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Friday, June 26, 2015

Dokudami, (Japanese) 蕺草, "Poison Bocking Plant"

Aloha Everyone,

My Mother has been making and using her own skin lotion with dokudami. According to my mother, this "poison blocking plant" is the reason for her clear skin.

Houttuynia cordata (scientific name) is also known as lizard tail, fish wort, bishop's weed or chameleon plant. It is also known as heartleaf because individual leaf is shaped like a heart.

The plant is native to Japan, Korea, China and some parts of the Southern Asia. My Mother grows them under the shade of the fruits trees in her garden.

My Mother goes through a complicated process starting with harvesting the leaves of the plant, rinsing them several times with tap water to remove any impurities. She then dries the leaves by pressing then between paper towels for several hours.

Next, she stuffs the leaves in a disinfected empty bottle of Shochu (distilled barley). About a tablespoon of Shochu is added to the bottle containing the leaves. From there, she lets the plant to dissolve naturally occasionally she uses a long stick to stir and compresses the leaves.

The final step is to strain the liquid using cheese cloth until the liquid is clear.

The liquid has a slight odor of ocean, but if it gives me a clear skin like my Mother, I am willing to give it a try.

Dokudami tea, which my mother also makes and drinks is palatable if it is mixed with high quality green powder tea.

Aloha -- Cathi