Chinese Mesona

Ingredient Name:  Chinese Mesona

Traditional Chinese Name: 仙草 (xiān cao)

What is this?

  • A plant belonging to the genus Mesona of the mint family
  • The species is native to and grows in abundance in East Asia
  • Boiling the aged and slightly fermented stalks and leaves of Mesona Palustris for several hours with a little starch will result in grass jelly, a popular food among Asians
  • This is a “yin” ingredient

How do I prepare it?

  • Rinse in water and put directly into your soup.

Where can I buy this?

  • You can buy this from asian dried herb shops and some asian supermarkets (the appearance varies widely).

What is the cost?

  • This is a relatively inexpensive ingredient.  A few grams will cost under $3 CAD.

Any benefits?

  • High fiber
  • Contains phosphor, calcium, and vitamins A, B1 and C
  • As a “yin” ingredient, it can be used to reduce temperature and fever
  • It is also thought to prevent indigestion and lower high blood pressure

Any precautions?

  •  As with any herb, eat in moderation
  • Due to its “yin” nature, it may be best to avoid when pregnant

Additional Information?

  • If you’ve never tried it before, grass jelly (a black-colored jell-o) is delicious and due to its neutral taste, is a great additive in many chinese desserts.