Grown by Common Farms
by Rohail Ali on Oct 22, 2023
Paracress, Purple Oxalis, Tagete, Tagete Gem
The past few weeks, we've been busy growing our specialty garnish leaves in time to celebrate the Lunar New Year. In this post, we'll be giving a full introduction to our latest crops and how you can use them.
1. Paracress - Scientifically known as Acmella oleracea is a flowering herb that belongs to family Asteraceae. Other names include Toothache plant, Brazil cress, Paracress.
A leafy bush variety that produces both leaves and bulbs. On the palate, it gives a numbing sensation locally known as "Ma La" (麻辣).
Food: More common in our local dishes, it is usually used in chicken and fish dishes (roasted or steamed) especially if you aren't too fond of spicy food. In the West it is sometimes used in soups and sauces for that tongue-tingling sensation.
Fun fact: Its flowers are known to be palate cleansers in some parts of the world. After eating one and as normal sensation returns, the salivary waterworks subside and leaves the mouth feeling like it's been deep-cleaned. The tongue becomes sensitive to flavors.
Another fun fact for the flowers: known as buzz button, electric daisy, szechuan flower - descriptive terms for the effervescent and numbing sensations produced when the plant’s flower enters the mouth.
Medicinal uses: Paracress is a flowering herb. Its leaves and flower heads contain an analgesic agent(止痛藥) and is antifungal(抗真菌藥). Known as the toothache plant, it may be used to numb toothaches, heal throat and gum infections (喉嚨和牙齦感染), and other issues like inflammation and gastrointestinal problems.
For more information and to give this a try, you can order it online now here: https://commonfarms.com/fresh-produce/paracress
2. Purple Oxalis (Wood Sorrel) - A popular home gardening plant known for its deep purple color. In Chinese it is called "Hum Wun Cho" (幸運草)- which means the "good luck leaf".
Food: When used in food, its sweet and zesty flavors can help cut through some of the heavy sauces used during festive meals like peking duck. The Native Americans are known to have used oxalis (mixed with sugar) for the preparation of sweet desserts. Since it is a rich source of vitamin C and its leaves have a pleasantly sour taste, they are often consumed in the form of salads.
Medicinal uses: It has been said to be used as treatment for fever, nausea and sores in the mouth.
3. Tagetes / Marigold (Tagetes genus) - The flower language of Tagetes/marigold is: "longevity, happiness, corning, eternal youth"
萬壽菊的花語為：「長壽、多福、康寧、永駐的青春」The flowers bloom in a range of colors including orange, yellow, and red, representing the turning of the new year, happiness, and good luck.
Traditional uses of the leaves and the whole plant are digestive, diuretic, and febrifuge, hypotensive, narcotic, anesthetic, sedative and stimulant. They are known to be dried and used as tea for treating scorpion bites, fever, ague.
Food: Its leaves offer a fragrant orangey/zesty flavor, perfect for Chinese desserts such as the Osmanthus Cake.
Medicinal uses: Known to treat inflammation(炎症) and free radical damage(自由基損傷). Reduces eye inflammation (眼炎) and conjunctivitis(結膜炎), and has natural antiseptic properties (天然防腐性能)
Stay tuned for our release for our purple oxalis and tagete gem!