Bird's Nest Leaf

Friday, November 20, 2009

For those who know Chinese characters, then you could probably read on the leaves the word '' or man (in dark green). In Cantonese this herbal plant is commonly called yin wo yip (Bird's Nest Leaf). Its botanic name is Polygonum Chinense.


According to some people, this plant is good for the lungs (just like the real bird's nest!). Just pluck some stalks and boil them in water. Drink it regularly and the medicinal properties would help to clear all the impurities. It seems that it could also heal gastric if consumed three days in a row. Well, is there anyone who could confirm this?



Other than that it is also said that the plant juice could be used to treat eye diseases; a decotion of the plant could cure ear eczema and its poultice when applied to the abdomen could heal stomachache. The plant is also known to have anti-inflammatory and dispelling worms properties. Hence it is an important Chinese medicinal herb.

Some of the leaves tend to become less green and a little red and have tiny flowers as the plant grows older.


I find that this plant likes the sun but needs lots of water to survive.


Happy planting medicinal herb plants!

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13 comments

  1. Hi Steph. I think that TCM makes so much sense. Focus on prevention rather than focus on the treatment of disease (after the fact, like in Western medicine).

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  2. Hi Steph, I was told about this plant too. Am sourcing for it in nurseries now.

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  3. What does it taste like? I wonder if it is bitter. There is currently a lot of interest in native medicinal plants and I have quite a number in my garden. I am planting them 'for a rainy day'. Sometimes, friends give it to me and I add to my collection. However, I have not tried all of them yet.

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  4. Many plants have medicinal values. Vietnamese people use a lot of herbal medicines. I might look around for this herb.

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  5. Thanks for an interesting post. I too grow many herbs, but I have not come across this.

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  6. Autumnbelle, this plant was given to me too! The taste is nice like what they say 'gold' sweet taste and slightly bitter like other leaves. My neighbour drops some stalks into the blender with some green apples to make juice :-D.

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  7. Interesting...I will ask my mom if she's had this tonight. She is always looking for some TCM for her eye health. It's a pretty plant too - with some nice color.

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  8. Must be nice with your own little 'pharmacy' in garden.herbs can both be a nice sight aswell as usefull, not only for it's taste..I actuelly knew that chinese sign, don't ask how, that's the only one I know, must have come across it somewere along my lifepath.. Now, I wish you a nice weekend, enjoy the sun :)

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  9. I am so happy for being able to enjoy your Garden, I want to Award you for your lovely blogg and comments.

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  10. Hi all, it would be really interesting to know if you can find them at your location later. Yes I agree, prevention is better than cure.

    Wendy, so does your mom has this plant?

    Thank you Mia :-D

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  11. I believe that most plants have medicinal properties that people have not discovered yet! Very interesting indeed :)

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  12. Another interesting plant that you have introduced. Great!

    Its interesting to note the chinese character on the leaf that spells "Man". I wonder if there is an ancient story where a sage would have been meditating upon the mountains and probably a medicine herb been required and the sage would have said,
    "Look for the leaf that called a man, and thus this herb became famous"

    Probably so, but never mind my fairytale. Have a nice weekend.

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  13. Hahaha, love it James. As to the man structure in the leaf, what i discern is a bird instead of a man!

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