Chenopodium album or bathua has many benefits for our health. But, many people are not aware of this amazing plant with so many medicinal values. People in certain parts of India like the Northern states and also in certain countries of Africa cultivate this plant as a vegetable and for food purposes. But, in many other countries of Europe and America, Chenopodium album or bathua is considered to be a weed and just discarded.
Chenopodium album or bathua is very rich in various nutrients like proteins, vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C and also minerals like iron, potassium, phosphorus and calcium. Due to its high nutritive value and medicinal properties, Chenopodium album or bathua is used in the preparation of many traditional medicines.
In India, Bathua or Chenopodium album is used to prepare many edible items like bathua saag, bathua paratha, and curd bathua. Sometimes, a powder made from dried goosefoot or bathua leaves is mixed with chapati or atta flour and made into chapatis.
Bathua seeds or Goosefoot seeds:
These seeds are highly nutritious and they are also an edible part of Bathua plant. They are very nutritious when compared to the staple foods like wheat, maize, and rice which are extensively used in India. Bt, people are not aware of its nutritional value. They are used as fodder for the animals like cattle. They are also eaten by people in certain parts of India.
People in Shimla make a fermented beverage from bathua seeds and its called Soora. Some people also prepare an alcoholic drink from goosefoot seeds and its called Ghanti. These seeds also help in killing intestinal parasites and also help in treating constipation.
Chenopodium album or bathua Nutrition facts:
Before talking about the benefits of Chenopodium album or bathua, let us look at some of the important nutrients it contains.It contains many essential oils. It also contains alkaloids like chenopodine and trigonelline which are very good for the body.
It is also rich in substances called saponins and flavonoids which control diabetes, prevent cancer, reduce obesity and also protect our heart.
They are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B-complex like Niacin, Riboflavin or vitamin B2, Thiamine or vitamin B1. They also contain minerals like calcium, phosphorus, iron, etc. It is also rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
Benefits of Chenopodium album or bathua:
1. Protects liver:
Chenopodium album or bathua plays a pivotal role in protecting our liver. It protects the liver from toxicity or hepatotoxicity caused by various drugs like paracetamol and also toxins. Certain studies have proved the efficacy of Chenopodium album in reversing the damage of liver caused by paracetamol toxicity.
It even reduced the levels of liver enzymes in the blood which are released as a result of liver damage. Consume Chenopodium album or goosefoot regularly to protect your liver from toxins and make yourself healthy. Chenopodium album is part of an Ayurvedic preparation called Sharbat Kasni which is a liver tonic. It helps in curing jaundice which is a liver disorder.
2. Possess antibacterial properties:
We are susceptible to many kinds of bacterial diseases if our immune system is weak. We need to eat food substances which naturally enhance our immunity and protect us from any bacterial invasion of our body.
Chenopodium album or goosefoot has potent antibacterial activity. It is capable of killing many bacteria like Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas. Staphylococcus can cause many diseases which can range from mild skin lesions to severe life-threatening cellulitis and septicemia which is the invasion or spread of the bacteria and its toxins into the blood stream.
It even helps in killing bacteria causing tuberculosis called mycobacterium tuberculosis. So, it is used as an ingredient of syrup treating tuberculosis called Sehat Bakhsh. It is helpful in treating the initial stages of tuberculosis or TB infection.
3. Acts as a potent analgesic:
We often suffer from many types of pain like body aches, headache, abdominal pain, sore body, leg cramps, etc. We generally need to take strong painkillers to get rid of such severe pain. If we don’t take any pain killer, we won’t be able to tolerate the pain. But, the pain killers we use generally have many side effects like causing acidity, pain behind the breastbone, etc.
Chenopodium album is a very good natural analgesic or pain killer. It can reduce pain in any part of the body. It also has spasmolytic properties, which make it capable of relieving abdominal cramps or spasms as well. The best part is that it does not cause any side effects.
4. Kills intestinal parasites:
Intestinal parasites or worms in our body cause many symptoms. They cause abdominal or stomach pain. They suck up all the hemoglobin and nutrients from our body for their growth. This makes us very anemic or reduces the hemoglobin content of our body.
Intestinal parasites also make us very weak and tired as we are not getting adequate nutrients. If you eat Chenopodium album or bathua, it takes care of the intestinal parasites by killing them. We will no longer be tired, anemic and weak. To get rid of intestinal parasites, drink a juice of bathua leaves along with some rock salt. Drink this juice twice daily after the meals.
5. Reduces itching:
Sometimes, our skin gets irritated due to excessive sweat, dirt, pollution and due to wearing clothes that irritate our skin. This makes us feel like itching and we start scratching. Scratching severely produces scratch marks, and makes us even bleed sometimes. Chenopodium album or bathua is an effective antipruritic agent and it helps in controlling the itching or scratching.
6. Prevents breast cancer:
Studies were conducted by scientists on the effectiveness of Chenopodium album or bathua leaves in preventing various types of cancers. They concluded that bathua leaves have anticarcinogenic properties. They prevent the development of breast cancers which are dependent on estrogen hormone for their growth.
7. Treats constipation:
Chenopodium album or bathua is a very good laxative. It has been used in traditional medicine to treat constipation and also problems related to it like piles or hemorrhoids.
The main reason behind the laxative properties of Chenopodium album or bathua is its high fiber content. High fiber content helps to increase the bulk of the stool. It also helps in absorbing more water into the intestines which make the stool soft and easy to pass. People who eat Chenopodium album or bathua regularly in their diet don’t suffer from constipation.
8. Treats diarrhea:
Chenopodium album or bathua can treat diarrhea too. Now, you might ask me how can the same bathua leaves treat both diarrhea and constipation. But, the truth is that they can treat both diarrhea and constipation.
To treat diarrhea, take few bathua leaves. Add them to boiling water and steep for some time. Drink this Bathua tea twice daily which helps in curing diarrhea.
9. Treats anemia:
Chenopodium album or bathua has high iron content. Iron is absolutely essential for the formation of hemoglobin. Deficiency of hemoglobin causes anemia which leads to many more problems like tiredness, fatigue, shortness of breath and if severe it can also lead to heart failure and loss of consciousness.
If Bathua leaves are eaten regularly in diet, you will not develop anemia. If people who have anemia, eat them regularly, they will get rid of anemia as it enhances hemoglobin production.
10. Good for Diabetes:
People with Diabetes suffer from high sugar levels. The blood sugar levels in these people are not regulated properly and the high sugar levels in the blood can lead to many more complications like renal or kidney impairment, damage to the eyes, skin, blood vessels, heart, etc.
Chenopodium album or bathua is a good hypoglycemic agent. It helps in lowering the levels of blood sugar in the people. People with Diabetes should definitely make it a part of their diet to keep their blood sugar levels under control.
As Chenopodium album or bathua can lower the blood sugar levels, it is good for people suffering fromDiabetes. But, if a Diabetic person is already taking any oral hypoglycemic drug, he should first consult his doctor before eating bathua regularly. He might need to reduce the dose of his drugs after taking bathua. A diabetic person planning to eat bathua should monitor his blood sugar levels regularly by getting blood tests done.
11. Acts as antioxidant:
Chenopodium album or bathua contains high levels of vitamin A and vitamin C which act as antioxidants. Thye fight the free radicals and prevent the damage caused by them to our body. Free radicals can lead to cancer, aging at a young age, etc.
Chenopodium album or bathua helps in prevention of various cancers. It prevents aging fast at a young age. It also reduces signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles on the skin.
12. Acts as anti-inflammatory agent:
Chenopodium album or bathua is a very effective agent in reducing inflammation or swelling various parts of the body. The main ingredients of goosefoot which help in reducing inflammation are linalool and linaly acetate which are part of essential oils present in bathua.
13. Reduces gastric ulcers and acidity:
Many of us suffer from acidity, gastric ulcers, GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease, etc. We tend to develop these conditions due to eating spicy food, improper lifestyle habits and high levels of stress in today’s competitive world.
Eating Chenopodium album can help us with combating acidity very efficiently. If you eat goosefoot regularly, it will help in healing the gastric ulcers fast.
14. Acts as aphrodisiac:
Many people are suffering from lack of sexual urge or sexual drive these days. We are living in an extremely competitive world. We need to work the whole day and work efficiently than our peers to succeed.
Such high levels of stress are killing the sex drive in people. This affects the marriages and relationships of people very adversely. Chenopodium album or bathua will act like a good aphrodisiac and improve sexual urge in such people.
15. Acts as blood purifier:
Chenopodium album or bathua is a very good blood purifier as per some studies. It flushes out all the toxins from the body and detoxifies our body very well. Getting rid of toxins makes us very healthy. We can just eat bathua or drink bathua juice to enjoy its benefits as a blood purifier.
To use bathua leaves as a blood purifier, make a juice of bathua leaves and neem leaves together and drink it regularly.
16. Rich in proteins:
Chenopodium album is rich in many amino acids which are constituents of proteins. Proteins are required for the proper functioning of each and every part of the body. Proteins and amino acids are building blocks of the body. In fact, all the cells need proteins for their normal cell structure. All the hormones and enzymes in the body are made of proteins.
So, the high protein content of goosefoot makes us healthy by producing normal hormones, enzymes and by maintaining the integrity of the cells.
17. Treats joint pains or arthritis:
As Chenopodium album or goosefoot has anti-inflammatory properties, it can relieve inflammation of joints or arthritis very effectively. Just drink 2 to 3 spoons of Chenopodium album or bathua juice daily before breakfast to get rid of joint pains and arthritis.
18. Helpful for burns:
Chenopodium album or bathua leaves are very good for treating burns. The leaves of goosefoot can be made into a fine paste and then applied over the burns. This gives a very soothing effect on the burns and helps them heal faster.
19. Treats splenomegaly or spleen enlargement:
If a person is suffering from enlarged spleen or splenomegaly, he can take some bathua leaves and boil the, Then add some black pepper powder and rock salt on it and eat them. This helps in reducing the size of the spleen.
20. Treats menstrual irregularities:
If a woman is suffering from irregular menstrual cycles, she can prepare a tonic with bathua seeds. Just take 10 grams of goosefoot seeds powder and 10 grams of dry ginger powder. Add them to 500 ml of water and bring to a boil.
Boil them until 100 ml remains. Drink this tonic twice a day for few days, You will definitely notice some improvement in regularizing your menstrual cycles.
21. Good for kidneys:
Chenopodium album or goosefoot can help in getting rid of kidney stones or nephrolithiasis. It ca also help in treating infections of the urinary tract like UTI.
22. Good for hair:
It contains many nutrients like vitamins and minerals. Chenopodium album or bathua makes your hair strong, black, long and shiny. Eat them regularly to get lovely black tresses.
23. Treat hemorrhoids:
They are very effective in treating piles or hemorrhoids due to their anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Eat goosefoot leaves twice daily to get rid of piles or hemorrhoids.
24. Treats postpartum infections:
Some women develop infections after they have given birth to their child. In such women, goosefoot seeds can be used along with certain other seeds like carom seeds and fenugreek seeds to get rid of the postpartum infection fully.
25. Promotes eye health:
Chenopodium album or goosefoot is rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene which is absolutely essential for the health of the eyes. If you eat it regularly, you will have sparkling eyes. Your vision will improve greatly if you eat goosefoot leaves and seeds regularly.
Other names of Chenopodium album or bathua:
English: lamb’s quarters, melde, goosefoot, fat-hen, white goosefoot, pigweed
Hindi: Bathua, Bathuwa, Bathua sag, Bathua saag, Bathu sag
Some facts and precautions regarding Chenopodium album or bathua:
1. It is cultivated in India and Africa as a food crop. But in other countries, people consider it as a weed. It also grows as a weed in the fields of many crops like Potato, corn, sugar beet and soybeans and leads to the loss of crops.
2. Chenopodium album or bathua flowers produce pollen. This pollen can be allergic to some people. These susceptible people might even develop allergies like hay fever. People who are allergic to bathua need to avoid eating it.
3. Bathua seeds can lead to abortions as they are abortifacient. So, women who are pregnant should not eat Bathua seeds.
4. If Bathua leaves are eaten in excess they can lead to photosensitivity or rash on exposure to the sun. So, at them in moderation only.
5. Use the remedies mentioned here only after consulting an ayurvedic physician.
You have seen all the benefits of eating chenopodium album or goosefoot regularly. Do you use goosefoot in your diet to enhance your health. In what all ways do you use bathua?