This article is written by Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD.
Alternanthera sessilis is called Ponnanganni Keerai in Tamil. It is useful in acid peptic disorders, IBS, lack of sleep etc. It is called Matsyakshi in Sanskrit.
In Maharashtra, Kerala, South Karnataka, Ponnaganni is used for preparing curry. It is mentioned in Charaka samhita and Sushruta samhita in the group of Shaka varga – leafy vegetables.
Botanical name – Alternanthera sessilis Linn. R. Br
Part used – whole plant
English name – sessile joyweed and dwarf copperleaf
This drug is known for its absorbent (mala sangrahaka) action followed with cooling nature, pitta pacifying benefits and blood purifying action.
It is light for digestion, sweet mixed bitter in taste and undergoes Pungent kind of bio transformation (Katu vipaka).
The tender leaves are rich in protein contents.
Ponnanganni Keerai home remedies:
Fine paste/chutney of the leaves for indigestion, anorexia, IBS:
Fresh leaves are collected a fist full and by adding little grated coconut and other spices such as pepper, salt, coriander etc it is ground well to prepare Chutney. This is consumed along with food.
This improves digestion, acts as a good carminative, appetizer and laxative.
It is very useful in the treatment of Irritable bowel syndrome.
Medicated buttermilk in Gastritis, APD, ulcers:
The fresh leaves are collected and churned well with buttermilk. Then this is cooked a little by adding little pepper and salt. This food recipe is good to improve the digestion, evacuate the flatus and to stimulate digestive fire.
Fresh leaf /whole plant decoction for blood borne disorders and jaundice:
The decoction of the herb is effective in blood borne disorders, burning of the body, jaundice, bilious complaints etc.
General method of preparation of decoction (kashaya) – 1 tablespoon of powder is added with 2 cups of water, boiled and reduced to 1 cup, filtered.
Medicated oil for loss of sleep and burning of the scalp:
The fine paste of Matsyakshi, sesame oil and decoction of the plant are taken in 1:4:16 and oil is cooked. This is filtered and used to apply to the scalp. This helps to get the quality sleep and to calm down the mind.
Alternanthera sessilis is one of those rare herbs of Ayurveda which is useful as a vegetable, home remedy and as well as Ayurvedic medicine ingredient.
Click to consult Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD