Chenopodium is also known as White goosefoot, Bathua(in hindi), Chandan Betu(in bengali), Parupukkirai(in Tamil), Pappukara(in Telugu), etc. It is grown in the tropical regions of the world.
Bathua seeds are ground to make flour that is used to prepare bread. The seeds are also cooked as rice and can be eaten with Dal. Nutritionally Bathua seeds are superior to wheat, rice, corn, millet and Buckwheat. The seeds are also prepared as soup, porridge, cakes, fermented beverage (known as Soora in Shimla), alcoholic drink (Ghanti) etc. The seeds are given to animals and poultry as supplements.
- Bathua leaves are very good source of high quality protein, nutrients, antioxidants and vitamins, particularly vitamin c and vitamin A. Its vitamin A content is comparable to carrots. About 2 cups of leaves provides 14, 000-16, 000 units of vitamin A (daily requirement is about 5000 units) and 60-130 mg of vitamin C (daily requirement is 70mg)
- The leaves are rich in fibre and have laxative properties which cures constipation. Due to this property Bathua is also useful in piles.
- Bathua leaves are good source of potassium, iron, calcium, and zinc.
- Bathua leaves are good for liver, spleen and gall bladder. You may drink 10 ml juice of leaves for keeping digestive system healthy.
- The juice of Bathua leaves purifies blood.
- Bathua improves haemoglobin level.
- Bathua leaves juice is a traditional medicine for intestinal parasites. For this purpose 10-15 ml juice of leaves is added with pinch of rock salt and is taken three times a day after meals.
- Bathua improves appetite. You may use leaves as Salad with tomato, lemon juice and pinch of salt.
- Bathua leaves contain significant amount of oxalic acids. Oxalates are in highest in leaves followed by flowers and stem. Oxalic acid has tendency to bind with calcium and this reduces availability of calcium.
- The plant has anti-fertility effect.