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Kinshinsai may look different depending on the time of harvest. If they are harvested early, the buds will be rigid and green and if they are harvested before blooming, their colour will be yellow. The length is about 2 inches (5 cm) long. They have a unique crunchy and slimy texture; there is some sweetness in the taste. The leaves are thin and long and the flower looks similar to a lily. The flower of Kinshinsai can only last for one day just like the name, daylily. There is a golden Kinshinsai that is a special dried bud that did not bloom.
Kinshinsai are available from summer to fall.
Kinshinsai is in the Lily family. Kinshinsai is a bud of the orange daylily.
It is considered as an important ingredient and a natural medicine in China. There is a lot of pollen inside of Kinshinsai that contain protein, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B, carotene, aseptic acid and iron. They help to improve the function of liver and gastrointestinal activity. Kinshinsai contain an important brain hormone that is called melatonin which help people to relax and sleep well. Additionally, a recent study showed that they can help to increase melatonin in the body. Thus they can work well for depression, stress and insomnia. Kishinsai can help to increase/maintain a mother's breast milk supply. If you have poor body circulation, it is better not to eat them since they are the summer vegetable that take away heat from the body.
Kinshinsai can be used in some soup, stir-fries and tempura dishes. Eating them raw may cause you to have diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and dizziness because they contain poison, so make sure to cook them before you eat.
Kinshinsai are grown mainly in Malaysia, China and Taiwan. The name, Kinshinsai means a yellow needle in Chinese because of the yellow colour of the bud and the shape of the bud that looks like a needle. Chinese boatmen have been taking them to a boat because they are highly nutritious that contain about 20 times more of iron than spinach which can help to produce more blood in the body. The former prime minister of India, Gandhi ate them everyday because of their nutrients.