Pennywort is a creeping plant that spreads out horizontally, forming dense mats along marshes, ponds, and wetlands. Stems are 5–10 cm high and have a single rounded fan-shaped leaf. Each stem produces 2 to 4 miniscule whitish pink flowers. Stems, leaves, and roots are all edible. When foraging for pennywort, be sure that you are collecting specimens from a clean water source, and thoroughly wash the leaves before consuming them. Pennywort offers little to no aroma and has a fresh herbal quality on the palate with notes of wheat grass, parsley, and cucumber.
Pennywort's main constituent, triterpenoid, is responsible for treating a variety of skin conditions. It also improves nervous system and memory function, reduces inflammation and fevers, eliminates toxins, and relaxes blood vessels.
Pennywort is most often sold as juice, but the leaves may also be eaten raw, dried, sautéed, or pickled. The juice of pennywort is quite mild, but the fresh leaves have a much stronger taste and stand up well to bold accompanying flavors such as ginger, lemongrass, garlic, chilies, tamarind, coconut, coriander, fish sauce, sesame, and lime.
Pennywort is available year-round.