Friday, May 13, 2016

Pegaga Juice Benefits The Brain & Then Some

I bought a bunch of fresh pegaga leaves from the market last week. They were selling for RM3. Initially I didn't know if I should make ulam with it or blend it into a juice.

To make ulam, I had to have sambal belacan which I didn't! I have some ulam raja growing in my garden now and that would have made a great ulam platter together with pegaga.

In the end, I decided to juice the pegaga leaves. What I did was simply throw them into my blender with some water, blended them thoroughly and then sieved the juice out. I also mixed in some honey. I end up with quite a bit of pegage juice so I bottle them up using glass bottles and refrigerate them. 

Pegaga can still be found in most markets and even if you're too lazy to juice your own pegaga, you can still get it cheaply at drink stalls like the famous Penang Road Teochew cendol. 

Pegaga juice is a refreshing and cooling drink for hot and humid days. Penang is undergoing its hot spell now and each day I seem to sweat buckets. I am bathing some 4 times daily and sometimes just before I go to bed.

Besides being a cooling beverage, pegaga or gotu kola is also good for "fatigue, anxiety, depression, psychiatric disorders, Alzheimer's disease, and improving memory and intelligence. Other uses include wound healing, trauma, and circulation problems (venous insufficiency) including varicose veins, and blood clots in the legs". (from this source)

There's also an alternative way of drinking pegaga from this useful blog post.

It goes on to say that some women use gotu kola for preventing pregnancy, absence of menstrual periods, and to arouse sexual desire. Gotu kola is sometimes applied to the skin for wound healing and reducing scars, including stretch marks caused by pregnancy. (I wonder if the leftovers from blending the juice can be used for this!)

WebMD states that "gotu kola contains certain chemicals that seem to decrease inflammation and also decrease blood pressure in veins. Gotu kola also seems to increase collagen production, which is important for wound healing."

Another thing to note: I often see on blogs that they feature pegaga that is ornamental. I have a pot of ornamental pegaga too but i am unsure if this is the edible species. The ones I buy from the market is a little different in appearance. 

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