Herb latin name: Sagittaria sagittifolia leucopetala

Synonyms: Sagittaria trifolia

Family: Alismataceae (Water-plantain Family)

Medicinal use of Sagittaria sagittifolia leucopetala:

The plant is antiscorbutic, diuretic. The leaf is used to treat a variety of skin problems. The tuber is discutient, galactofuge and may induce premature birth.

Description of the plant:

Habitat of the herb:

Wet places, paddy fields, river banks and ponds all over Japan.

Edible parts of Sagittaria sagittifolia leucopetala:

Root - cooked. Excellent when roasted, the taste is somewhat like potatoes. The tubers are starchy with a distinct flavour. The tubers should not be eaten raw.The skin is rather bitter and is best removed after the tubers have been cooked. Tubers can also be dried and ground into a powder, this powder can be used as a gruel etc or be added to cereal flours and used in making bread.The roots (tubers really) are borne on the ends of slender roots, often 30cm deep in the soil and some distance from the parent plant. The tubers of wild plants are about 15cm in diameter and are best harvested in the late summer as the leaves die down. The dried root contains (per 100g) 364 calories, 17g protein, 1g fat, 76.2g carbohydrate, 3.1g fibre, 5.8g ash, 44mg calcium, 561mg phosphorus, 8.8mg iron, 2,480mg potassium, 0.54mg thiamine, 0.14mg riboflavin, 4.76mg niacin and 17mg ascorbic acid. They contain no carotene. Leaves and young stems - cooked. Somewhat acrid.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a pot standing in about 5cm of water. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, and gradually increase the depth of water as the plants grow until it is about 5cm above the top of the pot. Plant out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Division of the tubers in spring or autumn. Easy. Runners potted up at any time in the growing season.

Cultivation of Sagittaria sagittifolia leucopetala:

Wet places, paddy fields, river banks and ponds all over Japan.

Known hazards of Sagittaria sagittifolia leucopetala:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.