UPDATE : 2017.11.15 Wed 20:52
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Shepherd’s purse of Seosan

Once upon a time when food was very scarce, spring was called the season of spring poverty or the barley hump in Korea. How did our ancestors overcome this time? They overcame this time by gathering edible plants and vegetables. Because of that behavior, greens are especially prominent in Korean cuisine these days. Today, I introduce Shepherd’s Purse to you. It served its role as a hearty green of the farm hardship period many years ago.

The famous region of farmland which grows this is the Seosan. Seosan’s geographical features include hill areas which have many low slopes. This allows dry-field farming to be the overwhelming method used there. Its slopes are gentle so soil loss is not problematic.  Also, the soil is red clay and good for all crops. Seosan specializes in growing ‘Shepherd’s purse of Seosan’, using these topographic characteristics.

Europe is the native habitat of shepherd’s purse. It now grows in most temperate regions of the world. In Europe, people eat the young leaves of the plant as salad and use as an herb which adds flavor to other foods. People in China and Japan eat the plant as well. Typically, the young leaves of the plant are put in soup. In Korea, people eat the roots of the plant. It is blanched in boiling water and used as an ingredient in Kimchi. Also, Koreans make soup with it.

Lastly, there are many health benefits from consuming this plant. The plant contains many vitamins and minerals, calcium, and iron so it helps to beat spring fatigue and stimulate appetites.  Its fibrous texture prevents constipation. Moreover, choline which is contained in the plant prevents our livers from accumulating fat and is very useful for the prevention and treatment of a fatty liver.

 

Park Ji-min  applemaro@changwon.ac.kr

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