Mukunuwenna (Alternanthera sessilis) world known as sessile joyweed, dwarf copper leaf is native to Brazil and a common plant in many tropic and subtropical regions throughout the world. This plant has some beneficial characteristics. Mukunuwenna is a Sri Lankan staple food. It is considered a leafy vegetable although it looks more like a herb (such as parsley) than well known leafy vegetables (such as spinach or cabbage).
Mukunuwenna is used for simple stomach disorders, diarrhea, dysentery and as a plaster for diseased or wounded skin. In Nigeria the pounded plant is used for headache and vertigo. In Senegal and India leafy twigs, ground to a powder, are applied for snakebite. Mukunuwenna is a popular folk medicine in Taiwan, often in mixtures with other medicinal plants to treat hepatitis, tight chest, bronchitis, asthma and other lung problems. In Thailand and Sri Lanka it is used as a galactagogue (a substance that induces lactation).