What Is Basella Alba?
Basella Alba is a wildly cultivated vegetable, which is also known as Indian Spinach. The spinach is native to India and Africa. It is also grown in other countries of Southeast Asia. Basella Alba is commonly grown as a pot herb by the Indians.
The vegetable has several therapeutic properties. Basella Alba is rich in nutrients, and it is helpful in the management of various types of nutrient deficiency. The leaves of Basella Alba are high in vitamins A, E, and K.
Other nutrients found in the leaves include carotene, bioflavonoids, polysaccharides that are soluble in water, and essential amino acids. The leaves are also rich in minerals, including calcium and iron.
The presence of biologically active compounds such as proteins, carbohydrates, enzymes, fats, and oils enables the plant to be used for medicinal purposes. Basella Alba also contains carotenoids, saponin, quinines, and simple phenolic glycosides, among other compounds.
Basella Alba is commonly used in combination with Hibiscus macranthus in the treatment of diseases. Besides being used for medicinal purposes, Basella Alba is also used as a food product.
Most people use it to season chicken, whereby it is cooked alongside chicken meat and the resulting broth is drunk or used in soups.
Basella Alba contains several chemical compounds that contribute to its therapeutic properties. The vegetable has gomphrenin, which is also known as 15S-betanidin 6-O-beta-glucoside. The fruits of the plant contain betacyanidin.
The betacyanidin includes both betanidin-dihexose and betanidin-hexose. Besides the chemical compounds, the vegetable is also rich in mineral compounds such as calcium, zinc, manganese, and magnesium.
The leaves and stem of the plant contain mucilage. The presence of mucilage makes it look slimy when the stem is broken off the vine. The mucilage present in the leaves and stem forms a significant source of soluble fiber.
The vine grows well in the heat of summer and up to fall, after which the plant dies. However, its seeds fall on the ground and then sprout the following summer. Basella Alba has numerous health benefits.
It is rich in vitamin A, whereby 100 grams contain about 8,000 units of the vitamin. The plant also has a high amount of proteins and minerals, along with antioxidant properties.
The antioxidants present in the plant include beta-carotene and lutein. These antioxidants help protect the cells from the aging process. They work by destroying harmful free radicals that scavenge in the body.
In this article, we are going to discuss the health benefits of Basella Alba, the risks and side effects that may result from its use, and the top brands that contain the vegetable in the market.
Basella Alba Benefits
The Vegetable Promotes A Healthy Cardiovascular System
The Malabar Spinach is rich in folate. According to studies, folate is required to reduce the concentration of homocysteine in the blood. High levels of homocysteine in the blood are associated with heart problems, such as strokes and heart attacks.
The folate converts homocysteine to methionine and in the process the levels of the compound present in blood are normalized. According to studies, a high dietary intake of folate minimizes the risks that are associated with cardiovascular diseases.
Management Of Cancer
Studies have revealed that low levels of folate in the body can increase the chances of getting cancer of the breast, cervix, brain, lung, and colon. Evidence from scientific works has revealed that diets rich in folate can prevent cancer cells from spreading in the body.
Treatment Of Burns
Due to its cooling action, Basella Alba is used as a remedy for burns. The juice extracted from its leaves is applied topically to burns and scalds to provide relief. The liquid extract is commonly mixed with ghee butter before it is applied on the burn.
Management Of Constipation
The Basella Alba has laxative properties that make it suitable for the management of constipation. The fresh juice from its leaves can be taken in doses of 10-20 milliliters to help alleviate the symptoms that are associated with constipation.
Besides having laxative properties, the juice extracted from the plant also has diuretic and demulcent properties. When it is taken, the juice can help in treating fluid retention, dysentery, and diarrhea, among other GI tract conditions.
Management Of Ulcers And Boils
The paste produced from leaves is applied topically to ulcers and boils to hasten suppression.
Management Of Cold, Cough, And Congestion
According to experts, the combination of juice from the leaves with candy is beneficial to individuals having a cough, cold, or congestion. The combination is also useful in the management of gonorrhea and inflammation of the male reproductive organs, also known as balanitis.
Used As Food
The leaves of Basella Alba are used as a substitute for spinach. The leaves are low in calories and high in nutrients. As a vegetable, the leaves are cooked and eaten alone or in an entrée.
The cooked vegetables are easily digestible, nutritious, and useful in the management of malnutrition in children. The cooked vegetable is also useful for people having constipation. The leaves are also used to thicken soup and stews due to their mucilaginous property.
Some people also eat the leaves raw as a salad. Infusion of the leaves can be used to substitute tea. The purple sap that is obtained from the fruits is also used as a food coloring in pastries and sweets.
Basella Alba is rich in the reactive oxygen species that helps slow the aging process. The vegetable is also rich in natural antioxidants such as beta carotene, which helps to protect cells against damage by free radicals that may be present in the body.
Indian Spinach is also rich in vitamin C, which has antioxidant properties. The vitamin protects the body tissues from damage caused by free radicals.
Management Of Depression
Studies have shown that an adequate dietary intake of folate helps in the management of depression. The folate found in Indian Spinach helps in the natural treatment of depression.
According to a study that was conducted on depressed individuals, high intake of dietary folate helps in the management of depression.
Prevention Of Dementia
Studies have indicated that a high concentration of homocysteine in the blood may lead to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Low amounts of folate in the body have been linked to poor mental health.
Folate can help in the management of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by reducing the amount of homocysteine that is available in the blood. However, there is no evidence to show the exact mechanism used by folate to improve cognitive function.
The consumption of Indian Spinach is important for a pregnant woman. The vegetable is rich in nutrients that are a requirement for a healthy pregnancy. One of the vital nutrients for a pregnant mother is folate.
Folate deficiency is associated with neural tube defects, including encephalopathy, malformations of the limbs, spina bifida, and heart defects. Folate is an essential nutrient for DNA synthesis.
Low levels of folate lead to congenital disabilities that may persist even after birth. Health experts recommend that pregnant mothers should take plenty of leafy green vegetables to ensure an adequate supply of folate.
Basella Alba Side Effects
Basella Alba is considered safe for consumption. However, there are some side effects that people should be aware of when they are using Indian Spinach for medicinal purposes. One of the most reported adverse effects is an allergic reaction.
The adverse effect arises when the vegetable preparation is applied topically on the skin. The allergy presents with itching and skin irritation.
Consumption of high amounts of the vegetables may also cause gastrointestinal problems such as flatulence due to gas accumulation.
Basella Alba Top Products
Jungle Warfare Extreme
The product combines well-engineered herbal compounds that work to impact the anabolic process in the body.
The product is indicated for bodybuilders and physique athletes who are interested in building their muscle mass and increasing the levels of testosterone in the body.
The product contains herbal ingredients that work synergistically to optimize the lean muscle without necessarily down-regulating the hormones. The serving size is one capsule and each package contains 90 capsules.
The product contains Basella Alba concentrate, Bitter Lemon Concentrate, and Resveratrol. Other ingredients besides Basella Alba include gelatin, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, and silica.
The product is produced by Top Secret Nutrition. According to the official website of the manufacturers, the product is an anabolic enabler. The product has been used for several years as a powerful testosterone booster.
Other effects of the product include increased lean muscle mass, the breakdown of fats accumulated in the body, and enhanced strength and performance of the body. The product also increases the body's energy levels as well as providing a healthy sexual function.
The main ingredients contained in Natural T include Basella Alba Extract, White Button Mushroom, Brassinosteroids, and Chlorophytum Borivilianum.
Basella Alba Conclusion
Basella Alba is safe for consumption by humans. However, the vegetable contains oxalic acid that may crystallize as oxalate stones in the urinary tract. Individuals with a history of oxalate urinary stones should avoid consuming these vegetables.
However, cases of developing the oxalate stones are not common.