Waterleaf (Talinum triangulare), is popularly called ” Efo Gbure ” in Yoruba dialect in the South Western Nigeria and it is one of those underrated and undervalued plants in Nigeria.
Waterleaf is one of those green leafy vegetables rich in fibre, protein and has various vitamins necessary for human healthy diet. It is a good source of some important minerals such as magnesium, calcium, sodium, phosphorus, iron, potassium; as well as antioxidants.
Scientifically named Talinum triangulare, waterleaf (Water leaf) is an herbaceous perennial plant that is native to Mexico. It is an all-season vegetable that is extensively grown in many countries in Asia, South America, Central America and West Africa.
In Nigeria and other parts of the world for instance, it is widely cultivated and consumed in the Southern part, particularly in Cross River and Akwa Ibom State. The demand for waterleaf is high in these states, and it is therefore a major source of income for farmers.
Waterleaf thrives well during the rainy season or if properly irrigated but yet can still tolerate drought weather conditions. The drought tolerant nature of this plant is because it tends to simulate a crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) pathway.
CAM is a carbon fixation pathway found in certain plants as an adaptation to dry weather conditions. Plants that adopt the full crassulacean acid metabolism tend to shut the stomata in the leaves during the day to minimize evapo-transpiration, however, the stomata opens at night to take in carbon dioxide (CO2).
Due to the CAM ability of waterleaf, it survives arid conditions by efficiently utilizing any available moisture, and carbon dioxide during night time.
Its high demands are attributed to its nutrient value and importance as a “softener” when cooking the common fibrous leafy vegetables such as Afang (Gnetum africana).
Some people even regard waterleaf as a nuisance, a stubborn weed that grows all year, though it flourishes more during the rainy season.
It is a good source of vitamin A. Research indicates that eating a diet rich in vitamin C reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and slows age-related cognitive decline. Waterleaf is an excellent source of vitamin C, with about 31 mg for every 100 grams of vegetable matter.
In many scientific studies and trials, water leaf showed that it can inhibit proliferation of cancer cells and shrink tumours. Other studies have been focused on its cerebral-protective potential and it indicates that the consumption of waterleaf enhances brain and it protects the brain
tissues. Waterleaf is also a good remedy for insomnia- a sleeping disorder.
Waterleaf contains more proteins than cashew nuts, more pectin (a food fiber that helps digestion) than apples, and also have high level of vitamin B, essential amino acids, omega3-fatty acids, resins, iron, calcium, copper, lead, manganese and zinc.
Water leaf 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.
Water leaf 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.
Water leaf is also very beneficial when taken as vegetable, dried herbs and infusion.
However, juicing is the way to go if you want the best out of waterleaf.
What is juicing?
Juicing is a process whereby you extract vitamins, minerals and liquids from fruits and vegetables.
To juice waterleaf, simply chop both stem and leaves, into pieces, in the same way as you do if you want to cook it. Then put two or three handfuls in the blender and add one cup of water.
Blend in same way as you blend your tomato or fruit.
Sieve out the chaff and you will be left with a dark green liquid, packed with vitamins and minerals.
Ensure you drink and finish the whole juice within 10 minutes.
Do you feel tired and weak every time?
Are you battling with diabetes, hypertension and arthritis?
Are you prone to frequent bouts of malaria?
Have you been diagnosed with cancer or you want to prevent it?
You want a glowing and youthful skin
I strongly recommend you take water leaf juice twice a week.
A trial will convince you.
In addition, waterleaf is one of the best medicine against MEASLES in children.
Pound and add warm water. Strain and use as enema (pump) every morning for about a week.
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