Scientific Name:Spinacia oleracea
About this Herb:An annual, Spinach grows to a height of up to 30 cm. Spinach may survive over winter in temperate regions. The leaves are alternate, simple, ovate to triangular-based, very variable in size from about 2–30 cm long and 1–15 cm broad, with larger leaves at the base of the plant and small leaves higher on the flowering stem. The flowers are inconspicuous, yellow-green, 3–4 mm diameter, maturing into a small, hard, dry, lumpy fruit cluster 5–10 mm across containing several seeds.
Common Names:Popeye Iron, Smooth Leaf Spinach, Curly Leaf Spinach
Uses:Spinach contains an impressive range of active substances, which are indispensable to the body. In its structure, we find mineral salts (sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, iron, zinc, manganese, iodine and copper), vitamins (C, B1, B2, B6, PP, E, K, folic acid, vitamin A), chlorophyll, amino acids such as arginine and lysine, but also lipids, opioid peptides, and fiber. With only 17 calories, 100 grams of spinach supplies the body with 5 mg of iron, 500 mg of potassium, 170 mg of calcium, 23 mg of vitamin C, 2 mg of vitamin E, 150 micrograms of folic acid, 3500 micrograms of beta-carotene and 7 grams of alimentary fibers. Because of this, an alimentary diet that contains spinach, leads to the strengthening of the body. The magnesium contained in spinach helps prevent diabetes; iodine helps treat skin diseases and strengthens the immune system; vitamin K contributes to bone resistance; vitamin B improves cerebral activity, helps in maintaining the firmness of the skin and controls insomnia; potassium stimulates the cardiac muscle; beta-carotene prevents sight problems and sulfur increases hair attractiveness. Alimentary fibers, vitamins and minerals contained in spinach make it a good purifier as it detoxifies the body. The toxins originating in nourishments that are rich in fat and proteins of animal origin are quickly eliminated. At the same time, alimentary fibers prevent constipation and colon cancer. They interact with the absorption of fat and adjust the level of cholesterol in the body. Moreover, spinach can help eliminate intestinal parasites. All of these are sufficient reasons to start a diet based on spinach or at least for introducing it more often into your everyday diet. Spinach is calming for the nervous system and is also a good coagulant. Important for growing children, spinach benefits growth. An infusion is useful for increasing diuresis in kidney or bladder diseases.
Applications:Eating: Spinach can be cooked and eaten to gain all the vitamins, minerals within.
Infusion: Pour a cup of boiling water on one teaspoon of crushed spinach leaves and seep covered for 15 minutes, then filter. Drink two cups per day.
Warnings:The consumption of spinach is not recommended for people who suffer from hepatitis, rheumatism, gastric and intestinal inflammations, or for people who are on a diet without salt.
Those who confront themselves with hepatic affections should only consume it moderately - because of the oxalic acid that it contains.
Spinach may cause flatulence.