It is an edible annual flowering plant native to central and southwestern Asia. It grows to a height of up to 30 cm with alternate ovate to triangular-based leaves. The leaves varies in size with the larger ones at the base of the plant. The flowers are yellow-green that matures into a small, dry, lumpy cluster about 5–10 mm and contain several seeds.
Spinach can be eaten raw in a salad or it can be lightly cooked and eaten as a dish or added to soups or made into green smoothie. It is easy to find spinach in the market and it is easy to grow.
Part used: Leaves
Spinach is one of the most nutritious foods available as it provides more nutrients than any other food. It is renowned for its high iron content, very high in vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients. Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, folate, manganese, calcium, vitamin B2 and vitamin B6. It’s a very good source of protein, dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.
Spinach has at least 13 different flavonoid compounds that are good antioxidants and act as anti-cancer substances.
Medicinal uses and properties:
Cardiovascular/ Lowers Blood pressure - It is considered as a heart-healthy food as it is loaded with vitamins C, A and folate which are antioxidants. Folate is believe to convert harmful chemicals into harmless compounds.
Diabetes - The magnesium contained in spinach helps prevent diabetes.
Arthritis, osteoporosis - spinach has anti-inflammatory properties.
Migraine headaches, Asthma - also because of the anti-inflammatory properties present in spinach.
Cancer - fresh spinach abounds in cancer-fighting antioxidants. It contains a number of flavonoid compounds and kaempferol which is a strong antioxidant that prevents the formation of cancerous cells.
Cataract and macular degeneration - the carotenoid found in spinach that is helpful against these eye diseases.
Soothes burns - The leaves are soaked in hot olive oil or soybean oil. Cooled down and applied on affected area.
Kidney or bladder disease - Crush spinach leaves, put a teaspoon in a cup of boiling water. Cover for 15 mins and strain. It is used as a diuretic and consumed in doses of 2 cups/day.
THOUGH THE CONTENT OF THIS BLOG HAD BEEN TRIED/TESTED AND HAD BEEN USED
AS FOLK/HERBAL MEDICINE IT IS STILL BEST TO CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE TRYING THIS. AVOID SELF-DIAGNOSIS AND SELF-MEDICATION.