Scientific name: Basella alba. Name in different languages:- English: Indian Spinach, Malabar Spinach, Common Stonewort, Ceylon spinach. French: Baselle blanche. German: Malabarspinat, Indischer Spinat. Korean: rakkyu. Russian: Malabarskij spinat. Spanish: Acelga trepador, Basella alba, espinaca de Nueva Zelandia. Swedish: Malabarspenat. Sanskrit: Upodika. Hindi: Poi पोई, लालबाचलू. Bengali: Pui Shaak. Marathi: Velbendi. Gujarati: Valchi Bhagi. Tamil: Vasalakkirai, Pasalaikeerai, Paasaangalli. Kannada: Bansali. Malayalam: Vasalacheera, Vasalaccira, Pasalikeera, Pappadacheera, Basalacheera, Basala.
Basella alba (Malabar spinach) is a climber which has the binomial name Basella alba and belongs to the Basellaceae family. One more variety of Malabar spinach, called Basella alba is also found. The rubra species has a reddish green colour. Apart from being a good vegetable, Basella alba (Malabar spinach) acts as good aphrodisiac for men. The stems of Malabar spinach are red in colour and are seen clinging to trees. Sleeplessness is a big problem in old age. For people with less or no sleep, it is advised to apply the juice of Basella alba (Malabar spinach) on the head half an hour before bath. This helps to get good sleep. The juice of it mixed with milk and honey is a good aphrodisiac. The juice of Malabar spinach mixed with butter can heal burns. This plant is rich in calcium, iron, Vitamin A, B etc.
Seeds are used for propagating Basella alba (Malabar spinach). Also it can be propagated using stem cuttings. Channels are made where the soil is mixed with powdered cow dung and the cuttings are laid on the ground for at least 8 days exposed to sun light. The distance between the cuttings should be 30 cm. The vines start to sprout in a week. Barns should be made for the vines to climb. Adding organic manure once in a month is good. Insects and mites are to be destroyed. The juice of Indian borage mixed with turmeric helps to destroy mites. Stems and leaves can be collected as per requirement.