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MUKUNU-WENNA

Mugunuwanna

Alternanthera sessilis F. Amaranthaceae

Description

Perennial herb 60cm tall, with elliptic-shaped leaves 8cm long, which form opposite along the willowing stems. Short, side stems develop from the leaf axils, carrying two or more leaves.

Purple Mukunu-Wenna
Purple Mukunu-Wenna
Flowers also form at leaf axils, as fine white petals around an oval cone.

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Medicinal Uses

A traditional herb in India and Sri Lanka, often used in combination with other herbs in therapeutic oils. The vitamin and mineral-rich leaves have been an essential ingredient in kola kanda (a dish that is very much a daily ritual) made with boiled rice, coconut and several kinds of green leaves. The mixture eaten as a meal, is esteemed to cool the body, promote energy and help to balance the three forces of vata, pita, and kapa. Mukunu-wenna is highly valued for strengthening the eyes, for eye ailments, and the nervous system.

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Purple Leafed Mukunu-wenna also called Pink Cress (A. versicolor) with purple/plum red leaves is a colourful species for adding to salads and as a garnish on meals. In the Chinese system of health and healing, purple foods benefit the circulation and strengthen the kidneys and bladder (see diagram p.12).

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