By Dr Renita D’Souza
Spinach (palak) is a highly nutritious leafy green vegetable. It is used widely for culinary purposes and also possess medicinal value. As a vegetable, it is eaten raw or cooked. Tender leaves are used raw in salads. As a medicine, it is used to treat diabetes, urinary calculi, asthma, inflammation of liver, constipation etc. It is a good antioxidant and energy booster.
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Botanical Name – Spinacia oleracea
Family – Chenopodiaceae
Hindi Name – Paalak shaaka, pala
Kannada Name – Paalakya
Bengali Name – Paalang shaaka
Marathi Name – Palakh, Paalak
Gujarati Name – Paalakhani Bhaji
Tamil Name – Vasaielakirai, Pasalai
Telugu Name – Mathubucchali
Taste – slightly pungent, sweet
Veerya (potency) – cold
Bhedini – laxative
Guru – heavy to digest
Santarpana – nourishes
Ruksha – dry in nature (Ch. Su 27)
Effect on tridosha
Increases vata and kapha dosha
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According to Bhojana Kutuhalam twelfth chapter, Palakya is slightly pungent and sweet in taste, It is wholesome to the body and cold in potency. It treats raktapitta and acts as grahi and is highly nourishing in nature.
Mada – intoxication
Shwasa – asthma
Rakta pitta – bleeding disorders
Palak Home Remedies
- Whole plant decoction is used to treat fever with inflammation
- Leaves juice or decoction of paalak is consumed in urinary calculi (ashmari)
- Seeds are laxative and coolant in nature. It is used to treat liver inflammation, jaundice and difficulty in breathing.
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Vatala – can increase Vata Dosha
Sheeta – coolant
Shleshmala – can increase Kapha Dosha
Bhedini – can cause laxative effect
Guru – heavy to digest, rich in nutrition
Mada – intoxication
Shwasa – respiratory disorders of Pitta origin
Raktapitta – bleeding disorders
Interaction with medicines, supplements
Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.
this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets,
Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most of the dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.
Spinacia oleracea is a glabrous green erect herb, growing up to 30 – 60 cm in height. Stem is smooth and succulent. Leaves are alternate, simple, ovate to triangular-hastate in shape, lower leaves are long petioled. Flowers small, yellow green in color.
Spinacia oleracea is known to be originated from south-western Asia. It is now found to be grown in most parts of the world.
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Wrong foods for Spinache
Green leafy vegetables should not be consumed along with milk, as per Ayurveda. Hence, avoid milk soon after taking Palak dishes.
Palak is a rich source of vitamin A, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, iron, folate, calcium, potassium and dietary fiber (A)
Pharmacological Activity, Phytoconstituents
Spinacia oleracea possess Anthelmentic, Antioxidant, Hepatoprotective and anti cancer activity. (B)
Spinach is a rich source of carotenoid (lutein, β-carotene and zeaxanthin), p-Coumaric acid, ascorbic acid, proteins, vitamins, minerals, vitamin B-complex, ascorbic acid, flavonoids and apocyanin, nitrogenous substances, hydrocarbons and iron sesqui-oxide. Seeds contain glycoprotein-bound hexosamine. Roots contain spirasaponins. It also contains patuletin, quercetin, saponin, catechol, sterols, oxalates and nitrates.
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Anti-inflammatory activity – A study conducted to evaluate anti-inflammatory activity of methanolic aqueous fraction of Spinacia oleracea leaf have proved significant anti inflammatory activity.
Anti diabetic Activity – A research done to evaluate anti-diabetic activity of Spinacia oleracea leaves in normal and alloxan induced diabetic rats have found that ethanolic and aqueous extract of Spinacia oleraceae possess significant antihyperglycemic activity.
Hepatoprotective Activity – A study conducted to investigate hepatoprotective property of methanol extract of Spinacia oleracea against carbon tetrachloride induced hepatotoxicity in rats have showed that it possesses significant antioxidant and hepatoprotective properties.
Sanskrit Synonyms, Categorization
Kshurapatrika, Suputra, Snigdhapatra
Bhavaprakasha Nighantu – Shaaka varga
Raja Nighantu – Moolakaadi varga
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Kingdom – Plantae
Subkingdom – Tracheobionta
Superdivision – Spermatophyta
Division – Magnoliophyta
Class – Magnoliopsida
Subclass – Caryophyllidae
Order – Caryophyllales
Family – Chenopodiaceae
Genus – Spinacia L.
Species – Spinacia oleracea L.
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