"Strong to the Finich...'

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Your mother always told you to eat spinach.

The green gained wide popularity in the West as the source of Popeye's righteous biceps. In the East, however, spinach is known to hold a variety of healing properties.

Ci bó xôi (Spinacia Oleracea L. Chenopodiaceae) is rich in magnesium, vitamins A, C and E as well as potassium and calcium. Spinach contains high levels of iron and reduces the risk of diabetes. Traditionally, it has been used to treat digestive problems, cell age and calcium loss, according to herbalists Hoang Duy Tan and Kieu Ba Long.

- To fight anemia and lower blood pressure: Wash and cut 80g spinach, and put it in a pot. Add a pinch of salt, 3g sliced onion, and enough water to cover the greens. Cover and cook until two thirds of the liquid has evaporated. Eat twice a day for three consecutive days. If you can't live without meat, take 50g goat meat in a pot, add three spoons of roasted rice, 100g torn spinach leaves. Add water to cover the greens. Cover and cook until half the liquid has evaporated. Eat twice a day for five consecutive days.

- To help regulate hormones: Wash 250g spinach in a pot. Add 50g pork kidneys, 50g beef liver, and 3g onion. Cover with 500ml water and cook for 20 minutes until the water reduces to about 150ml. Sprinkle seasonings and chopped spring onion to taste. Eat the dish three times a day for two consecutive weeks.

- To reduce cell age and general body fatigue: Take 200g spinach, 30g khoai m tím (purple yam), 30g bí Ä‘ (squash), 150g oyster or mussel and 100g lotus root. Wash and chop purple yam and squash into small pieces, and tear spinach leaves roughly. Boil oysters for five minutes, remove meat and discard shells. Season the oyster meat and put it in a separate bowl. Stew lotus root in a pot with 500ml water until the water reduces to 300ml. Add squash, purple yam and oyster meat and continue stewing. Add 3g rock sugar. When the water has reduced by half, add spinach for five minutes. Have this dish everyday just before going to bed for 10 consecutive days.

- To stop constipation and dysentery: Wash and chop 100g spinach and cover it with water.

Add a pinch of coarse salt and cook until water reduces to a third. Remove the pot from the stove. Strain the juice. Adults should drink the spinach juice once every afternoon. Children should drink it in the mornings and evenings.

- To prevent high blood pressure: Wash and chop 250g spinach. Immerse it in boiling water for three minutes until the leaves are slightly wilted. Remove leaves, add a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of sesame oil and toss together in a bowl. Eat twice daily to prevent high blood pressure.

- To stool comfortably: Cook 100g rice until it becomes a thick porridge. Add 100g chopped spinach to the porridge and cook thoroughly. Season with salt and sugar. Eat this twice daily for comfortable stools.

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