, cis-4-caranone.
- In a study of 5 edible wild plants for vitamin composition, phenolic and flavonoid content, Limnophila aromaticoides (finger grass) yielded: (Vitamins/ µg/g FW) ascorbic acid 844.6 ± 7.3, y-tocopherol 7.0 ±1.2, α-tocopherol 14.8 ±0.4, thiamin 16.6 ±0.1, riboflavin 13.7 ± 0.0; (Antioxidant components) total phenolic (mg GAE/g FW) 3.8 ±0.1, total flavonoid (mg RE/g FW) 1.3 ±0.0; (EC50 value: mg extract/ml) DPPH radical scavenging ability 2.8±1.58, ferrous ion chelating ability 10.80±0.25. (12)
- In a study of leaf essential oil, methyl benzoate (27.7%), pulegone (23.4%) and limonene (20.2%) were the significant compounds of L. aromatica.
- Study of leaf ethanol extract yielded: (phytochemicals) essential oils, terpenoids, saponins, tannins.
- Plant emits a turpentine-like odor.
Sour, slightly bitter.
Considered antiseptic, aperient, appetizer, digestive, carminative, anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, cooling, emollient, febrifuge, galactagogue.
Whole plant, leaves, roots.
- Plant used as spinach, eaten raw or steamed.
- Herb has an intense lemon-like flavor.
- In Java, plant is eaten raw or steamed; thought to be good for quieting the stomach after eating durian.
- A popular culinary herb in Vietnamese cuisine.
- Leaves are used for poulticing sores on legs.
- Decoction of leaves and roots given for fevers.
- Plant used as a cooling medicine for fevers.
- Used by nursing mothers when their milk is sour; also used as a galactagogue.
- In Ayurveda, used in vitiated conditions of pitta. Also used for foul ulcers, agalactia, galactic impurities, anorexia, dyspepsia, helminthiasis, constipation, inflammations and strangury.
- Plant juice used as cooling medicine for fever and pharyngitis.
• Antioxidant: Study of the antioxidant properties of a methanol extract, essential oil and related compounds showed the methanol extract and essential oil exhibiting free radical scavenging, NO radical scavenging and antilipid peroxidation. However, both showed less potent antioxidant activity than the reference compounds, torlox and curcumin. (see constituents) (1)
• Antioxidant / Vascular Protective: Study of three popular Thai dietary and herbal plants, Cratoxylum formosum, Syzygium gratum and Limnophila aromatica for antioxidant and vascular protective activities in in vitro and in vivo models showed the plant extracts to possess antioxidants and have potential roles in prevention of vascular dysfunction. (2)
• Antimicrobial: Study of L. aromatica extract showed antimicrobial activity against B. cereus, Listeria monocytogenes, Pseudomonas fluorescens, S. typhimurium, S. aureus and Yersinia enterocolitica. The activity may be attributed to its essential oil consisting of limonene and peril-aldehyde as major compounds, flavone, and flavonoids. (4)
• Volatile Oil Constituents / Aerial Parts: Study of essential oil isolated from the aerial parts of L. aromatica yielded 29 components representing 99.3% of the total oil. The oil was rich in Z-ocimene (39.2%), terpinolene (17.2%) and camphor (12.9%). (5)
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study of anti-inflammatory activity of extracts of 13 Thai spices/herbs with lipopolysaccharide-activated RAW 264.7 murine macrophages showed the extract from L. aromatica to be the most robust dose-dependent suppression of NO production without exerting cytotoxicity. L. aromatica extract also showed the greatest inhibition of TNF-alpha production (IC50 10.5 mcg/ml). (6)
• Antioxidant / Antimicrobial: Study screened 20 Thai plants, a methanolic extract of C. siamea, Limnophilia aromatica, and Pl odoratum exhibited strong antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. (8)
• Essential Oil / Chemotaxonomical Markers: Study of essential oil yielded 36 volatile organic constituents, with seven major volatile compounds (amyl vinyl carbinol, terpinolene, ß-linalool, sabinene, terpinen-4-ol, α-humulene, aromadendrene) in the range of 3.02% to 30.06%. The presence of sabinene, terpinen-4-ol and α-humulene were found in high percentage and can be suggested as chemotaxonomical markers of the herb. (10)
• Antioxidant / Phenolic and Flavonoid Content: Study evaluated various extracts of freeze dried L. aromatica for antioxidant activity, total phenolic content, and total flavonoid content. A 100% ethanol extract showed the highest antioxidant activity, reducing power and DPPH radical scavenging activity. The extract also showed the highest phenolic content (40.5 mg gallic acid equivalent/ g of defatted L. aromatica) and the highest flavonoid content (31.11 mg quercetin equivalent/g of defatted L. aromatica). (11)
• Antioxidant / Leaves: Study of ethanol leaf extract showed a phenolic content of 152.41±14.20 µg GAE/mg and a flavonoid content of 112.35±0.50 µg CAE/mg. Antioxidant activity on various assays showed: DPPH 24.44±0.30 EC50 µg/ml; LPO inhibition 17.58±1.04 EC50 µg/ml; FRAP 2.30±0.12 µmol Fe/mg. (14)
• Cytotoxicity / n-Lymphocytes and Cancer Cell Lines / Leaves: Study on cytotoxicity effects on n-lymphocytes and 3-cancer cell lines showed: n-lymphocyte >400; (cancer cell lines) Jurkat 128.60 (109.30-151.30), MCF7 291.70 (270.70-315.70), and HepG2 349.90 (316-393.60). (14)
• Hemolytic Activity on Human Erythrocytes / Leaves: Study of leaf extract on human erythrocytes showed % hemolysis: (200 µg/ml) 0.90±0.11, (400 µg/ml) 1.50±0.41, (600 µg/ml) 6.08±0.99, (1200 µg/ml) 22.78±5.93, (EC50 µg/ml) >1200. (14)
• Anti-Inflammatory: In a study 10 local Thai vegetables fr analgesic (writhing test and tail flick test) and anti-inflammatory (rat hind paw edema model) activities, Limnophila aromatica was one of seven that showed significant inhibition on writhing reflex. (15)