Alrab’a: A Long Forgotten Effective Medical Plant

Alrab’a: A Long Forgotten Effective Medical Plant

Portulaca oleracea plants (alraba'a in the centre)

By: Rogia al-Shafee

KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - Alraba’a (local name) is a herb of Portulaca oleracea species that grows wild in water valleys and all around Sudan, in particular during the rainy season.

People seem not to know the value of this herb, though it was considered one of the best medical herbs for a long time.

To Know more about this plant,  Sudanow has consulted  agronomist and expert in medical herbs, Ms. Entisat Ja’afar Suleiman, who said the alraba’a is a seasonal parasitic herb that grows naturally in all types of soil. It has a very brief life cycle, not exceeding a few weeks, though it grows in big quantities in the rainy season. It is unpalatable for animals, a matter that causes its seeds to remain in the soil and  germinate at the first shower of rain.

The raba’a has a lot of medical benefits, despite its sour taste. It is because of this sour taste, herbalists tend to mix it with other herbs to make it more pleasant. Ms. Entisar says due to the availability of this plant and its low production cost, it is used widely in the composition of many medical herbs, medicines and ointments of topical use.

It is an effective cure for dental problems. In this case the herb is applied on the affected part of the mouth.

It also helps in the treatment of abdominal ulcer and bleeding in women and diarrhea after it is dried up. Other herbs or sugar can be added to reduce the sour taste.

The herb can also be used in fire burns when it is either used cooked or fresh. In this case of fire burns, it is used as a dressing on the affected part of the body.

The raba’a is rich in Omega 3, a fatty acid that benefits the body and reduces hypertension. It can protect the bones and joints, moderate temper and improve the eye health.

The raba’a contains 44 percent of the human body’s daily need of Vitamin A, whereby every 100 grams from this herb contain 1320 units of Vitamin A known to be very important for eye health and vision.

It also preserves skin radiance and delays signs of aging such as wrinkles. It also boosts the body’s immunity.

The raba’a also contains a high rate of Vitamin C where each 100 grams contain 21 milligrams of this vitamin that boosts immunity, thus reducing vulnerability to viral infections like influenza. It is also classified among the antioxidants that fight inflammations, a matter that reduces the threat of cancers.

It contains vast quantities of vitamins and a high rate of potassium that supply the body with the necessary ability to repair cells broken due to diseases and inflammations.



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