|Common Name||Yellowroot, Pineflower, Gingerroot|
|Common Use||Food, Medicinal|
The Dewa’ann is a plant that sees widespread use in Dexai, both as a medicinal item as well as an indispensable culinary good. It remains as one of the most common trade goods found aboard merchant ships departing from Dexai due to how long it takes to perish. Outside of Sihai Culture, Dewa’ann is known mostly as an exotic medicinal plant, used as an Alchemy ingredient to alleviate various common ailments.
Sihai scholars have concluded that Dewa’ann was first cultivated somewhere in the Four Kingdoms period for its medicinal appliances. It was commonly brewed or ground up into herbal teas. It was a common medicine used to remedy ailments ranging from digestion issues to combating poison. As a cooking ingredient, it was used sparsely both due to limited cultivation and the cultural insularity of early the Sihai people, which prevented the spread of its popularity in the local regions where the plant grew in the wild. Dewa’ann was rediscovered when, at the beginning of the Chi Dynasty, the Imperial Court sent surveyors around the country to find cultural traditions including gastronomical recipes and to bring them to the capital. The Imperial Court found the taste of the root most agreeable in meals and saw its value as an ingredient as an antidote. As the court culture of the Loong Throne propagated throughout the lands of Dexai, new methods of using the root as a spice were discovered, such as finding use as an appetizer when pickled and soaked, or even as exotic candies. This increase in popularity began the cultivation of the root throughout all of Dexai.
The herb was traded throughout the world in limited quantities as an alchemical reagent or for medicinal purposes as early as contact with the Allorn Empire was made. The popularity of Dewa’ann truly took off when the phenomenon known as the Eastern Craze created demand for the root, more commonly known as ‘Yellowroot’ in Regalian marketplaces and Sihai restaurants as an exotic spice and cure-all medicine. In the current day it created a presence within the metropolitan regions in the Empire, such as Regalia.
Dewa’ann is grown for its thick, knobby rhizomes or storage roots which develop underground. These have a dull golden color and can spread horizontally up to a foot long in tuberous sections about the size of a fist. Thick roots grow from these rhizomes and anchor the plant to the ground. Each section can send up a new shoot which grows into another stem. Above ground, the plant is a simple and grass-like plant with a thin stem and long reaching up to about three feet, thin leaves that fan out sideways, creating the image of a wide but flat plant. The Dewa’ann blossoms with a tight cluster of small white flowers at the top of its stem.
Uses and Abilities
The roots of Dewa’ann are the primary component for most of its applications. In its mature form, it has a light golden brown color with a thin skin, and can be used in soups and stews, or steeped in hot water to make a variety of herbal teas to provide a special tang. It is also often used to flavor oil in stir-fried dishes and is known for its sharp and pungent flavor. Most non-Sihai cooks often disparage the use of the root in cooking as the foreign root is troublesome to use even for some accomplished chefs. The intense flavor can take time to become accustomed to in cooking. Though few are repulsed by its sharp flavor, only talented cooks are able to forge their own dishes containing Dewa’ann outside of the cultural recipes that have been tried and true for generations in Dexai. The leaves of the Dewa’ann can also be used in cuisine, as in the northern regions of Dexai, they are usually chopped up and added to vegetable dishes.
Then there are its direct medicinal uses, which is common household knowledge in Dexai but less well known in wider Aloria. Common remedies involve either chewing on the root or consuming meals that contain the ingredients, such as herbal teas or dishes containing a high volume of the root. In Regalia, it is commonly ground up into small olive-sized pills that come in various shades of brown, green or black. The pill is made by grinding Dewa’ann roots and other herbs into a fine powder that is combined with water and starches to bind the ingredients together to keep the pills in shape. These are then shaped into round pills and allowed to dry and be flavored. It is usually chewed rather than swallowed whole. The pills are known to calm stomach aches and heartburn. It can also relieve vomiting, bloating, excessive gas, diarrhea and a host of other digestive problems. The effects begin minutes after consumption and relief can last for hours. The pills are sometimes found in sweet teas and other drinks in eastern restaurants without the expensive herbal ingredients. These pills are referred to as ‘bubbles’ and consumed as a part of a luxury drink or dessert.
- Dewa’ann pills have a sweet, earthy flavor with a lot of bitterness. The plant's natural spiciness is also present though less pronounced. Different recipes for the pill create slight variations in taste.
- While pills have been the traditional method of application, modern alchemists have experimented with liquid remedies that more strongly concentrate the effects of the root and can be absorbed by the body more easily. This method has not become widespread yet due to traditional medicine makers being very defensive of their practice.