August 18, 2004
I Wouldn't Eat It: Pennywort Drink

cool, refreshing, now with the great taste of garbage juiceAsian soft drinks.

Three little words that strike terror into the hearts of all reasonable men. If you haven't experienced the variety of strange things that East Asian countries grind up into a liquid and call a soft drink or a soda, count yourself lucky.

You may remember from many months ago the first I Wouldn't Eat it: Marmite, wherein I ate yeast waste - yes, yeast crap - disguised as a yummy breakfast treat on toast in the name of science.

I've been looking for a suitable followup and I found it a while back. Since then, this can of lurking terror has been looming in my fridge, along with the three cans of Busch beer from last Christmas we keep for when my father-in-law visits.

What is this terror? (Cue dramatic music) It is... PENNYWORT DRINK!!! (OK, cut the dramatic music.) Pennywort drink. A drink made from pennywort.

What the heck is pennywort? As you can see, there is a lovely picture of the pennywort plant on the can. It's pretty, and I think I'd say "Ah, look at the lovely plant," if I walked by it in the woods, but I don't know that I'd think "Ah-ha, there's a nice something that'd be refreshing mashed up, filtered, sweetened and put in a can."

People do drink the stuff, though. According to sites I found on the web, pennywort is a water loving plant that grows in marshy areas and is used in herbal remedies and teas for, among other things, leprosy.

I have noticed bits and pieces falling into the sink in the morning, but I was pretty sure I was just losing my hair. Better be safe and try it out.

It's cold. I'm sure that's how it needs to be to suppress the flavor as much as possible. Let's give it a sniff.

Ah. Well, it's not the worst thing I've smelled, but it does have the distinct odor of boiled lettuce with maybe a hint of broccoli or mushy celery. You know how one year the hot scent of the year is musk and the next it's citrus? I'm pretty sure this scent never gets a year of its own.

Why do I do this feature? I'm guessing it's a masochistic tendency and a willingness to give up the body for the team. OK, let's taste the boiled lettuce juice.

It's sweet. The first impression I get is that it tastes like a sugared mess of veggie garbage juice. It also has a note I can't place but that is so familiar... Ah, I know - in junior high school when the terrarium got going and had a steamy scent to it. Not exactly bad, but thick, humid, and vegetative.

This drink tastes humid. Who knew?

The ingredients listed on the side are: WATER, PENNYWORT LEAVES EXTRACT, SUGAR, CITRIC ACID (E330) and then the whole thing again in Spanish, though its a product of Thailand, and there is no Thai writing on the can. I think that proves the Thai people are smart enough not to drink this muck.

The color is a drab green, almost as if someone had boiled down a lot of leaves into a muck that really shouldn't have been boiled down. Imagine all-natural spinach soda to get the color in your mind. No, make that spinach-kale soda. Mmmm... olive-drab-licious.

According to the nutritional information on the side of the can there are 140 calories in a can of this still water drink. One serving is calculated to be in each can. Ugh. I can't imagine finishing a can of this stuff.

I thought there was an outside chance that FOCO's Pennywort Drink bebida De Pennywort ("Pennywort that makes you sick in bed") would be a pleasant surprise, but I knew it was an outside chance.

Overall, this is nasty. Not as bad as the marmite, but I'd have a hard time finishing a whole can of it. One more sip. Ugh. Dr. Brown's Cel-ray tastes like Cristal compared to this junk.

Hey, maybe that's my new angle. I'll pretend I hate expensive delicious things and try them out so the manufacurers will send me freebies.

Frankly, I hear vintage Dom Perignon and beluga caviar taste like the bottom of a shoe. Prove me wrong, Fox and Obel!

Posted by Barrett in Maryland at August 18, 2004 7:30 AM | TrackBack Print-friendly version
Comments

Busch Beer. Might be nastier. They put the headache right in the can for you.

Did the yummy pennywort have riboflavin. Can't get enough of those B vitamins.

Posted by Bryan on August 18, 2004 at 2:14 PM

Actually it's Busch Light. I should probably get rid of it and get fresh brews when they come up to visit.

Riboflavin? No, no riboflavin. Lots of sugar, though.

Posted by barrett on August 18, 2004 at 2:27 PM

I once tried a can of Asian Black Grass Jelly drink , but made the mistake of puring it into a glass first. It looked and smelled like a glass of algae-ridden rain barrel water with short pieces of cut up black worms (agar "jelly"!) stirred in. I know "chunky" drinks are big in Asia - hence the popularity of "bubble tea" - but this going way too far. Ugh.

Posted by Lenka on August 19, 2004 at 4:26 PM

I THINK THE PENNYWORT DRINK IS ACTUALLY DELICOUS WHEN YOU DRINK IT WITH FOOD. DRINKING IT ALONE TASTES WEIRD

Posted by MINA on April 19, 2005 at 6:38 PM

It's supposed to be great for arthritis and for your veins and as a sedative, too.

Posted by linda on May 27, 2005 at 11:11 PM

I really like pennywort it is not as bad as you make it seem. Although it was a little humorous to read what you thought of it. Not all asian drinks are as awful as you make them out to be. Lots of people like soya milk, bubble tea, avacado milkshakes, chrysanthemum drinks, and many others. Maybe you should be a little more open minded :) Well a reason for your fear of asian drinks may be from trying the worst ones haha it's true there are a lot of preety weird ones! I personally don't like Durian milkshakes ewww but thats me against most of the asian culture haha

Well don't give up on the asian drinks! They really are not that awful!! ^__^

Posted by Kelly on August 25, 2005 at 12:32 PM

Kelly - here's the thing. I like Soy milk a lot. I drink it all the time. The canned soy milk that was the same brand as this Pennywort drink was unfathomably awful, as has been every brand of Asian canned soymilk I've tasted (which is about three more - I'm an optimist).

It's not a question of open-mindedness, it's a question of irrepressable gag reflexes.

Posted by barrett on August 25, 2005 at 12:49 PM

You don't know what you're talking about. You've already made up your mind that this pennywort drink is gona taste bad, just because pennywort is considered a weed in many places. Get this, it tastes good! Very good infact. It's not the same specie of Pennywort that you grew to hate. This drink is made from asian pennywort extract and the flavor is very nice and refreshing; Pennywort drinks are well known throughout asia for its nice flavor.
In fact, I am looking for pennywort drinks right now, which are nowhere to be found where I live. Consider yourself lucky. And open up your mind before trying new things.

Posted by pennywort on August 26, 2005 at 10:54 PM

Pennywort - I had no idea what pennywort was before I saw this drink. I was perfectly willing to give it credit if it was tasty, but I'm not going on a pre-formed opinion only - I tried the stuff.

I maintain this tastes humid like boiled lettuce with sugar. I'm glad you like the stuff, but I found it to be pretty nasty.

Posted by barrett on August 27, 2005 at 10:59 AM

I just went to a new international farmers market and saw fresh pennywort for the first time. As is my usual habit, I swiped a small leaf to taste..love trying new things...and found it to be wonderful! Strong similarities to parsley, but less herbal, more vegetal and perhaps even with a touch of a fruity/floral overtone. I can imagine using it as a parsley substitute and enjoying the quizzical effect it would have on my guinea pig diners.

Imagine my delight when I went through the asian soda section and saw pennywort drink. Had to buy it. Also bought a can of basil seed drink (and V8 juice). For lunch I decided to have the basil seed drink, so I'll have to post my impressions on the pennywort drink later.

I've seen a website that said the canned drinks stink but a drink made with fresh pennywort is much better. Likely to be to true.

The basil seed drink was palatable only because of its novelty and my desire to like it. I was introduced to the culinary use of basil seeds at Seegers in Atlanta...a wonderful 5 star restaurant that served a watermelon soup with a few floating basil seeds and a dollop of yogurt sorbet. Brilliant. The visual appeal of the basil seeds, which hydrate and form a gel around the small black seeds, was equalled by the burst of basil flavor that each contributed. I've tried using basil seeds before, even ones right off my own basil plants, but they never have much basil flavor. And boy, was that the case with the basil seed drink. No basil flavor, just goey, bland "toad eggs" floating in a sweet slightly banana flavored drink. did fill me up, though.

I still love plain ole V8. And good for me, too.

Posted by frdagaa on September 2, 2005 at 10:18 PM

I just try today lovely, i came from India last month at breakfast at Intercontinental Hotel I drunk spinach plus cucumber juice lovely, its nice people do this mixed, its different and cool pennywort seems to me like old watercress, must be good for clean the blood..... Been so many times in Thailand never seen that....

Posted by Joe on April 7, 2006 at 4:45 PM

you need torespect other ppls cultures!

Posted by piggy on July 7, 2006 at 12:48 AM

do you have a thing agaist asians or somthing!? ur really rude.

Posted by piggy on July 7, 2006 at 12:51 AM

Ah, now the trolls come out to play. No, piggy, I have nothing against Asians. I do, however, have something against disgusting humid tasting drinks made from Pennywort.

As far as respecting other people's cultures - I think you'll find we do that there. We don't, however, blindly accept every artifact of every culture as something that must be revered and beloved. There's plenty of Anglo-Saxon food that is inedible and nasty, and there is plenty of Asian food that fits that description as well.

This drink, for example.

To proclaim that I'm disrespecting an entire culture because I hate hate hated this can of boiled lettuce crud is specious.

Posted by barrett on July 7, 2006 at 9:44 AM

Hello folks. First time posting here. Was googling grass jelly drink and came upon this post. Afterreading the opinions I was forced to goto Philly, wander China Town and pick up a can of Pennywort drink. After staring at it for days I finally took the plunge, cracked open the can, and poured the green liquid into a glass. It didnt have an odd odor which surprised me. Based upon the posts I kept thinking about how it would taste like lettuce but it didnt. It was actually sweet and pleasant tasting. Not sure if I will make it a regular beverage in the fridge but I can actually say Id drink it again.

Posted by Chai on July 8, 2006 at 3:53 PM

I just received my first can of Bebida De Pennywort from my barber, of all people. She said it was a drink from her homeland and she wanted me to try it. Having no idea what this green plant was, I hopped onto the internet to find out whatever I could before I tried it. My barber's English is somewhat broken, but she's sweet as could be and is learning more English all the time. So, I think I'm going to take mine home and chill it, as she suggested, and I'll let you know what I think. She did try to tell me that it was good "for something," but she couldn't find the correct word. Stay tuned . . . . I'm not the adventurous type, but Tina wouldn't ever deliberately harm me.

Posted by Jerry on July 17, 2006 at 3:04 PM

first of all you havent tried a real pennywort dirnk unless you've made it for yourself form the actual leaves. you just need the leaves, water, sugar and a blender and you're all set. its very good and its so refreshing especially in the summer. i have about a glass every day, probably even more.

Posted by Allis on July 20, 2006 at 2:42 AM

Allis, having had "salmon" from a can and the real thing fresh, I can see how a fresh version of the pennywort drink might be quite drinkable.

Jerry, good luck. We're all counting on you.

Posted by barrett on July 20, 2006 at 10:44 AM

the canned version is shit, go to a vietnamese restaurant and ask for it, you should know anything alive that is then processed and canned usually isn't going to taste as fresh/nutritious as if made from scratch...except for the coke cola junk etc

Posted by john on July 30, 2006 at 1:51 AM

Barrett, I guess you are bored with yourself and wanted a discussion about pennyworts. Listen, I grow them in my backyard and prepared them as cold drinks over the summer and tea in the winter! This is one good medicinal herb and if prepare correctly can be very beneficial as well as great tasting! I am glad you gave it a try...it just isn't for you! Let's move on!!!

Posted by Justin on January 1, 2007 at 5:13 PM

I actually heard that the canned versions are typically not as good tasting as if you get it fresh or in a drink container. I live in a Vietnamese area and just ran across it and decided to get a bottle. very sweet and refreshing. If you can avoid the canned stuff, you should. Its actually easy to make it fresh in a blender

Posted by Joe on January 24, 2007 at 7:32 PM

i can agree with your comment on this yucky can of veggie drink. in fact the picture of the can caught my attention becuase just last week, i bought this very can to try out. I took 2 sips, and i drained the rest in my sink to throw the can away. Beleive me, you're brave. i dont think i woudl've gotten this drink randomly like you did. I got it because i know what this drink is like when its freshly made. like the other comment said - its got a slight fragrant aroma with some bitterness and with sugar, sweetness to it. served with ice and this drink is actually very thirst quenching. i'm actually craving one of these drinks now, but never from the can ever again.
Curious though - if you tried it fresh, what you would think.... if you still dont like it, then yup, pennywort is not for you. this is a far stretch, but its similar to if you were to get a jamba juice, wait a day, then drink it, yeah, it'd be gross. you need to drink it right away - not to nessecary like it, but to at least get the full representation of it.

Posted by Mai Trinh on March 19, 2007 at 4:05 PM

Bought two cans last week. Had no idea what Pennywort is. According to the can there isn't any Nutritional value. The brand is caravelle and it is not the bad. This brand is sweet with a bitter kick to it. I almost didn't try it because of what is written on this site. I'm glad I did. You should try it too.

Posted by Gale on September 1, 2007 at 12:30 AM

i ve never tried the canned so i have no say. just go to any vietnamese restaurant/foodcourt and order "rau ma". same thing. fresh n good and no preservatives. or you can buy the leaves from asian market. wash. put in a blender, add little water. blend. filter through cheese cloth. add sugar to taste. chill and drink. super good for health n complexion.

Posted by Annie on September 25, 2007 at 2:57 PM

To me pennywort drink prepared from frsh leaves is very refreshing and beneficial to your system with lots of cleansing effect and neuro-regenerative stimulation. At least you will get high concentration of bioflavonoids and antioxidants that can prevent you from rusting although it is not a real adaptogen as some people claim though. Yes I do grow organically in my sideyard and consume after I got used to that wierd greeny raw flavor. I normally soaked them in cold salt water for couple minutes for safety sinceI drink freshly made drink.

Posted by Andrew on December 21, 2007 at 1:46 AM

I dunno. (shrug) I just drank a can of the stuff about 45 mins ago. Tasted kind of like a green tea to me, and no ill effects yet. I actually have a book on herbs, and if this pennywort is the same thing as centella (it looks like it), then research shows a tonic, antiinflammatory, wound-healing, diuretic, and a seditive. It also activates blood cleansing, improves memory, and high blood pressure. Eh, I guess it is what you make of it. Iffn' ya don't like it, then so what. If ya do, then that's fine. I didn't think it was so bad.

Posted by Scott on December 26, 2007 at 3:10 PM

I tried a can of FOGO pennywort drink, purchased without knowing what it was. Did not find it offensive, and decided to google pennywort to get some information on it.
Lookong at some of the comments would be curious to see the same people review some of the wines from CA that are touted by experts and I find discusting.

Posted by Ron on January 31, 2008 at 9:15 PM

I just opened the dreaded Pennywort Drink can and decided to look it up on Google. Thanks for the huge laughs!!! It almost made it worth smelling this horrid swill while I drank it. My wife got the Lychee Drink which is very tasty. We went to H Mart an asian supermarket in Virginia and had to experiment... We were there to get Ginger for her arthritis and when I read on this thread that arthritis is helped by the Pennywort drink she grabbed the can. I got the Lychee WOOOO HOOOO! Thanks again.

Posted by hierge on April 5, 2008 at 7:50 PM

Any Asian in their right mind would tell you that that stuff you drank in a can tasted bad. You wouldn't walk into a supermarket, pick up their stale tiramisu in their "bakery" aisle and resolve that all tiramisu is bad. Like some of the more knowledgeable posters mentioned before me, you need to actually go to a Vietnemese restaurant and order fresh pennywort to pass any kind of judgment on such a drink. The canned stuff from supermarkets-pennywort or grass jelly is awful. Don't be turned off because you were dumb enough to buy crap.

Posted by Diana on June 1, 2008 at 2:11 AM

I ordered a case of Foco coconut drink, but they sent me these Pennywort drink instead. I was curious, so I opened one can and drunk it, whaooo!! Bitter taste, then I surf the internet to know about this plant. I found out it has plenty of medicinal values and I remember my grandmother tells us when we were young-" it taste bitter, but it is good for you", remember the COD LIVER OIL? Yakky! And the bitter melon, but full of good things in it.
I decided to mix the pennywort with lychee juice or mango juice and I chilled it a bit. And voila!! I is good, try it with a litte bit of rhum

Posted by Cita on June 7, 2008 at 8:45 PM


Ah, pennywort my husband is from Vietnam and I am from Michigan he insist I try all kinds of stuff he is so sure is perfect so I had some from the Asian sandwhich shop ugh not horrible but not my cup of tea but atleast I tried it more then I can say for him he won't even consider trying cottagecheese, so remember everything has a equal. but I am surprised that no one has mention that it is poison to certain animals and you should be very careful giving it to or having it around animals until you check on the animals tolerance to it.
bottom line our taste bud develop when we are young to certain types of things and it takes a while to adjust. when we are young we don't like much. and for the record I don't like the bitter taste of beer ever but can eat tons of sugary items that would make others sick.

to like a food or not has nothing to do with a culture and to think it does suggest a culture problem within yourself. so anyone for cottagecheese?

Posted by bebe on July 21, 2008 at 11:17 PM

It's kinda hard to say who's right and who's wrong when it comes to tasting food because taste is mostly self preference. About pennywort. If you do a thorough research on it, you'll learn that pennywort is very good for the body. It is also compared to alloe vera that pennywort is very good for the skin and the wrinkles on the skin and more. As far as taste, pennywort does not have a strong smell. When you mix sugar with any plants that does not have a strong smell, they all taste pretty close. But comparing it to boiled cabbage, I have to say that's kinda exaggerating. I am pretty sure if you put blind folds on 10 people and have them taste penny wort and boiled cabbage, they will all say both do not taste like one another. Once you boil a plant, it will lose it's raw and freshness taste. I really don't know how someone can say something fresh can taste like something boiled. I guess when people don't like something, they either compare it to rotten egg, rotten cabbages, shoes, or boiled cabbage. And plus most drinks are boiled before they're canned, but not pennywort juice. The major point of drinking pennywort is that it's good for your health, so processing or boiling it would be worthless. So to really compare, you would have to boil the pennywort. But you have to do it yourself because what you buy in stores aren't boiled juice. But still, it's far from tasting anything like boiled cabbage juice. As far as buying the drink in stores, it contains too much sugar. If someone really want to drink something like this, its best to grow them yourself. Once it's in the grown, it grows like grass.

Posted by John on July 26, 2008 at 1:49 AM

Dude, y'all's harshing on Mr. Reviewer, here. He tried this particualar beverage and expressed his thoughts descriptively and eloquently. Where can you fault him for that?

A few of the reviewers have just been ridiculous in implying that he is disrespecting foreign cultures because he doesn't like how something tastes. That sentiment borders on something that should be openly ridiculed.

Others have seemed to treat this review as some armchair speculative taste prognostication, saying that he "needs to open his mind"; they failed to note the parts where he stated plainly that he actually drank this beverage. I think this shows a tremendous willingness to try new things, which I would equate with having an open mind.

Anyway, I personally agree with the review of said beverage, having purchased the same brand and getting others to weigh in on the visuals, smell and taste. That is not the same thing as saying that pennywort is universally nasty; just this particular brand.

For the record, I love Marminte. I actually imported a large bottle of it from GB.

Posted by Jinky Williams on July 31, 2008 at 9:52 PM

I've never heard of pennywort before and just picked the foco penntwort drink can up an hour ago. It was going cheap at a supermerket called Choitrams in Dubai, so i said why not, and picked it up among other things. They also had Chrysanthemum juice, another thing ive never tasted before, so i got my courage up n tried it. It was extremely flowwery and sweet, if i had to have more than one can i woulda probably ended up puking or passing out. Dont think im gonna have that again, its wierd. Gonna try the pennywort later today, its sitting right infront of me on my desk at work.

Posted by Reagan Creado on October 7, 2008 at 7:22 AM

it taste greate.. but i dont drink FOCO drink yet.. i taste pennywort before, a fresh home made.. it taste a little bit bitter, with less sugar added.. it taste nice.. it is worth for health

Posted by kambeng on October 29, 2008 at 11:19 AM

I so have to agree with you. There are a lot of weird Asian drinks out there - and I've tried a lot. I personally *love* durian shakes - so you know I'm hard core. But pennywort drink?

I think that "canned pond scum - now with extra muck!" was the original name for the beverage. Downing a whole can has the same health benefits as a drinking a whole bottle of ipecac syrup!

I'm going to start selling my own version of this drink soon... I just have to figure out where my septic tank is.... lol.

Posted by evaniax on December 19, 2008 at 8:00 AM

hi, am from the philippines. just until lately i thought pennywort simply as weed growing all over our country. but, am eating it fresh picked for medicinal purposes. it's the craze here now...am thinking of trying to make that refreshing drink anytime soon...i still have to finish my pitcherfull brewed taheebo leaves....

Posted by wen on January 29, 2009 at 1:16 AM

I hated wine the first time I had it. I hated beer the first time I had it. And I hated pennywort drink the first time I had it. But now each of these drinks is an indispensable adjunct to a good meal. So realize the first taste is often not the best time to make up your mind about something. It could take 2 or 3 more tries!

Also realize that anything with a taste is going to taste different from different vendors. And that these kinds of food and drink often taste different as they age over time. Americans (& probably many Europeans) are too used to items that possess immediate appeal, little taste, and infinite shelf lives: Twinkies, Coca Cola, & McDonalds cheeseburgers. Real Food & Drink is the opposite of that.

As for the pennywort drink, I usually enjoy it chilled (and vigorously shaken if in a can) and with a meal. To me pennywort has mild overtones of *fresh* spinach. It goes extremely well with meals that include fresh vegetables.

All that being said, I want to recognize that some people are hard-wired to not like certain foods. The best example I can think of is the cilantro controversy (google it). Maybe liking/hating pennywort is something similar.

Posted by Edward Dodge on February 9, 2009 at 6:43 PM

For some reason I decided to drink the can of FOCO pennywort drink that has been in my fridge for several years. I don't know why I bought it and I don't know why I chose to attempt to drink it today, but I found the taste to be nasty. It reminded me of boiled leaves covered up with too much sugar. Maybe it was the age of the drink, but I will not be a return customer. Some of you posters advise the fresher concoction made from fresh leaves and boiled is rather tasty. I would be willing to try this.

Posted by tnwoman on March 7, 2009 at 6:09 PM

very rude indeed you are...i just drank a Pennywroot i bought at a local Asian market here in Knoxville tn..now i wanna go find the whole leaf,i feel great after wards,real refreshing and gave me some energy..i have one kidney,so i guess i cant afford to go wrong,ill ad this to my daily diet now..maybe you should stick with the high sugar drinks,such as koolaid or cola or show some intelligence and and not be so rude about something that obviously others appreciate.

Posted by holly on April 3, 2009 at 2:31 PM

I had tasted the leaves of pennywort growing around this area, getting the intuition of its edibility. I had tasted only a bit and, as stupid does, researched it afterwords. Figured since I know the major poisones plants that can harm with a little taste and this wasn't one of them, then why not. So, not finding any off tastes, I decided to look it up alittle more before I start adding it to salads and stuff. Whats species(latin name) of penneywort is this can of juice from? Does it say on the can?

Posted by Jrny4wrd on April 7, 2009 at 3:59 PM

I had Pennywort Drink for the first time today. It will also be the last time. Good Lord, it was vile, like old leaves in pond water. Now, that Mangoreen drink is pretty darn good--sort of a grape/strawberry taste to it, and a nice attractive purple color, instead of rotted dead green.

Posted by patgal77 on April 23, 2009 at 11:58 PM

I would not drink Pennywort from the can. That is where the whole drink went rongs, you don't know what and when of the this can. The can was borned yesterday or yesteryear, teaspoon or tonofspoon of sugar, distillwater or still water from Thailand. (Thailand is a lovely country and very friendly people, went on tour, very nice)
But I love to have it fresh made from the plant itself. That is why I looking into growing, freshmade and bottled, and have it avaliable on shevles where you could drink it fresh with your family. I a farmer and I only able to supply fresh cut Pennywort to some local shops in Southern California. It's my goal to bottle not can. I am open to opinions and questions you might have. Please write to mtkgreenfarm@gmail.ocm Now, who like to be the one to bring home a bottle! not the CAN. Thank You.

Posted by Kyle Tran on July 27, 2009 at 3:28 AM

I am going to keep a can of this around the house incase the kid swallows poison, this will make it come back up. Too bad I already opened this can. yuck!

Posted by JOn on July 30, 2009 at 11:45 PM

I went to the Asian market today and accidentally bought this pennywort drinks (I meant to get the coconut juice which i like a lot.) I tried it when i got home hoping i would like it because the leaf from the can looks edible. I got sick to my stomach after taking a sip. I learned my lesson to look at the bottle before putting it in the bag..
Its true there's a lot of really good asian drinks but this is one of the worst..

Posted by mumai on August 7, 2009 at 12:31 AM

I don't love or hate the drink, but it is a medicinal drink.
My mother use to make it fresh and put it in a bottle and refrigirate it, sometimes she'd add sugar, its great for the summer. Then again, I've always had the drink made fresh and not in a can. Don't drink it in the can because its got preservatives in it, which alters the taste.

Posted by HP on December 2, 2009 at 12:51 AM

I've been eating between 6-8 leaves per day, storkes and all of Pennywort for more then 3 months, I am now beginning to feel the effects it is making on the arthritis in my left fingers and right thumb. Although a little sore, I have more movement. I am a 65 year old retired carpenter and can do just about the same things I could do 25 years ago. I have only just tried the 'Pennywort' as a tea. I dried out about 20 leaves and used them as a normal condiment to hot water, added milk and it tastes better then most other teas I've drank. You could add some sugar if you wish. My belief is, that I am a walking example of what Pennywort has done for my health and I would encourage anyone of my age, and either older or younger, to eat pennywort. I grown my own and eat and drink it and Brahmie greens every day and will continue to take it until I'm 150 years old.

Posted by jack hines on December 17, 2009 at 11:18 PM

My inlaws are from Taiwan and I have been introduced to many of the foods from Taiwan and mainland China, most of which I'm convinced were originally based on a dare. Recently I traveled with my father-in-law to Taiwan and was subjected to several of the "refreshing" drinks they have available there. My personal favorite was the Asparagus water. Nothing like a cold can of asparagus water after a long run! Yikes!!

Posted by Sheppy on March 2, 2010 at 3:22 PM

I don't mind the taste, however it is sweet with a weird after taste. I never really liked it when I was younger, but now it's just.. okay.

It was pretty interesting to see others opinions and experiences. However this stuff is really healthy as my grandma and mother have always said.

However I have tried it fresh from an Asian/Vietnamese restaurant and it's much better than the canned one.

Posted by Mister Tease on April 20, 2010 at 2:15 PM

as i read, i have a can of the very same Pennywort drink from FOCO and after pouring it over ice, i have only been able to take a couple of sips -- it's not refreshing, or tasty, just cold and leaves a strange aftertaste. i got lunch to go at my favorite Vietnamese restaurant and ordered a can of the Coconut juice. it comes in a similar looking can and the waitress that was handling my to go order, grabbed the Pennywort and threw it in my bag. didnt notice till i was pouring it in a glass and saw the disturbingly mucky green color.

Posted by Rosemary on May 6, 2010 at 4:14 PM

I recently tried pennywort drink myself not knowing what to expect. I was at an asian store and it was the last one on the rack so I thought it's gotta be popular....maybe not good, but popular.


I took a drink and it was amazing! I can't believe you didn't like it! Also, I have to resent the disgust you put in the color of the drink; of course its green!


It has a strange aftertaste but I would hardly say it was unpleasant. I think people need to be more open to new things

Posted by corrina on July 2, 2010 at 1:49 AM

most of cacausian people aboot 50 percent dont know the benefit of ordy herbs- dried up pennywort powder is beat for sinus and asthma--aaa preparation ofa pw decoctionaaa pour three glass of water and mix one ts pennywort powder aaa boilit 12 to 15 mts aaa wait for cooling for 10 mts add one ts sugar aaa filter it and drink one glass only after breakfast or lunch aaaavoid drinks fish pork on the day only--good for memmory asthma and tb alsoaaa once threedays enough aaau can take thru ur whole life--along with modern medicine--this is my personal experince 40 years of experince-- now iam free from asthma and sinus-- siddha medicine pertaining to tamilnadu/india

Posted by s raam on July 31, 2010 at 9:16 AM

I find it a little humorous that people are attacking each other's sense of tastes. As to the pennywort drink, I love it. I remember the first time I had it I gagged, thinking "WTH!" I think it was a combination of the medicinal taste and the name "pennywort". Really. I couldn't help picturing worts on someone's feet. But as the after flavor sat on my tongue, I actually started wanting another sip. It's refreshing when it's cold. I find that if its warm, it's harder to swallow. The canned pennywort from FOCO is extremely sweet for my taste. I prefer more of a lightly sweetened drink. I don't really like it fresh either. Most of the time they oversweetened it. I had a friend's mom who grew it and made the drink but only sweetened it lightly. I loved her version. The thing with buying it in the can or at made at the store, you really don't know where they get the pennywort. Especially with the store made because they could have a friend that picked it by the edge of a sewer drain. And pennywort is easily susceptible to bacterial contamination. I'd really like to grow it myself, but I live an apt with no sun. I hope that people don't say they hate it after only having tried it once. Try to give it another chance and analyze the taste. Don't just gulp and say yuck. Sip, swallow, wait, take another sip, and then see if it's really not to your liking. That's my opinion only. At least you've been open enough to try it, that's better than being put off by the name and refusing to drink it. LOL. I still can't grasp cottage cheese. What is that, watered down cheese? JK:)

Posted by Jaded F on August 26, 2010 at 11:19 PM

I thought your description of the FOCO stuff was right on. Sweet with a taste like old lettuce smells. Easier to drink with food, where it just tastes sweet. However I then ad to o out a nd try the fresh stuff. If you like herbal stuff I think you may find it a lot more pleasant. It has a taste of its own that is quite pleasant, but whatever that taste is was sucked out in the canning process.

Posted by Skylane on June 25, 2011 at 7:54 PM

I too thought this was a pretty nasty concoction at first, but it can, sort of, grow on you, a little. To me the flavor is a cross between boiled spinach mixed with green tea. The thing you are missing here is the WHY of people drink this otherwise horrid libation. If you had imbibed the entire can you would have found the effects to be much like taking 10 ginko biloba tablets. (see: nootropic; i.e. smart drugs, memory enhancers, neuro enhancers, cognitive enhancers, and intelligence enhancers) The more common name for Pennywort here in the States is Gotu Kola. Scientific name: Centella asiatica

from Wikipedia; Medicinal effects

Centella is a mild adaptogen, is mildly antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antiulcerogenic, anxiolytic, nervine and vulnerary, and can act as a a cerebral tonic, a circulatory stimulant, and a diuretic.

Centella asiatica may be useful in the treatment of anxiety, and may be a promising anxiolytic agent in the future.

In Thailand, tisanes of the leaves are used as an afternoon stimulant. A decoction of juice from the leaves is thought to relieve hypertension. A poultice of the leaves is also used to treat open sores.

Several scientific reports have documented Centella asiatica's ability to aid wound healing which is responsible for its traditional use in leprosy. Upon treatment with Centella asiatica, maturation of the scar is stimulated by the production of type I collagen. The treatment also results in a marked decrease in inflammatory reaction and myofibroblast production.

The isolated steroids from the plant also have been used to treat leprosy. In addition, preliminary evidence suggests that it may have nootropic effects. Centella asiatica is used to revitalize the brain and nervous system, increase attention span and concentration, and combat aging. Centella asiatica also has antioxidant properties. It works for venous insufficiency. It is used in Thailand for opium detoxification.

'Many reports show the medicinal properties of C. asiatica extract in a wide range of disease conditions, such as diabetic microangiopathy, edema, venous hypertension, and venous insufficiency. The role of C. asiatica extract in the treatment of memory enhancement and other neurodegenerative disorders is also well documented. The first report concerning the antitumor property of C. asiatica extract was on its growth inhibitory effects on the development of solid and ascites tumors, which lead to increased life span of tumor-bearing mice. The authors also suggested the extract directly impeded the DNA synthesis. "In our study, C. asiatica extract showed an obvious dose dependent inhibition of cell proliferation in breast cancer cells."

Pretty awesome for spinach flavored green tea, eh?

Posted by Beefburger on June 4, 2012 at 12:26 AM
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