Botanical: Beta vulgaris Family: Chenopodiaceae (goosefoot) Other common names: Garden Beet, Sugar Beet, Spinach Beet, White Beet, Mangel Wurzel, Sea Beet
Beet Root is a potent and nutritious source of natural energy and vitality. It is a great way to purify and build healthy blood and normalize the pH balance in our bodies. Moreover, clinical studies in Europe have demonstrated strong defense against malignant cell growth with the use of Beet Root. And just in case you thought you would have to endure seeing all the food on your plate turn bright magenta when served with Beet Root, you can now take an easy supplement to acquire all its many benefits.
Beets are technically hardy biennials, but several species are treated as annuals by cultivators. It has large, thick, red-veined leaves and an enlarged, edible root that varies in size, and the plant may grow as high as four feet. The parent of all Beets, the wild Sea Beet, from which the most important varieties have been developed, are believed to have originated on the coastlines of Western Asia, the Mediterranean countries, and throughout Europe and Britain. The leaves were eaten as a vegetable, but the small, unappetizing roots, prior to cultivation techniques, were used primarily for medicinal purposes by ancient Greeks and Romans. It is difficult to date the exact use of the Beet, because, unlike seeds that may be found in archaeological sites, the root and leaves decay over time, but references of 300 B.C., claim that the Greeks cultivated the plant for its medicinal value and for its edible roots. Beet Root was so appreciated by the ancients that it was recorded as an offering on silver to the Greek god, Apollo, in his temple at Delphi, and Aphrodite is said to have eaten Beets to retain her beauty. Beet Root's botanical genus, Beta, is derived the second letter in the Greek alphabet, beta, which the root is said to resemble. The Beet has a deep taproot and grows best in loose, loamy, surface soil that is neutral-to-alkaline. The loose soil allows the plant to produce well-shaped roots. The familiar, rounded variety, which has become popular, wasn't developed until around the sixteenth century. Beets are classified according to use. The red variety, which was pioneered in Britain, is dominant, but golden and white Beet Roots are also grown on a smaller scale. Some other varieties of the genus include the spinach Beet (sometimes called Swiss chard), which is stewed and quite equal in taste to spinach; the sugar Beet is grown for sugar; the mangel wurzel is a large, coarse Beet used for cattle fodder; and the foliage beet is simply decorative. Additional members of the genus include chioggia, orach, quinoa and samphire. In the Middle Ages, no meal was considered complete without a soup made from the leaves of Beets, but more importantly, Beet Root was a vital medicinal aid. The seventeenth-century English herbalist, Nicholas Culpepper, recommended Beet Root for its cleansing and digestive qualities. In addition, he prescribed it for obstructions of the liver and spleen, headache, running sores, ulcers, scabs, dandruff and other skin ailments. Aside from its extraordinary value in herbal medicine, Beet Root is also used extensively in Scandinavian, eastern European and Russian cuisines (iron-rich Russian Beet soup is called borscht). Beet Root has a higher sugar content than most vegetables, and some of the other active constituents in Beet Root include fiber, proteins, fats, organic acids, complex carbohydrates of starches, gum, beta carotene, saponiside, phosphorus, sodium, sulfur, iodine potassium, magnesium, manganese, iron, calcium, folic acid, many B-vitamins and vitamins C and A. The red color in the Beet Root is not derived from carotenes, but from anthocyanin, the water-soluble, red betaine pigments, called betacyanin and betaxanthin.
Beet Root is a wonderful cleansing and nourishing tonic that builds the blood, particularly improving the blood quality for menstruating women. It also normalizes the blood's pH balance (reducing acidity) and purifies the blood by flushing away fatty deposits and improving circulation.
Further supporting its role as a blood purifier, Beet Root has been used to detoxify the liver and spleen and help to treat many liver ailments, including jaundice, cirrhosis and other liver diseases. Some herbalists use it to treat liver problems induced by alcoholism.
Beet Root is a great source of natural fruit sugar that is unlike cane sugar, which must be converted by digestive enzymes for the body to absorb it. Beet Root is already in a more easily assimilated form and is an energy creator and source of vitality to the human body. Beet Root is believed to be helpful in cases of hypoglycemia. Important anti-cancer and anti-tumor breakthroughs have been demonstrated with the use of Beet Root. A very remarkable and successful program for reducing and eliminating many different kinds of malignant growths was begun in the 1ate 1950s, in Hungary, by Dr. Ferenczi, who used raw, red Beet Roots, and further clinical tests reported in the International Clinical Nutrition Review of 1986 claimed rapid tumor breakdown in lung cancer, cancer of prostate, breast and uterus with the use of Beet Root. Apparently, Beet Root contains a tumor-inhibiting, anti-cancerous active ingredient that some researchers think is the natural red coloring agent, betaine, but it has not been definitively isolated.
However, because the root is non-toxic, it may be administered in unlimited quantities. Beet Root is believed to stimulate the bowel and has been used to relieve constipation.
Used externally, Beet Root is also considered a cleanser that removes accumulated toxins from the body through the skin and has been used in poultices to draw poisons. It is also said to be good for glandular swelling and sore throat.
Currently, there are no known warnings or contraindications with the use of Beet Root. Consumption of large quantities of Beets can make both urine and stools turn red, which is harmless and should not be mistaken for blood.
Disclaimer: The information presented herein by Organic Herbs Medicine Cabinet is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease.
Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.