Native to Japan, Korea and China, this plant is also known as Japanese Mugwort, Korean Mugwort and Korean Wormwood. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked (blanched or boiled to removed bitterness) and added to salads, soups and rice, and are widely used in Asian cuisine in a number of different ways. In Japan the leaves are a fundamental ingredient of kusa mochi (“grass cake”), a Japanese confectionery, to which it imparts its fresh, springlike fragrance and vivid green coloring. Boiled leaves are also then pounded and added to glutinous rice dumplings called mochi. In Korea it is also used as both a culinary and medicinal herb, in dishes such as soups, pancakes and rice cakes.
Yomogi has been used in traditional Asian medicine for the treatment of inflammation, diarrhea, bacterial infection, and circulatory disorders and many studies have demonstrated its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is one of the species used as moxa in moxibustion, and is also an excellent smudging plant used as a cold-hardy substitute to white sage, producing a smooth and cooling smoke that is said to purify the air and dispel negativity.
Yomogi is a vigorous perennial growing to 1.2m in height. Like many other members of this genus it can spread by underground stolons so it is good to plant it next to a mowing strip or in an area where you can benefit from its ‘generosity’ by harvesting stems to use as mulch for other plants. It is however very amenable to trimming and will also be quite happy in a pot. Also happy on light, poor soils and is drought hardy. Full sun or part shade.
One of our customers, Shinobu Kuroda, has kindly also given us the following information:
* Tempura with fresh harvests (and mix with mochi as you’ve mentioned )
* A lot to do with dried leaves
* Drinking tea: use lightly roasted leaves.
* Yomogi bath: make a small cloth sack (15cm x 20cm) and put the dry leaves in. Bath in with you
(effective for menopause and other feminine complaints).
* Yomogi steam: A steamer for the female genital area. Found a great description in English, so please
refer to: https://kotomise.jp/en_article/prim-rose/
* Yomogi warmer: add leaves in your wheat bag (can make one with brown rice or azuki beans as well) –
using a microwave with a glass of water to warm up the bag.
* Make moxa for pads – I used it during my pregnancy (recommended by my midwives). You’ll need to
put the leaves in a stone mill (or anything equivalent) to make fluffy moxa. Add some in a small fabric
bag and put on the tummy or the area you feel oddly cold/cool.
* Extract with vodka and sip a little on cold nights.
Hope you’ll enjoy yomogi as a natural women’s medicine too!!
9cm pot. Certified organic plant.