Vietnamese Herbs: A Guide to Eating And Using Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs are not only spice that makes your dishes more attractive, but they also have a few special uses in life. Today, I will introduce the popular Vietnamese herbs and their benefits for your health.

1. Coriander

Coriander is a mildly pungent, aromatic herb with warm properties, it is used to help clear heat, detoxify, stimulate digestion, and treat colds, lousy breath, and boils, especially conjunctivitis.

Besides the medicinal effects, coriander is a type of herb that is often added by Vietnamese people when cooking soup or sprinkled on top of pho. This makes the dish more fragrant and beautiful

2. Vietnamese Perilla – Tia To

For herbs that help treat diseases, perilla is an indispensable herb. Perilla is an oriental medicine that helps drain sweat and treat colds and typhoid. The spicy, warm taste of perilla helps treat colds effectively and helps reduce bloating, vomiting, pain relief, asthma, and pregnancy.

Its leaves are often used to wrap and enjoy grilled meats or as an accompaniment to noodle dishes. You can aslo eat perilla as a familiar raw vegetable or process it into perilla juice for use when needed.

3. Mint – Bac Ha

Mint has an excellent taste, a pleasant scent, a fantastic taste on the tip of the tongue, and is popularly used in cooking and preparing drinks.

In medicine, mint is effective in treating colds and flu, contains flatulence, and hiccups bring many benefits for digestion. Peppermint essential oil also treats insect bites, soothing asthma attacks.

4. Thai Basil – Hung Que

Basil is an indispensable condiment for Vietnamese Noodles dishes. Basil tastes areca, a hot nature that treats colds, flu, stuffy nose, fever, or headache. The aroma of Thai basil is distinctly different from sweet basil and imparts an authentic Southeast Asian touch to your cooking.

5. Fish Mint (Herb) – Diep Ca

In Vietnam, fish mint grows wild in mountainous, midland, and plain provinces. The plant is also grown in many places for vegetables and medicine.

Compared to the above herbs, fish mint seems to be pickier. Many people can’t eat or even smell the fish mint because this vegetable has a slightly fishy smell.

However, for those who are used to eating, fish mint has a fleshy, delicious, excellent, nutritious taste that you can grind into lettuce juice to cool down.

6. Dill – Thi La

Dill is a herb used by Vietnamese people in fish dishes and fish cakes to eliminate fishy odors and enhance flavor. In addition, it also has therapeutic effects such as supporting the treatment of abdominal pain and toothache and helping to strengthen the kidneys and yang.

7. Spring Onions – Hanh La

Spring onions are a spice that enhances the flavor of dishes and are one of the most used Vietnamese herbs in Vietnamese dishes such as Pho, Bun Rieu. This herb is spicy, and hot, and has a very effective cold treatment. Using spring onions with perilla helps to release toxic gases and circulate blood vessels quickly.

8. Lolot Leaves – La Lot

Lolot leaves are a climbing plant, growing straight from the very beginning. The stem has five to six veins from the petiole to the tip. Its heart-shaped leaves with a peppery, slightly spicy flavor.

They are often used as wrappers for dishes like bò lá lốt (grilled beef in lolot leaves) or as an aromatic ingredient in grilled dishes and salads. In oriental medicine, guise treats bone and joint diseases, gynecological diseases, heatstroke, and toothache.

9. Vietnamese Coriander – Rau Ram

Vietnamese coriander has long, thin, pointy leaves with a smooth and characteristic aroma, it is often served with balut, pancakes, sea snails, and shellfish. Coriander has many great medicinal uses, such as treating rashes, aiding digestion, and being antibacterial.

10. Lemongrass – Sa

Lemongrass is a type of herb used a lot in cooking that has the effect of eliminating fishy odors and helping dishes become more delicious. The tough outer leaves are often discarded, while the tender inner stalks are finely minced or pounded. This spicy herb can treats fever, headache, rheumatism, and excretory problems.

11. Saw-Leaf Herb – Rau Mui Tau

Saw-Leaf herb is also known as Culantro. With a characteristic and pleasant aroma, saw leaf herb is used by Vietnamese people in pho and sour fish soup dishes. People with diabetes should eat saw-leaf herb in their meals because it has a blood sugar-lowering effect.

12. Vietnamese Balm

Vietnamese balm is a raw herb indispensable in Grilled Pork Hanoi Vermicelli; the vegetable has a characteristic aroma of henna leaves with many veins. Besides, Vietnamese people also use Vietnamese balm to support the treatment of colds, nosebleeds, and acne.

13. Mexican Mint – Hung Chanh

Mexican mint is green, growing symmetrically through the branches, succulent, thick, and hard, when broken in half, the leaves feel crunchy, the outer edge of the leaves has rounded serrations, and there is also a layer of smooth hair on the surface.

The whole Mexican mint plant gives off an aroma similar to that of lemon, so it is often called hung chanh. When you put the leaves on your nose, you can smell the scent, and slightly spicy.

This herb has a sour, slightly pungent, warm taste.  Mexican mint has the effect of relieving colds, eliminating phlegm, treating colds, and detoxifying effects.

14. Chives – He

Chives are a herb commonly used to make dishes such as thick noodles soup with chives or tofu soup with chives. Besides, it can also be used as medicine when needed. Chives contain important beneficial nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. However, to get a significant amount of these nutrients, you will have to eat large amounts of chives.

15. Rice Paddy Herb – Ngo Om

Rice paddy herb is a herbaceous plant. The stem has an average length of 20 – 30 cm and is covered with many fine hairs. Leaves are symmetrical, green, small in size, close to and slightly hugging the stem, without a stalk. Small serrated leaf margins

In the South of Vietnam, this herb is used most often to cook sour soup, served with pho, or used to marinate meat and cook hot pot. In the North, rice paddy herb and coriander are two indispensable herbs to make pork meat fake dog meat

Hopefully, the information I share above will help you better understand the health benefits and therapeutic effects of these 15 Vietnamese herbs to use them more effectively.