Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Just been reading a posting from Jerry C-W on FB about Sweetleaf - a green many of us grow - and he has mentioned this interesting bit info:

Harvest leaves and shoot tips during the warm seasons. Cooking neutralises an alkaloid they contain.

Apparently, an extract made from raw Sweetleaf was marketed in Taiwan and Japan as an appetite suppressant for dieting - but the alkaloid harms the lungs.

If you are taking medication for high blood pressure it is wise not to eat Sweetleaf.

Cooking makes them safe to eat and it enhances their flavour - they taste like peas. Yum!

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Lissa, when you say not safe to eat if you are on high blood pressure meds - is that just if its raw or not at all?

I don't say Cheryl, this is direct from Jerry C-W (see link).

I'm thinking it's ok if cooked or for that matter eaten raw in moderation, but it would take a bit more research to get the exact answer.

Thanks for posting this Lissa. As I often eat my green leafy vegetables raw its good to know of any possible negative effects. I found this article which describes the "Katuk controversy" which involved huge amounts consumed raw. Probably fine for a few leaves in a salad each day but why take the risk.

I am on BP meds. I also eat Sweetleaf raw occasionally. Have never cooked it in fact - it's one of those plants I snack on while gardening. I'm not that concerned but would be careful about eating large amounts.

Good article. I have >BP so maybe it's good for me!!:

It contains a compound named Papaverine that lowers blood pressure and has a string of other medicinal and pharmacological uses.  One group of Taiwanese women trying to lose weight by juicing katuk, found out the hard way.  


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Vetiver grass helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion.  It can protect against pests and weeds. Vetiver is also used as animal feed. (Wiki.)

GrowVetiver is a plant nursery run by Dave & Keir Riley that harvests and grows Vetiver grass for local community applications and use. It is based in Beachmere, just north of Brisbane, Australia.

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