By Richard Komakech
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. A. dubius is a vigorous, erect, annual plant with a branched stem, growing from 30 – 150 cm tall and its growth is usually rapid in warm soil.
In Uganda, the vegetable is sold in nearly all local markets across the country. It is locally referred to as doodo in nearly all the dialects in Uganda. A. 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 stomachache.
A. 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.
A. dubius can also be used to manage type 2 diabetes. This is because the leaves have anti-hyperglycemic (high sugar level) effects and thus, 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.
A. dubius leaves have enormous amount of potassium and magnesium which are crucial for maintaining proper electrolyte balance in the body; 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 high amount of iron in A. 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 A. dubius is a perfect natural remedy for persons suffering from hair fall problems and premature greying of hair. These leaves act as a powerful natural remedy to prevent hair loss and strengthen your hair.
A. 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 A. dubius plant is used in some communities as an astringent for 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 A. dubius leaves are prescribed for treating diarrhea, and hemorrhage conditions.
A. 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 your body to fight against harmful free radicals and prevent the formation of malignant cells responsible for cancer. The high dietary fiber content in A. dubius leaves is essential for improving your digestive and bowel movement hence reducing constipation and it is easily digestible. Health is wealth!! Look no further than for doodo vegetables in your backyard!!
NB: The information given in this article should not be used for self-medication purposes. Always consult a physician before using any medicinal plant remedies for health related conditions.
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