The Ibibios and Efik are tribes always will come top in use of waterleaf in different ways. Almost all their delicacies are cooked with “edikaikong”, either mixed with other leaves or just only it’s. You can call this as “Talinum triangulare” botanically or waterleaf. Waterleaf is a common weed in most parts of Africa, especially those in the tropics. Waterleaf grows all the year-round, and flourishes more in the rainy season, with Baby Pink flowers. The waterleaf vegetable is an erect, fleshy leafed and evergreen herb. As a name implies, the waterleaf vegetable is extremely abundant during the rainy season.
Waterleaf has a quality of its great taste and uses to improve the taste of dishes, Now a lot of farm’s only plant the leaf for marketing and making money. Waterleaf is a great medicine on its own. It’s called “Gbure” by Yoruba’s, “Mgbolodo” by Edo’s and Igbo’s. The English nicknamed it Philippine Spinach, flame flower, and sweetheart among other lovely names.
The leaves are excellent for diarrhea, liver enlargement, and hepatitis. It’s an excellent immune booster to those who often feel weak and tired, and those prone to frequent attacks of malaria.
Waterleafs contain more proteins than cashew nuts, more pectin than apples, and also have a high level of Vitamin B, iron, calcium, manganese and zinc. It aids proper digestion and prevents constipation. Waterleaf is a serves of fiber which helps to weight loss diet. It contains calcium which is necessary for strong bones and teeth, thus reducing the risk of bone diseases such as osteoporosis, fractures and so on. Waterleaf is rich in iron which is necessary for blood production, thus it can be used in the treatment of anemia. Waterleaf boosts their blood levels. Eating waterleaf regularly in the soup also helps to regulate hypertension. Waterleaf contains vitamin A which prevents some eye diseases like cataracts.
Waterleaf is reported by experts to be rich in mineral salts and amino-acids as well as having anti-scorbutic properties i.e prevention against the scurvy disease. Waterleaf is also a rich source of carotenoids, Vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, etc…. Waterleaf contains vitamin C which is an antioxidant and helps to protect our immune system.
The fresh leaves are effective in calm inflammations. One can infuse the leaves in water and taken as a diuretic. Waterleaf may also have anti-cancer effects. Herbalists believe the leaf is effective in managing prostate enlargement.
Waterleaf can enhance brain function and protect brain tissue. Those who suffer from insomnia (lack of sleep) can find waterleaf as a sleep inducer. Always make the leaf part of your daily meal in a short time; your sleep rhythm will be returned. It calms your nerves down, helps you urinate frequently to cleanse your system.
How to Consume:
Waterleaf soup: The vegetable is eaten cooked as a pet-herb and in soups, as a condiment in sauces or raw in a salad.
Waterleaf juice: Simply chop fresh leaves into pieces, and then put two or three cups of water and blend. Sieve out the chaff and you will be left with a dark green liquid packed with vitamins and minerals. Don’t preserve the juice, ensure you consume within 30 minutes.
Waterleaf water: The dried herb can be infused in water to extract the content for drinking.
When next you see waterleaf, make sure to try it and it is not only a vegetable but also as a medicinal herb to keep you healthy.
How to Store:
One disadvantage is there and that is these leaves are succulent and easy to decay but we have the solution just to preserve waterleaf is to dry it under room temperature since the leaves are soft and can be easily destroyed by excess heat from the sun. now can make dry leaf powder and store in the refrigerator to last for 6 months.
Talinum fruticosum (illegitimate), Talinummucronatum, Talinum revolutum, Surinam Purslane, Ceylon Spinach, Waterleaf, Philippine Spinach, Greek Spinach, flame flower, and sweetheart.