Botanical Name :: Amaranthus,gangeticus
Other English Name :: China spinach
Indian Name :: Chaulai-ka-saag
Amaranth is a popular green leafy vegetable grown all over India. It is usually a short lived annual herb, with erect and often thick and fleshy stems and green leaves There are about six different species of amaranth in cultivation
Origin and Distribution of Amaranth
Most species of amaranth are believed to have originated in ,the Andran region of South America or Mexico. The various species are now widely distributed throughout most tropical areas are India, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Taiwan, South Pacific, tropical Africa and the Caribbean. Amaranth is a warm season crop and all species can be grown in the summer as well as the rainy season.
Natural Benefits and Curative Properties of Amaranth
Regular use of amaranth in our food items prevents the deficiency of vitamins A, B1, B2, and C, calcium, iron and potassium. It protects against several disorders such as defective vision, respiratory infections, recurrent colds retarded growth and functional sterility.
•Respiratory Disorders :- Amaranth is valuable in respiratory system disorders. Drinking fresh juice along with honey is remedy for chronic bronchitis, asthma, emphysema and tuberculosis.
•Pregnancy and Lactation :- Regular use of amaranth during pregnancy and lactation is highly beneficial One cup of fresh leaf juice of amaranth mixed with honey and a pinch of cardamom powder should be taken during the entire period of pregnancy It will help the normal growth of the baby, prevent the loss of calcium and iron from the body, relax the uterine ligaments and facilitate easy delivery without much pain Its use after child birth will shorten the laying in period, check the postnatal complications, and increase the flow of breast milk.
•Retarded Growth :- Amaranth is very useful in preventing retarded growth in children. A teaspoonful of the fresh juice mixed with few drops of honey should be given once every day to infants after a fort night of the birth It will help the baby to grow healthy and strong. It will prevent constipation and ease the teething process as the baby grows.
Growing children can safely be given this juice as a natural protein tonic. It contains all the essential amino acids such as arginine, nistidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, cystine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.
•Premature Ageing :- The regular use of amaranth is useful in preventing premature old age It prevents the disturbance of calcium and iron metabolism which usually occurs in old age. According to Dr. Van-Sylke, calcium molecules begin to get deposited in the bone tissues as one becomes old This haphazard calcium distribution is influenced by the improper molecular movements of iron in the tissues. If this molecular disturbance of calcium and iron is prevented by regular supply of food. calcium and iron as found in amaranth and the health is maintained by its regular use from the early age, the process of ageing can be prevented.
•Bleeding Tendencies :- The use of amaranth is valuable in all bleeding tendencies. A cupful of fresh leaf juice mixed with a teaspoonful of lime juice should be taken every night in conditions like bleeding from the gums, nose, lungs, piles and excessive menstruation. It acts as a natural tonic.
•Leucorrhoea :- Amaranth is beneficial in the treatment of leucorrhoea. The rind of the root of amaranth rubbed in 250 ml. of water and strained. It should be given to the patient daily in the morning as well as in the evening. It is a very effective remedy for this disease and quite often the very first dose gives relief. The root of amaranth is very much susceptible to moths. Hence care should be taken to see that it is not mouth eaten. In case good root is not available. its leaves and branches may be used.
•Venereal Diseases :- Amaranth is considered highly beneficial in the treatment of gonorrhea. About 25 gm's of the leaves of this vegetable should be given twice or thrice a day to the patient in Venereal Diseases.