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Family Pontederiaceae
Gabing-uak
Monochoria vaginalis (Burm.f.) C.Presl.

OVAL-LEAF PONDWEED
Ye she cao

Scientific names  Common names
Bootia mairei H,Lév. Biga-bigaan (Tag.)
Gomphima vaginalis (Burm.f.) Raf. Bil-lagut (Ilk.)
Monochoria junghuhniana (Hassk.) Miq. Gabi-gabi (P. Bis., C. Bis.)
Monochoria loureiroi Kunth        [Illegitimate] Gabing-uak (Tag.)
Monochoria ovata Kunth     Hahalung (If.)
Monochoria pauciflora (Blume) Kunth     Hakhaklung (If.)
Monochoria plantaginea (Roxb.) Kunth     Kalabua (Tag.)
Monochoria vaginalis (Burm.f.) C.Presl.     Lagtang (Bik.)
Pontederia lanceolata Wall. ex Kunth Lapalapa (Ilk.)
Pontederia linearis Hassk. Saksaklung (Ig.)
Pontederia loureiroana Schult. & Schult.f. Saksakong (Bon.)
Pontederia pauciflora Blume Upi-upi (Bik.)
Pontederia plantaginea Roxb. Arrow leaf monochoria
Pontederia vaginalis Burm.f. Heartshape false pickerelweed (Engl.)
Pontederia vaginata Royle Pickerelweed (Engl.)
  Oval-leaf pondweed (Engl.)
Monochoria vaginalis (Burm.f.) C.Presl is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
BENGALI: Nukha.
CAMBODIA: Chrach.
CHINESE: Ye she cao.
INDONESIA:Eceng padi, Eceng leutik, Wewehan.
JAPANESE: Ko-Nagi, Sasa-Nagi.
JAVANESE: Bengok, Wèwèhan.
KHMER: Chrach.
MALAY: Kakapola.
MALAYSIA: Kelayar, Keladi agak.
SINHALESE: Diyahabarala.
SUNDANESE: Biah Biah.
TELUGU: Nirkancha.
THAILAND: Khakhiat, Ninlabon, Phakhin.
VIETNAMESE: Rau ch[os]c, Rau m[as]c l[as] thon.

Botany
Gabing-uak is an aquatic herb, smaller than gabi-gabihan (Monochoria hastata). Rootstocks are short, suberect or creeping, and spongy. Leaves are extremely variable, long-petioled, linear to ovate, oblong-ovate to broadly ovate, with a sharply acuminate apex and cordate base, and with broad lobes, 6 to 10 centimeters long. Petioles are usually less than 30 centimeters long. Inflorescence is spicate, 3 to 6 centimeters long, and few-flowered. Flowers are blue, about 1 centimeter long, pedicles less than 1 centimeter long. Capsules are oblong.

Distribution
- At low and medium altitudes in open wet places, rice paddies, swamps, etc., from Luzon to Mindanao.
- Widely distributed in India to China, Malaysia and Japan.

Constituents
- Various root extracts yielded alkaloids, carbohydrates, phenols, glycosides, tannins, flavonoids.
- An ethanol extract yielded phytoconstituents n-hexadecanoic acid, 3-methyl- acetate-1-butanol, 1,1,3-triethoxy- propane, Z,Z,Z- 1,4,6,9 - nonadecatetraene, undecanoic acid, 3-trifluoroacetoxy penta decane and 4-ethyl-5-octyl-2,2-bis (trifluoromethyl) - cis-1,3-dioxalone.

- Study of whole plant isolated three new compounds--two cerebrosides and one acylglycosyl sterol.
- Study for mineral content yielded potassium (9.19 ppm), K/Na ration (7.67) , Mg (3.028 ppm), Cu (0.138 ppm), Pb (0.021 ppm), Mn (3.386 ppm). (see study below) (19)

Properties
- Root stock and leaves are cooling, bitter, sweet, aromatic, alterant, diuretic and tonic.

Parts utilized
Leaves, roots.

Uses
Edibility / Nutritional
- Tubers, leaves and aerial parts are eaten, raw or cooked.
- In Bengal, tender stalk and leaves are eaten as vegetable.
- In Java, entire plant, except for the roots, eaten as vegetable.
- Nutritional evaluation suggests the plant can be an alternative nutrient rich leafy vegetable.
Folkloric
- Leaves are poulticed after boils have burst.
- Juice of roots for stomach and liver problems, asthma and toothache.
- In Java leaf juice use for coughs; roots for stomach and liver complaints, asthma and toothache. Leaves with ginger and honey taken for cough and cold.
- Bark eaten with sugar for asthma.
- In India, used for burns and scalds; general debility, asthma, fever, hemorrhage, cough, scurvy, dipsia, strangury, gastropathy, hepatopathy, odontalgia, scurvy and hemorrhages.
- Paste of tuber used externally as antidote to snakebite poisoning in Tamil Nadu.
- In Tripuri, India, decoction of fresh roots used for nausea. Whole plant is cooked by tribal people and used in digestive disorders. Young shoots used for gastritis and asthma.
- Paniya tribe of India use the leaves for diabetes.
- In the Siddha system, roots is used for cough, disease of pittam, venereal afflictions, thirst, fainting, and fever.
- Juice of leaves applied to boils.
- In Ayurvedic and Unani medicine, root is chewed for toothaches and sugared bark for asthma.

Studies
Phytoremediation: Monochoria vaginalis is one of the plants considered promising candidates for cleaning up arsenic-contaminated surface water and wetland areas. (2)
Antioxidant / Anti-Inflammatory:
Root and leaf extracts were evaluated for antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. An ethanol leaf extract showed maximum radical scavenging activity in ABTS, superoxide and hydrogen peroxide assays. In in vivo anti-inflammatory study, a methanolic leaf extract showed appreciable reduction in paw volume. (5)
Nephroprotective / Acetaminophen Induced Toxicity:
Study investigated a methanol extract in rats with acetaminophen-induced toxicity. Results showed it can prevent renal damage from APAP-induced nephrotoxicity in rats, probably mediated through active phytoconstituents and antioxidant activities. (6)
Biochemical and Nutritional Evaluation:
Nutritional evaluation showed maximum amount of total carbohydrates, total protein, reducing sugar and amino acids like methionine were present in the young leaf. The plant can be proposed as an alternative nutrient leaf vegetable. (13)
Hepatoprotective / Carbon Tetrachloride Hepatic Injury:
Study investigated a methanolic extract of Monochoria vaginalis for antioxidant and curative effect against CCl4 induced acute liver injury in rats. Extract treatment showed significant protection of liver as evidenced by enzymes and lipid peroxide levels, together with reduction in histopathological changes. Antioxidant status was measured by activity of GSH, catalase, SOD, GST and GPx. Activity was attributed to the presence of flavonoids and alkaloids. (15) Study showed rats pretreated with M. vaginalis and Silymarin remarkably prevented the elevation of AST, ALT, ALP, $ liver peroxides in CCl4 treated rats. (
24)
Analgesic Activity / Roots:
Various extracts of roots yielded alkaloids, phenols, carbohydrates, glycosides, tannin, and flavonoids. Total ethanolic extract, chloroform fraction, and aqueous extract of M. vaginalis showed analgesic activity by Tail Immersion and Eddy's hot plate methods. (16)
Alkenylphenol and Steroids:
Study isolated two new compounds from the whole plant— (10Z)-1-(2,6-dihydroxyphenyl)octadec-10-en-1-one (1) (20R,24R)-campest-5-ene-3b,4b-diol (2)— together with nine known ones. (17)
Anti-Diabetic / Leaves:
Study of hydroalcoholic extract of leaves for anti-diabetic activity in alloxan induced diabetic albino rats. Results showed significant reduction in blood glucose levels. (18)
Mineral and Heavy Metal Content:
In a study of mineral content and heavy metal content of traditionally important aquatic plants of Tripura, India, Monochoria vaginalis showed: potassium (9.19 ppm), K/Na ration (7.67) , Mg (3.028 ppm), Cu (0.138 ppm), Pb (0.021 ppm), Mn (3.386 ppm). (19)
Nutritional Composition / Leaves and Flowers:
Study evaluated the nutritional composition of leaves and flowers of M. vaginalis. Almost all essential and nonessential amino acids were present in leaves and flowers. with the nonessential amino acids, especially aspartic acid and glutamic acid, higher in flowers than leaves. The flowers yielded higher amounts of nonessential amino acids, especially aspartic acid and glutamic acid, and higher amounts of proteins (10.8g/100g) and carbohydrates (4.6g/100g). Mineral analysis yielded adequate amounts of phosphorus, potassium , magnesium, copper, manganese and calcium. Study suggests M. vaginalis can be used as a nutritional food supplement. (21)
Hepatoprotective / Acetaminophen-Induced Hepatotoxicity:
Study evaluated an ethanol extract of M. vaginalis on acetaminophen induced rat hepatic injury. Results showed hepatoprotective and antioxidant effects against APAP-induced hepatotoxicity and oxidative stress in rats. The activity of EEMV at 500 mg/kbw was comparable to standard drug silymarin (25 mg/kbw). (22)
Phytoremediation Potential / Heavy Metal Accumulation:
Study evaluated the bioaccumulation potential of six ecotypes of M. vaginalis from six different industrial zones in West Bengal, India, based on chromium (Cr), cadmium (Cd), and copper (Cu) accumulation pattern. Accumulation pattern significantly differed among ecotypes, and accumulation in plant organs was highly metal specific. Cr and Cu predominantly accumulated in leaves and rhizomes while Cd was predominant in roots. Cu showed higher capability in edible parts. Results showed the potential of plant parts as bioaccumulation organs and use for phytoremediation of heavy metal contamination in aquatic ecosystems. (23)


Availability
Wild-crafted. 

Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.


Last Update December 2015

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1)
Anti-pyretic effect of Monochoria vaginalis Presl in rodents / B.Kaushik, R. Patel et al / National seminar on Research and Education in Pharmaceutical Sciences, 13/04/08, GRY Institute of Pharmacy,Borawan- Khargon, MP, (2008)
(2)
Assessment of potential indigenous plant species for the phytoremediation of arsenic-contaminated areas of Bangladesh. / R Mahmud, N Inoue, SY Kasajima, R Shaheen / Int J Phytoremediation (0) 10: 117-30.

(3)
Indian medicinal plants: a compendium of 500 species / P. K. Warrier, V. P. K. Nambiar / Volume 4
(4)
Uses of Wild Edibles Among the Paniya Tribe in Kerala, India / Conservation and Sustainable Use of Agricultural Biodiversity / A Sourcebook
(5)
ANTIOXIDANT AND ANTI-INFLAMMATORY POTENTIAL OF MONOCHORIA VAGINALIS (BURM. F.) C. PRESL.: A WILD EDIBLE PLANT / RAHUL CHANDRAN, PARIMELAZHAGAN THANGARAJ*, SARAVANAN SHANMUGAM, SAJEESH THANKARAJAN, ARUNACHALAM KARUPPUSAMY / Journal of Food Biochemistry, Volume 36, Issue 4, pages 421–431, August 2012 / DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-4514.2011.00560.x
(6)
EVALUATION OF PHYTOCONSTITUENTS AND ANTI-NEPHROTOXIC AND ANTIOXIDANT ACTIVITIES OF MONOCHORIA VAGINALIS / SUBRAMANI PALANI et al / Pak. J. Pharm. Sci., Vol.24, No.3, July 2011, pp.293-301
(7)
A review on the medicinal and edible aspects of aquatic and wetland plants of India / Swapna M. M., Prakashkumar R., Anoop K. P., Manju C. N., and Rajith N. P. / Journal of Medicinal Plants Research Vol. 5(33), pp. 7163-7176, 31 December, 2011 / DOI: 10.5897/JMPRx11.005
(8)
Monochoria vaginalis (Cordate Monochoria) / Common names / ZipcodeZoo
(9)
Pharmacognostical Investigation of Roots of Monochoria vaginalis Presl. / M K Gupta, R V Savadi, K P Manjunath, K S Akki, A V Bhandarkar, H N Sholapur / Ancient Science of Life, Vol 28, No 2, 2008, pp 7-9.
(10)
A study on ethnomedicinal usage of plants among the folklore herbalists and Tripuri medical practitioners: Part-II / Koushik Majumdar* and B K Datta / Natural Product Radiance, Vol. 6(1), 2007, pp.66-73
(11)
Monochoria vaginalis / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED
(12)
Two Cerebrosides and One Acylglycosyl Sterol from Monochoria vaginalis / Lie-Ching Row, Chiu-Ming Chen and Jiau-Ching Ho / Journal of the Chinese Chemical Society, 2003, 50, 1103-1107 1103
(13)
Biochemical and Nutritional Evaluation of Monochoria vaginalis Presl.
/ S. Pradeesh, G. Nair Archana, M. Devi Chinmayee, C. S. Sarika, I. Mini, T. S. Swapna / Prospects in Bioscience: Addressing the Issues
2013, pp 93-101
(14)
Monochoria vaginalis (Burm. f.) C. Presl ex Kunth / Chinese name / Catalogue of Life, China
(15)
Antioxidant and curative effect of Monochoria vaginalis methanolic extract against carbon tetrachloride induced acute liver injury in rats / B. Latha and M. S. Latha* / Der Pharma Chemica, 2013, 5(1):306-312
(16)
Phytochemical investigation and screening Analgesic activity of Monochoria vaginalis Presl roots / Manish Kumar Gupta, Shiv Kumar Garg / LAP Lambert Academic Publishing ( 2012-05-11 )
(17)
One Alkenylphenol and Steroids from the Aquatic Plant Monochoria vaginalis / Lie-Ching Row, Chiu-Ming Chen and Jiau-Ching Ho* / Journal of the Chinese Chemical Society, 2004, 51, 225-228 225
(18)
Antidiabetic and Hypolipidemic Activity of Monochoria Vaginalis Presl. On Alloxan Induced Diabetic Rats / Chinna RR, Periyasamy M, Muthukumar A, Anand G / International Journal For Pharmaceutical Research Scholars, 2013
(19)
Determination of mineral content and heavy metal content of some traditionally important aquatic plants of tripura, India using atomic absorption spectroscopy / Somnath Bhowmik*, Badal Kumar Datta, Ajay Krishna Saha / Journal of Agricultural Technology, 2012 Vol. 8(4): 1467-1476
(20)
Monochoria vaginalis (Burm.f.) C.Presl / Synonyms / The Plant List
(21)
Nutritional Assessment of Monochoria vaginalis, a Wild Edible Vegetable Supplement to the Human Diet / Rahul Chandrana & T. Parimelazhagana* / International Journal of Vegetable Science, Volume 18, Issue 2, 2012: pp 199-207 / DOI:10.1080/19315260.2011.608115
(22)
Hepatoprotective and antioxidant effects of Monochoria vaginalis against acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity in rats / S Palani,* S Raja, K Sakthivel, K Devi and B Senthil Kumar / Oriental Pharmacy and Experimental Medicine 2010 10(1), 29-36 / DOI 10.3742/OPEM.2010.10.1.029
(23)
Heavy Metal Accumulation as Phytoremediation Potential of Aquatic Macrophyte, Monochoria vaginalis (Burm.F.) K. Presl Ex Kunth / Tulika Talukdar, Dibyendu Talukdar / Int J Appl Sci Biotechnol, Vol. 3(1): 9-15 / DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3126/ijasbt.v3i1.12193
(24)
PRE-TREATMENT EFFECTS OF METHANOLIC EXTRACT OF MONOCHORIA VAGINALIS AGAINST CARBON TETRA CHLORIDE INDUCED ACUTE HEPATOTOXICITY IN RATS / Coden Ijptfi , B. Latha M. S. Latha

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