Beetroot - Research
Beet is being investigated in lab and animal studies for potential immune system benefits.
A decoction of the leaves and roots were thought to provide a remedy for dandruff and nits (eggs of lice or other parasitic insects). In 1652, the herbalist Nicholas Culpepper recommended beets for skin infections.3
The beetroot is mainly used as food. It can be boiled, baked, pickled, or added to soup, as in Russian borscht. The leaves, which are also edible, are frequently eaten as greens. Various commercial beetroot products, such as beet juice, concentrated juice, powdered beetroot, and spray-dried powder are available as coloring agents in food, drug and cosmetic products.4,5
2 Onstad D. Whole Foods Companion. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing Co.; 1996.
3 Chevallier A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. New York: DK Publishing Inc.; 1996.
4 Leung AY, Foster S. The Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics. 2nd edition. New York: John Wiley and Sons; 1996.
5 Pavlov A, Kovatcheva P, Georgiev V, Koleva I, Ilieva M. Biosynthesis and radical scavenging activity of betalains during the cultivation of red beet (Beta vulgaris) hairy root cultures. Tübingen, Germany: Verlag der Zeitschrift für Naturforschung 2003. Available at: http://www.znaturforsch.com/sc/57c/s57c0640.pdf. Accessed: November 9, 2004.