Alternanthera sessilis (Ponnanganni) is an erect, ascending, or creeping perennial herb. It is often widely branched, with a robust taproot. The leaves are leaves simple, opposite, somewhat fleshy, lanceolate, oblanceolate or linear-oblong, obtuse or subacute, sometimes obscurely denticulate, glabrous, shortly petiolate. The flowers are small, white, in axillary clusters and the fruits compressed obcordate utricles, seeds suborbicular. Sessile Joyweed is often harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine.
Species: A. sessilis
Scientific Name: Alternanthera sessilis (L.) R.Br. ex DC.
Synonyms: Alternanthera denticulata R. Brown, Alternanthera glabra, Alternanthera nodiflora R. Brown, Gomphrena sessilis L., Illecebrum sessile L.
Common Names: Sessile Joyweed, Dwarf copperleaf, Joyweed
Telugu: Ponnaganti aaku
Hindi: Garundi, Guroo
Nepali: Bhiringi Jhaar, Ankhe Jhaar
How to care and grow Alternanthera sessilis:
It thrives best in bright light to shade.
It grows well in well-drained, loamy, alkaline soil, but can succeed in a wide range of soils.
Water your plant regularly during the growing season and always keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy. You can allow the topsoil to become slightly dry between each watering. During the winter months, reduce watering.
Organic and synthetic fertilizers are preferred. Animal waste plant waste(organic fertilizers), cow dung are also used. Peat improves the absorbing properties of the plant other than this has no nutritional value.
Alternanthera sessilis can be easily propagated by seed, by rooted stem parts, and by nodal cuttings.
Pest and Disease
It has no serious pest and disease problems.
Benefits of Alternanthera sessilis (Ponnanganni)
- Young shoots and leaves of Alternanthera sessilis are boiled and used as a vegetable. It used in salads, soups and cooked as a potherb.
- Alternanthera sessilis is utilized for hair growth, stomach trouble, to increase the flow of milk in mothers.
- The juice of the root is used in the treatment of dysuria, fevers, and bloody dysentery.
- The whole plant is used as a remedy against intestinal cramps, fever, diarrhea, and dysentery
- Alternanthera sessilis is used in mixtures with other medicinal plants, to treat hepatitis, tight chest, bronchitis, asthma, and lung troubles, to stop bleeding, and as a hair tonic.
- It is used to promote intellect, as an eye washer, to reduce the temperature, and to treat anemia, insect bites, snake bites, and constipation.
- The juice of the plant is used to treat white discharge in the urine.
- Alternanthera sessilis is eaten to treat menstrual disorders.
- The shoots of the weed are mixed with other ingredients to improve male sexual potency. The weed is sometimes used topically to treat acne.
- Alternanthera sessilis is used to treat stomach pain and greying of hair and gonorrhea.