Persicaria Odorata, or Vietnamese Coriander
Mint ‘Vietnamese’ 3″ Pot
Vietnamese Mint, This creeping, herbaceous perennial, is actually not a member of the mint family, nor is it related to the mint family. But the general odour and appearance are similar. This plant grows best in tropical areas, and is found growing wild in Vietnam. Due to its sensitivity to cold temperatures, it should be treated as an annual. It can grow very well outside in summer months, but should be brought inside for winter. It prefers full sun, and well drained soil. Moderate watering is needed. In favourable conditions, it can grow up to 30cm tall, and will spread in the same way mint does, making it great to use to trail from large containers or hanging baskets, or as a ground cover. Away from its natural habitat it rarely flowers. However, without flowers, this plant still has a decorative use in the garden, with its dark green leaf and chestnut spots, and the underside of the leaf being red. This is a herb that is used in southeast Asian cooking. In Vietnamese cuisine it’s is usually eaten fresh in salads and rice paper rolls. It’s also added to soups, stews, and rice, meat, poultry and curry dishes. In Singapore and Malaysia, the leaves are shredded and used in a spicy soup called laksa. Vietnamese mint is used for its peppery minty taste. Some say it has a flavour similar to coriander. Vietnamese mint, is used to make a soothing tea, and often put in baths to improve skin condition. Other traditional uses were to reduce fever, as an anti inflammatory to reduce swelling, to improve acne, reduce nausea, aid digestion and tummy problems, to improve skin and hair condition, and as an overall health tonic. Traditionally in Vietnam, this herb was believed to repress sexual urges. Buddhist monks grow it in their private gardens and eat it regularly as a helpful step in their celibate lives.