Alugbati or Malabar spinach

Alugbati or Malabar spinach is actually a succulent vegetable, especially the young shoots. It can grow abundantly on its own. The plant flowers naturally during a short-day period thus seed production is fast. The leaves are fleshy and round, and can replace spinach. Basella rubra, the edible species, has red flowers and purple stems. The fruit is fleshy and turns purple when mature.

What are the Alugbati Medicinal Uses and Health Benefits?

The plant is rich in saponin, iron and Vitamins A (510 IU per cup of alugbati), B and C and is a rich source of soluble fiber, which helps digestion. Saponins act as phytochemicals, which can fight off cancer. The red variety of alugbati is a good source of xanthones, an antioxidant. A cup of alugbati has only 10 calories and less than 0.5 g of fat. It also has 55 mg of calcium, 113 mg of potassium and 50 mcg of folic acid. Folic acid, which is also called folate, is one of the B vitamins that are critical for childbearing women. It helps them prevent birth defects on the neural tube, e.g., spina bifida.

When overcooked, alugbati is slimy, which gives soups and stews a thick texture. The cooked roots are used to treat diarrhea while cooked alugbati leaves and stems can serve as mild laxative, especially in kids and pregnant women. The decoction from the leaves is also mixed with sugar and used for catarrhal difficulty in children. In treating the latter, crush two leaves and apply as a poultice two times a day.

Similarly, the sap is also applied to acne to prevent inflammation. It also soothes headaches. When mixed with butter, it can be applied on burns and scalds. The flowers can be used as antidote for poison while a poultice made from the roots is applied to swellings.

According to other countries’ folklores, the plant is also used in treating hemorrhages and can enhance fertility in women. It is also administered to patients with sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea. One of my favorite is the gata with monggo and with squash also put the alugbati. It is so delicious to everyone.  And this is my blog. I hope it will hel you a lot.

Thanks be to God.

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