Elsholtzia ciliata

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Elsholtzia ciliata
Elsholtzia ciliata-2.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Elsholtzia
Species: E. ciliata
Binomial name
Elsholtzia ciliata
(Thunb.) Hyl.

Elsholtzia cristata, Willd.
Elsholtzia patrinii, Kuntze
Sideritis ciliata, Thunb.

Elsholtzia ciliata, commonly known as Vietnamese Balm or kinh giới in Vietnamese is a weed native to Asia, sometimes grown as an ornamental plant.

The plant is an erect herb that grows to about 60 cm in height. The leaves are long, stalked, and serrated, and reach 2 to 8.5 cm in length and .8 to 2.5 cm in width. In shape they are ovate to lanceolate, with a gland-dotted underside. Flowers of a purple color bloom in flat spikes in September and October. Seeds propagate within them.

The plant is native to Asia; however, the exact extent of its original range is unclear.[1] Today it is found throughout Nepal at elevations of 1500 to 3400 m. It is found elsewhere, including through much of India, eastern Asia, and Europe. In modern times it has become popular as an ornamental plant, though first being reported in the Americas as a weed in 1889. It prefers moist soil, and grows mostly on exposed rocky slopes and other open, gravelly areas.[2]

Elsholtzia ciliata has many cultural uses. The seeds are sometimes powdered and used for flavoring food. Additionally it is common in herbal medicine, as it is carminative and astringent.[3]

It is used in Vietnamese cuisine, where it is called rau kinh giới or lá kinh giới.

Elsholtzia ciliata inhibits mast cell-mediated allergic inflammatory reactions.[4]


  1. ^ Wiersema, John H; Leon, Blanca (February 26, 1999). World Economic Plants. CRC Press. p. 200. ISBN 0-8493-2119-0.
  2. ^ Monachino, Joseph (1958). Elsholtzia ciliata in New York. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. Torrey Botanical Society.
  3. ^ Manandhar, Narayan P; Manandhar, Sanjay (April 1, 2002). Plants and People of Nepal. Timber Press. p. 217. ISBN 0-88192-527-6.
  4. ^ Kim H.-H., Yoo J.-S., Lee H.-S., Kwon T.K., Shin T.-Y., Kim S.-H.,"Elsholtzia ciliata inhibits mast cell-mediated allergic inflammation: Role of calcium, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and nuclear factor-kB." Experimental Biology and Medicine. 236 (9) (pp 1070-1077), 2011.

External links[edit]

Media related to Elsholtzia ciliata at Wikimedia Commons