VEGETABLE - SPINACH, MALABAR Scientific Name:
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- This member of the Madeira vine family is a frost-tender perennial, grown as an annual in cold areas.
- Malabar Spinach is an edible fast-growing, soft-stemmed vine that can reach 10m in length.
- It has thick, green semi-succulent, heart-shaped leaves with a mild flavor and mucilaginous texture.
- Small white flowers are borne in clusters on the end of short stems at the nodes.
- They are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs).
- Needs full sun or light shade and will grow well in any well-drained soil - even very acid soils.
- Tolerates a pH ranging from 4.3 to 7.0.
- An excellent hot weather substitute for spinach.
- Originally from tropical Africa and Southeast Asia.
- Malabar Spinach has a pleasant, mild spinach flavor - the leaves can be used as a spinach.
- The leaves and stem tips can be eaten raw or cooked.
- To prepare, boil the young leaves for a few minutes, strain and season to taste.
- Do not overcook the leaves or they will become slimy.
- The mucilaginous qualities of the plant make it an excellent thickening agent in soups and stews.
- Raw leaves can be added to green salad/ stir-fries with garlic and chili peppers/ steamed with tofu and ginger/ used as a substitute for okra.
- An infusion of the leaves is a tea substitute.
- Malabar Spinach is a common vegetable in tropical Africa and Southeast Asia.
Medicinal Uses. It is said that:
- The roots, young leaves and stem tips.
- Like other leaf vegetables - Malabar spinach is high in vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium and a good source of chlorophyll.
- It is low in calories by volume, but high in protein per calorie.
- The succulent mucilage is a particularly rich source of soluble fiber.
- Astringent - the cooked roots are used in the treatment of diarrhea.
- The cooked leaves and stems are used as a laxative.
- The flowers are used as an antidote to poisons.
- A paste of the root is applied to swellings.
- The plant is febrifuge, its juice is a safe aperient for pregnant women and a decoction has been used to alleviate labor.
- The leaf juice is a demulcent and used in cases of dysentery.
- The leaf juice is used in Nepal to treat catarrh.
- A paste of the leaves is applied externally to treat boils.
New! We also have several herbal products available including tinctures and dried herbs!
|The information contained within this website is for educational purposes only. This site merely recounts the traditional uses of specific plants as recorded through history. Always seek advice from a medical practitioner.|
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