Vietnamese Balm



Vietnamese balm (Elsholtzia ciliata) is a plant which seeds are sometimes powdered and used for flavoring food, especially in Vietnamese cuisine, where it is called rau kinh giói. It is native to Asia and is found throughout Nepal, India, eastern Asia, and Europe.

Vietnamese balm is usually grown as an ornamental plant, and prefers moist soil in exposed rocky slopes and other open, gravelly areas. The plant is a 60 cm tall erect herb bearing ovate to lanceolate leaves with a gland-dotted underside. The leaves are stalked, long and serrated, 2 to 8.5 cm long and 0.8 to 2.5 cm wide. It bears flat-spikes of purple flowers in September and October.

Vietnamese balmVietnamese balm
Author: Fagus (public domain)

Vietnamese balmVietnamese balm
Author: Fagus (public domain)

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