Mayalu / मायाळू / Malabar Spinach / Basella alba L.

Other Names

  • Local Name: Mayalu / मायाळू
  • Common Name: Malabar Spinach
  • Botanical Name: Basella alba L.

Status & Habitat

  • Status: Common
  • Habitat: Climber
  • Occurrence: Humid areas closer to sea level.
  • Season of Availability: Warmer parts of the year
  • Geography: Tropical Asia and Africa
  • Method of Propagation: Seed propagation
  • Part used for Propagation: Seeds

Edible Parts

  • Edible Parts: Leaves
  • Can be Eaten Raw: Yes

Method of Consumption

  • Raw: Yes
  • Ripe: N/A
  • Both Raw & Ripe: N/A
  • Dangerous Form to Consume: N/A
  • As Food: Leaves and stem tips may be eaten raw or cooked; use leaves as spinach in salads; leaf infusion can be used as a tea.
  • As Medicine: A poultice of pulped leaves is used to relieve constipation in children and pregnant women. Tea made out of its leaf is also good to quench thirst.
  • Cooking Without Prior Boiling: Yes
  • Boiling Before Cooking: Not required
  • Pickling: No
  • Brining: No
  • Fermenting: No
  • Drying for later Consumption: No
  • Overall Method: Leaves and stem tips may be eaten raw or cooked; use leaves as a spinach in salads; leaf infusion can be used as a tea.

Nutritional & Medicinal Benefits

  • Nutritional Benefit: Leaves are rich in protein and iron.
  • Medicinal Benefit: Helps relieve constipation, Quenches thirst, Cooling, Reduces inflammation and swelling

Tribal Wisdom

  • Tribal Wisdom: Helps treat anemia and dysentary.

Recipes / Usage

  • Tribal Recipe / Usage: Sabji:
    Wash and clean leaves, cut larger leaves into smaller pieces, and remove hard stems (keeping tender stems). Heat oil in a wok on medium-high heat, add ginger slices, stir fry for 30 seconds. Add malabar spinach and stir fry for 5-7 minutes until bright green and tender. Add salt to taste, then remove from heat.

Mayalu / मायाळू / Malabar Spinach / Basella alba L.