Spinach (Herba Spinaciae) is dervied from the whole grass of Spinacia oleracea [Chenopodiaceae]. Usually the leaves are used, but the roots are also considered in the context of Chinese medicated diet.

Chinese Name: Bo Cai.

Nature and Flavour: Sweet in flavour and cool in nature.

Channels Entered: Stomach, Liver and Large Intestine.

Properties and Functions: Nourishes Blood and stops bleeding; Calms the Liver; Astringes Yin and moistens Dryness. In terms of Western nutrition, the edible parts of spinach are a good source or protein and carbohydrate, along with trace elements including iron, calcium and phosphorous as well as vitamin C.

Indications: Clinical indications for use of spinach in a medicated diet include nosebleeds, dizziness and hot eyes, hemafecia and haemorrhoids, constipation, scurvy and anaemia.

Directions: To be eaten blanched or sautéed; decocted for oral administration or as a juice after being pounded.

Cautions and Contra-Indications: Caution, as excessive consumption may cause diarrhoea.