Elsholtzia ciliata, commonly known as Vietnamese balm, xiang ru (香薷) or kinh giới in Vietnamese, is a plant native to Asia.
Today it is found through much of India, eastern Asia, and Europe. It grows throughout Nepal at elevations of 1500 to 3400 m.
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Elsholtzia ciliata 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.
Elsholtzia ciliata has many cultural uses.
It is used common in herbal medicine, as it is considered to be carminative and astringent. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is known as xiang ru (香薷) or aromatic madder and is used for stomach problems, to induce sweating, and also for halitosis.
It was first reported in the Americas as a weed in 1889.
- Wiersema, John H; Leon, Blanca (February 26, 1999). World Economic Plants. CRC Press. p. 200. ISBN 0-8493-2119-0.
- Manandhar, Narayan P; Manandhar, Sanjay (April 1, 2002). Plants and People of Nepal. Timber Press. p. 217. ISBN 0-88192-527-6.
- Monachino, Joseph (1958). Elsholtzia ciliata in New York. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. Torrey Botanical Society.
- Media related to Elsholtzia ciliata at Wikimedia Commons