Sunday, August 25, 2013

Herbal Napier Grass drinks 马草凉茶

Let’s try a glass of Herbal Drink?
This plant was planted by my neighbour next to my Bunga Kantan. Initially I wanted to clear it, thinking it was weed. Then, my neighbour quickly came to me and told me it was one type of herbal plant used as a great detoxing supplements and consumed as a herbal drink. She later showed me its health benefits as illustrated in a Chinese Herbs magazine. The Chinese name of this plant is 马草, literally translated as “horse grass”. clip_image001
She said this plant was once very popular and widely sought after in Taiwan. It was even made into commercial skin caring juice, with advertisement claiming its effect in treating acne problems.

P1110313

Later, I did some research and discovered the English common name for this plant was Napier Grass. Scientifically its species is Pennisetum and it belongs to Poaceae family. You can find more information on this page.

According to the Chinese wiki, this plant is rich in vitamin C and is claimed to contain the anti-oxidant and even the anti-cancer effects. It is good for treating swelling and easing stomach-ache. After knowing the goodness of the plant, instead of disposing it, I helped her to water the plants regularly.

The normal way to consume the plant is to blend the leaves and extract its juice to drink fresh without heating to prevent oxidization. It is also not advised to blend at higher than 900 rpm or above 50 ℃, as it will destroy its chlorophyll and vitamins.

However, instead of blending into juice which may taste a bit too raw to us, another way to consume it is to boil the grass along with its stalks and added with rock sugar to make into delicious herbal drink! The taste of the drink is very much similar to drinking Bamboo Sugar Cane, really tasty!
Beer anyone?
No, this is the Chinese Herbal Napier Grass drink,
served in a beer mug 马草凉茶 clip_image001[4]
P1110353

 If you happen to find this plant growing wildly somewhere, do try to take some back and try out. It is such a great refreshing and cooling drink especially if you have symptoms of a “heaty” body such as sore throat and acne. Every now and then, I will pluck some to make herbal beverages for my family.



Herbal Napier Grass drinks
 P1110352 Ingredients:
Napier Grass Rock sugar (250g) to your liking
Water

Method:
1. Clean and wash the Napier grass
2. Cut the grass and roots into small pieces and add into a big pot.  
 
washnapiercollage
  3. Pour enough water to cover the grass. 4. Bring the water and Napier grass to a boil. boilnapiergrass_collage 5. Reduce the heat and continue to simmer until the grasses soften and also the herbal flavour infuses, about an hour.
6. Add in rock sugar, taste test to your liking.
7. Strain out the Napier grass and serve hot, or chill. sugar napier_collage  
 
马草凉 主料:
马草-叶和
冰糖 (250 克)根据自己的喜好

方法:
1。清洗和洗马草
2。剪切叶和切成小块,添加到一口大锅。
3。倒入足量水,覆盖马草。
4。把水和马草烧开了。
5。降低热度和持续炖大约一个小时,直到马草软化和草药味散发。
6。加入冰糖,根据自己的喜好口味测试。

7. 过滤马草,趁热享用,或冷藏。 



7 comments:

  1. ivy sew http://simplybeautifulhealthyliving.blogspot.comAugust 29, 2013 at 12:45 AM

    Yin, What a coincidence! Last week I happened to browse through one of my recipe magazines and I came across Napier grass. I was quite curious then and was wondering where on earth can I get this plant. It does look like wild grass and I think if I ever come across it, I wouldn't be able to differentiate it. The drink does look very refreshing :)

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  2. Pheow, Agree with Ivy it would be tricky to differentiate and I could easiiy end up boiling wild grass instead !

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  3. Dear Ivy and Heah:
    Hahaha.... true,I must admit it is kind of difficult to differentiate.

    For a close up you can click on following link or the page link I mentioned in the blog post.
    http://www.natureloveyou.sg/Pennisetum%20species/Main.html

    Try to ask gardeners with herbs knowledge, most likely they can help to identify.


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  4. Yin,
    I am glad you showed a recipe for a drink. There not many blogs that have recipes for soft drinks of any kind. In Southeast Asia where weather is warm I see lot of different knds of soft drinks out there. There is a need for for recipes for soft drinks people could make at home.

    Erica

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    Replies
    1. Dear Erica:
      Thanks for dropping by.
      Yes, you kind of right, over her we Asean have our unique beverages to cool off from the warm weather, you can find many type of homemade herbal drinks that not found anyway else.
      I would rather regards them as herbal drinks instead of soft drink though ( not carbonated at all) :-)
      But yes, most of them adding in some sugar especially rock sugar to reduce the bitterness of the raw flavour of the herbs.

      Delete
  5. Thanks for the pics and recipe! Always knew it as horse grass only. I just blend it, strain and mix some honey or brown sugar. The chill the drink for later...very refreshing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good idea in mixing with honey and brown sugar, both are better sweeterners than plain white sugar.

      Delete

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