Family: Araceae

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Topapana, Tokapana, Phena.

English Name: Water Lettuce, Tropical Duckweed.

Description of the Plant:
A floating, stemless, stoloniferous herb; roots of tufted simple, white fibres. Leaves 3.2-10 cm long, variable in breadth, obovate-cuneate, rounded or retuse at the apex, densely pubescent on both surfaces. Spathe about 13 mm long, obliquely campanulate, white, gibbous and closed below, contracted about the middle, dialated and nearly orbicular above.

Using information:
The plant is cooling and demulcent; given in dysuria, applied to boils and skin diseases. Juice of the plant is useful in eye and ear diseases. Leaves are considered antiseptic, antitubercular, antidysenteric and anthelmintic; used in eczema, leprosy, piles, ulcers, syphilis, cough and asthma. It is also used as a poultice in hemorrhoids. Decoction of the leaves is diuretic and prescribed in diseases of the urinary tract. The ashes of the plant are applied to ringworm on the scalp. Roots are laxative and diurtic; good for wounds, inflammations and burns (Yusuf et al. 2009).

Chemical constituents:
Stratioside I, a C13 norterpene glucoside, is the major constituent of the plant. Leaves also contain proteins, essential amino acids, a steroid, stigmatane, three new sitosterol acyl glycosides and minerals (Ghani, 2003). Vicenin, lucenin, cyanidin-3-glucoside and two unidentified compounds have also been isolated from the plant (Rastogi and Mehrotra, 1993).


All over the country in ponds and ditches.

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Retutn from PISTIA STRATIOTES to Medicinal Plants: Part P