Botanical Name : Stachvs Sieboldii
Species: S. affinis
Other Names: Stachys affinis, the Chinese artichoke, chorogi, knotroot, artichoke betony, or crosne
Habitat :This species occurs wild in Northern China, where it is also cultivated, its native name being Tsanyungtzu, while in Japan it is called Chorogi. It was introduced as a culinary vegetable by the late Dr. M. T. Masters, F.R.S., in 1888. The tubers are eaten more in France than in this country. It grows in wet and submersed areas; 0-3200 m. Gansu, Hebei, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Xinjiang.
While the plant is easy to grow, the tubers are small, convoluted, and indented, so they are considered very tedious, if not difficult to clean properly. The thin skin ranges from a pale beige to ivory-white colour. The flesh underneath, under proper cultivation, is white and tender. Chinese poets compare it to jade beads. It is in season generally commencing with October.
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Cultivation: It is perfectly hardy and may be left in the ground until required for use. Planting should take place in the spring and the tubers dug through the winter as required. The plants are perfectly easily grown and extraordinarily productive.
Propagation : Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. If sufficient growth has been made, it is possible to plant them out during the summer, otherwise grow them on in pots for their first summer, leaving the tubers in the pots to overwinter in a cold frame and then plant out in late spring when in active growth. Seed is rarely if ever produced on plants growing in Britain. Division. The tubers can be harvest and replanted at any time whilst they are dormant. They do start into growth fairly early in the year so it is better to have moved them by the end of March.
Edible Uses: The flavor of the stem tubers is delicate, and they can be prepared similarly to Jerusalem artichokes in cooking. It is used as a vegetable, in salad compositions, but more so as a garnish. It has a nutty, artichoke-like flavor.
In Chinese and Japanese cuisine, the Chinese artichoke is primarily pickled. In particular, its tuber is a part of Osechi, cooked for celebrating Japanese New Year. Dyed red by leaves of red shiso after being pickled, it is called Chorogi.
In French cuisine, its cooked tuber is often served alongside dishes named japonaise or Japanese-styled.
The dried and powdered root is anodyne. The entire plant has been used in the treatment of colds and pneumonia.
Chinese artichoke is composed mostly of carbohydrate with some protein. One hundred grams of this vegetable contains 80 calories. The Chinese artichoke plant is very similar and directly related to the European plant, wood betony or lousewort. Wood betony is renowned for its use in traditional European medicine and for the treatment of a number of ailments. They include heartburn, varicose veins, urinary tract inflammation and respiratory tract inflammation. It also has calming effects and is used for headaches and neuralgia. Chinese artichoke, both the root and the plant, are used in Chinese traditional medicine although for different ailments, mainly to treat symptoms of the common cold. So far there has been very little research into the active constituents of the Chinese artichoke plant, although wood betony is know to contain alkaloids, tannins and glycosides.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.