Vietnamese Herb Name: Rau Dắng
Common Culinary Herb Name: No common culinary name has really been established. We use Bitter Herb (Greens) from the literal translation of the Việt name. Slender Carpetweed is occasionally used in scientific context of Glinus Oppitisifolus. Other references also identify this plant as Bacopa Monnieri (Scrophulariaceae family, Water Hyssop). Both botanical names above fit the descriptions of the plant very well, so there is still uncertainty in it’s correct taxa. With some still limited resources, we will continue to research the true scientific identity of this plant. The above mentioned Bacopa Monieri is used commonly as an herbal pill, whose medicinal qualities have origins from Ayurvedic medicine. But our research shows that Glinus Oppositifolius is also being used as a culinary herb with bitter tasting characteristics . So for now, we identify the plant as that for the time being. If there is anyone out there with some more information to share regarding the scientific identity of this herb, your input is appreciated.
Botanical Family & Herb Name : Molluginaceae, Glinus Oppositifolius
Vegetative Description: Rau Dang is small, low sprawling, tender stems and smooth, round leaves.
Native Habitat & Ecology: Tropical Africa, Asia & Australia. Common weed found in low lying areas of high water concentration.
Tasting Note: Bitter!
Culinary Uses: Rau Dang is most commonly as part of the vegetable platter used in hot pot dishes which are cooked directly on the table (Lậu). Found on lettuce and herb plates for soups & stews.
Medicinal Uses: Dried rau dang leaves are burned & vapors repel mosquitos! Fantastic essay by Huynh Van Quoc describes his childhood memories of this bitter herb. Malian cultures use it to treat fever, joint pains, malaria & other inflammations.
Propagation: Very easy from cuttings in water.
Other Names: Foo Yip (Cantonese)