Button leaf vegetables are a type of wild vegetable, but the waterleaf is more common, especially in vacant lots and wastelands. Button leaf vegetables are a type of medicinal vegetable. Button leaves have a slightly bitter taste that makes them very delicious and popular. In the past, button leaves were wild and nobody ate them, but now they have become a specialty vegetable in many restaurants, especially when traveling to mountainous areas.
Nowadays, many vegetables called button leaves are also sold at markets in the delta, but many of them are actually waterleaf plants, not button leaves. Waterleaf plants grow more in the delta provinces, often mixed with weeds and arrowhead plants.
Button leaves have medicinal properties that stimulate the immune system and inhibit parasites. Button leaves are rich in minerals, vitamin C, and have a cooling effect, helping to cool the body and treat acne. Besides being used as food, the stems, fruits, and roots of button leaves are all used as medicinal herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Using button leaves helps cool the liver and detoxify it, reducing heat in the body, acne, and improving skin health. Vitamin C in button leaves helps fight free radicals, improves blood circulation for good health, bright skin, and better blood flow.
In addition, button leaves are very good for health, supporting cancer prevention, good for the eyes, helping to reduce coughs, sore throats, and voice loss.
People with acne-prone skin can use button leaves to extract water to drink and use the residue as a mask on the affected areas. You can also use button leaf water to wash your face.
However, button leaf plants and male waterleaf plants look very similar, so many people are mistakenly selling the wrong plant at markets. Male waterleaf plants have a similar taste to button leaves, and they look very similar on the outside, but these plants do not have the medicinal properties of button leaves and are slightly toxic. Therefore, you need to distinguish them to choose the correct button leaf plant.
It is difficult to differentiate between the two types by looking at the leaves. You should look at the fruit. The fruit of button leaf plants has a rounded shape with a protective membrane like a lantern, while the fruit of male waterleaf plants does not have this outer membrane layer.