The medicinal value of beets was used by such well-known doctors of the distant past as Avicenna, Hypocrite, Galen and Paracelsus. Doctors of Ancient Greece used beet juice to cure fevers, anemia, and diseases of the digestive and lymphatic systems.
The root of the beet contains a large amount of sugar; a small amount of fiber; fat; a large amount of cellulose, pectin, organic, pantothenic and folic acids; many vitamins; various microelements (iron, iodine, calcium, potassium, cobalt, magnesium, manganese, copper, fluorine and zinc); pigments and many other substances.
A beet surpasses many vegetables because it contains amino acids and mineral substances. The beets have a gamma-amino acid, which plays an important role in metabolism.
The use of beets for medicinal purposes has been proven by scientific study. Research from the last decade validated the curative properties of dark-colored red beets.
Betaine and betanin-an albuminous, alkaloid-like substance in the red beet-improve the digestion of food and help to create choline, the substance that increases cell activity in the liver, strengthens the walls of capillaries, decreases cholesterol in the blood and improves the metabolism of fat. Choline readily forms salts, several of which have been used in medicine as lipotropic agents in the treatment of fatty degeneration and hepatic cirrhosis.
As indigestible cellulose, pectin and organic acid contained in the beet travel through the digestive system, they absorb and remove from the body poisonous substances of microbic origin, salts of heavy metals, radioactive isotopes and cholesterol deposits. In addition, these substances in the beets strengthen peristalsis, promotes active secretion of digestive juices and bile. Red beets also promote wound-healing, act as a diuretic, anesthesia, laxative, or anti-inflammatory. Red beets also aid in the lowering of blood pressure.
For medicinal purposes, it is best to use the root of the beet, its juices and its leaves. In case of illnesses of the liver, constipation, digestion, obesity and hypertension, it is recommended to eat 100-150 *. (oz.) of cooked beets on an empty stomach. One or two tablespoons of beet juice also can be taken before meals. Better effects are achieved when beet juice is diluted with water and other juices. The regular consumption of beet juice rejuvenates the skin. Juice from raw beets or freshly grated beets is richer in vitamins and minerals than juice made from cooked beets. However, cooked beets or cooked beet juice is better for digestion problems. Hungarian physicians recommend drinking beet juice in dozes not more than 100 ml. daily. During my trip to Turkey, I noticed that local residents drink beet juice after they consume meat.
The combination of beet and carrot juices provides phosphorus, sulfur, potassium and other alkaline elements necessary for the human body. This mix of juices also provides plenty of vitamin A. Beta carotene found in vegetables has antioxidant properties, which means it protects cells from the daily toxic damage of oxidation.
Vitamin A helps in the formation and maintenance of healthy teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, mucous membranes and skin. Vitamin A promotes good vision, especially in dim light. It may also help reproduction and lactation.
In recent years, red beets have been proven to reduce the activity of cancerous cells. In cancer cells, their oxidizing processes are limited while lactic fermentation is increased. The red pigment of the red beet-glucosin-betanin-serves as the substitute for the respiratory enzymes in the cancer cells and inhibiting growth.
To improve their health, some patients need only to take 250 g. (oz) of the grated beet or 200-300 g. (oz) of the beet juice daily. However, many patients add 1 kg of raw vegetables to their diet as well. In the case of skin cancer, bandages with beet concentrate should be applied several times per day.
As a rule, the improvement comes for cancer patients after two or three weeks: the fever is reduced, the patient’s weight is increased, sedimentation rate of erythrocytes is decreased, tumor growth is decreased, and the constitution of blood improves. Once the treatment with beets has begun, it is necessary to continue. Stopping treatment may cause a relapse. For best results, eliminate foods containing flour, sugar or red meat.
Blueberries, black currants, St. John’s wort and red wine have a similar effect on cancerous tumors. However, red beets are more effective. The fresher the beet juice is, the better its effectiveness.
In spite of the miraculous qualities of red beets, you should not assume that this vegetable is the panacea. A diet containing red beets should be used to compliment traditional medical treatment for cancer.