Seven Herbs Rice Porridge – Nanakusa Gayu [七草がゆ]
Japanese celebrate the festival of seven herbs [Nanakusa no Sekku / 七草の節句] on January 7th. It is one of the 5 seasonal festivals in Japan.
For 5 seasonal festivals information click here.
It is a longstanding custom of eating seven-herb rice porridge [Nanakusa-gayu / 七草がゆ] on January 7th, wishing good health, longevity and good luck throughout the year.
*Nanakusa means seven [七] herbs [草].
Seven Spring Herbs
7 herbs of spring [春の七草 / Haru no Nanakusa] are the main ingredients for Nanakusa gayu.
These are available in packs in Japanese supermarkets like in the image above. (cost 298 yen each – 5 servings)
Here are the 7 spring herbs.
・Japanese parsley [せり / Seri]
Seri is believed to be effective in appetite improvement, fever, neuralgia and rheumatism.
・Shepherd’s Purse [なずな / Nazuna]
Nazuna is believed to be effective for hypertension, anemia and appetite improvement.
・Cudweed [ごぎょう / Gogyō]
Gogyō is believed to be effective for cough, diuretic.
・Chickweed [はこべら / Hakobera]
Hakobera is believed to be effective for intestinal regulation and pyorrhea.
・Nipplewort [ほとけのざ / Hotokenoza]
Hotokenoza is believed to be effective for body’s internal improvement.
・Turnip [すずな / Suzuna]
Suzuna is believed to be effective for osteoporosis and improving the intestinal environment.
・Radish [すずしろ / Suzushiro]
Suzushiro is believed to be effective osteoporosis and improving the intestinal environment.