There are many traditional medicine ingredients we encounter in our daily life. Learn about Chenopodium album health benefits in this article.
Chenopodium album, or Fat hen, is a common weed that people cultivate across the world. You can either harvest it from the wild or grow it to use it in both, food as well as medicine. The leaves and seeds of the plant are edible, nutritious, and healthy and have an earthy taste. It contains minerals, fiber, vitamins, and essential fatty acids. You must exercise caution as they contain small quantities of saponins and oxalic acid, both of which have specific undesirable effects if ingested in large quantities. However, cooking destroys their content to a large extent. So, when cooked, you can reap most of the chenopodium album health benefits without thinking of side effects.
Chenopodium Album Health Benefits
1. Helpful as Medicine
Chenopodium album has been traditionally used as a detoxifier, diuretic, sedative, hepatoprotective, contraceptive, laxative, and sperm immobilizer. It has hypotensive properties and many studies have shown that it has anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, antiviral, and antifungal effects. Chenopodium album is also known to boost immunity and protect you from cardiovascular diseases.
2. Minerals and Vitamins
You can use the leaves of the plant as a substitute for spinach. They are rich in potassium, iron, calcium, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. The leaves contain 3.9% protein, 0.76% fat, 8.93% carbohydrate, and 3% ash. When cooked with beans, the leaves help prevent gas and bloating.
Soak the plant seeds in water overnight, rinse thoroughly to remove saponins, and then use in cooking. They contain 49% carbohydrates and 16% protein.
3. Urinary Problems
You can sprout the seeds and use them in salads. You can dry and ground them into powder to use in baking bread. Alternatively, you can chew the seeds to obtain relief from urinary problems.
4. Anthelmintic and Anti-inflammatory Properties
The leaves have antihelmintic properties (destroys parasitic worms) and are effective against roundworms and hookworms in the intestine. They also have anti-inflammatory, odontalgic (relieves toothache), and laxative properties. The leaves infused in water can help alleviate rheumatism.
5. Helpful in Various Treatments
You can use them as a poultice to treat insect bites, sunstroke, and swollen joints and feet. A decoction of the leaves is effective in treating tooth caries. The juice of the leaves is used for treating burns and intestinal ulcers. The juice of the plant stems help fade freckles and soothe sunburns, while the roots’ juice is used to treat bloody dysentery.
You can soak tender leaves and the stems in several water changes to allow the dirt to settle down. After rinsing thoroughly, chop and use it in cooking. The best way is to wilt them quickly in oil or water. They are easy to digest when cooked or you can also chop the raw leaves and use them in salads. Cook the tender inflorescences of the plant and use it as a substitute for broccoli.
Chenopodium egg bake:-
- Wash and chop a bunch of Chenopodium leaves.
- Next, chop an onion and sauté it in 1 tbsp butter for a minute.
- Now add 1 tbsp vinegar, 1/4 cup water, and the chopped leaves into the saucepan.
- Cover and cook till the leaves wilt and the water reduces.
- Bake eggs with a few Chenopodium leaves and parmesan cheese at 35o degrees for 20 minutes.
- Serve the cooked leaves with the baked egg in a ramekin and enjoy a healthy breakfast.
Chenopodium album soup
- A Tomato – Chop it Roughly
- Water – 3 cups
- Garlic – 3 cloves
- Lime Juice of half a lemon
- Olive Oil – 1 tbsp
- Honey – 1 tsp
- Salt – 1/2 tsp
- Chopped Chenopodium Leaves – 2 Cups (Wash the leaves with water until thoroughly clean)
- Chopped Avocado – 1/2 Cup
- Red Pepper – Slice thinly and saute for one minute
- Onion- Chop and Saute for a minute
- Two celery stalks – chop and sauté for a minute
Use a blender to make a smooth puree out of a tomato, chopped avocado, 3 cloves garlic, lime juice, and a tbsp. of honey. Pour a tbsp. of olive oil in a saucepan and add chopped onion, red pepper, Chenopodium leaves, and two celery stalks. Sauté the ingredients for two minutes and add the puree. Let it simmer for a few minutes and then add 3 cups of water. Bring it to a boil and sprinkle some pepper powder for added taste. Serve the soup while warm.
Chenopodium album is easy to cultivate, readily available, versatile, inexpensive, nutritious, and beneficial for health. It joins the list of promising foods to help ease world hunger and provide adequate nutrition.