Scientific Name : Cosmos caudatus
Common Names : Wild Cosmos, Cosmos, Pelampong
Malay Names : Ulam Raja
Chinese Name : Dì huáng wū lán ( 帝皇乌蓝)
Tamil : —
Native to tropical America, it was brought by the Spanish to Southern Philippines. Upon seeing these white rajas eating this salad (ulam), the natives called it Ulam Raja1. It made its way to Malaysia where is a common salad served at homes, restaurants and even hotels.
Unlike other herbs that grow from stem cuttings, the Ulam Raja grows easiest from seeds. Germination will take place between three to eight days. The plant grows rapidly especially in hot and sunny spots to a height of 3 metres. Start harvesting when it’s about 450mm tall by snipping off 75mm from the top with a pair of sharp scissors. This will promote growth of new branches and prevent flowering. Allow the plant to grow to about 15 inches tall before harvesting. Harvest by snipping off 3 inches from the top with a sharp pair of scissors to stimulate and promote the growth of new branches2.
The part of the plant that is normally eaten is the young shoots. It is eaten as a salad usually with sambal belacan, a spicy dip made from pounded chilli, raw onions, shrimp paste and lime juice.3.
Ulam Raja is a medicinal herb and has been used for centuries for numerous metabolic disorders. These uses have been authenticated over the last couple of decades as the plant has been found in laboratory research to reduce blood pressure and bone loss. Ulam raja has been found to increase HDL-c and reduce LDL-c. It also has antibacterial and antifungal effects and is a strong antioxidant. C. caudatus has also been shown to reduce inflammation. More recently, however, Ulam raja’s ability to treat at type-2 diabetes has become increasingly evident4.
100 g of fresh leaves contain:5:
Protein : 2.9g or 1.6% RDA
Carbohydrate : 0.6g ot 0.46% RDA
Fat : 0.4g
Water : 93.1g
Energy : 18 kcal
Vitamin C : 64.6mg
β-carotene : 3568μg
Vitamin B1 : 0.13mg
Vitamin B2 : 0.24mg
Potassium : 426mg or 8.9% RDA
Calcium : 270mg or 27% RDA
Phosphorus : 37mg
Magnesium : 50mg or 12.5% RDA
Iron : 4.6mg or 12.5% RDA
Zinc : 0.9g or 8% RDA
Sodium : 4.0mg
Copper : 0.2g or 22% RDA
- Cosmos (Ulam Raja) by Asia Herbs
- Essential herbs for every edible garden by Michelin Guide.com
- The Healthy Benefits of The Malaysian Appetizers – Ulam – Ulaman by Travel At Malaysia.com
- 8 Ailments Treated by Ulam Raja Herb including Diabetes by Real Natural.org
- Potential medicinal benefits of Cosmos caudatus by US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health
The contents and references in this posting are for educational purposes only. Please consult your medical professional before consuming this food either cooked or raw, especially if you have any medical conditions.