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Family Pontederiaceae
Monochoria hastata (L.) Solms
Jian ye yu jiu huo

Scientific names  Common names
Calcarunia hastata (L.) Raf. [Invalid] Gabi-gabi (Bis.)
Carigola hastata (L.) Raf. Gabi-gabihan (Tag.)
Monochoria chinensis Gand. Kosol-kosol (Bis.)
Monochoria dilatata (Buch.-Ham) Kunth Payau-payau (Bis.)
Monochoria hastifolia C.Presl. Arrowleaf false pickerelweed (Engl.)
Monochoria hastata (L.) Solms Arrow leaf pondweed (Engl.)
Monochoria sagitata Kunth Leaf pondweed (Engl.)
Pontederia dilatata Buch.-Ham. Pickerel weed (Engl.)
Pontederia hastata L. Water taro (Engl.)
Pontederia sagitata Roxb. [Illegitimate]  
Pontederia vaginalis Blanco [Illegitimate]  
Monochoria hastata (L.) Solms is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Jian ye yu jiu hua, Tzu ku, Shui ping, Yu jiu hua shu.
HINDI: Launkia.
INDIA: Chichiri, Kichiri.
INDONESIA: Bia-bia, Eceng gede, Kerkerlen, Keteme, Oppuoppu, Wewehan.
LAOS: 'ii hin.
MALAYSIA: Chacha layar, Kankon ayer, Keladi agas.
THAILAND: Phakpong, Phaktop, Phaktop-thai.
VIETNAM: Rau m[as]c.

Gabi-gabihan is fast-growing perennial herb. Leaves are long-petioled. Petioles are stout, up to 60 centimeters long, sheathing below. Blade is broadly ovate, 10 to 30 centimeters long, the base prominently hastate, the sinus very broad, the lobes spreading and oblong-ovate. Inflorescence is spicate, many flowered, 4 to 5 centimeters long. Flowers are blue, about 1 centimeter long, the lower ones with elongated pedicels. Fruits are ellipsoid 3-valved capsules, about 1 centimeter long. Seeds are numerous, oblong, with 8 to 12 longitudinal ridges.

- In open wet lands, swamps, along freshwater pools, etc., at low and medium altitudes from Luzon to Mindanao.
- Also occurs in India, China, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Guinea and parts of Australia.

- Particularly rich in protein, 39.5%.
- Various fractions of leaf protein concentrate show protein content ranging from 47.4 - 89.4% of dry matter and digestibility ranging from 40.2 to 85.4% of protein.  

Alterative, cooling and tonic.

Parts utilized

- In Malaya and Java, the leaves are eaten as vegetable, raw or cooked.
- In Bengal, tender stalk and leaves eaten as vegetable.
- Inflorescence is edible, eaten raw or cooked as vegetable.
- In India, stems and leaves are ingredients of a special dish of the Gudak tribe.

- The leaves are used for poulticing boils after they have burst.
- Juice of roots used for stomach pains, asthma, toothache.
- Juice of leaves used for cough.
- Leaves used for insanity.
- Root bark used for asthma.
- Juice of leaves applied to boils.
- Rhizomes pounded in charcoal used for scurf.
- In India, used in a herbal mixture to strengthen uterine tone.
- In Bangladesh, used against diarrhea and dysentery; also, as an aphrodisiac.
- In Indonesia, rhizome is pounded with charcoal and the mixture applied to itches.
- In Ayurveda, leaves and flowers used for wounds, general edema and papules. Considered diuretic, blood purifier, and to reduce pitta dosha. (7)
Aquafeed: Roots and tender leaves used for grass carp fingerlings. (2)

Anti- and Pro-Lipase Effect:
Malaysian study evaluated the effect of aqueous methanolic extracts of 98 medicinal, herbal, and aquatic plant materials for their effect on procine pancreatic lipase (PPL) activity. The degree of inhibition was quantified as relative to orlistat activity against PPL (orlistat equivalents). Monochoria showed moderate inhibition, 43.3%. It was noted that while the leaves inhibited PPL activity, the root enhanced the activity slightly. (8)
Phytoaccumulation of Arsenic: Phytoaccumulation study of three plant species viz., Eichhornia crassipes, Echinochloa crusgalli and Monochoria hastata showed the plants can be used as arsenic accumulator in arsenic contaminated soils. (10)


Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Update October 2015

Photo © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: /Photo / Seeds / arrowleaved monochoria / Monochoria hastata (L.) Solms / Julia Scher, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org / Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License / Forestry Imsges
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: /Photo / Flower / Monochoria hastata (L.)Photograph by: Ito Y, Barfod A / Creative Commons Attribution- Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) / Useful Tropical Plants

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
CHAPTER 3. INTERPRETIVE DESCRIPTION OF THE REGION'S WETLANDS / Wetland Specialist Study, Northeast Regional Water Management Plan, Bangladesh Flood Action Plan 6

Emergent aquatic macrophytes / Use of algae and aquatic macrophytes as feed in small-scale aquaculture – A review /
Monochoria hastata (L.) Solms / Chinese names / Catalogue of Life, China
Monochoria hastata (L.) Solms / The Plant List
Monochoria hastata / Common names / CRC World Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonous Plants / Umberto Quattrocchi / Google Books
Importance of certain tribal edible plants of Tripura / R Choudhury, M Datta Choudhury*, B De & SB Paul / Indian Journal Of Traditional Knowledge, Vol. 9(2), April 2010, pp. 300-302
Monochoria hastata / Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants of Sri Lanka
Anti- and Pro-Lipase Activity of Selected Medicinal, Herbal and Aquatic Plants, and Structure Elucidation of an Anti-Lipase Compound / Muhammad Abubakar Ado, Faridah Abas, Abdulkarim Sabo Mohammed and Hasanah M. Ghazali * / Molecules 2013, 18, 14651-14669; doi:10.3390/molecules181214651
Monochoria hastata / Synonyms / The Plant List
Phytoaccumulation of Arsenic from Arsenic Contaminated Soils by Eichhornia Crassipes L., Echinochloa Crusgalli L. and Monochoria Hastata L. in Bangladesh / Md. Shariful Islam*, Md. Wahid-Uz-Zaman, Md. Mokhlesur Rahman / International Journal of Environmental Protection April. 2013, Vol. 3 Iss. 4, PP. 17-27

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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