Saturday, November 13, 2010

WEED SPECIES, LIMNOCHARIS FLAVA (L.) BUCHENAU USED AS TRADITIONAL MEDICINE


A WEED SPECIES, LIMNOCHARIS FLAVA (L.) BUCHENAU USED AS TRADITIONAL MEDICINE

Salmah Tajuddin#, Mashhor Mansor


Limnocharis flava (paku rawan) from family Limnocharitaceae is a noxious aquatic weed in paddy fields but edible. This weed regarded as perennial, anchored, lactiferous, erect clumping weed borne in an indeterminate umbel (like octopus shape) up to 1 m in height with a short stout rhizome and fibrous roots. The leaves and stalk is pale green, triangular, glabrous, scapigerous and sheathing at the base. The leaf blade is papery, thick, ± 6-20 cm long and width, 11-15 parallel veins rounded, broadly ovate-elliptic, margin undulate and apex apiculated with small hydathode. Each stalks consisting up to 15 pale yellow cupped-shape flowers.  The flower split up into 12-18 crescent shape to produce follicles (spherical capsule) which contain up to 115 small seeds. Brooks (2008) found this weed has capability produce over 1000 seeds with 64% high survival seedling within 46 days.       In Balik Pulau, the weed populations have invaded most parts along the ecotone between rice fields and roads. The invading sites are generally high in water levels.  It noted that this weed more dominant in off-season. This article presents a summary of research findings on Limnocharis flava as a medicine and food. Young inflorescences are eaten fresh. There are a number of studies on this weed that possess antioxidant properties. In addition, the weed also contained nutritive dietary sources such as carbohydrate, gross clorofic value, ash, crude fat, crude fibre, crude protein, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, cuprum, magnesium, zink, nitrogen, iron and ß-carotene. These properties are able to improve appetite, digestive system and increase availability of nutrient in body to maintain our health.
Keywords: Edible weed, Limnocharis flava, food, medicine.
# Corresponding author: salmahtajuddin@gmail.com

Introduction
Limnocharis flava is perennial emergent aquatic that common herb in paddy field. Limnocharis is compound Greek word which means “grace pond”. It produce visually attractive yellow flower for the whole year around. The leaves and stalk is pale green, triangular, glabrous, scapigerous and sheathing at the base.  Limnocharis flava is perennial, anchored, lactiferous, erect clumping weed borne in an indeterminate umbel (like octopus shape). This weed can grow up to 1 m in height with a short stout rhizome and fibrous roots. It has capability to survive and colonizing new area by keep reproduce and persist to establish their population. This weed is a fast growing plant can produce high survival seedling rate invaded a water body in paddy field. Most of seed are float spread by water. Brooks (2008) found this weed has capability produce over 1000 seeds with 64% high survival seedling within 46 days. Abhilash (2004) mention that clump-forming weed can provide congenial breeding sites for mosquitoes that encourages the spread of dengue fever.




Total phenolic compound
7.4±1.1 mg/g of GAE
Anti-glycation activity
14.0±1.6 mg/g of GAE





Composition of edible parts of Limnocharis flava L. Buchenau
Parameters
Composition (% dry matter) of 100 g edible portion
Moisture
79.34±0.15
Ash
0.79±0.03
Crude protein
0.28±0.01
Crude fat
1.22±0.01
Crude fiber
3.81±0.04
Total carbohydrate
14.56±0.14
Gross calorific  value (kJ)
343.26±9.75

Mineral composition and concentration
Parameters
Composition (% dry matter) of 100 g edible portion
K
4202.50±292.37
Na
107.72±17.15
Ca
770.87±105.2
Mg
228.10±15.26
Cu
8.31±1.83
Zn
0.66±0.05
K/Na
39.61±4.91



Method
This study were carried out at harvesting season in mid July of 2010 Balik Pulau paddy field. It is situated on the west coast of Pulau Pinang, about 10 km from USM. The survey site located between North 5o22’ latitude and 100o12’East longitude.  The temperature normally ranges 24o-36oC. The entire field are water logged with lower water level.  The weed distribution survey information was visually done with the help of well known botanist, Mashhor Mansor and S.M. Rezaul Karim. Plant sample were collected for identified and kept for herbarium.


Result and Discussion
Limnocharis flava is dominance ranking of major-rice field weed in Balik Pulau. The present study has been undertaken to evaluate the ecology and distribution pattern of recent invaded area. There are no chemical specifically effective to control this weed. Analyses the habitat ecology and their benefit for human will eradicate this noxious weed naturally. There are a number of studies that has reported on the nutrition composition of Limnocharis flava. It is contained antioxidant properties and nutritive dietary sources. Local people use the young inflorescences as a traditional vegetable, source of supplement food. It started to forget with time passage due limited exposed knowledge of the benefit.

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