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Chard, Beta vulgaris var. cycla / Chenopodiaceae
Benefits for the health
Like most of the leaf vegetables, chard barely supplies energy, although it contains some carotenoids, vitamin C and folate. Vitamin C may influence in some physiological processes, including the suppression of nitrosamine formation in the intestine. Nitrite, found in food and water, may react with amines to produce nitrosamines, which have a carcinogenic character. Vitamin C may also help to protect from cancer in several parts of the body, and at the same time intensify the immunological functions. Diets which are rich in carotenoids are identified with a smaller risk of contracting cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Folate is necessary for a healthy pregnancy.
Popular tradition
The chard is a refreshing, laxative and diuretic vegetable. It is used to treat inflammations of the urinary apparatus, constipation, haemorrhoids and dermatosis.
Boiled and ground chard can be used as a poultice on burns, abscesses, boils, tumours and haemorrhoids.

The chard has multiple medicinal and nutritional applications. If it is eaten in salads, with lemon juice, it fortifies the stomach and invigorates the brain; it helps to make the nerves go down. To treat gall stone, drink a glass of chard juice and watercress juice in equal parts, before eating. The chard is beneficial for the following diseases: kidney, urethra and renal pelvis inflammations, liver disorders, inflammations of the gall bladder, hepatic and nephritic colic, gout, rheumatism, diabetes, skin diseases like eczema, ulcers, sores, intestine haemorrhages, duodenum inflammations, enterocolitis, asthma, urine suppression, difficult or painful urination, vomits with blood, etc. For all these disorders, chard will be eaten in salads or steamed, or even better, in juice. Boiled roots are excellent for the liver. The roasted and ground fruit is drunk in infusion to treat dysentery, uterine haemorrhages and abundant urine.

Chard poultices are used to treat hardening or breast cancer, haemorrhoids, ulcers, wounds, sores. Fresh chard leaves are mixed with celery to treat rheumatism. Boiled chard is used to heal enemas, relieving bloody diarrhoeas as well. It is effective against feverish conditions, specially typhus; if we need a greater effect, boil the ground root with camomile and mallow bark.
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