Apart from being a popular water decontaminating plant, water hyacinth benefits extends to human wellness as well! Read on to follow the benefits of this floating plant for you.
Water Hyacinth, with the scientific name Eichhornia crassipes is a flowering aquatic plant that floats in the water. It is characterized by its distinctive purple flowers with broad green leaves. Water hyacinth is popularly grown worldwide in the tropical and sub-tropical areas, however it is native to the regions of South America.
This fast-growing plant rapidly covers the whole water body and can completely block the sunlight from reaching the aquatic animals and restrict the growth of algae. Algae growth is crucial for maintaining the ecosystem, making the growth of this plant a threat to the ecosystem. Even though it is a controversial species, it provides multiple benefits if you harvest it. Even while in its native state in the water, this plant can provide benefits towards sustainability if kept in control to avoid negative impacts. Keep on reading to find in detail about how it helps clean the aquatic environment. Besides, learn about some of the water hyacinth benefits to be aware of the plant.
Water Hyacinth Benefits
1. Water Purification
One of the most valuable properties of Water Hyacinth is its ability to absorb the pollutants from the water bodies. They are able to digest these pollutants and can grow in even sewage water. It is infamous for wide use during the pre-treatment process for drinking water. Owing to its capabilities, it even helps in absorbing the pollutants in the sewage pipelines. This helps prevent transferring of chemical-based water into the larger water bodies. Moreover, you can add the powdered form of this plant to the water bodies to clean and purify them. This property makes it a quite helpful plant for pollution mitigation in the aquatic bodies. However, the growth of the plant should be restrictive to it affecting the other marine life.
Water Hyacinth has anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it helpful in treating infections and providing pain relief. You can apply water hyacinth powder and lemon juice topically to get relief from inflammation. You can use this mixture to treat bacterial infections, including the formation of pus. It may even treat ear infections and inflammation in the throat. To ease throat inflammation, extract a juice from the pods of this plant and drink it. Keep watching for any allergies before relying on the remedy completely.
3. Good for skin
Water Hyacinth’s anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal properties make it a beneficial ingredient in various skin products. It is one of the ingredients in some moisturizers to help prevent skin infections and keep the skin supple and healthy. The leaf extracts of this plant are also useful in treating various skin disorders such as eczema. Add it to home masks with turmeric and rice flour to control the symptoms of eczema.
4. Gut health
Another rare benefit of Water Hyacinth is that it’s fried beans can treat symptoms related to unhealthy digestion. It may help treat nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea and even ease the symptoms related to cholera. It helps keep your gut healthy and regulates the digestion process.
5. Women Health
Traditionally, boiled water hyacinth beans has been in use to promote lactation in breastfeeding women. It provides multiple benefits, such as easing the symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS). It may as well help in regulating the menstrual cycle. Even though it might be an ancient means of good health in women, one should always consult the doctor before using these, especially for lactating women to avoid any severe reactions.
6. Treat Snakebites
Water hyacinth can treat bacterial infections and other insect bites and can even be used to treat snakebites. One can apply the extracts from the water hyacinth leaves topically over the snakebite to reduce its effects.
7. Treat STI’s
One of the lesser-known benefits of water hyacinth is that the extracts of the leaves of this plant may be useful in diminishing the symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea.
The use of the plant as a pollutant absorber in water bodies is one of the most sought-after water hyacinth benefits. It is popular in treating industrial wastewater and has many ecological benefits if the growth of the plant is in control. One of the fairly new identified use of water hyacinth is for the production of biogas.
Most of the other benefits are based on anecdotal experiences and the traditional uses, and hence, you should be careful before using it. You must not consume parts of the water hyacinth plant such as its beans without boiling or frying them at high temperatures as it can cause digestion issues.