Helancha(Enhydra fluctuans)

 
Botanical Name :Enhydra fluctuans Lour
Family: Asteraceae (family description)
Genus: Enhydra
Kingdom:
Plantae
Phylum:
Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order:
Asterales
Epithet: fluctuans Lour.
Common Names: Harkuch, Hingcha
Local names: kankong-kalabau (Tag.).

Indian Name: Helencha
Part used: Leaf
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Asterales 
Species: E. fluctuans
Bengali Name:Hingcha  sag

Habitat:Grows in swampy ground in Tropical climate.Native to India, Bangladesh,Burma, Sreelankha and several places in south east Asia.Hingcha or Kankong-kalabau is found in Rizal Province in Luzon, being occasional along the banks of small streams in and about Manila. It was certainly introduced, being found also in tropical Africa and Asia to Malaya.In Bengal it is commonly known as Hingha and grows plenty in ponds & lakes.

Description & Uses :Perennial herb of swampy ground in coastal areas, till recently considered as a single species under the first name, but now recognized to be two: E. fluctuans only in the Niger Delta, but widespread in the tropics, and E. radicans from Senegal to Dahomey and Fernando Po.No usage of either species is recorded for the Region. The leaves of E. fluctuans are somewhat bitter and are eaten as a salad or vegetable in several tropical countries. In Zaïre E. fluctuans has been
reported a favourite food of the hippopotamus.

This plant is a prostate, spreading, annual herb. The stems are somewhat fleshy, 30 centimeters or more in length, branched, rooting at the lower nodes, and somewhat hairy. The leaves are stalkless, linear-oblong, 3 to 5 centimeters in length, pointed or blunt at the tip, usually truncate at the base, and somewhat toothed at the margins. The flowering heads are without stalks, are borne singly in the axils of the leaves, and excluding the bracts, are less than 1 centimeter in diameter. The outer pair of the involucral bracts is ovate and 1 to 1.2 centimeters long; the inner pair is somewhat smaller. The flowers are white or greenish-white. The acheness are enclosed by rigid receptacle-scales. The pappus is absent.Flower colour: beige, white

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Edible uses:
According to Burkill the young parts are used as a salad in several countries, including Malaya. Sometimes they are steamed before they are eaten.
Guerrero reports that in the Philippines the leaves are pressed and applied to the skin as a cure for certain herpetic eruptions.In bengal it is washed,chopped and cooked as Sag fry or boiled with rice and eaten with boiled rice with boiled potato ,salt and mastered oil.
Burkill reports that the young parts and the leaves of the plant are somewhat bitter and are used by the Malays as a laxative. Caius says that the leaves are useful in diseases of the skin and of the nervous system. The fresh juice of the leaves is prescribed in Calcutta as an adjunct to tonic metallic medicines, and is given in neuralgia and other nervous diseases. The leaves are antibilious. The expressed juice of the leaves is used as a demulcent in cases of gonorrhea; it is taken mixed with the milk of either a cow or a goat. As a cooling agent, the leaves are pounded and made into a paste which is applied cold to the head.
Watt quotes Forsyth, who states that the plant is useful in torpidity of the liver. An infusion should be made the previous evening. It is boiled with rice and taken with mustard oil and salt.

Constituents:A concentration of 0.21 % dry weight of essential oil is present .

Medicinal uses: laxatives, etc.; paralysis, epilepsy, convulsions, spasm; skin, mucosae.They are said to be a laxative, antibilious and demulcent . They are used in India in skin and nervous affections , and in the Philippines are applied to certain herpetic eruptions .
*Antioxidant Potential of Crude Extract and Different
Fractions of Enhydra fluctuans Lour (Hingcha)   :

*Analgesic activity of Enhydra fluctuans :

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://www.aluka.org/action/showMetadata?doi=10.5555/AL.AP.UPWTA.1_928&pgs=

http://www.fivetastes.com/vegetables/helencha.html

http://www.bpi.da.gov.ph/Publications/mp/pdf/k/kankong-kalabau.pdf
http://vaniindia.org.whbus12.onlyfordemo.com/herbal/plantdir.asp
http://www.virboga.de/Enhydra_fluctuans.htm

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