Ipomoea aquatica Forssk

[From Greek, ips = worm and homoios = like and from Latin, aqua = water]

Synonymy: Ipomoea reptans (Linn.) Poir.

Common names: Chinese water spinach, water spinach; kankung (Indonesian, Malay), patate aquatique (French); vilucchio d'acqua (Italian); wasserspinat (German); cancon (Portuguese); wengcai, kongxin cai, tong cai, ong choi, yung ts'ai (Chinese); kalmua (Hindi); asagaona (Japanese); träkuön, raumuong (Vietnamese); bongz, phakbung. (Laotian); trakuo (Cambodian); tangkong (Filipino); vallai kirai, koilanga (Tamil); kalaka (Sanskrit); phakbung (Thai).

Fig. 295. Ipomoea aquatica Forssk. From: KLU

Physical description: It is an aquatic Herbarium 041845. Reld cdlecton R°hani Bte ... tu ' n t l Hassan. Botanical Identification: Ong HC Geo-

vegetab|e of Asia-pacific which grows ¡graphical localization: Kampung Kubur IDatum, to a height of 50cm. The stems cultivated, Malaysia. 20 Aug 1990. are glabrous, creeping and succulent.

Leaves: simple, spiral and without stipules. The petiole is 4.5cm-18cm long. The blade is aristate, dark green, dull, membranaceous, 9.5 cm x 5 cm-14.5 cm x 7 cm, and displays approximately 12 pairs of secondary nerves which are indistinct. The inflorescences are axillary cymes. The calyx consists of 5 sepals which are 6 mm-8 mm long and oblong-lanceolate. The corolla is 4.5cm-5cm, infundibuliform, pure white and pinkish in the throat. The fruits are 8 mm long capsules, containing 2-4 seeds which are pubescent (Fig. 295).

Pharmaceutical interest: An aqueous extract of Ipomoea aquatica Forssk. lowers the glycaemia of Wistar male rats as effectively as tolbutamide, substantiating the antidiabetes element mentioned above (Malalavidhane S etal., 2000; 2001), What is the active constituent?. One might think of polyhydrox-ytropane a-glucosidase inhibitors. The anti-inflammatory property of Ipomoea aquatica Forssk. could be attributed to the N-trans-and N-cis-feruloyltyramines, which inhibit the etal., 1992).

Uses: In Cambodia, Ipomoea aquatica Forssk. is used to treat ringworm infection, combat fever, and to treat asthma. In China, the plant is used to relieve the bowels of costiveness, to counteract the putrefaction of the skin and uterus, to invigorate health, to treat food poisoning and cough. In Indonesia, the plant is used to treat asthma, to calm and to heal boils and hemorrhoids. In the Philippines, Ipomoea aquatica Forssk. is used to treat diabetes.

synthesis of prostaglandins (Tseng CF

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