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Longevity Spinach
Longevity Spinach

Longevity Spinach

Longevity is something gardeners strive for in plants, and perhaps in life as well. As George Burns said,”If you live to be 100, you#39;ve got it made. Very few people die past that age.”

There is a new vegetable in town, the Longevity Spinach, or Gynura (Gynura procumbens), that promises to keep you healthy no matter what your age. This perennial claims to lower blood pressure, and lower blood sugar in diabetics but not affect normal blood sugar levels in non-diabetics. It has been clinically shown to also lower blood cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as having anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. This tasty plant protects against ulcers as well as helping existing lesions heal. It is even said to protect kidney cells from kidney disease.

Longevity spinach (also called Moluccan spinach, Sambung nyawa, and Daun dewa) is a low-growing, semi-succulent plant that creeps along the ground but can be contained in a pot for a windowsill garden. Since it is a tender plant, it is only hardy in USDA zones 10-11.

The young, slightly fuzzy leaves are tender so they can be eaten fresh in salads, added to smoothies, soups, stir-fries, or made into tea. The taste is similar to spinach. When it is cooked, the leaves are slightly viscous, similar to okra, and like okra, it can be used to thicken sauces, stews and soups. You can use this in any recipe calling for spinach. It is tender enough to use instead of lettuce in sandwiches. The crunchy stems can substitute for celery.

Here is a simple and fun rainbow craft the kids are sure to love.   I remember making this craft when I was little, and it was really special to get to re-create it with my own children.

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