Using Waterleaf As Medicine


If there is one tribe that eats waterleaf than others, the Ibibios and Efik will come tops. Almost all their delicacies are cooked with edikaikong”, either mixed with other leaves or just only it.
Known as “Talinum triangulare “botanically, waterleaf is a common weed in most parts of Africa, especially those in the tropics. It’s a stubborn weed that the grows all year round, and flourishes more in the rainy season.
Due to its great taste and use to improve taste of dishes, waterleaf is now cultivated in commercial quantities like fluted pumpkin. There are a lot of farms that only plant the leaf for marketing purpose only.
Apart from its commercial benefits, waterleaf is a great medicine on it own right. It’s called “gbure” in Yoruba, “ebedondon” in Edo. The English nicknamed it Phillipine Spinch, flame flower and sweetheart among other lovely names.
The leaves are excellent for diarrhea, liver enlargement and hepatitis. It’s an excellent immune booster to those who often feel weak and tired, and those prone to frequent attacks of malaria.
Waterleaf contains more proteins than cashew nuts, more pectin than apples, and also have high level of Vitamin B, iron, calcium, manganese and zinc.
It’s also a rich source of carotenoids, Vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, naiacin, alpha and beta tocopherols.
The fresh leaves are effective to calm inflammations. One can infuse the leaves in water and taken as a diuretic. Many scientific studies has shown that waterleaf have anti-cancer effects.
Those who suffer from insomnia (lack of sleep) can find waterleaf a readymade sleep inducer. Always make the leaf part of your daily delicacy and within a short time, your sleep rhythm will return back. It calms your nerves down, helps you urinate frequently to cleanse your system.
Herbalists believe the leaf is effective in managing prostate enlargement. The roots of waterleaf in boiled and the dosage is half glass twice daily according to Rev Father Anselm Adodo, a popular pluy to therapist.
Just like any other vegetable, one can juice waterleaf. Simply chop fresh leaves into pieces, then put two or three cups of water and blend. Sieve out the chaff and you will be left with a dark green liquid packed with vitamins and minerals. Don’t preserve the juice, ensure you consume within 30 minutes.
Eating waterleaf is safe for pregnant women and growing children. It boosts their blood levels. Eating waterleaf regularly in soup also helps to regulate hypertension.
The dried herb can be infused in water to extract the content for drinking. One disadvantage however is that the leaves are succulent and easy to decay.
The best way to preserve waterleaf is to dry it under room temperature since the leaves are soft and can be easily destroyed by excess heat from the sun.
Other studies indicate that consumption of this leaf can enhance brain function and protect brain tissue. When next you see waterleaf, make sure you get a handful and begin to use it not only as a vegetable but as a medicine to keep your body sound and healthy.