Ponnanganni is an aquatic plant known by several common names, including Alternanthera sessilis, ponnaganti aaku (in Telugu), Honnagone in Kannada Mukunuwenna (in Sinhala), sessile joyweed and dwarf copperleaf. It is used as a vegetable specially in Sri Lanka and some Asian countries.
The plant grows wild, but is also cultivated for food, herbal medicines, as an ornamental plant (red variety, as a hedging plant), in the aquarium trade (though it only grows submersed for short periods), and as poultry feed.
In certain regions of South East Asia, the leaves and young shoots are consumed as vegetables. in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, the leaves, flowers and tender stems are consumed as vegetables.
As a herbal medicine, the plant has diuretic, cooling, tonic and laxative properties. It has been used for the treatment of dysuria and haemorrhoids. The plant is also believed to be beneficial for the eyes, and is used as an ingredient in the making of medicinal hair oils and Kajal (kohl).
Nattu ponnanganni- The one with green leaves.
Seemai ponnanganni- The one with pink leaves
Consuming a mixture of ponnanganni juice with cow’s milk enhances the body strength and vitality. Goat milk also can be substituted for cow milk. Consuming every day, in the mornings a teaspoon of the extract of ponnanganni leaves mixed well with coconut oil improves the overall energy level of the body.
In Indian medicine ponnanganni keerai is used as a cholagogue, gastrointestinal agent, which stimulates the bile flow (bile is an emulsifying agent produced in the liver which aids digestion of fats).
Consumption of two tablespoons of ponnanganni juice with one or two garlic cloves cures intermittent fever, continuous cough and asthma.
Here are the steps to make a drink to cure asthma:
You can drink this juice once daily in the morning to cure asthma. You should consume this juice continuously for at least 2 months to start noticing a reduction in the symptoms.
Consumption of cooked ponnanganni keerai and the soft stems of the plant helps lactating mothers by improving breast milk besides maintaining the health of the liver.
Breastfeeding mothers can include about 2 tablespoons of the cooked green to their lunch diet. It would be an ideal accompaniment for rice along with ghee. It provides essential EFAs as well as improves lactation in new mothers.
Those who are underweight, can consume ponnanganni leaves after cooking with tuvar dhal and ghee to gain weight. You can consume this like a soup or eaten along with rice. For weight gain, follow the below recipe:
When the fragrance of the dried (powdered) leaves are inhaled, it provides relief from headache and dizziness. The same oil explained above can be used to cure headaches.
The extract of the leaves has the ability to stop vomiting and reduces nausea too.
Ponnanganni leaves can be consumed by either in form of juice or soup. Follow these receipes:
This recipe is for those who wish to cure eye disorders and improve eye sight.
Consume this drink regularly in the morning. Preferably an hour before lunch.
This soup is traditionally called a rasam in South India and is made as an accompaniment for rice. But you can drink this is as a soup and it is very tasty.
Ponnanganni soup – steps:
Acute and bleeding piles or hemorrhoids can be cured with this recipe.
Consume two tablespoons of this juice twice a day (once in the morning and once in the evening) to cure hemorrhoids.