At the back of our house in Marag, plenty of gabi or taro used to grow. They grew next to our well (bubon) where the vicinity always has water.
Gabi growing profusely in our backyard was a Godsend. It was a ready source for a vegetarian viand. Thank goodness we also had a constant supply of coconuts which goes deliciously with taro.
As children, we were told to treat gabi with respect. Eaten raw the leaves and stalks can be poisonous as they contain oxalic acid. The sap that comes out when the stalks and leaves are torn can cause itch.
If suddenly rack with the desire to emulate Julie Andrews to do a turn of the Sound of Music ensure that the field is not one of verdant nettles with their beautiful bluish purplish little flowers. Otherwise you will be stinging not singing.
Nettles give painful sting like you don’t want to know. The Almighty God know of this that he ensured that a dock leaf is growing nearby! 🙂
Pansit-pansitan (Peperomia pellucida) Medicinal Herb
This was the herb given to us by the Lady of Necodemos, the manghihilot (healing massager) when we consulted her for stomach aches which seems to have afflicted our whole family in the Philippines after going for an overnight swim at Club Manila East.
She said to make a drink of tea from this herb.
She gave the following instruction:
Chop the herb and then boil in plenty of water. Leave to simmer for at least 10 to 15 minutes with the pan uncovered.
Turn off the stove and leave this herbal tea to steep for at least 10-15 minutes.
Strain and drink half a cup every four hours.
This herb will settle your stomach and digestive system.
Remaining tea can be stored for over a couple of days in a clean jar in the fridge.