Asteracantha longifolia Nees (Bengali Name : Kuliakhara)

Botanical Name : Asteracantha longifolia Nees

Family: Acanthaceae
Genus: Astercantha
Species: A. longifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Syn. / Hygrophila spinosa T. Anders. /Asteracantha longifolia (Linn.) Nees. (Acanthaceae).
English Name : Hygrophila
Sanskrit Names : Kokilaksha, Ikshura, Ikshuraka, Chulli
Hindi Name:Talimakhana
Bengali Name : Kuliakhara

Habitat : It grows throughout India.Throughout the Philippines in stagnant streams, fresh-water swamps, and  ponds.

Description:
It is a robust, erect, annual herb. The stems are sub-quadrangular with thickened nodes; the leaves are oblanceolate, with a yellow spine in its axil; the flowers pale, purple blue, densely clustered in  axils; the fruits are oblong, glabrous capsules, 4-8 seeded.
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A smooth, widely spreading vine, with the stems trailing on mud or floating on water. Leaves are oblong-ovatem 7-14 cm long, with a pointed tip and heart- or arrow-shaped base, long petioled, the margins entire or angular, and sublobed.
The pedcuncles are erect, 2.5 to 5 cm long, with 1 or 2 flowers in the axils of the leaves. Sepals are green, oblong, about 8 mm. The corolla is narrowly bell-shaped, about 5 mm long, and purplish with the tube deeper purple inside.


Principal Constituents:
The seeds contain large amount of tenacious mucilage and potassium salts.

Medicinal Uses:
The roots, leaves and seeds have been used in Indian systems of medicine as diuretics and also employed to cure jaundice, dropsy, rheumatism, anasarca and diseases of the urinogenital tract.
The plant contains abundant mucilage and potassium salts, which ultimately increases blood circulation in the body. The whole plant possesses tonic and diuretic properties. The seeds are given for gonorrhoea. The root, in decoction, is administered in dropsical cases and gravel; The leaves are also used as a diuretic after being boiled in vinegar. The ashes of the dried plants are considered

Click to see :
Kuliakhara herb Asteracantha longifolia plant for liver health and sexual enhancement :
Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia  :
Asteracantha longifolia plant health benefit  :

Folkloric
Tops are mildly laxative.
The purplish variety used for diabetes because of assumed insulin-like principle it contains.
Juice used as emetic.
Dried latex is purgative.
Poultice of buds used for ringworm.
In Ayurveda, exgtracts of leaves are used for jaundice and nervous debility.
Juice used as emetic in opium and arsenic poisoning.
In Sri Lanka, used for liver disease, eye problems, constipation.

Studies :
• Hypoglycemic / Anti-Diabetic: (1) Study showed the boiled whole extract of I. aquatica to exert an oral hypoglycemic effect in healthy, male, Wistar rats after a glucose challenge. (2) An aqueous extract of the green leafy vegetable Ipomoea aquatica is as effective as the oral hypoglycaemic drug tolbutamide in reducing the blood sugar levels of Wistar rats.(3) Inhibitory effect of Ipomoea aquatica extracts on glucose absorption using a perfused rat intestinal preparation: Study showed a significant inhibitory effect on glucose absorption. Furthermore, results suggest the inhibition of glucose absorption is not due to the acceleration of intestinal transit. (3) Study showed the consumption of shredded, fresh, edible portion of IA for one week, effectively reduced the fasting blood sugar of Streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.

• Antioxidant / Antiproliferative: Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica Forsk) constituents: Study showed the water extract of stems had the highest antiproliferative activity. The ethanol extract of the stems had the highest total phenolic compounds. The ethanol extract of leafves had the highest amount of flavonoids.

Diuretic: Study on the diuretic activity of the methanol extract of Ipomoea aquatica in Swiss albino mice showed good diuretic activty. In all cases, the excretion of electrolytes and urine volue increase was higher than the standard diuretic, furosemide.

• Antioxidant: Study of a methanol extract yielded a compound ( 7-O-B-D-glucopyronosyl-dihydromquercetin-3-O-a-D-glucopyranoside) that exhibited antioxidant activity with an EC50 value of 83 and showed very strong lipid peroxidation-inhibitory activirty in a liposome model system.

• Antimicrobial: Study investigating the antimicrobial efficacy of the leaf extract of three herbs – A longifolia, I aquatica and E fluctuans – on four pathogenic bacterial strains (E coli, P aeruginosa, S aureus and M luteus). Ipomoea aquatica exerted the higher amount of antimicrobial activity against the bacterial strains, better than the two other herb extracts.

• Antiulcerogenic: Study in an aspirin-induced ulcer model in rats found Ipomoea aquatica to possess potent anti-ulcerogenic and ulcer-healing properties and can act as a potent therapeutic agent against peptic ulcer disease.

• Cytotoxicity: Study isolated a purified bioactive compound from the leaf of Ipomoea aquatica – 7-O-B-D-glucopyranosyl-dihydroquercetin-3-O-a-D-glucopyranoside (DHQG). Results showed DHQG showed cytotoxicity towards cancer cell lines tested.

• Nootropic / Memory Enhancing Potential: Study suggests that MEIA markedly improves brain Ach level. MEIA treatment may be of value in reinforcing depressed cholinergic transmission in certain age related memory disorders and to improve memory and learning in normal individuals.

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.la-medicca.com/raw-herbs-asteracantha-longifolia.html

http://www.stuartxchange.com/Kangkong.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astercantha_longifolia

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