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Philippines / Superstitious

Kataka-taka leaf making you smarter

Filipinos have so many things that they believe in when it comes to actions of everyday living. One of these is: The child becomes smarter if he inserts a miracle leaf (kataka-taka) plant between his books.

Tagalog: Kataka-taka

A rapid growing juicy herb. Leaves are thick, fleshy and simple or compound in pairs on reddish stems.

chinese tea

Plantlets grow along the notches of the leaf margins which can develop while still attached to the plant or when detached, a fascinating characteristic that earns its name.

Flowers are about 5 cm long, nodding, dangling and bell-shaped, greenish or yellowish, reddish by the stems.


Easily propagated and widely distributed in the Philippines, found in thickets and open places. Also cultivated, flowering from December to March. Probably of prehistoric introduction.

Parts utilized

Entire plant. May be collected year round; preferably used fresh.

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Active traveller with a love for Asian food and Japanese anime.