African Herbs

Why you need Malabar Spinach in your life.

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Malabar spinach is a well known, nutritious vegetable and a natural coolant. It nourishes makes the body healthy and purifies the blood. Including it in a regular diet helps to prevent the weakness of bones, anemia, cardiovascular diseases.

Traditionally, Malabar spinach is used to treat constipation, insomnia, ulcers, and rheumatism.

Malabar spinach comes in two varieties, green and red. The green is called Basella Alba, while the red is called Basella Rubra. Basella alba is also known locally as Gborongi in Igbo, and Amunututu in Yoruba ( this is translated in Yoruba as the vegetable which “calms your stomach.”)



 

Malabar spinach
Malabar spinach: credit; Pinterest

Health benefits of Malabar spinach

  • Improves Digestion :

    Malabar Spinach is an excellent source of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber intake is one of the most important aspects of proper digestion. Due to the role of fiber in digestion, Malabar Spinach can facilitate smooth movement in your intestines and help in the prevention of bowel problems.

  • Prevents Constipation:

    Decoction or boiling of Malabar spinach leaves helps to relieve constipation in children and pregnant women. It also prevents diarrhea.

  • Aids weight loss:

    Malabar spinach is very low in calories and fats (100 grams of raw leaves provide just 19 calories). Nonetheless, it holds an incredibly reasonable amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.  It also contains dietary fiber, which has been proven to provide a feeling of fullness when taken in proper amounts.

  • Controls Blood Pressure:

    Proper blood pressure is a vital part of the human body. Malabar Spinach contains a very high amount of potassium, which happens to be a useful vasodilator. It can help increase blood flow, control heartbeat, and improve oxygen levels.

  • Controls Blood Sugar level:

    One of the many benefits of fiber is its ability to slow down the rise of blood sugar levels. The absorption of glucose is slower when high fiber foods are eaten. This means the high fiber content in Malabar Spinach can help control your blood glucose levels and even help those who have diabetes.

  • Helps lower Cholesterol:

    The fiber content in Malabar spinach can lower cholesterol. Fiber has the capability of binding to and effectively reducing your “bad” cholesterol (LDL). This improves blood flow and lowers the risk of developing various heart diseases.

  • Prevents Cancer:

    Malabar Spinach is rich in antioxidants and vitamin A, which is very significant for overall health and preventing illness, including cancers like oral cavity and lung cancer.

  • Can improve Bone Health:

    Malabar Spinach contains both magnesium and calcium. These two minerals found in the plant play a very significant role in maintaining bone health. Another bonus is that magnesium is better absorbed with calcium present. The fact that Malabar Spinach contains both means that they will each be better absorbed. The paste made from its roots is an excellent herbal remedy for Rheumatic pain and Swellings.

  • Anemia:

    Iron is a crucial component of the proper production of red blood cells. Iron deficiency can hurt the hemoglobin production in your red blood cells. Including Malabar spinach in the regular diet can help prevent iron deficiency anemia.

  • Antidote:

    Malabar Spinach Leaves are crushed and applied locally in bruises, wounds, scalds, burns, boils, snakebites, and pimples. It relieves burning sensation and inflammation.

  • Great for Pregnancy:

    Malabar Spinach Leaves contains folate, which is excellent for the fetus and prevents birth defects. Its decoction is given to pregnant women to reduce labour pains. Malabar Leaves are also used to improve breast milk production.

  • Improves Eye Health:

    Basella leaves, and stem are incredibly rich sources of vitamin A. Vitamin-A is required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin, and essential for good eyesight.

  • Improves sleep:

    Malabar Spinach contains both magnesium and zinc- two precious minerals that play significant roles in the human body. Magnesium has been proven to provide a slight relaxation effect to muscles in the human body. Both magnesium and zinc also improve the absorption of one another.

  • Boosts Immunity:

    Malabar Spinach is even capable of lowering your chances of getting sick. The high vitamin C content in this plant is crucial for this property. Vitamin C has been proven to boost your immune system and help protect your body from harmful diseases.

  • Treats irregular menstruation:
  • For irregular periods, Basella alba root paste is taken along with rice washed water in the morning in an empty stomach for one month. This is practiced by the rural people of Orissa, India.

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Cynthia Adeh Ekpong
My name is Cynthia Adeh Ekpong, and I'm a health writer.  It pains me that we Africans spend more money buying drugs for minor issues instead of using herbs that are around us for little or no amount. My goal in 54history is to bring more awareness to our African herbs.

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