Malabar Spinach


Malabar Spinach Scientific Name

Basella alba

Malabar Spinach Other Names

English: Ceylon Spinach, Malabar Spinach, Red Malabar Spinach
Hindi: Poi
German: Malabar Spinat
French: L’épinard de Malabar
Spanish: Espinaca de Malabar
Latin: Spinach Malabar

What is Malabar Spinach?

Malabar Spinach, scientifically referred to as Basella alba, is a vegetable that originated in tropical Asia, specifically Indonesia or Sri Lanka and India. Malabar Spinach grows quickly and has a soft vine-like stem. At its maximum, it can be up to 10 feet long; however, it tends to be smaller in gardens. Its leaves are dark green, ovalular, glossy and thick. The Malabar Spinach leaves hold a mild and slightly peppery flavor. The leaves may be eaten raw, often mixed in a green salad, and steamed or boiled to be used like cooked spinach. In Ayurveda, it works to purify the blood, strengthen the body, treat cardiovascular diseases, and provide a variety of nutrients.

Common forms of Malabar Spinach

Whole, Seeds, Leaves

Malabar Spinach is commonly used for:

  • Strengthening core
  • Purifying blood
  • Rejuvenating sexual desire
  • Treating mouth ulcers
  • Healing wounds
  • Minimizing inflammation
  • Treating hives
  • Treating anemia
  • Treating malnutrition
  • Treating insomnia
  • Healing cracked feet
  • Treating piles
  • Treating bleeding disorders

Malabar Spinach Dosage

Due to a lack of scientific research, there is no clear dosage for Malabar Spinach.

Malabar Spinach Side-effects and Warnings

Common side-effects: It contains a high amount of oxalate, that can bind with calcium and iron and cause your body to absorb less important nutrients temporarily.
Not so common side-effects: Not known.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Malabar Spinach contains folate, also known as vitamin B9, which ensures normal development of the baby’s nervous system.
Children: Not known.

Consuming an excessive amount of Malabar Spinach may be harmful.

Where to Buy Malabar Spinach in the US?

Check out the Recipes that use Malabar Spinach

Chinmayi Kulkarni

Chinmayi is a Nutritionist turned Marketer, with Masters in both Marketing and Nutrition. Her focus is to combine her knowledge to understand and evangelize Ayurveda.

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