Its young shoots and leaves are edible, raw or cooked. The shoots are eaten like asparagus.
The taste is somewhat like green peas.
Pak Wan is used in stir-fries, salads, and in soups as a pot herb. Pak Wan soup is made in Thailand.
Pak Wan is also popular in China (south-west), India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
In the mid-1990s, a diet fad in Taiwan was based around juice from the leaves, which led to high consumption of it several times a day.
Taiwanese doctors linked it to long-term, irreparable lung damage when consumed in these quantities, possibly owing to the high amounts of an alkaloid called “papaverine” that it contains.
Called “Katuk” (also spelled “katook “) in Indonesia.