Goya ‘Bitter Melon’ – The Green Heart of Okinawa

Gymnema Sylvestre ‘Miracle Fruit’: Eats Sugar for You

Gymnema Sylvestre ‘Miracle Fruit’: Eats Sugar for You

Dogbane Family Gymnema Sylvestre Gymnema Sylvestre originates from India but is cultivated all the way in Okinawa and all subtropical and tropical areas in between. It has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for countless years but is used for one particular reason today. Two widely spread ailments affecting millions of people
A Different Kind of Ginger: Getto ‘Shell Ginger’

A Different Kind of Ginger: Getto ‘Shell Ginger’

Ginger Family Alpinia zerumbet or Alpinia speciosa The Getto plant can be found in most Okinawan people’s backyards and alongside many streets and paths of the island. It is not just used as a beautiful decoration though. It is used for a variety of ailments, food, and makeup in Japan.
The Longevity Grass of Okinawa: Chomeiso

The Longevity Grass of Okinawa: Chomeiso

Parsley Family Peucedanum japonicum Japanese plant native to Okinawa  Chomeiso (cho-may-so) is a well-known, traditional herb on the island of Okinawa but virtually unheard of outside of Okinawa, Japan. It is also known as ‘Sakuna‘ in Japanese, but there is no English name assigned to the plant due to its
The Symbolic Citrus of Okinawa: Shikuwasa

The Symbolic Citrus of Okinawa: Shikuwasa

Citrus Family Citrus Depressa Japanese plant native to Okinawa and Taiwan Shikuwasa or Shikwasa (Shee-koo-wah-sah/Sheek-wah-sah) is a popular fruit in Okinawa. The word Shikuwasa means ‘eating vinegar‘ in Okinawan language. It is not only Okinawans who love Shikuwasa drinks and flavored foods, but also tourists from China, Korea, and all
The World’s Unknown Carrot: Black Carrot

The World’s Unknown Carrot: Black Carrot

Parsley and Carrot Family Daucus carota L. Have you ever seen a black carrot? That is a picture of black carrots grown in the fields in Okinawa, Japan. Black carrots originate from Afghanistan, Turkey, and surrounding countries. It is difficult to find this particular vegetable in many countries. The black carrot is
Hibiscus: More than Just a Pretty Flower

Hibiscus: More than Just a Pretty Flower

Mallow Family Hibiscus sabdariffa L. Charming red flowers used in beautiful, tropical landscaping is an image quick to come to mind when the word hibiscus is spoken. Globally known for its elegance but not so well-known for its intense health attributes. Hibiscus has been used in traditional medicine across dozens
The Strongest Health Spice: Turmeric

The Strongest Health Spice: Turmeric

Ginger Family  Curcuma longa L. Do you know how many types of turmeric there are on this planet? There are approximately 30 varieties, each with their own characteristics and effects.  India and Bangladesh are commonly known for their use of turmeric in food. If you have eaten and love Indian-style
The Tart Super Fruit: Noni

The Tart Super Fruit: Noni

Coffee Family Morinda citrifolia L. Noni- pronounced: (No-nee) The fruit of the Noni tree has a strong, tart taste and is packed with minerals and vitamins. Noni is cultivated in countries such as Polynesia, East Australia, China, Philippines, Taiwan, and Japan’s Okinawa prefecture. It has been consumed in Polynesian culture