Phytochemistry Reviews

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 443–457 | Cite as

Edible freshwater macrophytes: a source of anticancer and antioxidative natural products—a mini-review

  • Tsun-Thai ChaiEmail author
  • Keng-Fei Ooh
  • Yixian Quah
  • Fai-Chu Wong


Edible freshwater macrophytes (EFM) are edible, macroscopic freshwater plants, many of which are also used as traditional/folk medicine. This mini-review highlights phytochemical and pharmacological evidence pertaining to anticancer and antioxidative natural products derived from EFM, with special attention to Centella asiatica (Indian pennywort), Nelumbo nucifera (sacred lotus), Nasturtium officinale (watercress), Ipomoea aquatica (water spinach) and Ludwigia adscendens (water primrose). Current knowledge gaps and further research opportunities are also discussed. EFM is a promising source of anticancer and antioxidative natural products which warrants more extensive exploration. More research is needed before such natural products can be exploited for application in food and medicine.


Centella asiatica Ipomoea aquatica Ludwigia adscendens Nasturtium officinale Nelumbo nucifera 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tsun-Thai Chai
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Keng-Fei Ooh
    • 2
  • Yixian Quah
    • 2
  • Fai-Chu Wong
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Biodiversity ResearchUniversiti Tunku Abdul RahmanKamparMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of Chemical Science, Faculty of ScienceUniversiti Tunku Abdul RahmanKamparMalaysia

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