Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Gotu Kola by any other name

I received this plant from Petunialee, when I went to visit her place.

Actually, according to her second blog on this plant, it is supposed to be Hydrocotyle Verticillata, perhaps a relative of Gotu Kola, but not Gotu Kola itself.

I prefer the name Gotu Kola though since I can't quite pronounce the other and HV seems to be another lethal strain of virus out there. So Gotu Kola it is to me, until I can get my hands on the real one (Anyone out there with this plant...?), then I'd call it Gotu Kola II.

Gotu Kola is a mild adaptogen. Which means it is a mild natural herb product that is supposedly able to increase the body's resistance to stress, trauma, anxiety and fatigue.

It is also supposed to be mildly antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and (my favourite part) has antioxidant properties.

The "Gotu Kola" I have though is bitter! I've tried it both cooked and raw. On it's own, it is quite disgusting really. Like eating a bitter type of grass. Yughhh...

But adding it to a salad is a good way to take this herb.

Using gotu kola in my salad

Lots of salad leaves (any leaves will do, but is nice to have a mixture and include rocket leaves. I used only lettuce today because that's what I have at home)
Lots of cherry tomatos, halved
Japanese cucumber, thinly sliced
Some beetroot, thinly sliced
A handful of pinenuts
A bit of mint leaves
A few Gotu Kola Leaves (from my garden)
A couple of malabar spinach, chopped (from my garden, I couldn't resist)

What I did
Just toss everything together with a dash of balsamic vinegar and a few lashes of extra-virgin olive oil. Add some freshly grounded pepper to taste.

I suppose you can add the Gotu Kola to any salad. But I think having sweet cherry tomatoes, crunchy beetroot and cucumber, and a handful of yummy pinenuts in this particular salad helps offset the bitterness of the Gotu Kola.. It's a very refreshing salad to have for lunch, which I did today, with toasted otah sandwiches and beetroot juice. Yummy!

I don't think I eat it often enough to really see the benefits of the plant, yet. But it really is easy to grow (sprouts like weeds, even with a bit of a snail problem, they grow and grow) and I guess for the anti-oxidant part of the deal, I can stand the bitterness of a few leaves now and then.


スパゲティ said...

Hi, I don't know this plant can be eaten, because I've bought them from an aquarium and put them into my own aquarium. :P

Open Kitchen Concept said...

Oh.. hi supageti.. hehe. Yes, it can be eaten. A friend's family eat it on a regular basis.. and ar.. so far, it has been good for them! See:

I like your blog! :)

QW said...


alexandra said...

hi! i love this post of yours. i might want to try it to do this later. and probably when i get to visit Singapore early next year i would love to visit your open kitchen concept. your recipes are really quite doable for a bum like me, lol btw, i just followed this blog and please feel free to visit mine to and if you feel like it its ok to follow too. =) see u around. looking forward to more of your post. =D

Open Kitchen Concept said...

Hi Alexandra, very nice to "see you" on my blog! Thanks for your encouraging words!

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