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Beet

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  • Botanical: Beta vulgaris
  • Family: Chenopodiaceae
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Beet

Botanical

Beta vulgaris

Family

Chenopodiaceae

Known as

Beet Root, Garden Beet, Mangold, Runkelrübe, Zucker­rü­be, Rote Bete, Rote Rübe

Old Use

culinary; medicinal

Parts Used

herb, leaves, roots

Aroma

balsamic, oriental, sweet

Medicinal

abdominal pain, anemia, coughs, digestion, fatigue, gastrointestinal, laxative, indigestion, infections intestinal

Heart & Circulation

anemia

Infection & Inflammation

fever, flu, skin inflammation, throat infections

Respiratory System

bronchitis, colds, cough, lung weakness, respiratory

Stomach & Intestinal

abdominal pain, cancer, cancer prevention, constipation, digestion, laxative, indigestion, intestinal inflammation

Properties

antibacterial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, anti inflammatory, astringent, aphrodisiac, carminative, digestive, emmenagogue, expectorant

Description

A polymorphic biennial (flowering in the second year of growth), up to 2 m tall when in flower.

Basal leaves forming a rosette.

Flowers are small, green, borne in clusters subtended by bracts, forming dense, usually branched inflorescences. Each flower contains two stigmas (female parts).

‘Seeds’ are actually fruits that are attached to each other and enveloped in a woody covering (calyces). 

Properties & Uses

The roots and leaves of the beet have been used in folk medicine to treat a wide variety of ailments. Ancient Romans used beetroot as a treatment for fevers and constipation, amongst other ailments. Beetroot juice has been considered an aphrodisiac. From the Middle Ages, beetroot was used as a treatment for a variety of conditions, especially illnesses relating to digestion and the blood. Platina recommended taking beetroot with garlic to nullify the effects of 'garlic-breath'. Beta vulgaris beets have been used for treatment of disorders of the respiratory tract, fever and infections.

It has been suggested the pigment molecule betanin in the root of red beets may protect against oxidative stress and has been used for this purpose in Europe for centuries.

All parts of the beet plant contain oxalic acid. Beet greens and Swiss chard are both considered high oxalate foods which have been implicated on the formation of kidney stones.

Cautions

none known

Distribution

Beta vulgaris subspecies maritima (sea beet) grows wild along the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts of Europe, where it is found near the sea shore, particularly in heavy alluvial soils and clays at disturbed sites.

Cultivars of Beta vulgaris are grown throughout Europe and North America.

Constituents

Betanin,  vitamin B, potassium, iron, folic acid, oxalic acid. 

 

Of Interest

 

 

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.