|Water Dropwort Quick Facts|
|Scientific Name:||Oenanthe javanica|
|Origin||South, Southeast and East Asia, from Pakistan to Japan and Taiwan and from northern China to tropical Australia|
|Shapes||Fruit about 2.5 mm. long, 2 mm. across, and slightly compressed; they are broadly ellipsoid in shape and hairless|
|Taste||Grassy, slightly spicy and bitter taste|
|Health benefits||Support for epidemic influenza, fever and discomfort, jaundice, hematuria, metrorrhagia, acute hepatitis, alcohol hangovers, abdominal pain, hypertension and urinary difficulties|
Genus name Oenanthe is derived from the Greek words oinos meaning wine and anthos meaning flower in reference to the plant’s white flowers that have been described to have a wine-like fragrance. Specific epithet javanica means of Java or Javanese in reference to the Indonesian Island of Java which is part of the native range of this plant. It is a valuable herbal plants consumed and used by East Asian countries for both food and various medicinal purposes. It is used in Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, and Malaysian cuisine. It has long been used in various ethno-medical systems for treating numerous chronic and acute hepatitis, jaundice, alcohol hangovers, abdominal pain, and inflammatory conditions. It is used in a fish stew as a hangover cure. Water Dropwort is edible but has many poisonous lookalikes, one of the only plants of the Oenanthe genus that is not toxic.
Water Dropwort Facts
|Scientific Name||Oenanthe javanica|
|Native||South, Southeast and East Asia, from Pakistan to Japan and Taiwan and from northern China to tropical Australia (Queensland)|
|Common Names||Water Dropwort, Java waterdropwort, Stolon waterdropwort, Japanese parsley, Chinese celery, Vietnamese parsley, Japanese parsley, water celery, Indian pennywort and Indian rye herb|
|Name in Other Languages||Afrikaans: Water druppelwortel
Amharic: Yewiha t’ebita (የውሃ ጠብታ)
Arabic: qatarat alma (قطرات الماء)
Armenian: Jri kat’il (ջրի կաթիլ)
Azerbaijani: Su damcısı
Bengali: Jala ḍrapa ōrṭa (জল ড্রপওর্ট)
Bulgarian: Vodna kapka (водна капка)
Burmese: Ray dropwort
Chinese: Shuǐdī cǎo (水滴草), Shui qin (水芹), Shui qui cai (水芹菜 )
Croatian: Kapljica vode
Czech: Kapka vody
Danish: Vand dropwort
Dutch: Water dropwort
English: Water dropwort, Chinese-celery, Indian-pennywort, Java water-dropwort, Water-celery, Japanese parsley
Filipino: Pagbagsak ng tubig
French: Goutte d’eau, Céleri chinois
Georgian: Ts’q’lis mts’vadi (წყლის მწვადი)
German: Wassertropfen, Java-Wasserfenchel
Greek: Stagóna neroú (σταγόνα νερού)
Gujarati: Pāṇī chōḍō (પાણી છોડો)
Hausa: Magudanan ruwa
Hebrew: טיפת מים
Hindi: Paanee chhodane vaala (पानी छोड़ने वाला)
Icelandic: Vatn dropwort
Indonesian: Dropwort air, daun selon, selom
Irish: Braon uisce
Italian: Dropwort d’acqua
Japanese: Mizushibuki (水しぶき), Seri (セリ), qin (芹), mitsubaseri (ミツバセリ)
Javanese: Tepak banyu
Kannada: Nīrina ḍrāp varṭ (ನೀರಿನ ಡ್ರಾಪ್ ವರ್ಟ್)
Kazakh: Sw tamşısı (су тамшысы)
Korean: mulbang-ul (물방울), mi na li (미나리)
Kurdish: Dropwort avê
Lao: N am tok (ນ້ ຳ ຕົກ)
Latin: Aqua dropwort
Latvian: Udens piliens
Lithuanian: Vandens lašelis
Macedonian: Kapka voda (капка вода)
Malagasy: Rano mitete
Malay: Dropwort air, Selom, Tespong, Pokok Selom
Malayalam: Vāṭṭar ḍrēāpp va (വാട്ടർ ഡ്രോപ്പ് വർട്ട)
Maltese: Dropwort tal-ilma
Manipuri: Komprek (ꯀꯣꯝꯞ꯭ꯔꯦꯛ)
Marathi: Pāṇī sōḍaṇē (पाणी सोडणे)
Mongolian: Usny dusal (усны дусал)
Nepali: Pānī chōḍnuhōs (पानी छोड्नुहोस्)
Oriya: ଜଳ ଡ୍ରପୱର୍ଟ
Pashto: د اوبو څاڅکي
Persian: قطره آب, آبچکان جاوانیکا
Polish: Kroplówka wodna
Portuguese: Gota de água
Punjabi: Pāṇī dī būda (ਪਾਣੀ ਦੀ ਬੂੰਦ)
Romanian: Picătură de apă
Russian: Kapli vody (капли воды), Omezhnik iavanskii (Oмежник яванский )
Serbian: Kapljica vode (капљица воде)
Sindhi: پاڻي جو دٻاءُ
Sinhala: Jala biṁdu (ජල බිංදු)
Slovenian: Vodna kapljica
Spanish: Gota de agua
Sudanese: Turun cai, Téspong
Swedish: Vattendroppe, Selleristäkra
Tajik: Oʙanʙor (обанбор)
Tamil: Nīr kīḻtōṉṟum (நீர் கீழ்தோன்றும்)
Telugu: Nīṭi ḍrāpvōrṭ (నీటి డ్రాప్వోర్ట్)
Thai: H̄yd n̂ả (หยดน้ำ), Chi-o, Phak an, Phak an-o, Phak chi lom
Turkish: Su damlacığı
Ukrainian: Krapelʹka vody (крапелька води)
Urdu: پانی کی
Uzbek: Suv tomchisi
Vietnamese: Giọt nước, Rau cần, Cần nước
Welsh: Baw dŵr
Zulu: Indawo yokubeka amanzi
|Plant Growth Habit||Erect, fast-growing, fibrous-rooted, decumbent-stemmed, perennial aquatic herbaceous plant|
|Growing Climates||Ditches, ponds, wet places, marshlands, lakeshores, muddy stream banks, shallow water, grassland at forest margins, water meadows, river banks, swampy fields, shrub swamps, streams, canals, terrestrial shoreline, sloughs, bottomland prairies, moist depressions of upland prairies, roadsides and railroads|
|Plant Size||10 – 150 cm tall|
|Root||Fibrous, stoloniferous, and shallow; both the fibrous roots and stolons are slender and white|
|Stem||Thin, light green, terete, vertically veined,hollow, and smooth, ranging in length from 50 to 100 centimeters, and the young stems provide a crunchy and succulent consistency|
|Leaf||Alternate compound leaves occur at intervals along these stems, becoming smaller in size as they ascend. They are simple-pinnate or double-pinnate with an odd number of leaflets. The leaflets are usually organized into groups of 3, although some leaflets are organized into groups of 5, or they occur individually. The compound leaves are 4-12 inches long and 3-8 inches across. They are triangular in outline, becoming widest at their bases. The ultimate leaflets are ½–2 inches long and ¼–¾ inches across.|
|Flowering season||June to August|
|Flower||Compound umbels of flowers are produced oppositely from the middle to upper leaves. These umbels are 1½–2½ inches across and more or less flat-topped. Each compound umbel is divided into 8-14 umbellets; each umbellet has 12-22 flowers. The rays (basal stalks) of the umbellets are ¾–1½ inches long; light green, angular, and glabrous or nearly so. The pedicels of the flowers are 2-6 mm. long (up to ¼ inches), light green, angular, and glabrous or nearly so|
|Fruit Shape & Size||Fruits are about 2.5 mm. long, 2 mm. across, and slightly compressed; they are broadly ellipsoid in shape and hairless|
|Flavor/Aroma||Fresh, vegetal, and slightly grassy flavor|
|Taste||Grassy, slightly spicy and bitter taste|
|Propagation||By seed, Stem Cutting|
|Plant Parts Used||Fruit, seed|
|Season||August to October|
Water Dropwort is an erect, fast-growing, fibrous-rooted, decumbent-stemmed, perennial aquatic herbaceous plant that normally grows about 10 – 150 cm tall. The plant is found growing in ditches, ponds, wet places, marshlands, lakeshores, muddy stream banks, shallow water, grassland at forest margins, water meadows, river banks, swampy fields, shrub swamps, streams, canals, terrestrial shoreline, sloughs, bottomland prairies, moist depressions of upland prairies, roadsides and railroads. The root system is fibrous, stoloniferous, and shallow. Both the fibrous roots and stolons are slender and white. Stems are thin, light green, terete, vertically veined, hollow, and smooth, ranging in length from 50 to 100 centimeters, and the young stems provide a crunchy and succulent consistency.
Alternate compound leaves occur at intervals along these stems, becoming smaller in size as they ascend. They are simple-pinnate or double-pinnate with an odd number of leaflets. The leaflets are usually organized into groups of 3, although some leaflets are organized into groups of 5, or they occur individually. The compound leaves are 4-12 inches long and 3-8 inches across. They are triangular in outline, becoming widest at their bases. The ultimate leaflets are ½–2 inches long and ¼–¾ inches across. They are ovate or rhombic-ovate in shape, coarsely crenate-dentate along their margins, and sometimes sharply divided into 1 or 2 shallow to moderately deep lobes. The tips of ultimate leaflets are acute, while their bases are either wedge-shaped or rounded.
The upper leaf surface is light-medium green and glabrous, while the lower leaf surface is light green and glabrous. Usually the terminal ultimate leaflets have short petiolules, while the lateral ultimate leaflets are sessile or nearly so. The primary rachises of the compound leaves and any secondary rachises are relatively broad and flattened on top, although they sometimes have narrow central grooves. The petioles are up to 6″ long, becoming shorter as the compound leaves ascend the stems; they are relatively stout, angular, and glabrous or nearly so. At their bases, the petioles have membranous sheaths.
Occasionally, compound umbels of flowers are produced oppositely from the middle to upper leaves. These umbels are 1½–2½ inches across and more or less flat-topped. Each compound umbel is divided into 8-14 umbellets; each umbellet has 12-22 flowers. The rays (basal stalks) of the umbellets are ¾–1½ inches long; light green, angular, and glabrous or nearly so. The pedicels of the flowers are 2-6 mm. long (up to ¼ inches), light green, angular, and glabrous or nearly so. At the base of each umbellet, there are several bracteoles (small bracts) that are up to 6 mm. long, light green, and linear in shape. At the base of each compound umbel, there are no bracts (or rarely one).
Each flower is 2-3 mm. across, consisting of 5 white notched petals, a light green calyx, 5 stamens, and a pistil with a bifurcated white style. The calyx has a shallow cup-like shape and it is nearly toothless. The blooming period occurs during the summer and early fall, lasting about 1½–3 months. During this time, the flowers bloom intermittently; they may, or may not, have a detectable fragrance. The flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by insects.
Later, the fertile flowers are followed by immature green fruits. At maturity, these fruits are about 2.5 mm. long, 2 mm. across, and slightly compressed; they are broadly ellipsoid in shape and hairless. Each fruit divides into 2 seeds that have thickened longitudinal ribs.
Water Dropwort is native to Asia and has been growing wild since ancient times. The greens were traditionally used in China in medicinal practices and culinary preparations since 700 BCE, and in Japan, Water Dropwort has been cultivated since 750 CE. Since its introduction as a cultivated crop, Water Dropwort became a highly respected nutritious springtime green, mentioned in Japanese poems dating back to the 7th and 8th centuries. The semi-aquatic plants grow wild along streams, rice paddies, ponds, and marshes in lowland regions. Water Dropwort has also been planted in shady areas with moist soil in home gardens and is grown hydroponically for commercial use. Today Water Dropwort is cultivated and foraged throughout Japan, specifically in the Miyagi and Ibaraki Prefectures, and in China, Korea, India, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. It also grows in parts of Europe such as Italy, tropical regions of Australia, and the highlands of Papua New Guinea. Asian immigrants likely brought the plant to North America, and it has been found naturalized as far north as British Columbia. In Asia, Water Dropwort can be found through local markets, distributors, and grocers. Outside of Asia, the greens are mainly found through specialty growers at farmer’s markets and in Asian supermarkets.
Traditional uses and benefits of Water Dropwort
- The whole plant is depurative, febrifuge and styptic.
- Decoction is used in the treatment of epidemic influenza, fever and discomfort, jaundice, hematuria and metrorrhagia.
- Seed consists of 3.5% essential oil. This is effective at large dilutions against pathogenic fungi.
- It is used for treating various chronic and acute hepatitis, jaundice, alcohol hangovers, abdominal pain, and inflammatory conditions.
- It has long been used as a folk remedy for alleviating a wide spectrum of diseases.
- The flower and stem (or the aerial parts) of this plant are commonly used in China for the treatment of various types of chronic and acute hepatitis.
- It is also used in China for jaundice, fever, hypertension, abdominal pain, and urinary difficulties, as well as for eliminating pathogenic wind.
- This plant is also used for treating alcohol hangovers and inflammatory conditions in Korea.
- Stem is chewed and swallowed to ease a cough.
- Leaves are chewed with wild ginger and traditional ash salt as an antidote to poisoning.
- Leaves are rubbed onto the forehead in order to ease a headache.
- Leaves are used as appetizer and digestive.
- Fruits of the plant are used to cure chronic infections as bronchitis, asthma, indigestion, intermittent fever and ulcers.
- The alcoholic extract and essence of fruits is used for healing bronchitis.
- Root of the herb is used externally for the treatment of Piles.
- Young leaves and stems can be consumed raw or cooked.
- The leaves are also used as a seasoning in soups etc.
- The flavor is reminiscent of carrots or parsley.
- Young shoots that sprout from the root in winter are best.
- Root can be consumed cooked.
- Seed is said to be edible.
- The plant is extensively used in salad and soups.
- In Japan, O. javanica named “seri” is one of the ingredients of the symbolic dish, Nanakusa-no-sekku, consumed in the Japanese spring-time festival.
- Young leaves and tender stems can be washed, chopped, and tossed into salads, used as an edible garnish over grain bowls, or combined with other greens and nestled under seafood.
- In addition to raw dishes, Water Dropwort contributes fresh flavors to soups and stews.
- In Korea, the greens are commonly used as a flavoring for kimchee, as a vegetable in the hot-stone dish bibimbap, and fish soup.
- Water Dropwort can also be included into casseroles and quiches, layered into sandwiches, or used in recipes as added texture.
- Water Dropwort pairs well with tofu, seafood, meats including pork, beef, or poultry, cauliflower, mushrooms, taro root, flavorings such as miso, soy, and mustard, spinach, chrysanthemum leaves, and cabbage.
Water Dropwort pancake
- 1/2 cup buchimgaru, (Korean pancake mix) or all-purpose flour
- 4 ounces minari (Water Dropwort)
- 1 red chili pepper – optional
- Oil for pan frying
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- pinch black pepper
- pinch gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes) – optional
- Clean the minari thoroughly. Cut them into about 2 to 3-inch pieces.
- Add the minari to a bowl along with the Korean pancake mix or all-purpose flour. Stir in about 1/2 cup of cold water.
- Toss everything lightly to evenly coat the vegetable with wet flour.
- Heat one tablespoon of oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Ladle the mixture into the pan, and spread it evenly into a thin round shape. Cook until light golden brown, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low if the pancake browns too quickly. Turn it over, adding more oil to the sides of the pan, and press it down with a spatula. Cook until the other side is light golden brown, about 2 minutes.
- Repeat the process with the remaining vegetable mix. Serve hot with a dipping sauce, if desired.
Baechu Geotjeori (Fresh Kimchi)
- 1 small about 2.5 pounds baechu, (napa cabbage)
- 3 tablespoons coarse sea salt less if using finer salt
- 2 scallions
- 2 ounces buchu garlic chives, cut into 2-inch pieces – optional
- a few stalks minari water dropwort, cut into 2-inch pieces – optional
- 4 tablespoons gochugaru Korean red chili pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons myulchi aekjeot (fish sauce)
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup or Korean rice syrup
- 1 tablespoon maesil cheong (Korean plum syrup) – or a bit more corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- Separate the cabbage leaves. Cut each leaf lengthwise, and then cut crosswise once or twice into long bite sizes. Rinse in water and drain.
- Place a layer of cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle with a tablespoon of salt. Repeat with the remaining cabbage and salt. Toss well to coat evenly. Leave it for 40 to 60 minutes until softened, tossing once halfway through.
- Roughly chop the scallions. Cut the optional minari and buchu into about 2-inch lengths. Combine all the seasoning ingredients in a small bowl, and mix well with 2 tablespoons of water.
- Rinse the cabbage twice and drain well.
- Add the seasoning mix to the cabbage. Using a kitchen glove, toss everything by hand until the cabbage pieces are well coated with the seasoning. Add the scallion, minari, and buchu. Add a little salt or more fish sauce to taste.
- Higher dosage may cause vertigo, intoxication, stomach irritation, failure of circulation and cerebral disturbance.
- The fresh plant leaves are injurious to cattle.
- When livestock consume even a little of the plant, either fresh or as a contaminant in hay, they can die within 15 minutes.