Dwarf copperleaf (Ponnanganni Keerai) is a wonderful green leafy vegetable which belongs to Amarantheceae family, grown in tropical and subtropical regions. Also known in some parts of the world as joyweed, this plant has two different varieties, the leaves, flowers, roots and stem of those two varieties of the plant contains same medicinal benefits.
Dwarf copperleaf offers amazing health benefits. It is considered great to improve vision, builds immunity in children, and is good for hair and skin. Ponnanganni keerai treats flatulence (1), wounds, cough, diabetes and bronchitis. Here is a simple recipe, a dal and green mix known as ponnanganni kootu which can help to improve vision and build immunity in kids and adults.
How to make ponnanganni keerai kootu?
Take a bunch of Ponnanganni Keerai, 3 to 4 small onions, one teaspoon chilli powder, ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, ¼ teaspoon salt,100 grams moong dal and water. Boil moong dal separately. Remove the leaves from the stem. Wash the leaves in clean water and chop them well. Chop onion and keep aside. Add 200 ml water to a pan, add chilli powder, turmeric powder (2), salt and boil them for two minutes. Once boiled, add chopped ponnanganni keerai leaves, chopped onions and boiled moong dal. Boil them for two more minutes, switch off the flame and serve them. You could add one or two green chillies and grated coconut to enhance its taste.
Names in other languages
It is called Matsyagandha or Lonika in Sanskrit, Gudari Sag in Hindi, Kanchari in Marathi, Jalajambo in Gujarati, Honagonne Soppu in Kannada, Ponnanganti Koora in Telugu, Ponnanganni Keerai in Tamil and Siddha, Dwarf copperleaf, Sessile Joyweed in English, Matsyaakshi in Ayurveda, Alternanthera sessilis in Botanical name.
Nutritional value of Ponnanganni Keerai
Ponnanganni keerai has vitamins and minerals such as protein, dietary fibre, calcium, phosphorous, iron, vitamin A, C, B, fat, and water. It anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It also contains saponins, carotenoids, triterpene, and flavonoids. Ponnanganni keerai is an excellent coolant.
Health benefits of Ponnanganni Keerai
Helps to improve vision
This plant can be used as a natural remedy to treat various eye diseases such as burning eyes, hazy vision (3), water eyes, cataract, and myopia. It has the greatest ability to improve the vision. It is advisable for the persons who suffer from night blindness (Nyctalopia). Consume ponnanganni keerai flowers continuously for one month to 48 days to feel the difference in the eyesight. Regular consumption of this herb cools down the body, strengthens the nerves and muscles, and finally helps improve the vision power. It acts as one of the best home remedy for eye diseases.
Increases hair growth
It is one of the best green vegetable for hair growth. Take a bunch of ponnanganni keerai, grind well and make paste. Heat coconut oil, add the paste and boil till the spluttering sounds stops. Strain the oil and store in a container. Apply regularly on scalp and hair to get thick and shiny hair. Doing gentle massage on scalp relieves headache, gives good eyesight and memory.
Recipe made using ponnanganni leaves and black pepper helps to reduce body weight. You can consume these leaves frequently with brown rice to lose weight. To gain weight, make a recipe using ponnanganni leaves with ghee and dhal. Dal contains high protein and ghee contains much of fat, when both two combines with ponnanganni, it surely helps to gain weight.
Reduces body heat
Ponnanganni keerai extract acts as a good herbal medicine in reducing body heat, fever, leg pain, body pain, stomach pain and head ache. Take equal quantity of ponnanganni leaves extract and gingelly oil. Take 20 g of licorice and cumin seeds. Grind all the ingredients with cow’s milk. Boil it in low flame and filter it. Apply this filtrate oil on scalp, hair and body. Wash off after 20 minutes. Repeat once in 4 days to get complete relief from all pain.
Ponnanganni juice mixed with cow’s milk is the best way to strengthen the body. Consume every day morning and it helps enhance the energy level. Try some different recipes with ponnanganni leaves like ponnanganni poriyal, ponnanganni keerai cutlet, ponnanganni soup or ponnanganni dosai and feed the children to improve the vision and immunity.
Stops pile problem
This wonderful green leafy vegetable helps improve digestion, cures piles with bleeding, prevents constipation and facilitates smoother bowel movements. Take equal quantity of ponnanganni leaves juice and radish juice. Mix them together and consume once in the morning and once in the evening to cure bleeding piles (4).
Ponnanganni for glowing skin
Regular consumption of ponnanganni leaves for 48 days gives glowing skin. The leaves extract treats the skin conditions like scabies and eczema. The same will improve the skin tone and texture.
Ponnanganni leaves cures liver problem, asthma, prevents cancer, improves breast milk production, cures jaundice, regulates nervous system and so on.
It is advisable to consume this green leafy vegetable by everyone. It is good for children, adults, pregnant women and old age people. Consume at a moderate level to avail its maximum benefits.
Here is the detailed recipe.