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Botanical Name: Polygonum odoratum
Species: P. odorata
Synonyms : Persicaria odorata
Other Names : Its Vietnamese name is rau ram, while in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore it is called daun kesum, daun kesom or daun laksa. In Thailand, it is called phak phai and the Hmong word for it is luam laws. In Laos, it is called phak phaew , and in Cambodia chi krasang tomhom or chi pong tea koun . In North-East India, Manipur state uses this as garnishing herb over various cuisines like eromba and singju. Manipuris called it as Phak-Phai.
Habitat : Persicaria odorata is native to South east Asia. It prefers to grow under the full sun and well-drained soil. It should be brought inside for winter and treated as a house plant. It rarely flowers outside the tropics, but it is the leaves that have strong culinary use.
Persicaria odorata is a perennial plant that grows best in tropical and subtropical zones in warm and damp conditions. In advantageous conditions, it can grow up to 15–30 cm (5.9–11.8 in). In the winter or when the temperature is too high, it can wither.
The top of its leaf is dark green, with chestnut-colored spots while the leaf’s bottom is burgundy red. The stem is jointed at each leaf. In Vietnam it can be cultivated or found in the wild. It can grow very well outside in summer in non-tropical Europe….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES :
Its oil contains aldehydes such as decanal (28%) and dodecanol (44%), as well as the alcohol decanol (11%). Sesquiterpenes such as ?-humulene and ?-caryophyllene comprise about 15% of its oil.
C-Methylated homoisoflavanones (3-(4′-methoxy-benzyl)-5,7-dihydroxy-6-methyl-8-methoxy-chroman-4-one, 3-(4′-methoxy-benzyl)-5,7-dihydroxy-6,8-dimethyl-chroman-4-one, 3-(4′-hydroxy-benzyl)-5,7-dihydroxy-6,8-dimethyl-chroman-4-one, 3-(4′-hydroxy-benzyl)-5,7-dihydroxy-6-methyl-8-methoxy-chroman-4-one and 3-(4′-hydroxy-benzyl)-5,7-dihydroxy-6-methyl-chroman-4-one) can be found in the rhizomes of P. odoratum.
Above all, the leaf is identified with Vietnamese cuisine, where it is commonly eaten fresh in salads (including chicken salad) and in raw summer rolls (g?i cu?n), as well as in some soups such as canh chua and bún thang, and stews, such as fish kho t?. It is also popularly eaten with hot v?t lon (fertilized duck egg).
In the cuisine of Cambodia, the leaf is known as chi krasang tomhom and is used in soups, stews, salads, and the Cambodian summer rolls, naem.
In Singapore and Malaysia, the shredded leaf is an essential ingredient of laksa, a spicy noodle soup, so much so that the Malay name daun laksa means “laksa leaf.”
In Laos and certain parts of Thailand the leaf is eaten with raw beef larb (Lao).
In Australia the plant is being investigated as a source of essential oil (kesom oil)
The roots of the closely related Fo-ti, Polygonum multiflorum, are used in Chinese herbal medicine as a tonic and to stimulate hair growth, where it is often combined with other herbs, such as ginseng (panax sp.). Used in southeastern Asia against nausea, fever and to promote urination It is sometimes employed as an anaphrodisiac. In Cambodia the twigs and leaves are used to stimulate urination and to combat fever and nausea. In Vietnam the plant is used to treat wound and snake bite. The dried rhizome has astringent and anti-inflammatory uses. In Europe, an infusion from the rhizome has been used as a gargle for ulcers and gingevitis, and applied to cuts, sores and hemorrhoids.
There are no scientific studies to measure Persicaria odorata’s effects on libido. Traditionally, in Vietnam, the herb is believed to repress sexual urges. There is a saying in Vietnamese, “rau ram, gia song” (“Vietnamese coriander, raw bean sprouts”), which refers to the common belief that Vietnamese coriander reduces sexual desire, while bean sprouts have the opposite effect. Many Buddhist monks grow coriander in their private gardens and eat it frequently, to assist them live in celibacy.
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.
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