Benefits Of Bindweed (Convolvulus Arvensis) For Health

Benefits Of Bindweed (Convolvulus Arvensis) For Health

Bindweed (Convolvulus Arvensis)

A perennial plant, with a voluble stem, stretched out on the ground, the bindweed's leaves are alternately arranged. The root is thin, long and white colored. The leaves are oval. The flowers are funnel shaped, white colored with pink stripes and have a pleasant smell. Bindweed blooms starting with June till August.

The roots are 3 to 4 feet long and from 9 to 12 inches in circumference; tapering, covered with a light grey bark and containing a milky juice. Scammony is a gummy resin, obtained from this milky juice of the root by clearing away the earth from the upper part of the root and cutting off the top obliquely, about 2 inches below where the stalks spring. Then a vessel is fixed in such a position as to receive the exuding juice, which gradually hardens and becomes the Scammony of commerce. The best Scammony is black, resinous and shining when in the lump, but of a whitish-ash colour when powdered, with a strong cheesy smell and a somewhat acrid taste, turning milky when touched by the tongue. It occurs in commerce in irregular pieces 1 to 2 inches or more in diameter.

Benefits Of Bindweed (Convolvulus Arvensis) For Health
Bindweed (Convolvulus Arvensis) Picture

Bindweed is widely seen across North America and Canada. It grows on infields, gardens and near roads. Owing to its rapid multiplication, bindweed is now considered a nuisance that is hard to eradicate. Bindweed grows around hedges and corners and can overtake all vegetation at an extremely rapid pace.

Bindweed health benefits include anticancer properties, diuretic and a laxative. It is also used in diets based on losing weight, combined with herbs such as dandelion, corn silk, birch or elder.

Benefits Of Bindweed (Convolvulus Arvensis) For Health

A plant that is considered a bane to agriculturists can also have multiple health benefits and medicinal uses. Some of these are as follows. 

  • The roots of bindweed act as a good purgative, and if used in right doses, it can be effective even in children.
  • Native Americans would use the plant as an antidote to spider bites, and the leaves of the plant were believed to enhance the secretion of bile.
  • The extract of bindweed is believed to arrest the growth of tumors, and its anticancer properties are presently being researched.
  • Bindweed also exhibits actions similar to that of anti-diabetic medications as it is considered to inhibit the action of beta-glucosidase and alpha galctosidase. This, in turn, aids in lesser absorption of carbohydrates into the intestine, thus checking the blood sugar levels. Similar to sweet potato, the insulin-like compound in bindweed aids in effective diabetes management.
  • Bindweed, especially its flowers, is believed to exhibit antibacterial and antifungal properties against a broad spectrum of microbes, including E. coli, salmonella species, and candida albicans.
  • Bindweed also finds its therapeutic use for treating the effects of stress in individuals. Bindweed can be used to soothe and calm the mind and nerves. It helps bring about a feeling of being at peace with oneself. However, similar to other tranquilizers or antipsychotic medications, bindweed should be used with caution for treatment of depression, anxiety and stress.

Other Uses of Bindweed (Convolvulus Arvensis)

As mentioned above, bindweed is a boon to agriculturists. Most of its other uses can be found in this industry. Some of the common uses of bindweed are as follows.

  • Bindweed finds other uses in restoring the fertility of agricultural land that has been subject to the extensive use of chemicals and pesticides. It is researched and believed to eradicate chromium, copper, and cadmium from the soil.
  • Bindweed also exhibits properties similar to that of nitrogen fixing plants. The presence of calystegins in the roots of bindweed act as a source of carbon and nitrogen to the rhizobacteria that is responsible for nitrogen fixation. Thus, the fertility of the soil is enhanced for agricultural use.
  • In certain parts of Asia, the tender shoots and leaves of the bindweed plant are also used for culinary purposes.
  • The strong twining vine can also be used for weaving or making strong ropes.