Herbs & Plant: Amaranthus Dubius

Amaranthus dubius is a weedy plant, which originated from tropical America and is widespread throughout the humid lowland in the world. It belongs to the plant family Amaranthaceae. It’s one of the most important vegetables known to mankind.

It has a long history of cultivation, especially for its leaves in most African countries including but not limited to Sierra Leone, Ghana, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, and Uganda including other parts of the world. Amaranthus dubius is a vigorous, erect, annual plant with a branched stem, growing from 30 to 150 cm tall and its growth is usually rapid in warm soil.

Amaranthus dubius is a nutritious leafy vegetable that is widely cooked and consumed across a wide range of communities. In most cases, the cooked leaves are generally recommended as a good food with medicinal properties for young children, lactating mothers and for patients with fever, haemorrhage, anaemia, constipation or kidney complaints. In some communities in Tanzania, the plant is used as a remedy for stomach ache.

Amaranthus dubius eaten as a vegetable has a great ability to lower your blood cholesterol level due to the fact that it contains tocotrienols, a type of vitamin E which reduces bad cholesterol (LDL) levels in the body and prevents coronary heart diseases.

Amaranthus dubius can also be used to manage type 2 diabetes. This is because the leaves have anti-hyperglycemic (high sugar level) effects which therefore lower blood sugar levels in the body, hence protecting the body from type 2 diabetics including other high risk factors responsible for increasing your blood sugar levels such as obesity and cholesterol.

Amaranthus dubius leaves have an enormous amount of potassium and magnesium which are crucial for maintaining proper electrolyte balance in the body, which is an important factor for regulating your heartbeat and muscles contraction to enhance movement.

The deficiency of iron in the body results in anaemia. The presence of a high amount of iron in Amaranthus dubius leaves make them the best dietary source to prevent deficiency of this essential mineral in the body hence protecting your body from anaemic condition.

Regular consumption of Amaranthus dubius is a perfect natural remedy for people suffering from hair loss and the premature greying of hair. These leaves act as a powerful natural remedy to strengthen hair.

Amaranthus dubius vegetables and seeds have a good amount of essential amino acid lysine which is essential for the body to absorb calcium, build muscle, and produce energy. Water extract from Amaranthus dubius plant is used in some communities as an astringent for the internal treatment of ulcerated mouths and throats. The juice of the roots is used externally to relieve headaches. In Ayurvedic medicine in Indian medicine system, the juice extracted from fresh Amaranthus dubius leaves are prescribed for treating diarrhea, and hemorrhage conditions.

Amaranthus dubius leaves are known to have strong cancer protective effects due to its antioxidant property which is attributed to the large quantity of vitamin E, vitamin C and lysine in the plant. Therefore, regular consumption of leaves of this plant can help the body to fight against harmful free radicals and prevent the formation of malignant cells responsible for cancer. The high dietary fiber content in Amaranthus dubius leaves is essential for improving your digestive and bowel movement hence reducing constipation and it is easily digestible.

– Richard Komakech

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