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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 Garden beet, Red Beet
(Beta vulgaris rubra)
[tiàn cái gen]
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CONTAINS: 1/10 part sugar, but does not crystallize as well as cane sugar (although is more easily disgested), and 1/3 part starch and gum; also arginine, betaine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, phenylalanine, tyrosine.
Leaf contains per 100 g: 45 calories, 86.4 g water, 3.2 g protein, 0.4 g fat, 8.1 g carbohydrate, 3.8 g fiber, 1.9 g ash, 114 mg calcium, 34 mg phosphorus, 3.1 mg iron, 3152 mg betacartene equivalent, 0.07 mg thiamine, 0.22 mg riboflavin, 0.6 mg niacin, 50 mg ascorbic acid.

A native of southern Europe extensively cultivated as a food.


Sea beet (B. maritima): Grows in muddy maritime marshes on coasts of Europe, North Africa, and Asia; a tall, succulent plant, approximately 2 feet high with large glossy leaves, angular stems and a number of leafy spikes of green flowers resembling those of Stinking Goosefoot; no medicinal or culinary uses.
Mangel Wurzel or Mangold: A coarse variety grown as cattle fodder and at one time was used to produce ale in England.
Spinach beet (B. vulgaris var. cicla): Also sold under the name of Swiss Chard; a white-rooted variety cultivated for its leaves.
Sugar beet or White beet: Has been used as a major source of sugar in some countries; the first serious cultivation in England was undertaken in Essex in 1910.


Bechic, carminative, hemostatic, stomachic, women's tonic; liver and blood cleanser. Tends to turn urine and stool pink, but is not harmful.
Has been used for blood problems (a small amount of juice taken daily); believed to encourage healthy blood formation; has also been used as part of a kidney cleansing regimen and as an aid to liver and spleen function.
Beet juice has been used to regulate menstrual periods (also available as powder and tablets).
Beet juice has been combined with carrot juice for anemia (also said to lower cholesterol).
Has been used in Oriental medicine to treat dysentary.
Appears in folk lore of the Middle east, Eastern Europe, and the Americas as an herb used to treat cancer. The juice is said to be anti-inflammatory and has been used in raw juice therapy for cancer.
A nutritious source of iron, also of betaine which stimulates the function of liver cells and protects the liver and bile ducts; beetroot juice taken daily has been used to ensure iron intake.
Beetjuice has often been recommended during feverish conditions to provide added minerals and vitamins the body needs.
Tops have been juiced with a bit of watercress, then pineapple juice added for a mineral rich drink.

A common kitchen vegetable prepared in many ways and easily recognized by most everyone. Often pickled.

©2002 & 2006 by Ernestina Parziale, CH