Survival is the state or fact of continuing to live or exist. It can be caused by an accident, natural disaster, war, or other difficult circumstances. the length of the survival condition is full of uncertainty. A survivor must quickly get out of the survival condition safely. Of course composure, skill and readiness will increase one’s chances of survival. Food availability is one of the most important things for survival. Below is the information, one of the survival’s plant in the coastal areas.
Indonesia is a maritime country with more than 17.000 islands. In fact, there are many remote areas on the Indonesian coastline. Furthermore, Indonesia also has a lot of uninhabited islands. Consequently, these are the reason why we should start to learn and recognize various types of plants that are useful in survival conditions.
Gelang Pasir (Sesuvium portulacastrum)
There are many useful plants on the Indonesian coastline. Coconut and banana are the most famous. These two plants are mostly available on most islands in Indonesia. Lannea coromandelica is also widely distributed in the coastal area in East Java. But now we will discuss one of the useful plants which were popular as a vegetable in the past, Gelang Pasir (Sesuvium portulacastrum).
Gelang pasir (Sesuvium portulacastrum) is one of the facultative halophytes. So they can grow well in coastal areas. Because they are so well adapted, we can find them along the coast in many areas of the world. Gelang Pasir is a perennial herbaceous plant growing along the sandy shoreline, up to an area of several tens of meters towards the ground.
This perennial species grows horizontally. It can reach 1 meter in length and 12 centimetres in height. The stems are succulent, reddish. The leaves are thick, green and located opposite each other. Flowers are pink or purple. They are one of the tropical and subtropical plant species. In Indonesia, the distribution is almost on every island.
Gelang Pasir is the most common local name for Sesuvium portucalastrum. But, Javanese people called it Gelang Laut or Gelang tanah. While Sundanese people called it Gelang Laut and Kremasi in Madura.
Vegetable in the past
According to the information from Indische Groenten book, Sesuvium portucalastrum is one of the vegetables in Indonesia. Peoples harvest and use as vegetables because of their good taste. Because of the high salt content, they cook by boiling the leaves and stems two to three times. Then finally the add with some spices.
Sesuvium portulacastrum, one of the survival’s plant in the coastal areas contains some useful secondary metabolites as food. In Zimbabwe and South Africa, people use the plant to treat various infections and kidney disorders. This plant is also useful for epilepsy, toothache, and dermatitis treatments. The extract contains essential oils that act as antimicrobials. As for other functions, people also use boiled leaves and stems to relieve symptoms of venomous fish stings.
- Manbir Kaur and Nitika. 2015. Review on Sea purslane. Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry 2015; 3(5): 22-24
- Ochse. 1930. Indiche Groenten. Departement Landbouw, Nijverheid en Handel, Buitenzorg
always love to learn from nature. Passionate on studying plants in some aspects: the DNA, Identification, propagation, and their uses