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Family Convulvulaceae
Ipomoea aquatica Forsk.

Hong jing weng cai

Scientific names  Common names  
Ipomoea aquatica Forssk.  Balañgog (Ilk.)
Accepted infraspecifics Galatgat (Ilk.)
Ioomoea aquatica var. aquatica Kangkong (Bik., Tag., Pamp.)
Convolvulus adansonii Desr.  Kangkung (Sul.)
Convolvulus argyi H.Lév.  Tangkong (Ilk., Kuy., Bis.)
Convolvulus clappertonii Spreng.  Tangkung (Sul.)
Convolvulus repens Vahl  Potato vine (Engl.)
Convolvulus rostratus Zipp. ex Span.  Swamp cabbage (Engl.)
Ipomoea clappertonii R.Br.  Swamp morning glory (Engl.)
Ipomoea glenieii Thwaites ex C.B.Clarke Water convolvulus (Engl.)
Ipomoea natans Dinter & Suess. Water green (Engl.)
Ipomoea repens Roth Water spinach (Engl.)
Ipomoea repens f. deltoidea Roberty  
Ipomoea repens f. suffrutescens Roberty  
Ipomoea reptans Anon.  
Ipomoea sagittiformis Cordem.  
Ipomoea subdentata Miq.  
Ioomoea aquatica var. heterophylla (Hallier f.) Rendle  
Ipomoea reptans var. heterophylla Hallier f.  
Ipomoea aquatica Forssk. is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
BENGALI: Kalami, Kalmi shaak, Nalike.
BURMESE: Kan-swun.
CAMBODIA:  Trakuön.
CHINESE: Weng cai, Kong xin cai, Tong cai, Teng cai, Teng teng cai, Ong choi, Ong choy, Cao coi.
CZECH: Čínský vodní špenát .
DANISH: Vandspinat.
DUTCH: Waterspinazie.
FIJIAN: Ndrinikava.
FRENCH: Liseron d'eau, Patate aquatique.
GERMAN: Wasserspinat, Sumpf-trichterwinde.
GUJARATI: Nali ni bhaji.
HINDI: Kalmua, Kalmi, Kalmisaag, Patuasag.
INDIA: Karmatta.
INDONESIA: Kangkung.
ITALIAN: Vilucchio d'acqua, Convolvolo d'acqua, Patate acquatica.
JAPANESE: Asagaona, En-sai, Kankon, Ku-shin-sai, Tsuu sai, You sai.
KANNADA: Niru hambu.
KHMER: Trâkuön.
KOREAN: Kong sim chae, Da yeon chae, Mo ning geul lo ri.
LAOTIAN: Bôngz, Pak bong, Phak bong.
MALAY: Kankung, Kangkong, Kangkung, Kankong.
MARATHI: Naadi shaak, Nali chi bhaj.
NEPALESE: Kalaamii saag.
ORIYA: Kalama saga.
PORTUGUESE: Cancon, Batata aquática
PUNJABI: Nali bel.
RUSSIAN: Ipomeia vodianaia.
SANSKRIT: Kalamba, Kalambi, Kalambika, Naalikah..
SPANISH: Espinaca acuática, Batata acuática, Espinaca de agua.
SWEDISH: Vattenspenat.
THAI: Bai phai, Pak boong chin, Phak bung.
TURKISH: Su ıspanağını.
VIETNAMESE: Giau muong, Rau muong, Ung thai.

Gen info
- Ipomoea aquatica, widely known as water spinach, is a semi-aquatic, tropical plant grown as a vegetable for its tender shoots. It is believed to have been first domesticated in Southeast Asia. It grown abundantly near waterways and requires little or no care.

Kangkong is a smooth, widely spreading vine, with the stems trailing on mud or floating on water. Leaves are oblong-ovate, 7 to 14 centimeters long, with a pointed tip and heart-shaped or arrow-shaped base, long petioled, the margins entire or angular, and sublobed. Peduncles are erect, 2.5 to 5 centimeters long, with 1 or 2 flowers, borne in the axils of the leaves. Sepals are green, oblong, about 8 millimeters long. Corolla is narrowly bell-shaped, about 5 centimeters long, and purplish; limb nearly white or pale pink purple, about 5 centimeters in diameter, the tube deeper purple inside. Capsules are smooth and ovoid, about 1 centimeter long.

- Native to the Philippines.
- Throughout the Philippines in stagnant streams, fresh-water swamps, and pools.
- Also native to Angola, Assam, Australia, Bangladesh, Borneo, Botswana, Burkina, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Caprivi Strip, Caroline Is., Central African Repu, Chad, China, Comoros, Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Gilbert Is., Guinea, Gulf States, Himalaya, India, Ivory Coast, Jawa, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaya, Mali, Maluku, Marianas, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, New Guinea, Nigeria, Northern Territory, Oman, Pakistan, Queensland, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Uganda, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe. (18)
- Extensively cultivated in southern China.
- An invasive species in many parts of the world and designated as a noxious weed, forming ragged mats that choke and stagnate in streams and swamps.

- Plant contains protein 1.6 %, fat 0.2%, and vitamins C3 and B2.
- Some major compounds from the plants are:
nortropane alkaloids, calystegines B1; phenolic compounds N‐cis-Feruloyltyramine, N‐trans-feruloyltyramine, 3α,7β-O-D-di glycopyranosyl-dihydroquercetin and Isochlorogenic acid a, b and c. (see study below) (19)
- Compositional analysis of leaves yielded moisture 90%, protein 3%, fiber 0.9%, fat 0.4%, carbohydrate 4.3%, mineral matter 2%, nicotinic acid 0.6 mg/100g, riboflavin 120 mg/100g, vitamin C 137 mg/100g, vitamin E 11 mg/100g, and ash 1.4%. (20)
- Nutrient analysis of leaves (based on % dry weight) showed the leaves contained 3% protein, 4.5% total carbohydrate, 0.3% lipids, 78% moisture, 1.6% ash, 1.4% fiber and gross energy value of 141.4 Kj/g. Leaves yielded high amounts of essential amino acids (per 100g) 4765 mg: leucine 1365 mg/100g, tyrosine+phenylalanine 1124 mg/100g, lysine 682 mg, and threonine 606 mg. Minerals (per 100 g) were potassium 444 mg, calcium 163, sodium 159.8 mg, phosphorus 86, magnesium 52 mg, copper 5.3 mg, zinc 4.1 mg, iron 3.2 mg, and manganese 2.3 mg. (see study below) (23)
- Study of leaves yielded 18 compounds of which 13 were tentatively identified as quercetin‐3‐‐sophoroside, quercetin‐3‐‐glucoside, quercetin‐3,7‐di‐‐glucoside, nomilinic acid glucoside, 4,5‐di‐‐caffeoylquinic acid, 3,5‐di‐‐caffeoylquinic acid, luteolin‐7‐glucoside and 3,4,5‐tricaffeolquinic acid, fatty acid together with quercetin, and tricaffeoylquinic acid derivatives. (see study below) (36)
- GC-MS and FT-IR analysis of methanol leaf extract of Ipomoea aquatica for bioactive compounds yielded eight compounds identified as:(1) BenzylL-2, 3, 4-tri-o-(3methyl butyl)-a,L-aribinopyranoside, (2)
2-Methyl-2-tert-butoxypropane-1,3-diol, (3 )neophytadiene, (4) (1S,3R)-7’-Methoxy-3,4’dimethylspiro(cyclohexane-1,2’-(1’H)- quinoline), (5) 2-Hexadecen-1-ol,3,7,11,15-tetramethyl-,[R-[R*R*-(E)]-(CAS), (6) 9,12,15-octadecatrienoic acid, methyl ester (z,z,z)., (7) hexadecanoic acid, and (8) linolenic acid. (44)

- Considered purgative, diuretic, antiepileptic, CNS depressant, anti-inflammatory, hypolipidemic, antimicrobial, anthelmintic, antidiabetic.

- Studies have suggested antidiabetic , antioxidant, antiproliferative, antimicrobial, diuretic, anti-ulcer, anxiolytic, memory-enhancing, antiepileptic, CNS depressant, hepatoprotective, nephroprotective, membrane stabilizing, α-glucosidase inhibitory, antiurolithiatic, acetylcholinesterase enzyme inhibiting properties.

Parts used
Young leaves, stems, latex, juice.

Edibility / Nutritional
- Young leaves and shoots eaten raw in salads, or steam and boiled like spinach, or stir-fried.
- Young stems popular as achara (native pickles) ingredient.
- A very versatile vegetable in Philippine cuisine.
- Good sources of iron, calcium, vitamins B and C and amino acids.
- Caution: Studies caution on fecal and protozoan parasite contamination of water spinach from urban wastewater. (see study below) (26) (27)
- Tops are mildly laxative.
- The purplish variety used for diabetes because of assumed insulin-like principle it contains.
- Juice used as emetic.
- Dried latex is purgative.
- Poultice of buds used for ringworm.
- Used as laxative and sedative; used for piles, nervous conditions, headache, insomnia.
- In Burma, the juice is employed as an emetic in cases of arsenical or opium poisoning.
- In Cambodia, used as poultice for fever with delirium; buds applied to ringworm.
- In Ayurveda, extracts of leaves are used for jaundice and nervous debility.
- Juice used as emetic in opium and arsenic poisoning.
- In Sri Lanka, used for liver disease, eye problems, constipation.
- Fodder: Leaves used as food for gurami fish and pigs. Use in animals limited by laxative effect. (•) In Cambodia and Myanmar, used as poultry feed. (see study below) (48)

Hypoglycemic / Anti-Diabetic: Study evaluated the oral hypoglycemic activity of single and multiple doses of Ipomoea aquatica in healthy male Wistar rats after a glucose challenge. Results showed significant reduction in glucose concentrations in both single (33%, p<0027) and multiple (25%, p<00.02) doses.
Hypoglycemic / Comparable to Tolbutamide: An aqueous extract of the green leafy vegetable Ipomoea aquatica is as effective as the oral hypoglycemic drug tolbutamide in reducing the blood sugar levels of Wistar rats. (3)
Hypoglycemic / Glucose Absorption Inhibitory Effect: Inhibitory effect of Ipomoea aquatica extracts on glucose absorption using a perfused rat intestinal preparation: Study showed a significant inhibitory effect on glucose absorption. Furthermore, results suggest the inhibition of glucose absorption is not due to the acceleration of intestinal transit. (4)
Hypoglycemic / Oral Consumption Study showed the consumption of shredded, fresh, edible portion of IA for one week, effectively reduced the fasting blood sugar of Streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. (5)
Antioxidant / Antiproliferative: Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica Forsk) constituents: Study showed the water extract of stems had the highest antiproliferative activity. The ethanol extract of the stems had the highest total phenolic compounds. The ethanol extract of leaves had the highest amount of flavonoids. (2)
Diuretic: Study on the diuretic activity of the methanol extract of Ipomoea aquatica in Swiss albino mice showed good diuretic activity. In all cases, the excretion of electrolytes and urine volume increase was higher than the standard diuretic, furosemide. (7)
Antioxidant: Study of a methanol extract yielded a compound ( 7-O-B-D-glucopyronosyl-dihydromquercetin-3-O-a-D-glucopyranoside) that exhibited antioxidant activity with an EC50 value of 83 and showed very strong lipid peroxidation-inhibitory activity in a liposome model system. (8)
Antimicrobial: Study investigating the antimicrobial efficacy of the leaf extract of three herbs – A longifolia, I aquatica and E fluctuans – on four pathogenic bacterial strains (E coli, P aeruginosa, S aureus and M luteus). Ipomoea aquatica exerted the higher amount of antimicrobial activity against the bacterial strains, better than the two other herb extracts. (9)
Antiulcerogenic: Study in an aspirin-induced ulcer model in rats found Ipomoea aquatica to possess potent anti-ulcerogenic and ulcer-healing properties and can act as a potent therapeutic agent against peptic ulcer disease. (10)
Cytotoxicity / Leaf: Study isolated a purified bioactive compound from the leaf of Ipomoea aquatica – 7-O-B-D-glucopyranosyl-dihydroquercetin-3-O-a-D-glucopyranoside (DHQG). Results showed DHQG showed cytotoxicity towards cancer cell lines tested.
Nootropic / Memory Enhancing Potential: Study suggests that MEIA markedly improves brain Ach level. MEIA treatment may be of value in reinforcing depressed cholinergic transmission in certain age related memory disorders and to improve memory and learning in normal individuals. (11)
Anxiolytic / Leaves: Study evaluated the anxiolytic activity of Ipomoea aquatica leaves. A methanol-ethanol extract significantly potentiated ketamine-induced sleep by reduction in latency to sleep and increased duration of sleep, suggesting the interaction of I. aquatica with CNS depressants. (12)
Hypoglycemic/ Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated the hypoglycemic and antioxidant activity of methanolic extract of leaves in Swiss albino mice. Results showed potent hypoglycemic activity compared with control. Extract also showed potent free radical scavenging activity with vitamin C as standard. (14)
CNS Depressant / Antiepileptic / Leaves: Study on various animal models evaluated the CNS depressant and antiepileptic activities of a methanol extract of leaves of Ipomoea aquatica. Results showed dose-dependent and significant increases in onset to clonic and tonic convulsions or complete protection against seizures induced by strychnine and picrotoxin. There was also dose-dependent prolongation of pentobarbitone sleeping time and suppression of exploratory behavior. (
Hepatoprotective / Thioacetamide-Induced Hepatotoxicity: Study evaluated the protective effects of ethanol extract of I. aquatica against liver damage induced by thioacetamine in rats. Results showed a protective effect in TAA-induced liver damage probably by contributing to its modulation on detoxification enzymes, antioxidant, and free radical scavenger effects. (
Lead and Cadmium Content: Study was conducted to determine the concentrations of lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) in the top, middle, and bottom of edible portions of I. aquatica. Pb concentration showed a decreasing trend from the roots to the leaves, and from bottom to top section to shoot apex. The concentrations of Pb and Cd in the edible portions were far below the maximum tolerable daily intake for man set by the WHO. The bottom of the edible portion of the plant should be removed to minimize Pb intake. (
Constituents and Pharmacological Potentiality: Some major plant compounds are: (1) Calystegines B1, a nortropane alkaloid, with potent inhibitory activity against rat lysosomal ß-glucosidase, (2)
N‐cis-feruloyltyramine and N‐trans-feruloyltyramine, phenolic compounds isolated from the roots, considered potent inhibitors of prostaglandin synthesis, (3) 3α,7β-O-D-di glycopyranosyl-dihydroquercetin, a compound that has shown cytotoxicity against cancer cell lines viz. Hep-2 and A-549, and (4) Isochlorogenic acid a, b and c, phenolic compounds with collagenase inhibitory activity, antioxidant activity, anti-HIV activity. (19)
Protective Against Cadmium-Induced Toxicity: Study evaluated two aquatic vegetables, aqueous extracts of Ipomoea aquatica and Enhydra fluctuans, traditionally used against heavy metal toxicity in traditional medicine in India, for protective role against Cd-intoxication. Results suggest both extracts offered protection against Cd-induced toxicity by counteracting oxidative stress and ROS mediated apoptosis and/or promoting the elimination of Cd by chelating. (21)
Toxicity Studies / Safety Profile / Leaves: Study evaluated the safety of an hydroalcoholic extract of Ipomoea aquatica Forsk. leaves in acute and sub-acute administration in a rodent model. Results showed no sign of toxicity during the study period—no change in general behavior, adverse effects and mortality. No significant changes were observed in organ weights and histopathological exam showed not morphological alterations. Results suggest a wide margin of safety for therapeutic use of the plant.     (22)
Antioxidant / Leaves: Ethanolic extract of leaves exhibited good antioxidant activity with IC50 values of 0.387 and 0.394 mg/mL against DPPH and ABTS radicals, respectively. Vitamin C content was 50 mg/100g and total phenolic content was 561 mg gallic acid equivalent per 100 g, both of which could be main contributors to the antioxidant capacity of the leaves. (see constituents above) (23)
Nephroprotective / Gentamicin-Induced Toxicity / Leaves: Study evaluated the nephroprotective effect of water spinach ethanol extract of leaves on gentamicin-induced nephrotoxic rats. Results showed significant decrease (p<0.01) in the elevated serum creatinine and urea levels compared to gentamicin treated group. (24)
• Amelioration of Lead Toxicity: Study evaluated the protective role of edible aqueous extract of I. aquatica against experimentally induced Pb-intoxication. Pb-acetate treated hepatocytes showed gradual reduction of cell viability dose-dependently with IC50 of 6.8 µM. There was significantly enhanced levels (p<0.01) of ROS production, lipid peroxidation, protein carbonylation, along with depletion (p<0.001) of antioxidant enzymes and GSH. The protective effect may be through counteracting with Pb mediated oxidative stress and/or promoting elimination of Pb by chelation. Flavonoids, phenolics, and saponins may be responsible for the overall protective effect. (25)
• Fecal and Protozoan Contamination / Wastewater Cultivation: Study sought to identify the level of contamination with thermotolerant coliforms (ThC), intestinal helminth eggs and protozoan parasites in water spinach (I. aquatica) cultivated in wastewater-fed lake in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Water spinach cultivated in the lake was highly contaminated with feces as evidenced by high ThC concentration and presence of protozoan parasites. A reduction of ThC to WHO guidelines for irrigation water occurred through natural biological and physical processes in the lake. (26)
• Effect of Drying Treatments and Solvents / α-Glucosidase Inhibitory Activity: Study evaluated the effect of various ethanol solvent rations and drying methods on phytochemical constituents. The highest α-glucosidase inhibitory activity was seen with absolute ethanol extract from oven drying method with IC50 of 204.0 ± 59.0 µg/mL and total phenolic content of 22.0 ± 0.7 µg GAE/mg extract. Metabolites responsible for the activity were quercetin derivatives, chlorogenic acid derivatives, sucrose, and fructose. Study highlights I. aquatica as food source with potential for nutraceutical enhancement and as ingredient in medicinal preparation (28)
• Ameliorative in Induced Arsenic Toxicity: Ipomoea aquatica is traditionally used against As poisoning in India folk medicine. Study evaluated the therapeutic role of aqueous extract of IA against As-intoxication. Results showed aqueous extracts of edible aerial parts of I. aquatica could attenuate toxic manifestation caused by NaAsO2. Data suggested that As-mediated generation of ROS principally contributed in the toxicosis of As. The extract protected against NaAsO2-induced toxicity by counteracting oxidative stress and associated toxic manifestations and promoting As clearance from tissues via metal chelating. The presence of antioxidants viz., flavonoids, phenolics, and ascorbic acids may contribute in overall protection against arsenicosis. (29)
• Antidiabetic: Study evaluated the oral hypoglycemic activity of various fractions of I. aquatica in streptozotocin-induced diabetic male rats. Results showed significant reduction of fasting blood glucose (p<0.05). Histologically, islets area and normal cell population were preserved in treated animals. Most biochemical parameters returned to nearly normal levels. DCM:EtOAc (75:25 v/v) showed more potent activity than other fraction EtOAc:MeOH. (30)
• Membrane Stabilization / Cytotoxicity: Study evaluated of water spinach leaf and stem ethanol extracts for possible antioxidant activities, membrane stabilizing potential and cytotoxicity. In DPPH radical scavenging assay, leaf and stem extracts showed IC50s of 672.376 and 33.188 µg/ml, respectively. Membrane stabilizing activity compared favorably with standard indomethacin. Leaf and stem extracts were less toxic (LC50 160.866 and 111.419 µg/ml) compared to standard potassium dichromate (LC50 of 44.20 µg/ml). (31)
α-Glucosidase Inhibitory Activity / Phenolic Content: Study evaluated of effect of various ethanol ratios (0, 20, 50, 80, and 100) as extraction solvent and various drying methods on phytochemical constituents of Ipomoea aquatica. Effect on α-glucosidase inhibitory activity and total phenolic content was examined. Highest α-glucosidase inhibitory activity was seen with 100% ethanol extract from the oven drying method with IC50 of 204.0 ± 59.0 µg/ml and total phenolic content of 22.0 ± 0.7 GAE/mg extract. Activity was attributed to quercetin derivatives, chlorogenic acid derivatives, sucrose and fructose. (32)
• Comparative Study / Water and Land Spinach: Water spinach and land spinach are two varieties of I. aquatica in Indonesia. Water spinach showed higher antioxidant activity than land spinach, with a correlation between antioxidant activity and total phenol/flavonoid content. Based on TLC results, the antioxidant activity was attributable to flavonoid. (33)
• Anti-Urolithiatic: Study evaluated the in-vitro anti-urolithiatic activity of an ethanolic extract of Ipomoea aquatica. Neeri was used as standard drug. Results showed significant dissolution of calcium oxalate crystal, which was more efficient than Neeri. (34)
• Toxicity Studies / Leaves: Study evaluated the safety of a hydroalcoholic extract of I. aquatica leaves by determining its potential toxicity after acute and sub-acute administration in rodent. In acute study, single doses of 500, 1000, and 2000 mg/kg po was used, while in sub-acute toxicity study, 200 and 400 mg/kbw was used for four weeks. In both studies, there was no change in general behavior, adverse effects, signs of toxicity, and mortality. Histopathological evaluation showed normal profile with no morphological alterations. (35)
α-Glucosidase Inhibitory / Antioxidant:: Study evaluated the effect of water and methanol extracts of three cultivars of Ipomoea aquatica on total phenolics, antioxidant capacity, and α-glucosidase inhibitory activities. Results showed the 70% methanol extract of K-11 cultivar showed higher total phenolic content and α-glucosidase inhibitory and antioxidant activities than two other cultivars. Eighteen compounds were detected
Anti-Ulcer / Leaves: Study evaluated the antiulcer effects of aqueous, chloroform, and ethanol extracts of I. aquatica leaves in pylorus-ligation, stress-induced and aspirin-induced rat models. Results showed the chloroform extract significant (p<0.001) decreased volume of gastric acid secretions, free acidity, total acidity, and ulcer index. (37)
Nephroprotective / Cisplatin-Induced Kidney Damage / Leaves: Cisplatin antineoplastic efficacy and its nephrotoxicity is dose-dependent. Study evaluated the protective effect of ethanolic extract of leaves against a rat model with CPT-induced kidney damage. CPT-induced nephrotoxicity effects were significantly (p<0.01, 0.05) and dose-dependently reversed in extract pretreated rats. (38)
Effect on Hematocrit / Leaves: Study evaluated the effect of 100% kangkong leaf extract on the hematocrit levels of male albino mice. Results showed a significant (p<0.05) increase in hematocrit levels. (39)
Comparative Antioxidant Activities / Leave and Stems: Study evaluated leaves and stem extracts of I. aquatica for antioxidant activities. Phenolic and flavonoid contents of stems and leaves were 18.00 ± 1.20 and 20.00 ± 1.40 µg CEQ/g DW and 16.00 ± 1.10 and 1.40 µg/g DW for stems and leaves, respectively. (40)
Acetylcholinesterase Enzyme Inhibition / Antioxidant / Potential for Alzheimer's Diseases: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a primary degenerative disease of the CNS, characterized by dementia, behavioral and cognitive impairments, and increased level of AChE. Study evaluated AChE inhibition and antioxidant activity of I. aquatica leaves extracted with chloroform, n-hexane, ethanol, and a mixture of ethanol/water (6:4). All four extracts showed promising acetylcholinesterase inhibition activity, with the hydroalcoholic extract showing best inhibition potential (IC50 49.03 µg/ml. All extracts showed significant antioxidant activity in DPPH and hydrogen peroxide assays. (41)
Antibacterial / Acne-Producing Bacteria: Study evaluated the antibacterial activity of herb extracts against Propionibacterium acnes, a gram-positive human skin commensal involved in the pathogenesis of acne. An ethanol-water spinach extract showed best antibacterial activity against P. acnes. MIC was 1280 µg/ml while MBC was >5120 µg/ml. (42)
Cardiovascular Effects: Study evaluated a 95% ethanol extract for cardiovascular effects. Data showed the IAE had no effect on blood pressure and heart rate i anesthetized rats. However, IAE showed suppression of NA (noradrenaline)-mediated aortic contraction in a dose-dependent manner. Results suggest the I. aquatica extract acts via adrenergic receptors in vascular smooth muscle. (43)
Water Spinach Powder / Characterization: Study evaluated the feasibility of I. aquatica as ingredient in other food products and its nutritional attributes. Powders were made by drying leaves and stems using sun drying, freeze-drying and tray drying. The freeze-dried powder showed most significant result. Physicochemical analysis showed the lyophilized water spinach powder has good amount of carbohydrates (58.15%), ash (12.39%), protein (4.01%), and fat (4.46%) content. The powder also exhibited high antioxidant property of 77.25% and total phenolic content of 32 µg/ml. SEM and XRD results showed the water spinach powder was amorphous in nature. (46)
Cytotoxic / Antidiabetic / Antioxidant: Study evaluated various fractions of methanolic extract for cytotoxic, antiradical, and antidiabetic properties. Qualitative phytochemical analysis revealed alkaloids, terpenoids, phenols, and flavonoids in the EA-M fractions. Hexane-dichloromethane fraction showed most toxicity by brine shrimp lethality assay. Antioxidant assays showed the ethyl acetate-MeOH fractions as more potent, while α-glucosidase and α-amylase assays revealed the hexane-dichloromethane fraction as most potent antidiabetic agent. (47)
Forage Potential: Study evaluated the potential of Ipomoea aquatica hay as alternative of forage for ruminants and its effect on production performance and ruminants health. Ruminants prefer feed in hay form rather than fresh plant. High production with its high amount of unsold waste  products has potential for processing as feed forage/ A pelleting technology that breaks down cell wall of forage will make it easier to be degraded by microbes in the rumen. A dietary hay formulation, as main or additional feed ingredient could have a positive effect on production performance and health of both dairy ruminant and meat ruminants through its high nutritional content of protein, metabolizable energy, dry matter, digestibility, palatability, and bioactive compounds. (48)
Hepatoprotective / Acetaminophen Toxicity: Study evaluated the hepatoprotective effect of Ipomoea aquatica methanolic extract against acetaminophen-induced liver damage in Sprague Dawley rats. Results showed hepatoprotective effect evidenced by histopathologic absence of cloudy swelling or cytoplasmic granulation. (49)

In the news
Fasciolopsis buski: StarOnLine reports
on the health benefits of a noxious weed. The weed may be contaminated with Fasciolopsis buski, a large intestinal parasite that is laid on water spinach as larval cysts. In humans and pigs, the cysts release the fluke that anchors to the intestinal wall and cause indigestion, allergic reactions, and abdominal pain. Untreated cases may be fatal. Infection is prevented by proper preparation, frying or boiling. (27)

- Cultivated.
- Wildcrafted.

- Seeds in the cybermarket.
- Ubiquitous market vegetable.

© Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D. / StuartXchange

Updated September 2023 / June 2020 / August 2018 / August 2016

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Ipomoea aquatica / Eric Guinther / CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported / click on image or link to go to source page / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Ipomoea aquatica / © Seeds Gallery / Non-commercial use / click on image or link to go to source page /
Seeds Gallery

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Oral hypoglycaemic activity of Ipomoea aquatica / T. Sugandhika Malalavidhan et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology / Volume 72, Issues 1-2, 1 September 2000, Pages 293-298 / doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(00)00217-8
Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica Forsk) constituents / Dong-Jiann HUANG et al / Bot. Bull. Acad. Sin. (2005) 46: 99-106
An aqueous extract of the green leafy vegetable Ipomoea aquatica is as effective as the oral hypoglycaemic drug tolbutamide in reducing the blood sugar levels of Wistar rats / S. Malalavidhane et al / Phytotherapy Research Volume 15 Issue 7, Pages 635 - 637 / DOI 10.1002/ptr.851
Inhibitory effect of Ipomoea aquatica extracts on glucose absorption using a perfused rat intestinal preparation / S.D. Sokeng, B. Rokeya et al / Fitoterapia Volume 78, Issues 7-8, December 2007, Pages 526-529 / doi:10.1016/j.fitote.2007.06.011
Oral hypoglycaemic activity of Ipomoea aquatica in streptozotocin-induced, diabetic Wistar rats and Type II diabetics / MALALAVIDHANE T. S. et al / PTR. Phytotherapy research / 2003, vol. 17, no9, pp. 1098-1100
In vitro cytotoxic properties of Ipomoea aquatica leaf / Prasad, K et al / Indian Journal of Pharmacology / Research Letter / Indian J of Pharma, Dec 2005, Vol 37, Issue 6, 397-398
Evaluation of Diuretic Activity of Ipomoea aquatica (Kalmisak) in Mice Model Study / M.M. Mamun, M.M. Billah et al / Journal of Medical Sciences, 2003; 3(5): pp 395-400 / DOI: 10.3923/jms.2003.395.400
Isolation of a free radical-scavenging antioxidant from water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica Forsk) / K Nagendra Prasad et al / Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture Volume 85 Issue 9, Pages 1461 - 1468 / DOI 10.1002/jsfa.2125
Antimicrobial efficacies of methanol extract of Asteracantha longifolia, Ipomoea aquatica and Enhydra fluctuans against Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Micrococcus luteus / J N Bhakta M et al / The Internet Journal of Alternative Medicine™ ISSN: 1540-2584
Anti-ulcerogenic evaluation of the ethanolic extract of water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica Forsk) in aspirin ulcerated rats / Dhanasekaran Sivaraman and Palayan Myralidaran / Journal of Pharmacy Research
Vol.1.Issue 2.Oct-December 2008
NOOTROPIC EFFECT OF IPOMOEA AQUATICA FORSK IN RAT HIPPOCAMPUS / Dhanasekaran Sivaraman and Palayan Muralidaran / International Journal of PharmTech Research, Vol.2, No.1, pp 475-479, Jan-Mar 2010
Anxiolytic activity of Ipomoea aquatica leaves
/ Mohd. Jishan Khan, Vipin Saini, Varun S. Bhati, Manvendra S. Karchuli, Sanjay B. Kasture / European Journal of Experimental Biology, 2011, 1(1): pp 63-70
Lead and Cadmium Contents in Ipomoea aquatica Forsk. Grown in Laguna de Bay
/ Marieta C. Baysa, Rachelle Rose S. Anuncio et al / Philippine Journal of Science, 135 (2): 139-143, December 2006
Evaluation of the Leaves of Ipomoea aquatica for its Hypoglycemic and Antioxidant Activity
/ Kaiser Hamid* ,Mohammad Obayed Ullah, Shapna Sultana, Md. Amran Howlader, Debasish Basak, Fatema Nasrin, Muhammad Mukhlesur Rahman / J. Pharm. Sci. & Res., 2011; 3(7): pp 1330-1333
CNS Depressant and Antiepileptic Activities of the Methanol Extract of the Leaves of Ipomoea aquatica Forsk / Dhanasekaran Sivaraman and Palayan Muralidaran / E-Journal of Chemistry, 2010; 7(4): pp 1555-1561
Sorting Ipomoea names
/ Copyright © 1995 - 2004, The University of Melbourne. / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher
Ipomoea aquatica Extract Shows Protective Action Against Thioacetamide-Induced Hepatotoxicity / Salim Said Alkiyumi, Mahmood Ameen Abdullah,* Ahmed Salim Alrashdi, Suzy Munir Salama, Siddig Ibrahim Abdelwahab and A. Hamid A. Hadi / Molecules 2012, 17: pp 6146-6155 / PMID: 22617138 /
DOI: 10.3390/molecules17056146
Ipomoea aquatica / Synonyms / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Ipomoea aquatica, An Underutilized Green Leafy Vegetable: A Review
/ K. Nagendra Prasad, G.R. Shivamurthy, and S.M. Aradhya / Internation Journal of Botany 4(1): 123-129, 2008
The effects of two common edible herbs, Ipomoea aquatica and Enhydra fluctuans, on cadmium-induced pathophysiology: a focus on oxidative defence and anti-apoptotic mechanism / Tarun K Dua, Saikat Dewanjee, Ritu Khanra, Niloy Bhattacharya, Bhuvan Bhaskar, Muhammad Zia-Ul-Haq and Vincenzo De Feo / Journal of Translational Medicine201513:245 / DOI: 10.1186/s12967-015-0598-6
Preclinical Toxicological Profile of Hydroalcholic Leaf Extract of Ipomoea aquatica Forsk an Indian Medicinal Plant / D. Sivaraman, P. Panneerselvam, P. Muralidharan and T. Purushoth Prabhu / Pharmacologia, Volume 4 Issue 2, 2013
Nutritional Composition and Antioxidant Properties of Ipomoea Aquatica (Forsek) Leaves / Ibtisam G. Doka, Sayadat El Tigani, Sakina Yagi* / JOURNAL OF FOREST PRODUCTS & INDUSTRIES, 2014, 3(4), 204-210
Study on the Effect of Ethanol Extract of Ipomoea Aquatica (Kalmi Shak) Leaves on Gentamicin Induced Nephrotoxic Rats / Dr. Rayhana Sharmin, Dr. A.B.M.Iftekhar Hossain, Dr. Sharmin Rahman, Dr. Khaleda Sharmin, Dr. Abu Syed Md. Mosaddek / ARC Journal of Dental Science, Vol 1, Issue 3, pp 9-14 (2016) / http://dx.doi.org/10.20431/2456-0030.0103003
Water Spinach, Ipomoea aquatica(Convolvulaceae), Ameliorates Lead Toxicity by Inhibiting Oxidative Stress and Apoptosis / Saikat Dewanjee, Tarun K Dua, Ritu Khanra, Shilpa Das et al / PLoS One. 2015; 10(10): e0139831. / doi:  10.1371/journal.pone.0139831 / PMID: 26473485
Faecal and protozoan parasite contamination of water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica) cultivated in urban wastewater in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. / Vuong TA, Nguyen TT, Klank LT, Phung DC, Daisgaard A / Trop Med Int Health, Dec 2007; 12(Suppl2): pp 73-81
Kangkung can kill you: Hazards (and health benefits) of a noxious weed / StarOnLine: 15 Jan 2014
Effect of Different Drying Treatments and Solvent Ratios on Phytochemical Constituents of Ipomoea aquatica and Correlation with α-Glucosidase Inhibitory Activity / Azliana Abu Bakar Sajak, Faridah Abas, Amin Ismail & Alfi Khatib / International Journal of Food Properties, 2016; Vol 19, Issue 12
Ameliorative effect of water spinach, Ipomea aquatica (Convolvulaceae), against experimentally induced arsenic toxicity / ,  and Journal of Translational Medicine, 2015; 13:81 / https://doi.org/10.1186/s12967-015-0430-3
Evaluation of Antidiabetic Activity of Ipomoea Aquatica Fractions in Streptozotocin Induced Diabetic in Male Rat Model / Nagwa El-Sawi, Mahmoud Hefny Gad, Madeha Nooh Al-Seeni, Sabry Younes, El-Mewafy El-Ghadba and Soad Shaker Ali / Sohag J. Sci. 2017; 2(1): pp 9-17 / http://dx.doi.org/10.18576/sjs/020102
Effect of Different Drying Treatments and Solvent Ratios on Phytochemical Constituents of Ipomoea aquatica and Correlation with α-Glucosidase Inhibitory Activity / Azliana Abu Bakar Sajak, Faridah Abas, Amin Ismail and Alfi Khatib / International Journal of Food Properties, 2016; 19(12) / https://doi.org/10.1080/10942912.2016.1141295
Antioxidant activity of Indonesian water spinach and land spinach (Ipomoea aquatica): A comparative study /  and  Journal of Physics: Conference Series, Vol 1402, Issue 5
EVALUATION OF IN VITRO ANTI UROLITHIATIC ACTIVITY OF IPOMEA AQUATICA / Srikanth I. Purushotham K, Nandeeshwar P, Ramanjaneyulu K, Himabindhu J / International Research Journal of Pharmacy, 2018; 9(5) / DOI: 10.7897/2230-8407.09566
Preclinical Toxicological Profile of Hydroalcholic Leaf Extract of Ipomoea aquatica Forsk an Indian Medicinal Plant / D. Sivaraman, P. Panneerselvam, P. Muralidharan and T. Purushoth Prabhu / Pharmacologia, 2013; 4(2): pp 107-116 / DOI: 10.5567/pharmacologia.2013.107.116
a-Glucosidase Inhibitory and Antioxidant Activities of Different Ipomoea aquatica Cultivars and LC-MS/MS Profiling of the Active Cultivar / Umar Lawal, Sze Wei Leong, Khozirah Shaari, Intan Safinar Ismail, Alfi Khatib,, Fariday Abas / Journal of Food Biochemistry, 41(2) / https://doi.org/10.1111/jfbc.12303
Anti-Ulcer Effects of Ipomoea aquatica forsk Leaves against Gastric Ulcers in Rats / P. Muthukumaran, K. Pattabiraman / Research Journal of Pharmacognosu and Phytochemistry, 2010; 2(6): pp 468-471 /
DOI: 10.5958/0975-4385 / eISSN: 0975-4385  / pISSN: 0975-2331
Ethanolic leaf extract of Ipomoea aquatica Forsk abrogates cisplatin-induced kidney damage in albino rats / Bonsome Bokolo, Elias Adikwu  / Journal of Nephropharmacology, 2019; 8(1): e02 / DOI: 10.15171/npj.2019.02
The effect of 100% leaf extract of ipomoea aquatica forsk (kangkong) on the hematocrit levels of adult male mus musculus (albino mice) / Tisha Margaret J. AlisajeMarie Odessa M. Bacuño I-Pajulio Keuffel C. DangazoRianne L. De la CruzJohn André T. de PazSuman B. Karki et al / Thesis/ Dissertation, Medicine, March 2005
Comparative Study of Antioxidant Activities of the Leaves and Stem of Ipomoea aquatica Forsk (Water Spinach) / K.J. Umar, M.J. Muhammad, N.A. Sani, S. Muhammad and M.T. Umar. / Nig. J. Basic Appl. Sci.. 2015; 23(1): pp 81-84
In-vitro Screening for acetylcholinesterase enzyme inhibition potential and antioxidant activity of extracts of Ipomoea aquatica Forsk: therapeutic lead for Alzheimer’s disease / Sivaraman Dhanasekaran, Panneerselvam Perumal, Muralidharan Palayan / JAPS: Journal of Applied Pharmacetical Science, Feb 2015; 5(2) / DOI: 10.7324/JAPS.2015.50203
Antibacterial activity of water spinach herbs against acne-inducing bacteria / International Journal of Research in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nov 2019 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.26452/ijrps.v10i4.1669
Cardiovascular Effects of the Ethanolic Extract of Ipomoea Aquatica Forsk. in Rat / Amonrat Khayungarnnawee, Tuanta Sematong, Chuleratana Banchonglikitkul Sirinan Thubthimthed / Thai Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2018; Vol 42 (Supplemental Issue)
GC-MS and FT-IR analysis of bioactive compounds on methanol extract of Ipomoea aquatica / B Anbu Jothi, B Geetha / International Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Research, May 2017; 2(3): pp 12-16
Ipomoea aquatica / Wikipedia
Development of water spinach powder and its characterization / Pallawi Joshi, Aparna Kumari, Anil Kumar Chaiuhan, Meenakshi Singh / J Food Sci Technol., 2012; 58(9): pp 3533-3539 / PMID: 34366470 /
DOI: 10.1007/s13197-021-05058-9
Cytotoxic, Antioxidant, and Antidiabetic Activities versus UPLC-ESI-QTOF-MS Chemical-Profile Analysis of Ipomoea aquatica Fractions / Mahmoud Hefny Gad Hussein, Kristiaan Demeyer, Yvan Vander Heyden, Debby Mangelings / VUB: Vrije Universiteit Brussel / Planta Medica; 2021; 87(12-13): pp 1089-1100 /
DOI: 10.1055/a-1554-2733
Potential of Ipomea aquatica Hay and Its Phytochemical to Improve Performance and Health Status in Ruminants  / Virgianty Kusumah, Herinda Pertiwi / Eco Env & Cons., 2022; 28(1S): pp 33-41 / ISSN: 0971-765X / DOI: 10.53550/EEC.2022.v28i01s.004
Histopathological Analysis of the Hepetoprotective Property of Ipomea Aquatica (Water Spinach) Methanolic Extract against Acetamenophen-Induced Liver Damage Sprague Dawley Rats / Janella D Alipoyo, Tricia Marie M Aljama, Mark Kerwin F Sayas et al / LPU-St. Cabrini Journal of Allied Medicine, 2019; 3(2)

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