A large number of reports on the nutritional qualities of the 5 Power Vegetables now exist in both the scientific and the popular literatures.
1. Moringa oleifera
Other Common Names: Malunggay (Filipino), Drumstick tree, Horseradish tree, Ben oil tree
The leaves are highly nutritious, being a significant source of beta-carotene, Vitamin C, protein, iron, and potassium. It is commonly said that Moringa leaves contain more Vitamin A than carrots, more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach, more Vitamin C than oranges, and more potassium than bananas, and that the protein quality of Moringa leaves rivals that of milk and eggs. The leaves are cooked and used like spinach. In addition to being used fresh as a substitute for spinach, its leaves are commonly dried and crushed into a powder, and used in soups and sauces. In Siddha medicines (Tamil Nadu and Kerala, India), these drumstick seeds are used as a sexual virility drug for treating erectile dysfunction in men and also in women for prolonging sexual activity. See Wikipedia about Moringa oleifera
2. Capsicum frutescens
Other Common Names: Aji Dulce, Cayenne, Cayenne Pepper, Chili Pepper, Chabai Achong, Filfil, Hungarian Pepper, Kirmizi Biber, La Chiao, Mexican Chili, Paprika, Peppers, Piment Doux, Pimiento, Red Pepper, Sweet Pepper, Capsicum frutescens.
There are numerous studies going on for the medicinal applications of Cayenne pepper since there are a lot of therapeutic actions associated with it such as: aphrodisiac, diaphoretic, expectorant, neural stimulant, rubefacient, synergist vasomotor stimulant, topical vasodilator, etc. It lowers cholesterol and works against arthritis and rheumatism. Capsaicin relieves arthritic symptoms and improves joint flexibility. Cayenne pepper also has a high Vitamin C content. Chili pepper plant leaves, mildly bitter but not nearly as hot as the vegetables that come from the same plant, are cooked as greens in Filipino cuisine, where they are called dahon ng sili (literally "chili leaves"). They are used in the chicken soup, tinola. In Korean cuisine, the leaves may be used in kimchi. In Japanese cuisine, the leaves are cooked as greens, and also cooked in tsukudani style for preservation. Capsaicin is a safe and effective analgesic agent in the management of arthritis pain, herpes zoster-related pain, diabetic neuropathy, postmastectomy pain, and headaches. See Wikipedia about Chili Pepper
3. Corchorus olitorius
Other Common Names: Saluyot (Filipino), Malukhiyah, Mallow-Leaves
Corchorus olitorius is used mainly in southern Asia, Egypt and Cyprus, Corchorus capsularis in Japan and China. It has a mucilaginous (somewhat "slimy") texture, similar to okra, when cooked. The leaves are rich in betacarotene, iron, calcium, and Vitamin C. The plant has an antioxidant activity with a significant a-tocopherol equivalent Vitamin E. The seeds are used as a flavouring, and a herbal tea is made from the dried leaves. Malukhiyah is eaten widely in Egypt and some consider it the Egyptian national dish. The leaves of the Corchorus plant have been a staple Egyptian food since the time of the Pharaohs and it is from there that it gains its recognition and popularity. It features in the cuisines of Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Jordan and Tunisia. In rural villages of the West Bank many families grow their own Mallow Leaves. It constitutes a significant constituent of their diet, thickening dishes and contributing vitamins, especially A. See Wikipedia about Saluyot
4. Amanthus spinosus
Other Common Names: Uray, Colitis (Filipino), Pigweed
Slightly sweet-tasting, mildly refrigerant in nature. A good expectorant. Antifebrile, an effective astringent especially in stopping liquid bowels. Locally, it has been reported that a decoction of the root can cure gonorrhea and relieve one's breathing from acute bronchitis.
Considered antidote, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, emollient, febrifuge.
Antifertility: Study that included the aqueous and ethanolic extracts of A spinosus roots was studied for anti-fertility effects. The results showed alcholic extract use in day 1 to day 5 of pregnancy showed significant pregnancy interruption, more likely with the alcohol than aqueous extracts.
Antimalarial: Study tshowed the efficacy ofr AS extracts against Plasmodium falcifarum supporting its traditional use for anti-parasitic activity.
Immunomodulatory: Study assessed the immunomodulatory effects of AS water extract and results suggested a heat-labile anti-apoptotic component.
Hepatoprotective / Antioxidant: Study results strongly indicated potenty hepatoprotective activity in experimental hepatic damage in animals. Study suggests the protective mechanism to be from the presence of flavonoids and phenolics.
Anti-diabetic / Spermatogenic: Study showed methanolic extract of AS significantly decreased blood glucose, comparable to glibenclamide. It also showed hypolipidemic effects and accelerated spermatogenesis by increasing sperm count and accessory sex organ weights. Results supports it folkloric use for diabetes.
Anti-inflammatory: Study of methanol extract of AS leaves showed antiinflammatory activity probably through inhibition of prostaglandin biosynthesis.
Other Common Names: Kamote (Filipino), Sweet Potato
Diabetes : Despite its "sweet" name, it may be beneficial for diabetes as some studies suggest it may stabilize blood sugars and lower insulin resistance. (2) Study showed the flavone extracted from IB leaf could control blood sugar and modulate the metabolism of glucose and blood lipid, and decrease outputs of lipid peroxidation and scavenge the free radicals in non-insulin dependent diabetic rats.
Hematologic: Hemostatic mistura of ipomoea balatas leaves, methods of preparation and use thereof a Jinshuye styptic plant preparation, an invention made from the extracts of leaf and stems of Ipomoea batatas has qi and spleen invigorating effects, cooling the blood and stopping bleeding. Such a composition has the potential of use for ITP (idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura), radiotherapy- and chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia.
Root Crops as Antioxidant: A 2006 study of commonly consumed roots crops in the Philippines (Kamote, Ipomoea batata; ubi, purple yam, Dioscorea alata; cassava, Manihot esculenta; taro or gabi, Colocasia esculenta; carrot, Daucus carota; yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius) showed them to be rich sources of phenolic compounds with antioxidant acitivity, highest in sweet potato, followed by taro, potato, purple yam and lowest in the carrot.
Antioxidant: (1) BIOACTIVE COMPOUNDS IN IPOMOEA BATATAS LEAVES: Results suggest the total phenolic content was positively correlated with radical scavenging activities of the sweet potato leaves.(2) Purple Sweet Potato anthocyanins have antioxidative activity in vivo as well as in vitro.
Diabetes: (1) Antidiabetic activity of white skinned sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L.) in obese Zucker fatty rats: Results suggest the white skinned sweet potato has antidiabetic activity and and improves glucose and lipid metabolism by reducing insulin resistance. (2) Study to isolate the antidiabetic component of white-skinned sweet potato suggested the active component to be an acidic glycoprotein because it contained a protein and sugar and adsorbed onto the QA column at pH 7.0.
Caiapo: Study confirmed the beneficial effects of Caiapo (a neutraceutical) on plasma glucose with a decrease in Hb A1c, as well as cholesterol levels, in type 2 diabetes patients.
Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas [L.] Lam Tainong 57) storage root mucilage with antioxidant activities in vitro: Mucilage might contribute its antioxidant activities against both hydoxyl and peroxyl radicals.
Flavonoids: Leaf extract study isolated five news compounds: tiliroside, astragalin, rhamnocitrin, rhamnetin and kaempferol.
Chitinases: Study identified new chitinolytic enzymes in sweet potato leaves. Chitinases catalyze the hydrolysis of chitin, the main structural component of fungal walls and arthropod integuments. Studies suggest it has other functions and has been proposed to play a role in the defense against pathogens. Chitinases are also useful in the production of biomedical and biotech products; used in the production of chitooligosaccharides, glucosamines and GlcNAc. Other applications are found in mosquito control and pathogenic plant fungi control.
Antioxidant / Antiproliferative: Study demonstrated that the phytochemicals in sweet potato may have significant antioxidant and anticancer activities. The antioxidant activity was directly related to the total amount of phenolics and flavonoids in the extracts. The additive roles of phytochemicals may contribute to its ability in inhibiting tumor cell proliferation in vitro.