Okinawa Tourism Information:Series/IslandBlessing,IslandTastePart36Kwansou

Series / Island Blessing, Island Taste Part 36 Kwansou

post : 2017.12.22 18:00

It is a familiar sight that most families in Yanbaru area have horses

Nakijin Village is a part of Northern Okinawa, a.k.a. “Yanbaru” area. The village is famous for Nakijin Castle Ruins, and also Unten Port that connects Izena Island and Iheya Island by ferry. Also, Yagaji Island and Kouri Island are located nearby the village. Yagaji Island is rich in nature, and everybody can access to this island by crossing a bridge. Kouri Island is a famous sightseeing spot, and 1 million tourists visit here per year. 

This time, I visited “Nakijin Zamami Farm” which has been cultivating “Kwansou (Daylily)” for 12 years. In Unten, Nakijin Village, Kwansou is believed as a vegetable to make people sleep well from the old days. 

Kwansou fields spread all over Zamami Farm

Kwansou belongs to the family Liliaceae, and it is called as “Aki no Wasuregusa” or “Tokiwa Kanzou” in Japanese. It is distributed in Nansei Islands including Okinawa. Kwansou is called as “niibui gusas (sleepy vegetable),” and it is believed that it is a good herb for nutritional fortification and sleep-inducing effect. It was used as an ingredient for Ryukyuan palace cuisine during Ryukyu Dynasty era.

Flower part can be eaten as salad as it is, or pickle it and enjoy its color.  It is good for scattered sushi (Chirashi sushi), French, or Italian cuisines for decoration. Green colored bud could be found on the menu of Chinese restaurant. However it has toxicity, so do not forget to heat it before you eat. Leaf has sleep-inducing effect, but it is very hard, so it is good to dry and drink it as tea. White stem has semi-sweet flavor and has crunchy texture, so it is used as an ingredient for the traditional cuisine “chimu shinji.”  

Local residents sort out leaves of kwansou carefully 

Rinse leaves of kwansou in water carefully

At Zamami Farm, staffs harvest leaves and white stems from January – June, and flowers from September – November. After removing dirty or perished leaves and white stems, shred them into pieces, dry all at once and process them.

Colorful orange colored flowers

After rinsing flowers in water, some of them will be frozen for shipment, and the rest will be pickled. Its color is colorful, so it is used as jelly or dressing at restaurants. 

The reason why Zamami Farm started to cultivate kwansou is a suggestion by Ms. Naomi Eguchi. She is a doctor of pharmacology and the president of SOMNOQUEST Co., Ltd. She is engaged in research on “Behavioral and Neural Sciences” and “sleeping pills,” and also working in research and development of supplement to treat stress insomnia.

Speaking of sleep trouble in modern society of Japan, Ms. Eguchi focused on a range of people who has “sleep trouble.” Some of them are not enough to take sleeping pills or some people are not able to take sleeping pills because they are too young.  Among other developed countries, children in Japan have extremely lack of sleep. So Ms. Eguchi thought that “safe and secure product to make people asleep comfortably” is necessary. She started researching on ingredient which has sleep-inducing effect, and she happened find “Kwansou” when she visited Okinawa 11 years ago. Since a thought to keep in good condition, prevent and cure disease by eating is penetrated deeply in Okinawa, she started researching on Kwansou. She got support from Okinawa Prefecture and Cabinet Office, and after repeating clinical test many times, she was succeeded to prove that the ingredient that extracted from Kwansou has an effect to allow blood to circulate well and induce deep sleep. She proved the belief that it induces sleep scientifically, and also its safety and effectivity. Later, she named the extracted ingredient as “Hypnocallis,” and processed it as extract and powder. Presently, many drug companies use it as an ingredient of supplements.  

Products that contain Hypnocallis (L: Mango flavored jelly/ M: Tablet / R: Drink)

Products include herb tea, pickles, jelly, etc.

Mango flavored jelly is good for younger children. A nutritious supplement drink that contains GABA, collagen, vitamin C, and papaya extract is effective for people who are having busy lives. You can take tablets anywhere you go, even to business trip destination. “Hypnocallis” that extracted from Kwansou in Nakijin Village is safe for everybody to eat. 

10 bottles of GABAmin Royal (3,240 yen incl. tax). This drink is based on extract of Okinawan papaya which has an effect to ease e tension. It contains fermented vinegar with lots of amino acid & citric acid, and also ingredient of kwansou to induce sleep

10 bottles of OKI・REI  (3,425 yen incl. tax). This drink is recommended for women who are interested in beauty and health. It contains Hypnocallis, GABA, collagen, and vitamin C of acerola.

Hypnocallis has an effect to make people sleep deeply and longer, so it is perfect for people who have following problems!

*Able to sleep well, but unable to get rid of fatigue
*Hard to get up in the morning
*Hands and feet are cold 
*No motivation

Zamami Farm gets feedback from those consumers who tried the product that contains 2,000 mg of Hypnocallis. They said “I feel better the next day,” “I woke up feeling good,” and “after I started drinking every day, I feel good physical and emotionally. Also, my friends told me I look younger now.”  

Actually I tried jelly and tablets, and I woke up in a good mood! I usually sleep about 7 hours, but I realized that the product helps to make the sleep better. I do not have any sleep trouble, but it is hard for me to get rid of fatigue since I am busy with child-raising and my work. So it is helpful to take supplement like this. 

If we could have refreshing sleep every day, our everyday lives get better. Kwansou is very supportive to make our lives better. We can eat its flower as salad, and white stem can be simmered with pork and edible. Also, supplement and drink help to provide us good sleep, so we can take Kwansou throughout the year. A walking tour and flower picking tour take place at Nakijin Zamami Farm from September – late October, so how about joining a tour and visit farms field of flowers that filled with orange color?

Address: 1-16-3-1F Izumizaki, Naha City
Tel: 098-988-1141

Nakijin Zamami Farm 
Address: 1233-1 Kamiunten, Nakijin Village
Tel: 0980-51-5182 

Okinawa CLIP photo writer monobox (Tetsumasa & Kozue Kono)