Tuesday, December 23, 2008

rhoeo discolor - the oyster plant




if you see the flowers, you will know why the common name is oyster plant. the hokkien call it 'ang teck heok'. actually it is more purple in colour than red. we used to a clump of them growing across the drain from our kampong house. once in a while, my mother would gather some of the leaves to make a drink for us. after drinking it, we noticed that our urine underwent a change of colour. it had a tint of purple in it.

she would boil the leaves with either rock sugar or the flattened slab of sugary stuff which the hokkien called 'tang kway chek'. for added flavour, you can add pandan leaves to it.

all this while, i had thought that we took this drink for its cooling effect until i came upon this small signboard next to the plants at fort canning spice garden. it says: treats coughs, haematemisis, diarrhea, epitaxis, acute bronchitis and chronic bronchitis.

9 comments:

nah said...

Another medicinal plant which can be found at fort canning spice garden, Hort park and the neighbourhood parks is the ‘Misai Kuching’ (Cat’s Whiskers), or Java Tea or Kidney Tea.
It is trusted for treating ailments of the kidney, bladder stone, urinary tract infection, and bladder problems. Misai Kuching is very useful for flushing the kidneys and urinary tract.

Betty said...

Tang kway chek is winter melon dried and preserved with sugar. It is supposed to have a cooling effect on the body

yg said...

mr nah, yes, quite a number of people have told me that cat's whiskers has herbal qualities. drinking the tea brewed from the dried leaves can relieve pain and can even help to flush out the stones, if they are not too big.

yg said...

betty, thanks for the info. i have always wondered what went into the making of these sweet sticks or slabs.

ordinary guy said...

Wishing you a blessed Christmas and warm wishes for the New Year.

nah said...

Misai Kuching can be easily propagated from stem cuttings and grown at home. Cut a few stems, soak it in water till the roots appear and then transplant it in a pot or your garden. You can drink the tea brewed from dried leaves, but if you grow the plant at home, pluck the leaves, boil it in water and drink it for the efficacy of this plant.

Joe said...

Merry X'mas & Happy New Year

Victor said...

What color was Rhoeo before it discolored?

yg said...

victor, possibly red (ang) before it became purple. another name for this plant is moses-in-the-basket.