Diplazium esculentum: A Wild Nutrient-Rich Leafy Vegetable from Western Ghats

  • G. Nair Archana
  • S. Pradeesh
  • M. Devi Chinmayee
  • I. Mini
  • T. S. Swapna
Conference paper


Diplazium esculentum (Reytz.) belongs to the family Dryopteridaceae and is an edible fern commonly used by Paniya and Chetti tribes of Western Ghats. Young fronds are stir-fried as a vegetable or used in salads. Wild leafy vegetables remain underutilized due to lack of awareness and promotion of appropriate technologies for their effective utilization. Evaluation of nutritional and anti-nutritional factors of this plant along with multiplication will help to identify a potential source to solve nutrition deficiency problem and also help to maintain biodiversity. Different biochemical parameters like crude fibre, reducing sugar, total carbohydrate, free fatty acids, and proteins were quantitatively estimated using standard estimation methods. Various micronutrients and anti-nutritional factors like phytic acid, trypsins and tannins were also tested. Results showed that this wild leafy vegetable has important nutritional factors. It is rich in micronutrients, beta-carotene, folic acid and minerals such as Ca, Fe and P. Anti-nutritional factors like phytic acids, trypsin and tannins were present but in quite safe quantities. So Diplazium esculentum with rich nutrient factors opens the possibility of the potential utilization of this plant in food or in nutritional/food supplement programmes.


Diplazium esculentum Nutritional factors Antinutritional factors Leafy vegetables 



Authors are thankful to the Western Ghat Development Cell, Government of Kerala, for the financial support. Dr T. S. Swapna thank Dr N. Anilkumar, Community Agro Biodiversity Centre, MSSRF, Wayanad, for fruitful suggestions and technical support.


  1. 1.
    Ujowundu CO, Igwe CU, Eremor VA, Nwaogwu LA, Okafor OE. Nutritive and anti-nutritive properties of Boerhavia diffusa and Commelina nucliflora leaves. Pak J Nutr. 2008;7(1):90–2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Oshodi AA. Comparison of protein, minerals and vitamin C content of some dried leafy vegetable. Pak J Sci Ind Res. 1992;35:267–9.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ogontona T. Green leafy vegetable. In: Osagie UA, Eka OU, editors. Nutritional quality of plant food, post harvest research unit. Benin city: Department of Biochemistry, University of Benin; 1998.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Price KR, Johnson LI, Feriwick H. The chemical and Biological significance of saponins in food and feeding stuffs. CRC Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1987;26:127–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cho E, Seddom J, Ronser B, Willet W, Hunkison S. Prospective study of intake of fruits, vegetables, vitamins and carotenoids and risk of age-related maculopathy. Arch Opthalmol. 2004;122:883–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Vidyarthi LP. Role of forest in tribal life. In: Sinha SP, editor. Tribals and forest. Ranchi: Bihar Tribal Welfare Research Institute; 1987. p. 323.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Haynes JD. Botany. An introductory survey of the plant kingdom. New York: Wiley; 1975.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    AOAC. Official methods of analysis. 11th ed. Washington, DC: Association of Analytical Chemist; 1975.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    AOAC. Official methods of analysis. 15th ed. Arlington: Association of Analytical Chemist; 1990.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Miller GL. Use of dinitrosalicylic acid reagent for determination of reducing sugar. Anal Chem. 1959;31:426–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hedge JE, Hofreiter BT. In: Whistler RL, Miller JN, editors. Carbohydrate chemistry, 17. New York: Academic; 1962.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Lowry OH, Rosebrough NJ, Farr AL, Randall RJ. Protein measurement with the Folin Phenol reagents. J Biol Chem. 1951;193:265–75.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Moore S, Stein WH. In: Colowick SP, Kaplan ND, editors. Methods in enzymology. New York: Academic; 1948. 3.468.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Malik EP, Singh MP. Plant enzymology and histoenzymology. New Delhi: Kalyani Publishers; 1980. 286.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kakade ML, Rackie JJ, McGhee JE, Puski G. Determination of trypsin inhibitor activity of soy products: a collaborative analysis of an improved procedure. Cereal Chem. 1974;51:376.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Wheeler EL, Ferrel RE. A method of phytic acid determination in Wheat and Wheat fractions. Cereal Chem. 1971;48:312–6.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Schanderl SH. Method in food analysis. New York: Academic; 1970. p. 709.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Harbone JB. Phenolic Glycosides and their natural distribution in the biochemistry of Phenolic compounds. New York/London: Academic; 1977. p. 152–62.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Uraih N, Izuagbe Y. Public health food and industrial microbiology. Benin: Uniben Press; 1990.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Maynard AJ. Method in food analysis. New York: Academic; 1970. p. 176.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Cheney SG. Principle of nutrition: macronutrient. In: Delvin TM, editor. Textbook of biochemistry with clinical correlation. New York: Wiley; 2006.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Witham FH, Blaydes DF, Devlin RM. Experiments in plant physiology. New York: Van Nostrand; 1971. p. 245.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Shankar A. Nutritional modulation of immunity and infection. In: Bowman BARR, editor. Present knowledge in nutrition. 8th ed. Washington, DC: Inter­national Life Sciences Institute Press; 2001.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Halliwell B, Gutteridge JMC. JMC: free radicals in biology and medicine. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 1999.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Han X, Shen T, Lou H. Dietary polyphenols and their biological significance. Int J Mol Sci. 2007;8:950–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Nwokolo EN, Boaggs BB. Influence of phytic acid and crude fibre on the availability of minerals from four protein supplements in growing chicks. J Anim Sci. 1977;57:475–7.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Vucenik I, Tomazic VJ, Fabian D, Shamsuddin AM. Antitumor activity of phytic acid (inositol hexaphosphate) in murine transplanted and metastatic fibro­sarcoma, a pilot study. Cancer Lett. 1992;65(1):9–13.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer India 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Nair Archana
    • 1
  • S. Pradeesh
    • 1
  • M. Devi Chinmayee
    • 1
  • I. Mini
    • 1
  • T. S. Swapna
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity CollegeThiruvananthapuram-34India

Personalised recommendations