African Herbs

Amazing Health Benefits of Waterleaf.

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Waterleaf is one of those green leafy vegetables rich in fiber, protein and has various vitamins necessary for a healthy human diet. It is a good source of some essential minerals such as magnesium, calcium, sodium, phosphorus, iron, potassium; as well as antioxidants.
Waterleaf (Talinum triangular), originated from tropical Africa, widely grown in West Africa, Asia, and South America, respectively. Waterleaf is locally known as, Alenyruwa in Hausa, Gbure in Yoruba, Nte-oka in Igbo, and Efan in Akan/Twi(Ghana).

Waterleaf is excellent for diarrhea, liver enlargement, and hepatitis. It is an excellent immune booster to those who often feel weak and tired, and those prone to frequent attacks of malaria. It is also an excellent remedy for Insomnia.

Waterleaf
Waterleaf. Credit: Pinterest

Health Benefits of Waterleaf.

  • Improves Brain Activity:

Waterleaf improves blood flow in the body, and this plays a vital role in providing our blood cells with the right nutrients. This increases blood and oxygen flow to the brain, preventing any form of damage to the brain tissues. The iron content in waterleaf also helps in strengthening the brain tissues, which helps in improving brain health and cognitive reasoning.

  • Improves Eye Health:

Waterleaf contains Vitamin A and C, which contributes to the proper functioning of the eyes. Vitamin A enhances vision in poor light and helps some related eye conditions like Cataracts. Waterleaf also contains Vitamin C, which helps in maintaining a healthy retina.

  • Promotes Heart Health:

Waterleaf helps keep the heart healthy by regulating the activities of the heart and reduce the risk of related heart diseases as well as stroke by adequately supply of blood and oxygen to the needed areas. It also helps in lowering the cholesterol levels in the blood, which is suitable for the prevention and improvement of heart-related conditions.

 

  • Improves Blood Cells:

The functions of Waterleaf when it comes to blood cells can’t be overemphasized. It helps in the adequate pumping of blood, and the iron in it helps prevent and treat Anaemia. Waterleaf has anti-inflammatory properties which work and dissolve unhealthy blood clot formations in the body, which might be disrupting healthy blood flow.



  • Helps with Digestion and Weight loss:

The high dietary fiber content in the juice makes it an excellent remedy for various digestive issues like constipation, indigestion, and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). The high fiber content also helps control cravings and hunger pangs as it keeps the stomach full. In as much as it helps to improve weight, we have to eat healthy at all times for the effectiveness of this nutrient. When consumed in excess can cause a little stomach discomfort.

  • Promotes good skin:

Waterleaf is a good source of vitamins A and C that aids the repair and growth of the body cells and tissues. It acts as an antioxidant as it prevents oxidative stress, which is caused by the free radicals from damaging the body cells and tissues. It makes the skin smoother and prevent dryness, as well as helps in the formation and improvement of the skin pigment.

  • Boosts immunity:

Waterleaf juice is the perfect drink for people who continuously feel weak or tired. Waterleaf also contains antibacterial properties, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties that help to suppress the growth of bacteria, fungi, and inflammatory diseases in the body.

  • Strengthens Bones and Teeth:

The presence of calcium in this vegetable helps in maintaining healthy bones and teeth, in general, gives support to the skeletal body structure and improve skeletal function. The calcium content in waterleaf makes it one of the foods suitable for those who have bone conditions such as osteoporosis, and fracture, as it can help in its improvement.

  • Great for Pregnancy:

The presence of Omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamins in Waterleaf makes it beneficial for pregnant women. Waterleaf boosts the blood level and provides the necessary nutrients for both mother and child. Waterleaf also prevents anemia in the mother.

  • Traditional uses:

Waterleaves have been used in many ways serving diverse ranges of medicinal purposes. In this case, its juice, stem, leaves, and roots are all considered useful as they have proven successful in the treatment of measles. It can also treat insomnia, anemia, malaria; arthritis; reduce blood sugar, and blood pressure. It is also used to treat diarrhea, prevent cancer, bladder stone, and improve weakness.

How to make Waterleaf Juice:

Most people may not be versatile with waterleaf juice, as it is mainly used in cooking, serving as an important vegetable in many local cuisines in Nigeria.

The juice of waterleaf is very beneficial to health and is useful in increasing the blood level and also in the treatment of many health conditions, which has proven successful.

To get the juice;

  • Wash the waterleaf thoroughly to remove dirt and sand
  • Don’t pluck the leaves from the stem as both are medicinal and contain various degrees of nutrients.
  • Cut it into tiny pieces to enable easy squeezing or pounding.
  • Then squeeze effectively and strain the juice.

Alternatively, a blender can do this work, but in case there is none, the above method should be considered.

Side Effects:

Consumption of Waterleaf juice should be limited in people suffering from kidney disorders and gout.

It is effective for improving constipation just as most vegetable does, but when it is eaten in excess can cause stomach upset and frequent stooling.


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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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