Garden spinach – garden spinach

An annual herbaceous plant of the quinoa family. The stem is straight, simple or branched, 25-30 cm high. Basal and lower stem leaves are long-petiolate, triangular-lanceolate or elongated-ovate, entire, very rarely with single teeth, smooth or wrinkled, upper ones are sessile, oblong, with a wedge-shaped base. The flowers are unisexual (the plant is dioecious), small; male flowers are four-parted, with green perianth, collected in terminal and axillary paniculate inflorescences; female – without perianth, collected in the axils of the leaves in dense glomeruli. The fruit is a nut. Blooms from June to August.

Spread. Garden spinach is not found in the wild. Comes from South-West Asia. On the territory of Ukraine, spinach is widely cultivated as a vegetable plant.

Procurement and storage . For medicinal purposes, young rosette leaves are used, which are consumed fresh (in the form of salads) or boiled.

The plant is unofficial .

Chemical composition . Spinach leaves contain vitamins B, B 2 , K, E, ascorbic, nicotinic, folinic and folic acids, rutin, etc. flavonoids with P-vitamin activity, carotenoids (B-carotene, lutein, violaxanthin, neoxanthin, zeaxanthin, neo-B-carotene, xanthophyll-epoxide), sterols (a and y-spinansterols, p-sitosterol and their glucosides, cholesterol), lipids (sulfo-, gluco-, galacto- and acylgalactolipids), proteins (up to 34%), carbohydrates (fructose, glucose, sucrose), organic acids (serotinic, oxalic, citric) and compounds of iodine, iron, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium. Proteins contain all essential amino acids.

Pharmacological properties and use. Spinach is used to prepare the first and second dishes, but it is especially useful to use it raw as a salad. The breadth of the medicinal effect of spinach is insignificant. It increases peristalsis of the intestines, has a mild laxative effect. The high content of phenolic compounds (flavonoids and phenolic acids) determines the capillary-strengthening, anti-sclerotic and anti-inflammatory properties of spinach. It will be used as a means that creates a therapeutic background, and to potentiate the effect of medicines for a number of diseases. It is useful to use spinach for children, pregnant women and weakened patients, patients with hypochromic anemia, diabetes and hypertension, with hypacid gastritis and enterocolitis. In the form of soups, mashed potatoes, etc., it is prescribed for obesity. As a source of vitamins, spinach is used in diet therapy and in the so-called spring treatment. In folk medicine, an infusion of spinach leaves is used for sluggish intestinal peristalsis and flatulence. Spinach is contraindicated in kidney stone disease (oxaluria), nephritis, gout, diseases of the liver, gall bladder, and pancreas. It should also be remembered that spinach dishes should be stored in the refrigerator, because at room temperature they form poisonous substances that are dangerous for human health.

Medicinal forms and applications . Internally – infusion of fresh leaves (10 g of raw material per 200 ml of boiling water) for a quarter of a glass 4 times a day.

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