Vine spinach Facts

Vine spinach Facts
Vine spinach, also known as Indian spinach, is tropical vine and leafy vegetables that belongs to the Madeira-vine family. It originates from South Asia, Sri Lanka and New Guinea, but it can be found in temperate and tropical parts of Europe, Africa, America and Australia today. Vine spinach prefers areas with hot, humid climate and thrives the best on the moist, fertile, sandy-loamy soil, exposed to the full sun. Even though it is available in the grocery stores around the world, vine spinach is mostly consumed in Asia.
Interesting Vine spinach Facts:
Vine spinach is creeping vine that can reach up to 33 feet in length.
Vine spinach has thick, broad, oval or heart-shaped leaves. They can be completely green or dark green with pink veins and purple stalks.
Vine spinach produces small, white or pinkish-white flowers arranged in the elongated, upright clusters. Flowers contain both types of reproductive organs (perfect flowers).
Vine spinach blooms from May to September. Flowers attract bees and flies which are responsible for the pollination of this plant.
Fruit of vine spinach is dark purple or black-colored berry. Ripe fruit can be seen on the plant from July to October.
Vine spinach propagates via seed and cuttings.
Leaves of vine spinach are ready for the harvest 50 to 70 days after sowing.
Vine spinach is rich source of dietary fibers, vitamins A, C, B2, B6 and B9 and minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium and manganese.
Succulent leaves and tender stems of vine spinach are used in human diet. Leaves have mild taste and high content of mucilaginous substance, which is why every dish made of vine spinach has gel-like texture (vine spinach is often used as thickening agent). Leaves of vine spinach are used for the preparation of soups, stews and curry and they are often consumed in combination with lentils, meat, rice and seafood.
Flowers and seed heads of vine spinach are also edible.
Purple-red liquid obtained from the fruit of vine spinach is used as dye for food. It is mostly used in baking industry (for pastries).
Vine spinach facilitates digestion, improves function of eyes, prevents cell damage induced by free radicals, iron-deficiency anemia, osteoporosis and development of certain types of cancer. It can also decrease high blood pressure and slow down aging process. Chopped leaves of vine spinach are used to soothe skin after insect bites, while cooked root is used in treatment of diarrhea.
Vine spinach is often used in combination with Hibiscus macranthus to increase fertility (these two plants increase testosterone level in male rats).
People diagnosed with kidney stones should avoid consumption of vine spinach due to high content of oxalic acid in the leaves (it accumulates in the urinary tract in the form of oxalic crystals).
Vine spinach is perennial plant (life span: more than 2 years).

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