Fish Mint (Houttuynia cordata) goes by various names such as Diep Ca, Phakkaawtong, Toningkok, Jamyrdoh, Dokudami, Chameleon, Lizard Tail, Heartleaf, Bishop’s weed, and Fishwort.
This herb is commonly used throughout Southeast Asia. You can find it used in culinary as well as herbal remedies. In China, the roots are used in stir fry. In Vietnam, leaves and tender stems are eaten raw along with other raw herbs such as Basil, Perilla, and Mint with cooked meals. Fish Mint has a fishy aroma with a tang taste; thus, it pairs well with seafood, and grilled food. Try replacing Basil with Fish Mint in your Pesto, it makes a delicious sauce for sandwiches, pasta, or dip. Olive oil tunes down the pungent smell of the herb and makes a tasty sauce.
Though Fish Mint is not in the Mint family, but in the warmer months, this herb sure grows quickly like Mint would. It can spread and become a decorative yet edible ground cover. Since it grows so quickly, it’s considered to be invasive so growing in a container will help control it from spreading. This herb also works well in a hanging basket.
Fish Mint contains polyphenols, which is high in antioxidant for the benefits of anti-aging, and preventions of many illnesses. It can stimulate white blood cell development to support the immune system. This herb also contains antibacterial properties, but also promote intestinal health.
The name of this plant in Japanese is Dokudami, which means poison blocking plant. Leaves are harvested and dried for tea. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, this herb is used for the respiratory system.