Basale (Basella alba)

Basale (Basella alba)

Basella alba is an attractive annual plant that grows best in full sun and tolerates some shade. It produces large leaves and clusters of small white flowers in summer. This popular garden plant is easy to grow from seed and does very well in containers. In fact, it is often used as a container plant because of its long blooming season.

Common names include Malabar spinach, vine spinach, Ceylon spinach, Basale, Pasalaikeerai, and so on.

The leaves are edible when young and tender. They have a mild flavor similar to spinach. Basale leaves are also used in making various dishes.

Both varieties are excellent choices for use in salads, soups, and stir-fries. They are especially good served raw in sandwiches.

Health benefits

The health benefits of basale are numerous. Some of these include: Improves digestion, Helps prevent cancer, Promotes healthy bones, Reduces cholesterol levels, Increases energy, Boosts immune system, Relieves stress, Treats insomnia, Eases headaches, Strengthens heart muscles, Stabilizes blood sugar levels, Prevents premature aging, Maintains good vision, Enhances mental clarity, Lowers blood pressure, Stimulates circulation, Alleviates depression, Improves memory, Protects against radiation, Improves bone density, Improves immunity, Improves sleep quality and so on.

Malabar spinach is an essential part of our diet. It contains many nutrients which help you live a healthy life. Malabar spinach helps control high blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke.

Leaves are used to cure many different types of illnesses. They are used to cure diarrhea, cough, bleeding, wounds, burns, swellings, and rashes. They are also used to prevent infections. There are several ways to use leaves. Some people boil them and drink the water. Others chew or make tea out of it. In India, leaf juice is given orally to reduce high blood pressure. Other Indians apply crushed leaves directly onto swelling areas. Roots are also used to treat diarrhea. Cooked roots are given to children to help them sleep better.

The leaves of Indian spinach contain a lot of nutrients. These include vitamins A, C, D, E, K, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Niacin, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, Potassium, and Fiber. The leaves also contain polysaccharides, flavonoids, phenolics, alkaloids, tannins, saponins, terpenoids, and glycosides.

Indian spinach is very nutritious. It contains a lot of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other beneficial substances. It is one of the best vegetables you can eat. You can cook it like spinach, add it to salads, or even mix it with pasta.

Basella alba - Medicinal uses

Basella alba has been used medicinally since ancient times. Basella alba is commonly called 'Kadali' in Sanskrit. It is widely used in Ayurveda medicine. It is considered to be a rejuvenating herb. It is used to treat various ailments including fever, colds, bronchitis, asthma, stomach disorders, indigestion, piles, ulcers, diabetes, constipation, and urinary tract problems.

It is believed that this herb has anti-inflammatory properties. It is useful in treating arthritis and gout. It is also said to have diuretic properties. It is used to relieve pain and inflammation caused by injuries. It is also used to treat skin diseases such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.

It is used to treat respiratory tract infections. It is used to stop coughing and expectoration. It is also used as a gargle for sore throat. It is used to heal mouth sores. It is used to soothe inflamed mucous membranes, ease menstrual cramps, improve digestion, increase appetite, promote hair growth, and cleanse the liver.

How to grow Basella alba

This plant grows well in full sun. It needs ample moisture during the growing season. Water should be added regularly. It does not tolerate drought conditions. It prefers slightly acidic soil. It can survive temperatures between 0°C and 35°C.

You can buy seeds from nurseries and garden centers. Seeds need to be planted in early spring. Planting time varies depending on where you live. If you want to start your own basale garden, then you will need to know how to grow it.

Seeds germinate within 2 weeks. When seedlings emerge, they require light shade. After about 3 months, plants begin producing flowers.

Plants flower throughout the year. Flower color depends on the variety. White varieties are the most common.

Seeds take approximately 4 months to mature. Once ripe, seeds need to be harvested. Harvesting time varies according to variety. Seeds should be dried before storing. Store them in airtight containers. 

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Extra reading

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Happy Gardening!

Dr. Vandana K.