Herbs & Plants

Limnophila aromatica

Botanical Name : Limnophila aromatica
Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Limnophila
Species: L. aromatica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonym: Limnophila chinensis var. aromatica
Common Name : Rice Paddy Herb;     It is called “roum om” in Khmer or Phnom Penh dialect “ma om”.

Habitat : Limnophila aromatica is native to Southeast Asia, where it flourishes in hot temperatures and grows most often in watery environments, particularly in flooded rice fields. It is called ngò om or ngo in Vietnam and used as an herb and also cultivated for use as an aquarium plant.The plant was introduced to North America in the 1970s due to Vietnamese immigration following the Vietnam War.


Limnophila aromatica grows to a height of 10 to 20 inches (up to 24in.) (MID to BACKGROUND) The width of each stem is about 2 inches, based on leaf growth
Medium to high lighting (2.0 – 4 watts/gal)  Optimum growth temperature is 72 to 82.4 degrees

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There are several varieties of this plant. The variety grown by Tropica is said to come from Malaysia. It is characterised by its narrow green leaves, which are purple underneath. Like most other red plants, the colour depends on a supply of intensive light. CO2 addition promotes growth significantly, and it also thrives in hard water. Limnophila aromatica is easy to propagate by cuttings. (Excerpt From Tropica)

Limnophila aromatica grows best on drained but still wet sandy soil of harvested rice paddies for a few months after the rainy season ended. After rain stops at the end of monsoon reason in Cambodia, on the right soil, the herb grows everywhere like wildfire. it dies out soon after it flowers. Rural Cambodians often harvest them and put them on the roof of their houses to dry for later use.

Edible Uses:
L. aromatica has a flavor and aroma reminiscent of both lemon and cumin. It is used most often in Vietnamese cuisine, where it is called ngò om. It is an ingredient in canh chua, a sweet and sour seafood soup which also includes tamarind,not to be confused with ngò gai which is also added as an accompaniment to the noodle soup called ph?. In Thai cuisine it is known as phak kayang and is also used to make om
It is used in all traditional Cambodian soup dishes

Medicinal Uses:
In Asia, rau om is employed to treat many ailments.  In China, it is used for the treatment of intoxication and pain; in Indochina, to treat wounds; in Malaysia, chiefly as a poultice on sore legs, but also to promote appetite, and as an expectorant to clear mucus from the respiratory tract, and to treat fever; and in Indonesia, as an antiseptic or cleanser for worms.  The plant is also used in Asia for menstrual problems, wounds, dysentery, fever, elephantiasis, and indigestion.

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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