Uses and Health Benefits of Alugbati / Malabar Spinach
My friend asked me if I know something about alugbati plant. I replied, “Nope”. I heard about alugbati several times before but I was completely clueless about it. So I listed it on my priority list – a search for alugbati.
Picture results after googling were familiar. I have seen this plant before, in fact I have a picture of it. I took a shot when I saw this plant in school garden without knowing that it was the alugbati.
The vegetable is also known as Malabar Spinach, Ceylon Spinach or the red vine. The stem is purplish (shade of red) and succulent with heart shape leaves. It bears green to dark red fruits (correct me if I am wrong).
The young leaves are popular vegetable stuff. It can be boiled (boil until cooked and discard water), used as salad ingredient and other dishes like ginisa.
The plant is also popular for its medicinal properties. Growing it in your garden is a nice idea.
1) A good source of essential nutrients. Excellent source of calcium, iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B and iron.
2) Contain saponins that act as phytochemicals. Fights cancer and other diseases.
3) Roots are employed as rubefacient – a medicine for external application that produces redness of the skin.
4) Roots are also used as poultice to reduce local swellings.
5) The sap can be applied to acne areas to eliminate irritation.
6) The sap has a softening or soothing effect especially to the skin.
7) A diuretic.
8) A mild laxative.
9) Pulped leaves are applied to boils, ulcers and abscesses.
10) Leaf juice with sugar is effective for inflammation of the nose and throat with increased production of mucus. Also used to treat gonorrhea and balanitis
11) Leaf juice with butter has a soothing effect on burns and scalds.
12) Stem and leaf extract can cure habitual headache.
13) Fruits maybe used as cheeks and lips make-up and dye.
14) Good source of fibers.