A little vine spinach goes a long way

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Climbing spinach cools the body, eases constipation and makes for a healthy digestive system

  In Eastern medicine, m
ồng tơi (vine spinach) has a laxative effect and a cooling effect on the body. It helps the body rid itself of toxic substances. Vine spinach soup leaves helps improve blood flows, paving the way for a more beautiful complexion.

According to Suc Khoe & Doi Song (Health & Life) newspaper, vine spinach is well-known for its medicinal uses, including as a cure for constipation. But it has many more medicinal properties that most people are unaware of.

Vine spinach (Basella rubra) goes by many different names, including climbing spinach, Malabar spinach, Malabar nightshade, alugbati, alabati, phooi leaf, creeping spinach, Indian spinach, Philippine spinach, Asian spinach and mồng tơi or mùng tơi in Vietnamese.

In Eastern medicine, vine spinach, which has a sweet and sour taste, has a laxative effect and a cooling effect on the body. It helps the body rid itself of toxic substances.

Treating constipation

200g-500g of vine spinach boiled and eaten is sticky when it is digested and it softens waste and its high fiber content improves bowel movements.

Boiled vine spinach eaten with sesame and salt can treat constipation, too, as sesame provides lubrication in the intestines.

The hot weather of summer can cause constipation. Wash a handful of vine spinach, pound it and squeeze the pounded vine spinach to get the juice. Mix the juice with some boiled water to drink.

Constipation over a long period may even cause prolapse. A good cure is 30g of vine spinach leaves, 30g of (lá vông) Erythrina variegata leaves, 20g of Panax fruticosum, 12g of intoxicating yam (hispida, sliced and dried in a pan), 30g of black sesame (dried in a pan and cooked till well-done), all cooked in 600ml of water until the liquid reduces to 300ml. Adults drink it two times a day while the amount for children depends on their age.

Vine spinach can also treat swelling. Wash a handful of vine spinach, pound it together with some salt and place it on the swollen area. Also cook some soup with vine spinach and goldfish (eat all the soup and spinach).

It is used to treat chronic rectal bleeding (blood in stools). Some 30g of vine spinach and one old hen (do not use the head, legs or internal organs) should be stewed together. It is advisable to wait until the chicken is well-done before putting the vegetable in and cook for another 20 minutes before serving.

The plant can also be used to treat indigestion. Take 50g of vine spinach, 50g of potherbs and one taro (peeled and sliced) and cook them together to make soup. Eat the soup for a couple of days. It is also fine to eat soup that includes vine spinach, potherbs, sweet potato leaves and centella cooked together.

In summer and early autumn, some people feel uncomfortable and feel heat in their stomach. They suffer constipation, their breath smells, their eyes are red, they drink a lot of water, have itchy skin, even some red spots appear. All they should do is eat vine spinach cooked with tofu a few times. Constipation and all the aforesaid symptoms will be gone.

Vine spinach can also treat dysentery. Slowly cook a lot of vine spinach on a low flame to make soup. Vine spinach's laxative effect is able to get rid of heat stored in the intestines by increasing the flow of urine and discharge of stools.

Vine spinach has a cooling effect, but the effect is less if it is cooked too long. However, briefly boiled vine spinach may cause nausea. Unhealthy people shouldn't eat it too much.

The plant is also good for those trying to lose fat and cholesterol. The stickiness of vine spinach can absorb cholesterol in glycine and taurine and in food. Endogenous cholesterol and exogenous cholesterol are all kept in the intestines, preventing fat from being absorbed through the intestinal walls and cholesterol is discharged through stools.

It helps people to lose weight effectively because vine spinach is both a diuretic and laxative.

It is advisable to eat vine spinach soup in the summer and hot weather conditions. People recovering from sickness and women after giving birth should not eat soup with vine spinach and crabs, but they can eat soup with vine spinach and pork or tofu.

People may sweat a lot in hot weather and have problems with urination and constipation. A pot of soup of 50-100g of vine spinach can help everything return to normal and can even prevent a fever.

A headache caused by direct sunshine can be relieved with a drink of vine spinach juice and its dregs can be placed on the temples and kept there for a while with a bandage.

Discomfort in the chest can be treated by boiling 60g of vine spinach in water till the liquid is thick before mixing it with some white rice wine and drinking while the mixture is still warm.

It can treat nosebleed caused by overheating. Pound some vine spinach to get the juice and use an a-tip to apply some of that juice to the bleeding nostrils.

Vine spinach contains vitamins A3, B3, saponin, fiber and iron. Vine spinach stewed with black chicken and black beans can help breastfeeding mothers produce more milk, and recover faster. It gives them healthy hair and a nice complexion. This soup is also great for people suffering malnutrition.

The vegetable is good for the kidneys, too. Eat soup with fresh shrimp and vine spinach twice or three times a week.

It can improve men's low sexual potency. Soup with vine spinach, katuk, centella and chicken or duck internal organs can help.

It can also help men with wet dreams or spermatorrhoea (involuntary discharge of semen without orgasm). Vine spinach, soybeans, peanuts (a handful of about 50g of each kind) cooked with 1-2kg of pig bones (preferably leg bones) makes a good soup for the condition. Stew the bones in a pressure cooker for a while before putting in peanuts and vine spinach and cook for another 10 minutes. Serve it warm and drink warm water after the meal.

It is good for men with premature ejaculation and exhaustion after sex. Cook a handful of vine spinach and a handful of tampala with a pair of pig's or goat's kidneys (keeping the layer of lard and covering). Serve it hot, then drink hot ginger tea. Before bed time, eat a spoonful of roasted black sesame. Chew well before swallowing, then eat a bowl of fermented glutinous rice.

People with retention of urine can boil 100g of vine spinach to make tea and drink. People suffering pain during urination can pound a handful of vine spinach to get the juice and drink it with warm water and some salt. Put the dregs on the lower belly.

Burns caused by fire or hot water can be treated by pounding some vine spinach to get the juice to apply to the burnt area. It heals faster.

Muscle injuries can be treated by pounding vine spinach with some rock sugar and applying the juice to the cuts to stop bleeding and make healing faster.

People with erysipelas or red skin can pound 12-20g of vine spinach with 2g of salt and apply on the red area twice a day.

Soup made of vine spinach leaves helps improve blood flows, paving the way for a nice complexion. Juice made of green vine spinach leaves with some salt can be applied to the face before bed time to prevent dry skin.

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