Chinese herbalists have created a recipe for a winter sapler, which can be frozen in the spring and frozen into the summer.
The unique sapling is a mix of the wild and the domesticated varieties of Japanese and Asian saplings, said Li Xiaojin, who is the head of the China Horticultural Science Research Center (CHSRC).
This is the first time that a Chinese herbal expert has published a recipe in the scientific journal Nature, said Ms Li.
It is also the first Chinese-language publication of this type in English.
Mr Li said he had no special interest in the winter saplings because they are all wild and all of them are cultivated in China.
He said the saplings are a part of the traditional Chinese herbalism.
“They are cultivated and harvested in the same way as wild varieties.
So the climate is the same, the weather is the similar.
So they are similar,” he said.
The sapling in this case is grown in the Jiangxi Province of China, and the plants are called “Shagbarks.”
The saplings grow at the same time as the wild plants, and they can be grown in different seasons, Mr Li said.
“In this case, the winter will be during the rainy season, and when the soil is dry, they will start growing,” he explained.
“We can harvest the winter, and then transplant them into spring when the water level has risen and they are in good condition,” he added.
Mr Zhang said he was surprised that a Westerner could create a recipe like this.
“I don’t know why the Japanese and Japanese-style varieties are not used in the United States and Europe, where there are thousands of native varieties,” he told the Times of India.
“Even in Japan, they are quite common.
It is quite unusual to find this recipe in India,” he concluded.
Ms Li said the idea for a recipe came from her experience growing wild rice.
“The idea came to me when I saw wild rice in the field and thought ‘Why not combine it with Japanese saplings?'” she said.
Mr Xiao said that he was interested in the medicinal properties of the Japanese-type varieties, and he was not surprised to learn that they are used for medicinal purposes.
“Many Japanese people use the sapling as a medicine.
They also believe in its healing powers,” he stated.
Ms Zhang said that she wanted to continue to develop and share her knowledge of Chinese herbal medicine.
“China is a country with many medicinal herbs, including the medicinal plant Shagbars,” she said, referring to the herb.
“My goal is to bring the Japanese sapling to the West and publish the recipe in Chinese language, so that people can benefit from the medicinal power of the Chinese varieties,” she added.