Japanese spikenard 九眼獨活

Japanese spikenard or mountain asparagus is widely grown for food in Japan. The hairy stem has a skin that needs to be peeled, thinly sliced, then blanched before serving in salad, soup, or deep fried. It is crunchy like celtuce (蒿荀) yet it imparts a pungent, almost spicy, but pleasant aroma. For those adventurous eaters out there, if you can get hold of this vegetable, do challenge your tastebuds!
The roots of Japanese spikenard is highly prized in China, as it is used as a medicine to treat inflammation, arthritis, headaches, and helps the body get rid of excessive water and wind.