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Herb Library

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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.

aka Indian Spinach, Malabar Spinach
(Basella alba)
[luò kuí]
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FYI A rampant tropical vine to 30 feet native to Africa and southeast Asia. LEAVES are broadly ovate to 4½ inches long, acute to slightly obtuse, cordate, green or purplish. FLOWERS are white. FRUIT is glossy black. §

CONTAINS: Based on Zero Moisture per 100 grams = 17% protein, 18 to 21% ash, 1500 to 4900 mg calcium, 50 mg beta-carotene equivalent, .60 mg thiamine, 1.50 mg riboflavin, 7 mg niacin, 1000 to 1400 mg vitamin C.

CULTIVATED VARIETY B.a. 'Rubra': Has red stems, petioles, and flowers. Was used as a dye for official Chinese seals and to make rouge.


♦ An herb of Chinese medicine.
The leaf is considered demulcent, diuretic, febrifuge, and laxative and has been used for dysentary and intestinal problems.
The flower is considered an antidote for poisons and has been used as a poultice for mammary cracks.
The juice of the leaf is considered aperient and has been used in decoction form to alleviate childbirth and fresh for rashes.
The entire plant is considered febrifuge.
The peoples of the Antilles have used the plant for mammary tumors. In India the leaves have been used for warts.

Used as a vegetable (like spinach).

©2000 & 2006 by Ernestina Parziale, CH