Waterleaf is a herbaceous perennial plant that is native to Mexico, the Caribbean, West Africa, Central America, and much of South America.
Its common names include Ceylon spinach, waterleaf, cariru, Gbure, Surinam purslane, Philippine spinach, Florida spinach, potherb fame flower, Lagos bologi, and sweetheart, according to Wikipedia.
In Nigeria, waterleaf is mainly used for native soups. It is a popular Nigerian dish but there are two different versions. There’s the Igbo version which is popular in the east and there’s the Yoruba version which is popular in the west.
This plant flourishes more during the rainy season. Like the grasses in the fields, we match over them, urinate over them, and uproot them from our gardens, in preference to other plants which we consider more important. However, the more we weed them out, the more they grow again, as if in defiance.
Waterleaf is of the most valuable healing herbs in nature’s pharmacy. As is usually the case, the best and most useful things in life, are cheap, available, and accessible. Name them: air, sunshine, sleep, and good vegetation. Because they are cheap and readily available, we tend to take them for granted.
Here are the healing powers you can gain from waterleaf:
The leaves are excellent for diarrhea, liver enlargement, and hepatitis. It is an excellent immune booster to those who often feel weak and tired, and those prone to frequent attacks of malaria. In many scientific studies and trails, waterleaf showed that it could inhibit the proliferation of cancerous cells and shrink tumors. Other studies have been focused on its cerebral-protective potential, and it indicates that the consumption of waterleaf enhances brain activities and protects brain tissues. Waterleaf is also a good remedy for insomnia (sleeping disorder).
Waterleaf contains more proteins than cashew nuts, more pectin (a food fiber that helps digestion) than apples, and have a high level of vitamin B, essential amino acids, omega3-fatty acids, resins, iron, calcium, copper, lead, manganese, and zinc. It is also a rich source of carotenoids, vitamin C, A, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, alpha, and beta tocopherols.
The pounded waterleaf is applied to soothe inflammations. An infusion of the leaves is taken as a diuretic. For prostate enlargement, the roots are boiled. The dosage is half a glass twice daily. Waterleaf is good and safe for pregnant women and growing children, as it boosts their blood levels. Eating waterleaf regularly as soup helps to regulate hypertension and diabetes.
While waterleaf is very beneficial when it is taken as a vegetable, dried herbs, and infusion.
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