USE OF TRADITIONAL AND UNDERUTILIZED LEAFY VEGETABLES OF SUB-HIMALAYAN TERAI REGION OF WEST BENGAL
The promotion over the years of only a small number of vegetable crops had systematically replaced many indigenous crops traditionally planted and consumed by local subsistence farmers. Traditional leafy vegetables are those plants whose leaves or aerial parts have been integrated in a communitys culture for use as food over a long span of time. Important traditional and underutilized leafy vegetables of sub-Himalayan terai region of West Bengal are kochu (Colocasia esculenta, Araceae), punarnaba (Boerhaavia diffusa, Nyctaginaceae), thankuni (Centella asiatica, Apiaceae), bathua (Chenopodium album, Chenopodiaceae), Kalmi (Ipomoea reptans, I. aquatica, Convolvulaceae), helencha (Enhydra fluctuans, Asteraceae), dhekii sag (Diplazium frondosum, Dryopteridaceae), telakucha (Coccinia grandis, C. indica, Cucurbitaceae), gandhabhadali (Paederia foetida, Rubiaceae), kharkol (Arum sp., Araceae), kulekhara (Asteracantha longifolia, Acanthaceae), dhundhul (Luffa cylindrical, Cucurbitaceae), brahmii (Bacopa monnieri, Scrophulariaceae), safla (Nymphaea dauberyana, Nymphaeaceae), shusni (Marsilea quadrifolia, Marsileaceae) etc. Some of these vegetables are not cultivated very widely, but they are rather gathered from the wild. These traditional leafy vegetables are highly recommended due to their relatively high nutritional value and are also important in food security during times of drought and poor harvest and are also vital for income generation. Their consumption gives diversity in daily food intake, adding flavour and taste to the diet. These vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, trace elements, dietary fibre and proteins. Withstanding their value as food, the vegetables also serve as a source of medicines, hence theyre important in their ecological, agronomic and cultural values.
Jana , J.C. (2007). USE OF TRADITIONAL AND UNDERUTILIZED LEAFY VEGETABLES OF SUB-HIMALAYAN TERAI REGION OF WEST BENGAL. Acta Hortic. 752, 571-575
Leafy vegetables, traditional, underutilized, medicinal value, uses