Pennywort (Pegagan)

Pegagan or Pennywort (centella asiatica) is not common to be used in Indonesian cooking.  It’s more useable for a herbal medicine.  Hence, there is an exceptional in Indonesian culinary.  Aceh food has been using pennyworth to make sambal and it’s named Sambai on Peuga-ga (Sambal Pegagan or Pennywort Sambal).  In Vietnamese, people use for a beverage called Nuoc Rau Ma (Vietnamese Pennywort Drink).

I know this plant’s name while I was still in school, learned from biology subject, one of the school subjects that I hate most.  In 2007, I recalled buying pennywort drink in a can  for the first time at the Superstore.  I wondered what pennyworthis and tasted like.  At home, I browsed through internet and found out pennyworth is what the Indonesians call pegagan.

From borneofocus.com, pennywort is native to the warmer regions; China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Western South Sea Islands, Australia, Madagascar, Southern and Middle Africa, Southern United States and in insular and continental tropical America, especially abundant in the swampy areas of India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka up to an altitude of approximately 700 metres.

 There area many different other names in Indonesian dialects such as Peugaga (Aceh), Daun Kaki Kuda, Antanan (Sunda), Gagan-gagan, Rendeng (Java), Taidah (Bali), and Sandanan (Papua).  You also can find some different name in other countries; Mandukaparni, Gotu Kola (India), Di Chien Tsao, Man Tien Hsing and Zhi Xue Cao (China), Hoefblad and Paardevoet (Netherland).

Check what the plant benefits you as pennyworth is also remedy plant for:

  • Anti-aging
  • Anti-cancer
  • Anti-cellulite
  • Better blood circulation
  • Wound healing Vitality
  • Respiratory ailments
  • Detoxificaton of the body
  • Treatment of skin disorders (psoriasis and eczema…)
  • Revitalizing connective tissue (cell repairing)
  • Burn and scar treatment
  • Clearing up skin infections
  • Slimming and edema,
  • Arthritis, rheumatism
  • Treatment of liver and kidneys
  • Strengthening of veins (varicose veins)
  • Blood purification
  • High blood pressure reduction
  • Anti-stress
  • Boostering immunity

About the Author

An Indonesian born who lives in Winnipeg, Canada for more than a decade and decided to move a bit west. Edmonton is now where she is based on. Indonesia Eats is a memoir of her homeland.