There is a lot of buzz about exotic food items now-a-days. As we have read lot about their health benefits, we are spending fortune on them. Quinoa, kale, chia seeds, broccoli, brussels sprout a few to be named. We are so obsessed with the fancy names and superfood label over them.
Irony is to have a little knowledge of our local items which are storehouses of nutrients and in many cases, are more beneficial than their western counterparts. And we are fascinated by the marketing of western superfoods. We also respect them because they are fairly expensive and presume they must be exceptionally good for health.
Take this weed named bathua which is extensively cultivated and consumed in Northern India. In the northern India, it is being used to make saag or raita or soup or a stuffing for the rotis. Its seeds also double up for rice and dal.
The bathua plant also significantly reduces gastricsecretions. It improves haemoglobin levels, treats intestinal parasites, is a good heart tonic and an excellent source of iron, potassium, calcium and zinc. Its seeds are rich in amino acids, vitamins A and C.
Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity in 2009 published a study about bathua leaves (pigweed) inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells, and may be a key antibreast cancer bioagent.
Once Napoleon Bonaparte is said to have relied on bathua seeds to feed his troops during lean times.
Different names this life saving plant has got are as below:
- English – White Goosefoot, Goosefoot, Allgood, Pigweed, Lambsquarters, Lamb’s-quarters, Wild Spinach
- Hindi – Bathua, Bathuwa , Cheel Bhaji, Chill Bhaji, Bettusag
- Scientific/Botanical Name – Chenopodium album
- lamb’s quarters, melde, and fat-hen
- Telugu – Pappukura
- Marathi – Hakvaath, Chandan bathua
- Malayalam – Katu ayamoddakam, Vastuccira
- Bengali – Chandan betu, Chandanbethu, Beto Sag
- Tamil – Parupukkirai
- Kannada – Kaduoma, Sakothina soppu
- Gujrati – Tanjaliyo, Tandaliyo, Chilni bhaji
With this piece of article, we should understand its importance and don’t try to eradicate its presence with the use of pesticides and herbicides treating it as an unwanted weed again.