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Polygonum minus

Synonyms

Polygonum decipiens, Br. Prodr. 420; Meisn. l.c.; Polygonum prostratum, A. Cunn. Prodr. Fl. N. Zeal., non Br.; Nob. In Fl. N. Zeal. i. 208; Persicaria minor Opiz. Seznam (1852) 72 [1]

Vernacular Names:

Malaysia: Kesum, Cenohom (Malays); Kasum (Selakoh); Besanit (Punan); Rumput amak (Iban)
English: 

Smartweed, slender persicaria. Small water-pepper, Pygmy smartweed

Thailand:  Phak phai
South Pacific:  mamaca, mamaka (Chamoro); opuloulou. Teerow (Chuukese); fa’i ngwagwali (Kwara’ae); sekes (Palauan) [1]

General Information

Description

Polygonum minus is a perennial herb of the Polyconaceae family. It is prostrate, decumbent or ascending to 1 m. The stems are very slender (1 mm. thick) to fairly stout (4mm), glabrous or nearly so. The leaves are shortly petiolate, lanceolate to almost linear, measure 5-12 cm long, dotted with glands, with upward pointing appressed hairs on the petioles, margins and larger nerves, sometimes lacking on upper surface and sparse beneath, rarely dense on and between nerves on both surfaces, sheaths short, glabrous to with dense appressed haris; ocreas tubular, measure 8-20 mm long, strongly nerved, clothed sparsely to very densely with appressed hairs, transverselytruncate, with fine but stiff bristles, measures 5-10 mm long from the apex. Inflorescence apical, of 1 to several lax to fairly dense pseudo-spikes 1 – 6 cm long, bracts funnel-shaped, obliquely truncate, ciliate on margins, where 3-6 are flowered. The perianth is white to pink in colour, measure 1.5-2 mm long, increasing to 2.5 mm after anthesis; stamens 6; styles 2. The fruit lenticular with strongly convex elliptic faces, rather sharp-angled near apex, measuring 1.5 – 2 x 1 – 1.2 mm, black or dark brown in colour with shining appearance. [1] 

Plant Part Used

Whole Plant [1]

Chemical Constituents

6,7-Methylenedioxy-5,3’,4’,5’-tetramethoxyflavone and 6,7-4’,5’ dimethylenedioxy-3,5,3’-trimethoxyflavone [2]

Traditional Used:

In Sarawak it is being used to treat sprains and body aches. The whole plant in pounded with rice powder and make into a paste which is rubbed on to the affected area. It is also taken after childbirth and is used as a remedy for indigestion. [1]

Pre-Clinical Data

Pharmacology


Antimicrobial activity 

Ethanol extract of P. minus was found to be effective in inhibiting the growth of two Gram-positive bacteria (Bacillus cereus and Bacillus megaterium), two Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and two fungi (Aspergillus ochraceous and Cryptococcus neoformans). [2] 

Cytotoxic activity 

Cytotoxic studies against the HeLa (Human cervical carcinoma) cell line was done for the ethanol extract of P. minus with a CD 50 values in the range of 10 – 30 mg/mL. The extracts showed positive response to inhibition of the HeLa cell line. [2] 

Toxicities

Amongst the contents of the leaves of P. minus is oxalic acid. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition.

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

No documentation

Used in Certain Conditions

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

No documentation

Age Limitations

Neonates / Adolescents

No documentation

Geriatrics

No documentation

Chronic Disease Conditions

No documentation

Interactions

Interactions with drugs

No documentation

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation

Contraindications

Contraindications

No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation

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  1)  Cultivation

References

  1. Christophe Wiar. Medicinal plants of Asia and the Pacific. Boca Raton: CRC Press; 2006.49.
  2. M.M. Mackeen, A.M. Ali, S.H. El-Sharkawy, M.Y. Manap, K.M. Salleh, N.H. Lajis and K. Kawazu Antimicrobial and Cytotoxic Properties of Some Malaysian Traditional Vegetables (Ulam) Pharmaceutical Biology.1997;35(3):174-178.

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