Fans of Chinese medicinal herbs, getting yourself a handful of that Sabah snake grass in Singapore might sound like a daunting task but fret not, they’re actually readily available here. The best part? They’re free!
Located in Nanyang Technological University (NTU), the Community Herb Garden near Jalan Bahar is about two football field sizes and houses more than 300 species of Chinese herbs. All herbs have medicinal properties and can be consumed to prevent or remedy illnesses.
The Sabah snake grass for instance, is the most popular herb in the garden as it is believed to reduce cancer markers which indicate the presence of cancer.Another herb is the black face general, which is said to help with kidney problems and diabetes.
The garden not only attracts butterflies due to its pesticide-free environment, but also visitors from all over the world. People can obtain the herbs for free if permission is granted. They come from countries such as Indonesia and Japan. Two celebrity chefs from New York also visited two years ago to obtain hard- to-get herbs for their dishes.
Currently, the garden is being manned by Mr Ng Kim Chuan and is helped by contract workers and a few student volunteers. The garden, which had sourced its herbs from Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, is sustained by an endowment fund and relies entirely on the goodwill of donors to maintain operations.
Text: Straits Times/Pang Xue Qiang Additional Reporting: Atika Lim
Photos: Straits Times/Pixabay