Saturday, July 7, 2012

Yomogi

I have a new favorite herb - Yomogi, or Japanese mugwort,
学名:Artemisia princeps

A few days ago I bought another Artemisia, Southernwood, from my herbalist friend Kate, & she asked if I might be interested in the Yomogi, which a customer at her other market had brought for her, along with a sheet on its uses. '& I certainly don't need 4 clumps!!' So yesterday she dropped some off (a gift) - & it's lovely! Rounder leaves, sweeter flavor ...

So today I looked up some uses for yomogi - besides the ones Kiyoko listed: 
Fresh YOMOGI juice - 1 Tbsp every morning
(promote health) (high blood pressure)

Yo Mo GI tea 
Yomogi leaf (dry in the shade)
(asthma - hip pain)
& to repel mosquitos, bees, wasps etc - extract elements from Yomogi (Yomogi & Alcohol) 

In the National Geographic 'Blue Zones,' (areas of the world with higher than 'usual' numbers of centaurians) one 104 year old woman in Okinawa said she cooks her rice with a Yomogi leaf or two; so I'd begun doing that, using my Western mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris). The traditional meal blessing is the Confucian-inspired adage "hara hachi bu—eat until your stomach is 80 percent full.” 


Another use of Yomogi - as an ingredient in Kusa mochi, sweet rice desert balls! I found several recipes/methods - from Garden Fairy's rememberance of her 'obaachan's garden, & sending away for Yomogi seed, to the 'old school way,' cooking the sweet rice & adzuki beans from scratch (rather than using mochi 'sweet rice' flour & red bean paste!) ...

To Bunkyo Women's college steaming the mochi then adding the yomogi, & lovely description of gathering: "When the grass and trees in the mountains and fields begin to sprout in the spring, many Japanese people enjoy walking in the mountains and picking wild plants. One of the most famous of these wild plants is yomogi (mugwort)."

& then there's the quick & easy microwave version from 350* oven!

I'm looking forward to getting to know this new plant, ... now, where to put her .... 

 

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