Chenepodium album (Bengali Bethua sak)

Botanical Name: Chenepodium album
Family: Chenopodiaceae
Genus: Chenopodium
Species: C. album
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Common Names: white goosefoot,Pigweed,

In Marathi it is called Bathua or Bathuwa.It is called Pappukura in Telugu, Paruppukkirai in Tamil, Kaduoma in Kannada, Vastuccira in Malayalam, and Chakvit in Konkani.

In English texts it may be called by its Hindi name bathua or bathuwa.

In Bengal it is called Bethua sak

Habitat:Chenepodium album is native in eastern Asia are included under C. album, but often differ from European specimens. It is widely introduced elsewhere, e.g. Africa, Australasia, North America, and Oceania, and now occurs almost everywhere in soils rich in nitrogen, especially on wasteland

Description:
Chenopodium album is a fast-growing weedy annual plant.It tends to grow upright at first, reaching heights of 10–150 cm (rarely to 3 m), but typically becomes recumbent after flowering (due to the weight of the foliage and seeds) unless supported by other plants. The leaves are alternate and can be varied in appearance. The first leaves, near the base of the plant, are toothed and roughly diamond-shaped, 3–7 cm long and 3–6 cm broad. The leaves on the upper part of the flowering stems are entire and lanceolate-rhomboid, 1–5 cm long and 0.4–2 cm broad; they are waxy-coated, unwettable and mealy in appearance, with a whitish coat on the underside. The small flowers are radially symmetrical and grow in small cymes on a dense branched inflorescence 10–40 cm long….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Edible Uses:
The leaves and young shoots may be eaten as a leaf vegetable, either steamed in its entirety, or cooked like spinach, but should be eaten in moderation due to high levels of oxalic acid. Each plant produces tens of thousands of black seeds. These are high in protein, vitamin A, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. Quinoa, a closely related species, is grown specifically for its seeds. The Zuni people cook the young plants’ greens.

Archaeologists analysing carbonized plant remains found in storage pits and ovens at Iron Age, Viking Age, and Roman sites in Europe have found its seeds mixed with conventional grains and even inside the stomachs of Danish bog bodies.

In India, the plant is popularly called bathua and found abundantly in the winter season. The leaves and young shoots of this plant are used in dishes such as soups, curries, and paratha-stuffed breads, especially popular in Punjab. The seeds or grains are used in phambra or laafi, gruel-type dishes in Himachal Pradesh, and in mildly alcoholic fermented beverages such as soora and ghanti.

Medicinal Uses:
Chenopodium is an herb. Oil made from this herb is used as medicine. Authorities disagree on whether chenopodium oil is the oil of fresh, flowering, and fruiting parts of the plant or seed oil.

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Despite serious safety concerns, people take chenopodium oil to kill roundworms and hookworms in the intestine.

Chenopodium album is effective for the following :It is Anthelmintic,Antiscorbutic,Blood Purifier, Digestive, Sedative, Antidiarrheal, Aphrodisiac, Carminative, Duretic, Stomachic, Antirheumatic, Appetizer, Cooling, Laxative, and Tonic.

It is used to elminate digestive problems.:

1.For any kind of stomach ache the herb should be kooked and eaten  with the daily meal.

2. For diarrhea: tea can be made from the fresh leaves and drink twice daily.

3.For burns: the leave paste to be applied on the burns.

4.For Joint Pain: Drink daily 2-3 tablespoon of fresh Chenopodium Album leaf juice in empty stomach before breakfast.

Other Uses:
Animal feed: As some of the common names suggest, it is also used as feed (both the leaves and the seeds) for chickens and other poultry.

Known Hazards: Click & see: Evaluation of safety margins of Chenopodium album seed decoction: 14-day subacute toxicity and microbicidal activity studies.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chenopodium_album
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-898-chenopodium%20oil.aspx?activeingredientid=898&activeingredientname=chenopodium%20oil
http://herbpathy.com/Uses-and-Benefits-of-Chenopodium-Album-Cid4505

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