Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Healthier Salad with Gynura Procumbens

Gynura procumbens  is a perennial plant of the Asteraceae family, that may grow to 100 cm high.It  is an evergreen shrub found in Southeast Asia, especially Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, which is of considerable medicinal value. It has found its way around the world and is widely used as an accepted medicinal plant. The fleshy leaves are bright green that are rather smooth to touch. The shape of leaves can vary depending on the growing conditions and they can range from roundish to ovate in shape but are all shallowly toothed at the margins.

According to studies, Gynura was able to reduce elevated blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. This herb also possessed anti-hypertensive properties.
Gynura is believed by the Chinese to be one that possesses the ability to lower blood pressure and sugar levels. Usually will recommend to eat 3 – 7 leaves daily in the raw form, 5-8 leaves per meal is enough. This is advisable to consume by patients with heart problems and with diabetes. 

Gynura is best served raw to preserve its natural enzymes keeping its nutrients intact as compared to the ones that passed thru any form of heat because it may reduce the nutrients stocked in the leaf. In other places like in Singapore, they would prefer the gynura leaves to be blanched with hot water before serving. Most people would consume the leaf as it is without cooking and is often mixed with lettuce salad to enhance its taste.

This plant grows easily from stem-cuttings. Seeds are not available. It is best grown in well-draining, fertile soil that is kept moist at all times. Semi-shade is preferred by this plant although it can be slowly adapted to grow in full sun, provided the plant does not dry out at the roots. Initial planting under direct sunshine will result in burnt leaves and stunting in growth. Growth should resume once the plant has acclimatised to its new growing conditions.

For the Gynura Salad Swag recipe I actually made 2 different style
  •  Philippine ripe mango cut into cubes
  • 2 hard boiled eggs halves
  • 4 tablespoon of mayonaise
  •  1/2 cup of fresh gynura leaves
  • cherry tomatoes
  • iceberg lettuce

In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients: mango, eggs, gynura leaves, lettuce, tomatoes and mayonaise.  Serve chilled and enjoy.