Bean Fern  

Bean fern 伏石蕨 Lemmaphyllum Microphyllum is a type of fern with small glossy leaves, climb on trees, rocks, everywhere…grows well in humid places with lots of moisture. The property is sweet, bitter cold. It is natural anti-inflammatory, diuretics, clear toxins, carbuncles, aid healing for bruises and external injury. The leaves can be infused, add some honey for lung heat coughing. It moisten the lung and clear the heat in lung and blood for coughing out blood, nose-bleed, blood in urine. The ones live around clean water supply are better, eg, the ones live on the rocks near waterfall in the forest or jungle.

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Skunk Vein

 Skunk Vein , Paederia Foetida雞屎藤 – a vein, with white flowers, leave smells like chicken droppings, very stinky leaves, is a plant with many medicinal properties: Taste: sweet, slightly bitter, neutral in temperature. The vein cook in water for common-cold, coughing, clear phlegm, improve arthritic pain, calming Shen and stop itchiness of the skin, helps with diabetes, clear food stagnation. It can be found on the fence, in the garden, in the jungle, near the sea. Traditionally cook the leaves with eggs to strengthen the effect of preventing catching colds.

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Sow Thistle  

Sow Thistle, proper name: Sonchus Oleraceus. In our front yard, there were plentiful of them, climbing through the decorative rocks and stretch so tall and fast, making us house owner of lazy, non-weeding house holders. However, those were false claims, because I do pull them out every now and then ( before I come to Taiwan of course..), they are easy to deal with because when you pull, the roots got loose, and the whole plant can be pulled out cleanly. Yellow flowers and with lots of aphid climbing, resting, eating, sleeping..living on it. I always afraid when I pull them out, they will climb onto me. I am slightly scared of the little plant-blood sucking insects. This plant has a hollow stem, hard fibrous stem, yellow flowers. Its also my rabbit’s favorite, when I leave them on the ground, cookie & cuddle (my sweet rabbits) will run up and eat them up! Their chinese name is Ku Chai , which means bitter veggie, is great for clearing heat, toxins, reduce inflammation for hepatitis and liver cancer. ( of course, as supplement only, please consult your doctor if you have liver cancer, hmm..white collar doctors probably wouldn’t want you to drink some kind of weed decoction, however, be a little bit naughty if you wish, and give it a try… ) In Chinese Medicine, Ku Cai is bitter cold, enter heart, spleen, stomach, large intestine meridian. Cools the blood, clear heat, promote flow of milk and menses, clear toxic accumulations. Australian sow thistle is good for cancers. ( lower cancerous cells in experimental mices) Sow thistle has 3 times more anti-oxidant than blueberries, and is used in Maori culture for prmoting menstrual flow, stopping diarrhea. Infuse the leaves to make the decoction for lowering high fever. It is a good blood purifier . Topically can be used to treat boils and abscesses, snake bites. Some people boils the veggies and add into salads, some make soup, or in Chinese bitter tea “Ku Cha”, it is the key ingredients. However, it is very bitter in taste, be careful, also, try little first to see if there is any aversion to it.

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Dandelion  

Do you remember when you were young, you saw those white fluffy balls on the grass carpet, you pick it up and blow at it and see the white feather fly everywhere… “Wow…so fun! I want to find another one…” – that was my reaction. I never know what it is, but I have a pure liking to it, the fluffy ball, the yellow pretty flowers. Later on in my life, I learnt that it's a weed, and my mum will pull it out. Until recently I finally have a better understanding of it.

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