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Family Alismaceae
Sagittaria sagittifolia Linn.

Ci gu

Scientific names Common names
Sagittaria sagittifolia Linn. Gauai-gauai (S. L. Bis.)
Alisma sagittifolium Llanos Tikog (Bik.)
Sagittaria aquatica Lam. Arrowleaf (Engl.)
Sagittaria sinensis Sim. Common arrowhead (Engl.)
Sagittaria trifolia var. L. var. sinensis Sims Swamp potato (Engl.)
Ci gu (Chin.)  

Other vernacular names
DUTCH: Pijlkruid.
FINNISH: Pystykeiholehti.
FRENCH: Flèche d'eau, Sagittaire, Sagittaire à feuilles en flèche.
GERMAN: Pfeilkraut, Spitzes Pfeilkraut .
ITALIAN: Erba saetta.
JAPANESE: Seiyou omodaka.
KOREAN: Keladi air.
PORTUGUESE: Erva-do-pântano (Brazil), Sagitária.
RUSSIAN: Strelolist obyknovennyi, Strelolist plavaiushchii, Strelolist strelolistnyi.
SPANISH: Cola de golondria, Cola de golondrina, Colomo, Erva frecha, Papa del agua, Saeta, Sagitaria.
SWEDISH: Pilblad.
THAI: Khaa khiat, Phak khaang kai.

Tikog is an aquatic plant, erect, stemless and usually perennial. Leaves are arrow-shaped, 10 to 35 centimeters long; the petioles are long, often long than the leaves, with 3 to 5 whorls of 3 to 5 flowers, each 1 to 2 centimeters in diameter; the lower whorls are female, and the upper, male, with longer pedicels. Petals are white, with yellow center. Achenes are flat, obliquely obovate, apiculate, with broad wings.

- An aquatic plant found in fresh-water swamps, rice paddies, etc., at low and medium altitudes In the Luzon Provinces of Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Tayabas, Camarines, Albay and Sorsogon; and in Catanduanes, Samar, Leyte, and Mindanao.
- Also occurs in Europe through Asia to Japan and southward to Java.

- Study isolated a new diterpene, sagittariol, characterized as labda-7,14-dien-13(S,17-diol.

- Acrid.

- Ingestion of raw tubers may cause fluxes, diarrhea, weakness and hemorrhoids.
- Pregnant women should not eat them.

Parts used
Tubers, rhizomes, leaves.


- Tubers are edible.
- In Japan and China, a variety with starchy tubers is cultivated in rice paddies along small streams. The same form is also cultivated in the Trinidad Valley.
- In northeastern India, roots are steamed with sugar or prepared pakora along with besan.
- Tubers used for deficient lochia and retention of the placenta, as well as in gravel.
- Bruised leaves applied to foul sores, snakes and insect bites.
- Powdered leaves applied to relieve itching.
- Tubers used for skin diseases.
In Indo-China, rhizome is grated in vinegar and applied as a poultice for boils and abscesses.
- Decoction of rhizome used for dog and snake bites.
- Leaves mashed in molasses used for throat and tongue soreness and in breast inflammation.
- In northeastern
India fresh root paste with a spoonful of honey used for coughs.

(1) Study in Sprague-Dawley rats showed pretreatment with Sagittaria sagittifolia extract can militate cadmium-induced liver damage through decreasing the expression of TNF-a mRNA in the process of acute cadmium exposure. (2) Study showed S. sagittifolia pretreatment was more effective than vitamin E in protecting against cadmium-induced acute liver injury, possibly through enhancement of antioxidant and detoxification liver processes.
Antibacterial / Diterpenoids: Study of the whole plant yielded seven new ent-rosane diterpenoids, sagittines A-G with one new labdane diterpene. Compounds 1-4 showed antibacterial activity against oral pathogens Strep mutans and Actinomyces naeslundiis.
c-fos Induction: Study results suggest c-fos induction is independent of oxidative stress or inflammation in the liver during the process of acute Cd exposure in rats.
Terpenoid / Sandaracopimaric Acid / Immunosuppressive: Study of methanol extract isolated a terpenoid, sandaracopimaric acid, showed to have good immunosuppressive action.


Last Update January 2013

IMAGE SOURCE: Sagittaria sagittifolia L. / File:485 Sagittaria sagittifolia.jpg / PCarl Axel Magnus Lindman (1856-1928) / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
IMAGE SOURCE: Flower Close-up / File:Sagittaria sagittifolia (2005 08 08).jpg / Utrecht, Netherland (August 8, 2005) / Click on image to go to source page / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
The Protective Effect of Sagittaria Sagittifolia Against Cadmium-mediated Acute Liver Damage / Lu Zu-fu, Huang Fang et al / Journal of Fujian Medical University / 2001-02
Effect of Sagittaria Sagittifolia on Expression of TNF-α mRNA in Process of Cadmium-Induced Acute Liver Damage / November 10, 2002
Sagittariol: A new diterpene from Sagittaria sagittifolia / Shekhar Chandra Sharma, J S Tandon and M M Dhar / Phytochemistry, Vol14, Issue 4, April 1975, Pages 1055-1057 / doi:10.1016/0031-9422(75)85185-5
Aquatic / semi-aquatic plants used in herbal remedies in the wetlands of Manipur, Northeastern India / Alka Jain, S Roshnibala et al / Indian Journ of Traditional Knowledge, Vol 6(2), April 2007, pp 346-351
ent-Rosane and Labdane Diterpenoids from Sagittaria sagittifolia and Their Antibacterial Activity against Three Oral Pathogens / Xue-ting Liu, Qin Pan, Yao Shi et al / J. Nat. Prod., 2006, 69 (2), pp 255–260 /
DOI: 10.1021/np050479e
Hepatic c-fos Expression Is Independent of Oxidative Stress and Inflammation Induced by Acute Cadmium Exposure in Rats / Xiaonan Wu. Zufu Lu et al / Ann Nutr Metab 2007;51:258-263 / DOI: 10.1159/000105446)
Sagittaria trifolia var. L. var. sinensis Sims / Chinese name / Catalogue of Life, China
Chemical constituents of Sagittaria sagittifolia L. / J L Yuan, RS Jiang, YW Lin, WP Din /Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 1993 Feb ;18 (2):100-1, 126 8323689
Sorting Sagittaria names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher, / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.

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