Traditional uses and benefits of Asiatic Dayflower

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Commelina communis, commonly known as the Asiatic dayflower, is an herbaceous annual plant in the Commelinaceae Mirb. (Spiderwort family). The plant gets its name because the blooms last for only one day. The plant is native throughout much of East Asia and Southeast Asia. Country by country, it is found in China, India, Japan, Taiwan,  Korea, Malaysia, Cambodia, Iran, the Russian Far East, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand. Within China it is found in all provinces except Xinjiang, Tibet, Hainan and Qinghai. In Japan the plant is found from Kyūshū to Hokkaido south. In Russia it is found on Sakhalin and in the Far East in areas nearby the Ussuri River. In China, the plant is recognized as yazhicao roughly meaning duck foot herb, whereas in Japan it is known as tsuyukusa which means dew herb. Apart from that it can also be found in much of eastern North America central and southeastern Europe, where it has spread to become a poisonous weed.

Some of the popular common names of the plants are Asiatic Dayflower, Day Flower, Common Dayflower, mouse flower, Seven-angled Pipewort, Ator, Danzhuye, Duck’s tongue plant, Gangi gadda, Spider wort, Zhuyecao Yashecao and Thai lai trang. The genus name of the Asiatic dayflower was taken from the last name of three Dutch brothers named Commelin. Out of these three brothers, two became skillful botanists while the third one expired without any achievement. The name is suitable as the two skillful brothers are signified by the inflamed deep blue petals of the bloom while other is symbolized by the reduced white petal. Other common name mouse flower match with positioning as well as shape of the enlarged deep blue petals which actually look like ear of the mouse.

Asiatic Dayflower Facts

Name Dayflower (Asiatic dayflower)
Scientific Name Commelina communis
Native East Asia and Southeast Asia
Common Names Common Dayflower, Asiatic Dayflower, mouse flower, Day Flower, Danzhuye, Seven-angled Pipewort, Spider wort, Ator, Duck’s tongue plant, Zhuyecao Yashecao, Gangi gadda and Thai lai trang
Name in Other Languages Afrikaans: Dayflower    
Albanian: Dayflower
Amharic: Yek’eni ābeba                (የቀን አበባ)
Arabic: Eibad alshams (عباد الشمس), وعلان شائع
Armenian: Ts’erekayin tsaghik (ցերեկային ծաղիկ)
Azerbaijani: Günəbaxan, Adi kommelina
Bengali: Dayflower (dāˌflou(-ə)r), Citrapatrī (চিত্রপত্রী)
Bulgarian: Dayflower (dāˌflou(-ə)r), obiknovena komelina  (обикновена комелина)     
Burmese: Nayhkyi (နေခြည်)
Chinese: Báihuā (白花), ya zhi cao (鸭跖草)
Croatian: Dayflower, komelina 
Czech: Dayflower, Křížatka obecná         
Danish: Dayflower          
Dutch: Dagbloem, Gewone commelina 
English: Dayflower, Asiatic Dayflower, Common Dayflower, mouse flower, Seven-angled Pipewort        
Esperanto: Taglumo       
Estonian: Päevalill, harilik kommeliin
Filipino: Mirasol              
Finnish: Dayflower, Rikkasoljo  
French: Fleur de jour, Comméline commune, Commélyne commune, commeline vulgaire, misère, misère asiatique
Georgian: Dghis q’vavili (დღის ყვავილი), t’q’is ch’ort’ana (ტყის ჭორტანა)
German: Tagesblume, Gewöhnliche Commeline, Gewöhnliche Commeline, G. Tagblume, gemeine Commeline, Kommeline               
Greek: Dayflower (dāˌflou(ə)r)
Gujarati: Divasa phlāvara (દિવસ ફ્લાવર)
Hausa: Kayan rana
Hebrew: פרח    
Hindi: Dayflower (dāˌflou(-ə)r)
Hungarian: Kaszavirág, Azúrkék kommelína        
Icelandic: Dagblóm
Indonesian: Bunga hari
Irish: Lus an lae
Italian: Dayflower, Erba Miseria asiatica
Japanese: Tsuyukusa (ツユクサ), bôshibana (ボウシバナ), Aobana (アオバナ), Tsuyukusa (ツユクサ)       
Javanese: Awan
Kannada: Hagalu hūvu (ಹಗಲು ಹೂವು), Kannesoppu (ಕನ್ನೆಸೊಪ್ಪು)
Kazakh: Künbağıs (күнбағыс)    
Korean: Dei peullawo (데이 플라워), talk ui jang pul, dalg-uijangpul (닭의장풀)
Kurdish: Dayîna rojê
Lao: Dok tauaen (ດອກຕາເວັນ)
Latin: Dayflower              
Latvian: Dienaspuķe, Parast       
Lithuanian: Dieninė gėlė, Paprastoji komelina   
Macedonian: Dnevno cveḱe (дневно цвеќе)
Malagasy: Dayflower    
Malay: Bunga matahari
Malayalam: pakal pūv (പകൽ പൂവ്)
Maltese: Jum tal-ġurnata            
Marathi: Dephlovar (डेफ्लॉवर)
Mongolian: Tsetsgiin tsetse (цэцгийн цэцэг)
Nepali: Dinamukhee phool (दिनमुखी फूल), Mākurō (माकुरो)
Norwegian: Dayflower
Oriya: ଦିନର ଫୁଲ              
Pashto: ورځ ګل               
Persian: گل آفتابگردان
Polish: Kwiat dzienny, komelina pospolita           
Portuguese: Dayflower, tradescância    
Punjabi: Ḍē aphalāvara (ਡੇਅਫਲਾਵਰ)
Romanian: Dayflower
Russian: Dayflower (dāˌflou(ə)r), коммелина обыкновенная (коммелина обыкновенная), sineglazka (синеглазка)
Serbian: Daiflover (даифловер), komelina (комелина)
Sindhi: ڏينهن جي فلاور
Sinhala: Divā mal (දිවා මල්)
Slovak: križatka obyčajná, podenka obyčajná
Slovenian: Dayflower, navadna comelina            
Spanish: Dayflower, flor de Santa Lucia, siempreviva
Sundanese: Mendung  
Swedish: Dayflower, Liten himmelsblomma       
Tajik: Coşt (чошт)
Tamil:  Pakal pū                (பகல் பூ)
Telugu: Dayflower (dāˌflou(ə)r)               
Thai: Dayflower (dāˌflou(ə)r)     
Turkish: Dayflower, mahmuza, Asya gün çiçeği
Ukrainian: Odnodennyy (одноденний), komelina zvychayna (комеліна звичайна)
Upper Sorbian: Wšědny módrjenk
Urdu: ڈے فلاور              
Uzbek: Kungaboqar
Vietnamese: Hoa ban ngày        
Welsh: Blodyn y dydd
Zulu: I-sunflower
Plant Growth Habit Herbaceous annual plant
Growing Climates Partly shaded grassy places, roadsides, cultivated fields,edges of floodplain forests, thickets, edges of gardens and yards, areas along buildings
Plant Size Nearly 3.4 ft. (1 m) long
Root Fibrous root system
Stem Hairless, erect or prostrate
Leaf Lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate 3–9 cm long and 1.5–2 cm wide
Flowering season July to September
Flower Flowers are ½ to 1 inch across and consist of 3 petals. Upper 2 petals are bright blue and round while lower petal is somewhat smaller, white and jagged into 3 rounded lobes
Fruit Shape & Size Two-celled capsules that are elliptic about 4.5–8 mm long
Fruit Color Initially green turning to brown as they mature
Taste Somewhat sweet and bland taste
Plant Parts Used Aerial parts
Propagation By seed and stolons
Season August to October

Plant Description

Asiatic dayflower is an herbaceous annual plant that normally grows about 3.4 ft. long. The plant is found growing in partly shaded grassy places, low woods, edges of floodplain forests, vacant lots, cultivated fields, roadsides, railroad embankments, edges of gardens and yards, thickets, ridges, fence rows, areas along buildings, vegetable fields, bottomlands, waste areas, orchards, ditches,  disturbed soils near waterways, and near dwellings. It is common in disturbed sites and prefers moist soil. The plant has fibrous root system and plants often root at the nodes when in contact with the soil. Stems are hairless, erect or prostrate rising at the tip (decumbent), normally rooting at the nodes. They are thick, fleshy and enlarged at the nodes.

Leaves

Hairless alternate leaves measure about 3–12 cm long and 1–4 cm wide. Leaf blades are narrowly lanceolate, or lance-shaped, to ovate-elliptic, or egg-shaped. Blades are glabrous to puberulent and have slightly rough margins and the veins run parallel. Base of leaf is sessile or clasping, and has a membranous sheath which wraps round the stem. The sheath is nearly 1 inch long and has green longitudinal veins; if not it is white or greenish white. Upper edge of the sheath is hairless, though it has fine upright hairs for a rare variety. Leaves are numerous and are densely arranged.

Flower

Stalked flowers occur single or in small clusters, at the tips of branching stems or from leaf axils on top of the plant. Individual flowers are ½ to 1 inch across and consist of 3 petals. Upper 2 petals are bright blue and round while lower petal is somewhat smaller, white and jagged into 3 rounded lobes. In the middle are 3 small, sterile stamens and a 4th stamen with a bigger, butterfly-shaped tip, all 4 with a spot of maroon in the center of the yellow tip. Beneath are a style and 2 fertile stamens; all 3 are long, bent and yellowish to white.

Behind the flower is a folded, leafy bract that is 2 inches long and is half heart-shaped. Spathe is hairless and open from top to its base. Flowering period occurs in between July to September, and mostly lasts for 1-2 months. Normally flower blooms from the morning for a single day. No noticeable floral scent is found in the flower.

Fruit & Seed

Fertile flowers are replaced by dehiscent, ellipsoid seed capsule that has 2 cells, each cell consists of 2 seeds. Capsule is glabrous, brown and measures about 4.5–8 mm long, and divided into two valves. Seeds are brown or brownish yellow colored and deltoid, or unevenly triangular shaped. Seeds are 2.5–4.2 mm long and 2.2–3 mm across, but seeds as short as 2 mm can also be found. Surfaces are rugose pitted-reticulate and are thickly covered with smaller farinose grains with thin larger farinose granules.

Traditional uses and benefits of Asiatic Dayflower

  • Leaves are diuretic, febrifuge and depurative.
  • It is used as a throat gargle to cure tonsillitis and sore throats.
  • Decoction of dried plant can be used to treat fever, diarrhea and bleeding.
  • In China it is used as a medicinal herb with anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, febrifugal and diuretic effects.
  • The plant is used as a fodder crop and vegetable in India and China.
  • It is often used traditionally to clear heat, remove harmful toxins, and alleviate edema, and cure chickenpox, neuropathic vomiting, pneumonia, bronchitis, tonsillitis, hepatitis, hemorrhagic conjunctivitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, mumps, herpes zoster, sore throat, erysipelas, hematuria, epistaxis and malaria.
  • Asiatic dayflower is applied externally for arthritis in Vietnam.
  • Sap of the crushed plant is put on inflamed eyes in Indo China.
  • Asiatic dayflower is used to combat vertigo, bilious disorders in China and India,
  • In Vietnam, India and China it is used as an antidote for snake poisons.
  • The plant is used for diabetes due to its hypo glycemic effect in China & Korea.
  • An extract after decoction in water is used traditionally for the treatment of diabetes in Korea.

Benefits with other herbs

  • It is used together with Shi Gao, Zhi Mu, and Lu Gen to cure high fever and polydipsia caused by heat.
  • Along with Jin Yin Hua, Lian Qiao, and Bo He it is used to treat the initial signs of common cold.
  • Ban Lan Gen and Xuan Shen are used together to treat sore throat.
  • Duckweed and Rhizoma Imperatae when used together helps to promote urination, treat oliguria, edema and painful urination.
  • Dryopteris, Huang Qi, She Gan and Ban Lan Gen are used to treat upper respiratory infections and varicella in kids.
  • Dandelion and Mulberry Leaf is used to treat pneumonia, upper respiratory infections, and bronchitis.

Culinary Uses

  • Leaves, flowers and young shoots are consumed raw or after being cooked.
  • It can be chopped finely and included to salads or cooked as potherb.
  • The plant has a sweet taste with a mucilaginous touch.

Other Facts

  • Bright blue dye is obtained from the petals.
  • Due to the unique short life span of the flowers the plant gets its common names.
  • Flower bloom nearly for one day, before withering.

Precautions

  • People who are sensitive to Ya Zhi Cao cannot use it.
  • Individual with deficiency-cold in the spleen and stomach should avoid using it.
  • Guidance from a doctor should be taken by Pregnant and breastfeeding women before using it.
  • Children, elderly, and sick people must take it under the supervision of a specialist.

References:

https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=39127#null

http://www.hear.org/pier/species/commelina_communis.htm

https://pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Commelina+communis

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commelina_communis#cite_note-chinaflora-2

http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-233794

https://www.ipmimages.org/browse/subinfo.cfm?sub=5365

https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/COMCO

https://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/weeds/plants/asia_dayflower.htm

https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/asiatic-dayflower

https://uses.plantnet-project.org/en/Commelina_(PROSEA_Medicinal_plants)#Uses

https://plants.usda.gov/home/plantProfile?symbol=COCO3

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