Monday, August 31, 2009

My Herb and Spice Garden - Aloe Vera, Misai Kucing, Screwpine and Lemon Grass

Aloe Vera is my most beloved herbal plant in my garden. This particular specie is special with its pleasant green and thick juicy blade that belies its latent power within. But then there is another that I found in Indonesia name appropriately as "lidah buaya" (crocodile's tongue) which has huge blades about 1/2 the size of the blade of a KDK ceiling fan.

We have harvested, de-skinned, cubed and washed off its gel and made a refreshing "tong sui" out of it. The aloe vera is very much like "hasma" (a product of snow frog) and by adding rock sugar and some red dates we will have simulated the "hasma soup".

I keep at least 2 pots at home as it is excellent for initial emergency treatment for burns. Personally I have experienced its therapeutic value. I was on my sofa after pouring myself a glass of hot tea and settling down for my favourite show. The glass bottom broke as I brought it near to my mouth for a sip. The entire hot content was dumped onto my bare lower abdomen. I cut a few blades of aloe vera and treated myself in the bathroom before driving to the Emergency. By then the angry red patches had subsided.
A mature pot with 4 babies shooting out. Will transplant this into smaller pots later. This is the exciting part as I am able to give this plant as a gift to friends!I bought this "misai kucing" (Orthosiphon Stamineus) in a small pot from Tropical Fruit Farm (my blog) in Balik Pulau, Penang and transplanted it. The results 6 months later. It has gone rogue in a good way. Though not worth the effort to produce for my own consumption as yet. Another 6 months I will can harvest it regularly. Further I am consulting my friend who is a agriculturist and soil specialist as the leaves are not up to mark.

The dried leaves can be used for making tea. Just pour hot water over it in a cup and cover with a lid for a few minutes and it is ready to drink. It is said to cleanse the kidney. After drinking a cup I will find that my body by-product will not turned the urinal base into a yellowish pool! I used to get my supplies from Bogor, Indonesia for free. The plantation owner actually export these leaves to Germany which has a thriving and modern homeopathic practices.
The flower is very similar to that of the cat's whiskers! I have blog on this here and here.
Screw pine for the fragrant finish for my "tong sui".Lemongrass for the occasional curry cook-out!Another herb for making a tea leaves which I got from Penang but have not gotten down to really connect with it as yet. Popular in Penang for promoting general health and found in residential gardens! Anyone can advise me on this. Click on picture to get a bigger size for analysis and inspection:-) It has since grown so well and tall and very productive. The first harvest yielded lots of leaves for drying.


Selba said...

Nice plants in your garden! I think the best is the aloe vera, very useful :)

Little Inbox said...

The last plant is called "Nan Fei Ye" in Mandarin. We used it to boil water with red dates. It's good to reduce high blood pressure.

worldwindows said...

Selba... Like it to bits!

LI... Thanks for the tip.