The plant is edible and its common names include ulam raja, literally meaning "the King's salad". It was brought by the Spaniards from Latin America, via the Philippines, to the rest of Southeast Asia. Ulam, a Malay word used to describe a preparation that combines food, medicine and beauty is the widely popular Malay herbal salad. As a Malaysian delight, it is served throughout the country from major hotels for tourists to buffet lunches or dinners for the locals.
Ulam Raja is an annual plant growing up 2 m in height. The leaves are soft and pungent while the stem is light green with a purplish hue and succulent. As night falls the leaves fold to close the terminal buds as the plant literally sleeps. The flowers can be found solitary or in a loose clusters and are produced on a single stalk on auxiliary heads.
The Malay people believe that the herb is good for health and contains anti-aging properties or awet muda, and that it tones up blood circulation, strengthens the bones and promotes fresh breath.
- Hassan, Dr. W. E. (2006). Healing Herbs of Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur: Federal Land Development Agency. ISBN 978-983-99544-2-5
- Bodeker, G. (2009). Health and Beauty from the Rainforest: Malaysian Traditions of Ramuan. Kuala Lumpur: Didier Millet. ISBN 978-981-4217-91-0
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cosmos caudatus.|
- USDA Plants Profile
- Photo: Flower
- Photo: Leaves
- Aluka Profile
- Shui G, Leong LP, Wong SP (November 2005). "Rapid screening and characterisation of antioxidants of Cosmos caudatus using liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry". J. Chromatogr. B Analyt. Technol. Biomed. Life Sci. 827 (1): 127–38. doi:10.1016/j.jchromb.2005.07.029. PMID 16087413.
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