Young leaves and stems
Chemical constituents and properties
• Considered purgative, anthelmintic, antidiabetic.
Young leaves and shoots eaten raw in salads, or steam and boilded like spinach.
Young stems popular as achara (native pickles) ingredient.
Good sources of iron, calcium, vitamins B and C and amino acids.
Tops are mildly laxative.
The purplish variety used for diabetes because of assumed insulin-like principle it contains.
Juice used as emetic.
Dried latex is purgative.
Poultice of buds used for ringworm.
In Ayurveda, exgtracts of leaves are used for jaundice and nervous debility.
Juice used as emetic in opium and arsenic poisoning.
In Sri Lanka, used for liver disease, eye problems, constipation.
• Hypoglycemic / Anti-Diabetic: (1) Study showed the boiled whole extract of I. aquatica to exert an oral hypoglycemic effect in healthy, male, Wistar rats after a glucose challenge. (2) An aqueous extract of the green leafy vegetable Ipomoea aquatica is as effective as the oral hypoglycaemic drug tolbutamide in reducing the blood sugar levels of Wistar rats.(3) Inhibitory effect of Ipomoea aquatica extracts on glucose absorption using a perfused rat intestinal preparation: Study showed a significant inhibitory effect on glucose absorption. Furthermore, results suggest the inhibition of glucose absorption is not due to the acceleration of intestinal transit. (3) Study showed the consumption of shredded, fresh, edible portion of IA for one week, effectively reduced the fasting blood sugar of Streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.
• Antioxidant / Antiproliferative: Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica Forsk) constituents: Study showed the water extract of stems had the highest antiproliferative activity. The ethanol extract of the stems had the highest total phenolic compounds. The ethanol extract of leafves had the highest amount of flavonoids.
• Diuretic: Study on the diuretic activity of the methanol extract of Ipomoea aquatica in Swiss albino mice showed good diuretic activty. In all cases, the excretion of electrolytes and urine volue increase was higher than the standard diuretic, furosemide.
• Antioxidant: Study of a methanol extract yielded a compound ( 7-O-B-D-glucopyronosyl-dihydromquercetin-3-O-a-D-glucopyranoside) that exhibited antioxidant activity with an EC50 value of 83 and showed very strong lipid peroxidation-inhibitory activirty in a liposome model system.