Water pepper Benefits Medicinal uses and its Properties
Everyone can live happily in this world only when the heart, lungs and other parts of the human body function normally. Now there are few challenging questions in the minds of the people – How much oxygen in needed per hour and whether a person can live in an air-locked room for several days without oxygen?
Scientists estimate that a human body needs 50 liters of oxygen per hour and about 300 to 500 plants to keep a person alive in an air-locked room. Now, it is made clear that no one can live a normal life without plants or trees.
This topic will deal with a plant named water-pepper which comes under the family Polygonaceae. The botanical name of this plant is Polygonum hydropiper. The other common name of this plant is marsh pepper knotweed. It grows well in damp place and shallow water. It is found abundantly in Australia, New Zealand and other Asian countries, Europe and North America. It is used sparingly as a spice and has a pungent taste.
This plant achieves a height of 70 cm and the leaves are alternate and stalk-less. The inflorescence is a spike. Tiny flowers consist of five segments united near its base and white or pink at the edges. There are six stamens and the fruit is a dark brown oval flattened nut. The active ingredients found in water-pepper are two bicyclic sesquiterpenoids are present, polygodial (tadeonal, an unsaturated dialdehyde with a drimane backbone) and waburganal. These compounds are responsible for the pungent taste.
This water-pepper plant contains an essential oil (0.5%) which consists of which consists of monoterpenoids and sesquiterpenoids: α-pinene, β-pinene, 1,4-cineol, fenchone, α-humulene, β-caryophyllene, trans-β-bergamotene. Carboxylic acids (cinnamic, valeric and caproic acid) and their esters were present in traces. Japanese use the leaves as a vegetable. Wild water pepper produces oils that act as a skin irritant. Though this plant is not used as a fodder stock, but some insects eat this plant’s leaves.