Geniosporum parviflorum Benth.
Mesona chinensis Benth.
Mesona elegans Hayata
Mesona palustris Blume
Mesona parviflora (Benth.) Briq.
Mesona philippinensis Merr.
Mesona procumbens Hemsl.
Mesona wallichiana Benth.
Platostoma chinense (Benth.) A.J.Paton
Common Name: Black Cincau
Black cincau is an aromatic, erect annual plant growing 30 - 50 cm tall, with a well-developed root system[
The plant is cultivated for its edible leaves in Java[
]. There is some local trade in the dried leaves, small amounts of which are exported to Singapore[
E. Asia - China, Bangladesh, Myanmar, through tropical Asia to Indonesia, Philippines, New Guinea.
Roadsides, along ditches, on open grassy slopes, in forest margins, on dry fields of rice, and around springs, at elevations from sea-level up to 2,300 metres[
] . It may be locally common and tolerates both per-humid and seasonal conditions[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
A plant of the moist tropics, where it is found at elevations from sea level to 2,300 metres[
]. It grows in areas with year-round rainfall and also where there is a distinct dry season[
The plant is harvested before flowering, when 3 months old[
]. After cutting the stems at 10 cm above the ground the soil is loosened and weeded. A second harvest is possible 1 month later[
]. If no third harvest is intended the plants are then uprooted. The third and last harvest is possible one month after the second harvest, but by then the pectin content is very low[
In Java, the annual yield of dry herb is 500 - 1,500 kg/ha[
The dried leaves are used to prepare a gelatinous, cool drink[
]. Somewhat harsh and slimy[
]. A locally popular dish called 'cincau hideung' is prepared in Java - a decoction of the dried leaves, to which ash of burned rice culms is added to give it a blacker colour, is mixed with sago or cassava starch and cooked[
]. After cooling, the gel is cut into cubes, which are made into a pleasant drink by the addition of coconut milk and sugar syrup[
Per 100 g, the fresh leaves contain approximately: water 66 g; protein 6 g; fat 1 g; carbohydrates 26 g; Ca 100 mg; P 100 mg; Fe 3 mg; vitamin A 10750 IU; vitamin B1 80 mg; and vitamin C 17 mg[
]. The energy value is about 510 kJ per 100 g. The pectin content is about 11%[
]. The leaves also contain saponins, flavonoids and tannins. It is assumed that the blackish colour is due to the presence of tannic acid bound to the pectin and other unidentified compounds[
In China 'cincau' means cool leaves or medicine. The leaves are applied medicinally against dysentery, enteritis, abdominalgia, hoarseness and leucorrhoea[
Planted for soil conservation[
Planted in Java as an intercrop with Capsicum pepper, soya bean, or maize[
Easily propagated by stem cuttings 20 cm long, planted on small ridges in well-prepared, loose soil[
]. They are planted 25 - 30 cm apart on ridges at 40 cm spacing[
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