Ancient Greeks called the beet as teutlion and used it for their leaves, and both as a culinary herb and medicinally. The Romans were the first one to cultivate the plant for its root, and they also used the beet for medicinally purpose.
Beets contain a significant amount of vitamins A and C and also calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, protein and carbohydrates. Beets are also high in folate, dietary fiber and antioxidants.
They are high in betaine which is prescribed to lower toxic levels of homocysteine (which contributes to the development of heart disease, stoke and peripheral vascular disease). The highest levels of vitamins and other nutrients are available when the vegetables are eaten raw. The beet greens are high in vitamin A.
The juice of white beets has been used for cleansing digestive quality to “open obstructions of the liver and spleen – good for headache and all affections of the brain. The juice is also good for “blisters and blains of the skin and as a decoction in water and vinegar cleanses the head of dandruff and relieves running sores and ulcers.” White beet juice is also helpful for preventing baldness and shedding of hair. Red beet juice is known to help with yellow jaundice and when the juice is put in the nostrils, it is helpful for ringing in the ears and toothaches. It was used to treat illnesses relating to digestion and blood. Beet leaves were used as binding for wounds.
In folk medicine a decoction from seeds was used as a remedy for tumors of the intestines and seeds boiled in water were a cure for genital tumors. When uridine is isolated from sugar beets it can be used with omega-3 to alleviate depression. Today beets are used as a universal cure-all and are used in the treatment of AIDS. Beets are recommended as a general tonic and help disorders of the blood, are an effective detoxifier and recommended to relieve constipation because of their high fiber content.
(uprooted beet roots)