Uses and Health Benefits of Alugbati / Malabar Spinach

My friend asked me if I know something about alugbati plant. I replied, “nope”. I heard about alugbati several times before but I was completely clueless about it. So I listed it in my priority list – a search for alugbati and other health beneficial plants.

Picture results after googling were familiar. I have seen this plant before. In fact, I have a picture. I took a shot when I saw this plant in school garden without knowing it is the alugbati. Thanks to my curiosity and for the trying hard photographer.

The vegetable is also known as Malabar Spinach, Ceylon Spinach or the red vine. The stem is purplish (shade of red) and succulent with heart shape leaves. It bears green to dark red fruits (correct me if I am wrong).



The young leaves are popular vegetable stuff. It can be boiled (boil until cooked and discard water), used as salad ingredient and other dishes like ginisa.

The plant is also popular for its medicinal properties. Growing it in your garden is a nice idea. I planted two stems near the road and it is growing so well. I often get few shoots and eating it as is, without any sauce or whatsoever.

Alugbati is:

1)  A good source of essential nutrients. Excellent source of calcium, iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B and iron.

2) Contain saponins that act as phytochemicals. Fights cancer and other diseases. I think all fruits and vegetables together can fight cancer  and others… No need to specify it repeatedly.

3) Roots are employed as rubefacient – a medicine for external application that produces redness of the skin.

4) Roots are also used as poultice to reduce local swellings.

5) The sap can be applied to acne areas to eliminate irritation.

6) The sap has a softening or soothing effect especially to the skin.

7) A diuretic. It is what happens when you drink coffee, softdrinks and lots and lots of water. Frequent urination.

8) A mild laxative. From, it is a food, compound or medication which when consumed either induces bowel movement or loosen the stool. Taken and recommended for those suffering constipation.

9) Pulped leaves are applied to boils, ulcers and abscesses.

10) Leaf juice with sugar is effective for inflammation of the nose and throat with increased production of mucus. Also used to treat gonorrhea and balanitis

11) Leaf juice with butter has a soothing effect on burns and scalds.

12) Stem and leaf extract can cure habitual headache.

13) Fruits maybe used as cheeks and lips make-up and dye. I think I should try this one for dying egg.

14) Good source of fibers. Again, all fruits and vegetables are good source of fibers.

update: edited as of December 4, 2014. please tell me if you found something useful about this plants. thanks!

30 Replies to “Uses and Health Benefits of Alugbati / Malabar Spinach”

  1. in terms for alugbati sap that is good for softening the skin and can eliminate acne irritation, how do we get the sap of the alugbati?

  2. Alugbati is rich in fiber its good for your vowel.
    Its easily to grow anywhere as long as you water it. It can mix in any kind of veges its good mix in pakbet, in sautee pumpkin my fav especialy in egg omellete.

  3. Alogbate is my favorite veggies since childhood I’m eating , I’m introducing this to my family & they love it, I have this plant at home I havest every time I cook , for long years of my curiously is search alogbate it’s health benefits I’m I fell amaze to know the values of nutrients , it’s a great news for me & I’m going to share this to all my friends 🙂

    1. i had a severe case of shingles for which I was hospitalized June 26-July 2. To build up immunity, I drank leafy vegetable concoctions. Fine. July 7, my hostel had plenty of alugbati. So they filled a thermos with alugbati juice. July 10, while watching a program, suddenly my shingles, supposedly drying up became painful. My blood pressure shot up. Nurse took my BP: 170/ 110. Was it because of shingles? Or concentrated alugbati juice?

  4. nice. well, if it fights cancer. do you know what amniogenesis is ? because it’s my research project and i’m dying to know what it means so i can get started.

  5. There is also a green variety of alugbati, that is the stems are not violet in color but light green and tastes better as salads or can be cooked with other leafy vegetables as malunggay and camote tops. Its also a good combination with mongo.

  6. Pingback: Alugbati « justmeherbalplants

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