Collecting the folklore and uses of plants


1. Pennywort also grows in Papua New Guinea. My son suffered asthma throughout childhood and I used to make a strong tea when he had an attack. One cup of the tea would ease his breathing for round about an hour. The only drawback being the revolting taste and having to drink it every hour until the symptoms passed completely.
I picked up my information regarding the plant’s use from older women in the community and that the time researched what it was. The closest I could get back then was pennywort.
It grows in small patches where there is (native) grass. I used to go and hunt of it until I transplanted some to my yard [Cairns, Queensland, Australia, February 2012; plant subsequently identified as Centella asiatica].

Image: cultivated, Princess of Wales Conservatory, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames; March 2017.