Benefits of Spinach plant
Renowned for its rich iron content, spinach has become a much appreciated herb due to recent studies which prove its anticancerigenic properties.
Description of Spinach plant Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is an annual plant originating in the Middle East - more precisely from Afghanistan and Turkistan. Some assign its origin to the land of Persia - presently Iran. Long ago, the Arabians used it against throat and lung affections. In the 8th century, spinach was grown in Spain and France and in the 11th century it reached Sicily. In present times, the herb has become much appreciated because, according to research, fresh spinach leaves are anticancerigenic. It is a very renowned plant for its rich iron content. The iron that is contained in spinach (in its natural state) is very good for young children because when administrated at a pharmacy, it can easily be overdosed. Little do most known that apart from minerals and vitamins, spinach also contains oxalic acid - a substance that inhibits the absorption of calcium into the body.
Properties and benefits of Spinach Spinach contains an impressive range of active substances which are indispensable to the body. In its structure we find mineral salts (sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, iron, zinc, manganese, iodine, copper), vitamins (C, B1, B2, B6, PP, E, K, folic acid, vitamin A), chlorophyll, amino acids such as arginine and lysine, but also lipids, protides, glucdes and fibers. With only 17 calories, 100 grams of spinach supplies the body with 5 mg of iron, 500 mg of potassium, 170 mg of calcium, 23 mg of vitamin C, 2 mg of vitamin E, 150 micrograms of folic acid, 3500 micrograms of beta-carotene and 7 grams of alimentary fibers. Because of this, an alimentary diet which contains spinach, leads to the strengthening of the body. The magnesium contained in spinach helps prevent diabetes; iodine helps treat skin diseases and strengthens the immune system; vitamin K contributes to bone resistance; vitamin B improves cerebral activity, helps in maintaining the firmness of the skin and controls insomnia; potassium stimulates the cardiac muscle; beta-carotene prevents sight problems and sulfur increases hair attractiveness. Alimentary fibers, vitamins and minerals contained make spinach a good depurative and detoxifier. The toxins originating in nourishments that are rich in fat and proteins of animal origin are thus eliminated quickly. At the same time, alimentary fibers prevent constipation and colon cancer. They interact with the absorption of fat and adjust the level of cholesterol in the body. Moreover, spinach can help eliminate intestinal parasites. All of these are sufficient reasons to start a diet based on spinach or at least for introducing it more often into everyday nourishment. By being nutritive, tonifying, mineralizing, calming for the nervous system and also a good coagulant, spinach benefits growth.
Mixtures and treatments Spinach is recommended by nutritionists especially for convalescents, asthenics (both those suffering from physical asthenia and those with nervous asthenia) children, rachitics, elder people and for pregnant women also because the plant is efficient in the process of regenerating epidermis. Also, spring asthenia caused by deficiency of minerals and vitamins is successfully controlled through the consumption of spinach. Because of its properties, it is also recommended in the fight against cardiac affections, arterial hypertension, high blood sliminess, renal affections, atony of the urinary bladder, cystitis, diabetes, gout, renal insufficiency, obesity and also acne, abscess, psoriasis, burns, eczemas, wounds. Further on we shall present a few simple treatments using this plant, while observing that only the consumption of spinach in its raw state will keep all its elements active.
Spinach juice It is said that administering 0.5 l of juice per day can cure even the most severe cases of constipation. However, one fresh glass of spinach juice, drunk in the morning, is also good for nervous depressions and fatigue. Spinach juice helps in the process of recovery of diseased organs, helps with duodenal ulcer, pernicious anemia, weakness, convulsions, deficiencies of the suprarenal glands or of the thyroid gland, low and high blood pressure, gum bleeding, limb inflammations, headaches, migraines, furunculosis, dental abscesses etc. To obtain the juice, spinach is placed in the meat chopping machine and afterwards the juice is collected.
Spinach infusion The infusion is useful for increasing diuresis in kidney or bladder diseases. This mixture is obtained by pouring a cup of boiled water on one teaspoon of crushed spinach leaves. The infusion is kept covered for 15 minutes. After filtering it, it is to be consumed in doses of two cups per day.
Cataplasms For external use, spinach cataplasms can calm burns. The leaves are soaked in boiling olive or soybean oil and they are fastened with a bandage on the affected areas. It is recommended to apply two or three cataplasms during the day. Also in external use, to obtain a healthy hair, the following receipt can be used: boil 125g of fresh spinach in 500ml of water for 15-20 minutes. The cataplasm is applied when the mixture has cooled down through a light massage of the scalp. After approximately an hour, the hair is washed.
Warning The consumption of spinach is not indicated for people who suffer from hepatitis, rheumatism, gastric and intestinal inflammations, or for people who are on a diet without salt. Those who confront themselves with hepatic affections should only consume it moderately - because of the oxalic acid that it contains.