Family • Scrophulariaceae - Limnophila aromatica (Lam.) Merr. - RICE PADDY HERB - Zi su cao

Scientific names

Ambulia aromatica Lam.
Gratiola aromatica (Lam.) Pers.
Limnophila aromatica (Lam.) Merr.
Limnophilia gratissima Blume
Limnophilia punctata Blume
Limnophilia chinensis (Osbeck) Merr.
Limnophilia chinensis (Oeck) Merr. subsp. aromatica (Lam)

Common names

Añgañgi (Bon.)
Rice paddy herb (Engl.)
Finger grass (Engl.)
Swapleaf (Engl.)

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Zi su cao. MALAY: Beremi, Kerak-kerak, Selaseh ayer kecil.
ESTONIAN: Järvelemb. POLISH: Limnofila Pachnąca.
FRENCH: Ambulie aromatique. RUSSIAN: Ambuliia aromatnaia.
GERMAN: Reisfeldpflanze. SANSKRIT: Amragandha.
JAPANESE: Shiso-kusa. SUNDANESE: Kehkehan.
KOREAN: Soyeob, So yeop pul. THAI: Ka yaeng, Ma om, Phak ga yaeng, Phak kha yaeng, Phak phaa.
LITHUANIAN: Kvapioji Pelkenė. VIETNAM: Láng hôm nay, Một vùng Rau, Mot vung rau, Rau ngó, Rau ngô, Rau ngo, Rau om.

Añgañgi is a smooth herb that grows in water or marshy places. Stems are stout, erect, simple, 30 to 60 centimeters in length, and rarely branched above. Leaves are linear-oblong or oblong-lanceolate, 2 to 6 centimeters in length, 0.5 to 1 centimeter in width, opposite and whorled, with pointed tip, rounded and clasping base, and toothed margins. Flowers are pink or pale purple, and borne singly or in whorls in inflorescences at the axils of the leaves, with long, very slender pedicels 1 to 1.5 centimeters long. Calyx is about 4 millimeters long, glandular, and divided into lanceolate segments. Corolla is 1.2 centimeters long. Capsules are oblong and pointed at the tip.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Antioxidant activity of Limnophila aromatica Merr. / Arunya Sribusarakum, Nuntavan Bunyapraphatsara et al / Thai Journal of Phytopharmacy Vol. 11(2) Dec. 2004

(2) Antioxidant and Vascular Protective Activities of Cratoxylum formosum,, Syzygium gratum and Limnophila aromatica / Upa KUKONGVIRIYAPAN, Saowanee LUANGARAM et al / Biol. Pharm. Bull. 30(4) 661—666 April 2007

(3) Antimicrobial, antioxidant and anticancer activities of Thai local vegetables / S. Nanasombat and N. Teckchuen / Journal of Medicinal Plants Research Vol. 3(5), pp. 443-449, May, 2009

(4) Constituents of Volatile Oils from Limnophila aromatica and Adenosma capitatum / JU Chowdhury, MNI Bhuiyan, J Begum / Bangladesh Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research > Vol 46, No 3 (2011)

(5) Anti-inflammatory activities of extracts of Thai spices and herbs with lipopolysaccharide-activated RAW 264.7 murine macrophages / Tuntipopipat S, Muangnoi C, Failla ML. / J Med Food. 2009 Dec;12(6):1213-20.

(6) Sorting Limnophilia names / /Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 – 2020 The University of Melbourne.

(7) Evaluation of Some Indian Medicinal Plants for Antimicrobial, Antioxidant and Cytotoxic Activity / NEELANJAN CHATTERJEE / A Protocol submitted to Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences
Karnataka, Bangalore

– In marshes and open wet places at low and medium altitudes, ascending to 1,600 meters.
– Found in Ilocos Norte, Bontoc, Benguet, Nueva Viscaya, and Camarines Provinces in Luzon; in Palawan, Polilo and Mindanao.
Occurs in India to Taiwan and southward through Malaya to tropical Australia.

– Analysis of essential oil showed the major components were limonene (15.09%), (+)-trans-isolimonene (14.52%) and a-humulene (6.04%).
– Other oil constituents are perillaldehyde and a monoterpenoid ketone, cis-4-caranone.

– Plant emits a turpentine-like odor.
– Sour, slightly bitter.
– Considered antiseptic, aperient, appetizer, digestive, carminative, anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, cooling, emollient, febrifuge, galactagogue.

Parts used
Plant, leaves, roots.

– Plant used as spinach, eaten raw or steamed.
– Herb has an intense lemon-like flavor.
– In Java, plant is eaten raw or steamed; thought to be good for quieting the stomach after eating durian.
– A popular culinary herb in Vietnamese cuisine.
– Leaves are used for poulticing sores on legs.
– Decoction of leaves and roots given for fevers.
– Plant used as a cooling medicine for fevers.
– Used by nursing mothers when their milk is sour; also used as a galactagogue.
– In Ayurveda, used in vitiated conditions of pitta. Also used for foul ulcers, agalactia, galactic impurities, anorexia, dyspepsia, helminthiasis, constipation, inflammations and strangury.
– Plant juice used as cooling medicine for fever and pharyngitis.

Study Findings
• Antioxidant: Study of the antioxidant properties of a methanol extract, essential oil and related compounds showed the methanol extract and essential oil exhibiting free radical scavenging, NO radical scavenging and antilipid peroxidation. However, both showed less potent antioxidant activity than the reference compounds, torlox and curcumin.
• Antioxidant / Vascular Protective: Study of three popular Thai dietary and herbal plants, Cratoxylum formosum, Syzygium gratum and Limnophila aromatica for antioxidant and vascular protective activities in in vitro and in vivo models showed the plant extracts to possess antioxidants and have potential roles in prevention of vascular dysfunction.
• Antimicrobial: Study of L. aromatica extract showed antimicrobial activity against B. cereus, Listeria monocytogenes, Pseudomonas fluorescens, S. typhimurium, S. aureus and Yersinia enterocolitica. The activity may be attributed to its essential oil consisting of limonene and peril-aldehyde as major compounds, flavone, and flavonoids.
• Volatile Oil Constituents: Study of essential oil isolat3d from the aerial parts of L. aromatica yielded 29 components representing 99.3% of the total oil. The oil was rich in Z-ocimene (39.2%), terpinolene (17.2%) and camphor (12.9%).
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study of anti-inflammatory activity of extracts of Thai spices with lipopolysaccharide-activated RAW 264.7 murine macrophages showed the extract from L. aromatica to be the most robust dose-dependent suppression of NO production without exerting cytotoxicity.
• Antioxidant / Antimicrobial: Study screened 20 Thai plants, a methanolic extract of C. siamea, Limnophilia aromatica, and Pl odoratum exhibited strong antioxidant and antimicrobial activities.