Katuk leaves have the highest protein content, up to 49% and has been used by lactating mothers in Indonesia for generations.

Scientific Name : Sauropus Androgynus

Common Names : Sweet Leaf, Star Gooseberry, Katuk

Malay Names : Cekur Manis, Sayur Manis

Chinese Name : Mani Cai (马尼菜)

Tamil : Madhura Cheera

Growing :
Katuk is the Indonesian name for this plant. Originated from the jungles of Borneo, this under storey plant can be grown in full sun or under shade. It is extremely easy to propagate – cut some stems, leave in a jar of water for a week and it will root. After that, just plant into the ground or pots. It grows better under shade. Too much sun or heat causes the leaves to turn yellow and wrinkle. Some of our PEEPS have grown along their corridors, balconies and also in their kitchen!

It is very sturdy but may be easily infested by aphids. Just cut away all the infected leaves and the plant will regrow in no time.

Eating :
The leaves have a sweet nutty flavour. Besides the leaves, the tender tips, flowers, berries can be eaten preferably cooked. It contains a high amount of papaverine when taken raw in excessive amounts daily can cause lung failure as recorded in Taiwan 2006. However, casual consumption even raw is safe for most people other than those who already have lung conditions.

Nutrition :
The leaves are known to have the highest protein content of any leaf listed in the World Vegetables book. 100 grams of fresh leaves provides up to 22% of the daily requirement for Vitamin A. It is also one of the few vegetables containing Vitamin K.

Protein : 49% protein
Fiber : 18% fiber
Potassium : 2.77% (bananas : 1.48%)
Calcium : 2.77% (dried skim milk : 1.3%)
Phosphorus : 0.61% (dried soybeans : 0.55%)
Magnesium : 0.55%;
Others : Vitamins A, B & C, K and iron.

References :

  1. Katuk Kontroversy by Green Deane www.eattheweeds.com
  2. Daun Katuk Helps increase breast milk production by Info About Baby Kids
  3. Binahian by Philippines Medicinal Plants

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.