Eating The Fresh Alugbati Shoots

The alugbati stalks I planted months ago has been growing well. It almost cover the 1/4 part of the bamboo fence. The fence is becoming reddish from afar. Still a chicken’s favorite but they are too lazy to fly over and feed to higher portions. Flowers begin to show. Many shoots are elongating outwards and seem talking to me. They seem begging, wanting me to pick and eat them raw.

freshly harvested alugbati stalks

Every alugbati stalk as long as open palm is succulent. Slightly pungent when chewed but can be tolerated with practice or dipping in plain mayonnaise before taking in.

What are you waiting for? Open that palm of yours. Measure and cut alugbati stalks. Wash it under running water. Rinse well. Take your favorite dip and start the enjoyment.

Alugbati in Ginisang Mungo

I think the alugbati vine I planted has grown enough. I was glad it is resistant to chicken infestation and able to tolerate low water supply. It managed growing despite of consistent chicken feeding and months of continued dryness. Several long stalks were over the bamboo fence while others were crawling down the canal.

After almost three months of waiting, I guessed it was time to have a taste of these malabar spinach. I asked her to get some and cook it for lunch.

She cooked it with ginisang mungo.

alugbati in ginisang mungo

The mungo dish became slimy. Perhaps caused by alugbati. The broad leaves became crumpled while the thick stem became 50% thinner. I would suspect it for camote tops if I never knew. An intermittent astringent smell was noticeable. The sauteed mungo tasted good but it was not alugbati that made it taste delectable.

Uses and Health Benefits of Alugbati / Malabar Spinach

alugbati-vine

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).

 

alugbati-vine

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 medicalnewstoday.com, 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!