VIJAYAWADA: Krishna district administration is cultivating a new variety of green, leafy vegetable, called Punarnava, on around 5 acres of land on a trial basis. If it evokes a good response from the people, the vegetable’s cultivation will be encouraged and the vegetable will also be made available in rythu bazaars.
Punarnava is a short, weed-like plant, which grows up to the height of just a few inches. It can even be grown along with other vegetables and fruits. The nutritional value of Punarnava is much higher than other leafy vegetables. The scientific name of the vegetable is Boerhavia diffusa. This term is used widely while referring to it in the field of Ayurvedic medicine. Punarnava has been used in medicine since ancient times and it is particularly popular in Ayurvedic medicine. There are two varieties of the plant, one which has red flowers and the other which has white flowers.
Both varieties are extensively used in various Ayurvedic medicine preparations in Asian and Pacific regions. The vegetable is diuretic, extremely good for the liver and prevents kidney stones and infections from occurring. It can treat urinary tract infections, heavy menstruation, fibroids, and blood clotting in women. It also fights obesity and prevents heart failure.
Punarnava has high nutritional content, and that is why it has been identified for its health benefits and has been used widely since ancient times. In 100 gram of Punarnava, there is 162 milligram of sodium and a lot of protein. It has 44.8 mg of Vitamin C in it, along with 142 mg of Calcium. Speaking to TNIE, assistant director of horticulture, Dayakar, said, “We have not cultivated Punarnava in the district or the State commercially. We are trying this for the first time in the district. MLA Gadde Rammohan Rao has come forward and is allowing the cultivation of this crop in theiron his land under Zero Budget Natural Farming.”
Krishna district collector B Lakshmikantham said they would commercialise the vegetable and make it available in rythu bazaars across the district soon after it becomes successful.
“The nutritional value of Punarnava is very high. It is quite good for health. However, pregnant women should avoid consuming it because it has high levels of sodium. We will make it available for the public soon,” he said.