Question: Is this how Pecah Beling looks and is that how the plant grows - on long stems? That's Wik, my helper, posing with the "Bayam" that we plucked out from the ground near my house.
I am a great fan of "Ulam" and it goes without saying that fans of Ulam are also great fans of Sambal Belacan. But alas, due to a self-imposed period of recovery from double surgery in 2007, I have to avoid all things that might cause inflammation or allergies. So out the window (and main door too, I might add) go all kinds of exotic delicacies - tempoyak, cencaluk, budu , pekasam, just to name a few. My doctors told me I can eat anything, within reason, no pantang. I tried eating prawns, squid, kembung and paid dearly for it when I itch like a monkey. So for now it is trial and error, and taking meat and seafood sparingly or not at all, and only white fish.
And I itch less....
My years in boarding school (TKC in the 60's and early 70's) brought me into contact with friends from all over Malaysia and it was there that I mastered the art of eating everything that someone else has eaten even though I haven't. I learnt a lot too about all kinds of ulam2, and sayur2 as food is naturally a favourite topic in between studying for exams and talking about boys. When I went home for the holidays I would introduce what I had learnt to my family, for example to enjoy Budu with Ikan bakar. I would learn too of ulams that I have not heard of before, as my repertoire of ulam then would be Timun and Petai.
By the time I left TKC, I have heard of Ulam Raja, Peria Katak, Tenggek Burung, Pucuk Betik, Bebuas, Pucuk Gajus, Daun Selom, Pegaga, loads. But I cannot recall everbeing told that there is a daun called Pecah Beling,which according to what I read in the comment page of a website on local herbs www.melur.com a tea and some say can be prepared as a sayur! The tea is supposedly helpful to manage batu karang ( stones in kidney) and has been researched as a possible supplement to manage cancer. No clinical research per se has been done to support this, but there has been a few by word-of- mouth kind of testimony. If it does not have any side effects and directionally can help to manage cancer, then it sounds quite appealing. One more local herb or ulam to add to my ever-expanding repertoire Ulam2.
Question: Is this Pecah Beling? Close-up picture fits the web and book description but edges are not serrated. I took this photo of the growth near my house. It looks like the web image somewhat.
Based on the image displayed in the website and also the description I got from a book, it would seem that this is a very common herb ( or should I say weed?). Seems to flourish in semak 2 and belukar, has stems like daun kesom ( for laksa) and feels kesat like sandpaper on the surface. The description fits the abundance of growth that I see on my walking trail in my housing area, Bt Kiara Walking trail as well as at Taman Rimba Kiara. The only feature that is missing is the leaf is supposed to be "bergigi 2"(serrated) along the edges. So because I am unsure, I can't confirm and do very much with it.
I am still checking this out. At time of writing a friend who happens to be in Penang is going to try and locate or go to the Melor outlet to see if she can buy some for me. I can then compare what she brings back with what is growing here. I have tried to get in touch with Melur.com but unable to get a reply using the number listed in their website. I suppose to be sure I can mailorder a plant or 2 as their website does internet sale.
There is a lady who swears by this herb, and I have been fortunate enough to be given her contact number so I shall make it a point to contact her soon to find out more. And then decide how I can use the information. It is always good to learn about how others are coping with their health, and then decide if there is anything that we can adopt or adapt to.