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                    Medicinal Tubers

Beta vulgaris L.

Garden beets, Chard, Sugar beets, Mangel, Spinach beet

        The decoction prepared from the seed is a folk remedy for tumors of the intestines. Seed, boiled in water, is said to cure genital tumors.

      The juice or other parts of the plant is said to help tumors, leukemia and other forms of cancer, e.g. cancer of the breast, esophagus, glands, head, intestines, leg, lip, lung, prostate, rectum, spleen, stomach, and uterus. Some figure that betacyanin and anthocyanin are important in the exchange of substances of cancer cells; others note two main components of the amines, choline and its oxidation product betaine, whose absence produces tumors in mice (List and Horhammer, 1969–1979).

     A decoction is used as a purgative by those who suffer from hemorrhoids in South Africa. The juice has been applied to ulcers. Leaves and roots used as an emmenagogue. Plant effective in feline ascariasis. In the old days, beet juice was recommended for anemia and yellow jaundice, and, put into the nostrils to purge the head, clear ringing ears, and alleviate toothache.

    Beet juice in vinegar was said to rid the scalp of dandruff as scurf, and was recommended to prevent falling hair. Juice of the white beet was said to clear obstructions of the liver and spleen. Culpepper (1653) recommended it for headache and vertigo as well as all "affections of the brain."

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