The Jerusalem artichoke; healing properties and usage


The Jerusalem artichoke as a cure for diabetes

The Jerusalem artichoke, Latin name Helianthustuberosus, has a stem which can grow 2 to 3 meters in height with yellow flowers, and is very similar in appearance to a sunflower. Although linked by name to the city of Jerusalem, it actually originates from North America where it is grown in the form of wild weeds, and it began to be intensively cultivated in seventeenth-century France.

It is especially recommended to be eaten by diabetics because its consumption does not increase blood sugar levels. It is popularly called the food of the 21st century because it is increasingly used in cooking, and it can be eaten raw or cooked because of its extremely pleasant taste and can be usually found in soups or salads. In this article you will learn about the cultivation of this plant, its properties, and recipes for preparing a variety of dishes and to who is Jerusalem artichoke recommended as a medicine.

Planting and cultivation of Jerusalem artichokes

As we have already said, this plant originates from North America, where the Indian tribes used it as food during the winter period. It is characteristic because it gives high yields with the use of minimal agricultural resources, and is resistant to weather conditions.
Although it is a perennial plant, in some parts of the world it is cultivated only yearly. Its stems and leaves can be used as animal feed, as well as tubers, which, moreover, can be used to make alcohol and alcoholic beverages, and it is interesting that it is often used as a renewable energy source.

The Jerusalem artichoke has a flower that is reminiscent of the sunflower, but is somewhat smaller. It has highly ramified roots which reach deep into the earth, and the tuber is found on the underground stem and can be white, yellow and pink. Therefore, it is often called sweet or wild potato.

What kind of land suits it the best?

Although it is a crop that grows well in different types of soil, to grow Jerusalem artichokes you need to find one that is loose enough and that has a pH between 6 and 7.5. Damp earth suits the best because water allows it to develop tubers and the tree itself. However, cultivators of wild potatoes are advised to pay attention that the water does not stay too long around the plant itself, and that is not planted in the ground where sunflowers were before.

Planting and growing Jerusalem artichokes can be done in late autumn or early spring, and for that purpose it is best to use the tubers which weigh about 50 grams. This plant needs potassium, and it can be provided with it through the use of natural fertilizers, manure and compost. When it comes to autumn planting you should not worry about low temperatures, because Jerusalem artichoke tuber is very durable when it comes to extreme colds and winter.

What can be a problem during the autumn planting of Jerusalem artichokes are a variety of rodent species that appear in this period, so if you cannot get rid of them, it is recommended that you opt for the spring planting.



When it's time to remove the tubers from the ground, and it is the end of October or the beginning of the growing season in the spring, it is necessary to mow and remove the stems first, because they are already dry. Then, manually or through special machinery remove the wild potatoes from the soil. Since they have a very thin skin, they can be easily damaged in the process of extraction so it is advisable to do it as carefully as possible. When it comes to an optimal yield of Jerusalem artichoke, it may be between 30 and 50 tons per hectare.

Healing properties of Jerusalem artichoke are numerous. 

Although it has a pleasant sweet taste, Jerusalem artichoke contains a small amount of calories. More precisely, it has about 73 calories per 100 grams, which is much smaller amount than in the case with domestic potatoes. However, what makes wild potatoes significantly different from the domestic ones is that it is rich in inulin. This is by no means to be confused with insulin, because it is a polysaccharide that can be easily converted to fructose (natural fruit sugar) and insulin is a hormone.

Each tuber contains about 25 percent of inulin and it is a kind of a natural substitute for synthetic probiotics, because it stimulates the development of beneficial intestinal bacteria, to maintain the normal balance of intestinal microflora and is easily digestible.

Because of this, Jerusalem artichoke is recommended against constipation, as well as to reduce the risk of getting colon cancer. In addition, inulin stimulates the proper functioning of the heart and regulates blood pressure.

Its tuber is a rich source of minerals that are very important for the human body and health, and the most common are phosphorus, potassium, calcium, iron, copper and magnesium.

It is interesting that its fruit is unique because 100 grams of fresh wild potato contains 429 mg of potassium, which represents about 9 percent of the daily requirement of the body for this matter. The combination of these medicinal elements contributes to better health, hair, bones, teeth, and helps women to relieve the symptoms of PMS.

Unaccredited wild potato is full of vitamins

Jerusalem artichoke in spite of its somewhat drab appearance offers a lot when it comes to health. In fact it contains vitamins C, D, and B complex and a provitamin beta carotene. Although there are not big quantities of it in the plant, combined with carotene they form an ideal combination which acts as a natural antioxidant and thus helps to neutralize harmful free radicals. The most present is thiamine or vitamin B1, which has 0.2 milligrams per 100 grams of fresh Jerusalem artichoke.

This represents approximately 13 percent of the daily dose required by our body to function properly. Therefore, wild potatoes provide protection against malignant diseases, inflammatory processes, as well as seasonal viral diseases, fever and cough, and the Jerusalem artichoke as a medicine is increasingly used in alternative medicine.

Jerusalem artichokes are characteristic because of high levels of protein; because its tubers contain more protein than is the case with other similar vegetables. In fact, in 100 grams of wild potato there are 3 grams of protein, specifically a complex of essential amino acids, like methionine, cysteine ​​and taurine, and with them there is a significant amount of sulphur.

Since the Jerusalem artichoke is rich in fibre, it helps with the right bowel movement and helps to mitigate the symptoms of diarrhoea. In addition, it gives the body more energy, helps speed metabolism and fat burning. Therefore, it is often recommended for athletes because it helps the development and recovery of connective tissue in the body. We encourage you to read the article: how to speed up your metabolism, if you are more interested in this topic.

Excellent food for diabetics

As already stated, wild potatoes can be consumed fresh, cooked or as a supplement to other dishes. The saying goes "the health enters through the mouth," and all the healing properties of Jerusalem artichoke are manifested if it is found on your table. Since it does not cause any side effects, it can be consumed in unlimited quantities, every day. Below will tell you for which diseases is this plant effective.

According to the glycemic index, Jerusalem artichoke plant on this scale has a value of 50. This means that the consumption of these foods, as opposed to domestic potatoes, is completely safe for people with diabetes, since it does not increase blood sugar levels. On the contrary, medical analysis proved that it can be freely used in unlimited quantities on a daily basis, which results in lowering blood sugar levels.

In particular, it is advised that people with diabetes use it fresh and raw, and preferably in the form of salads, since the thermal treatment destroys a significant part of medicinal substances and minerals that are essential to combat the symptoms of the disease. Therefore, this is the ideal food for diabetics.

It helps with weight loss 

Due to the fact that it contains a large amount of useful fibres that create a feeling of fullness, Jerusalem artichoke is recommended for weight loss. Because, unlike potatoes, it does not contain starch, and is rich in other valuable nutrients. If Jerusalem artichoke is regularly used in your diet, you can be sure that you are on the right track to gradually reduce and eventually remove unwanted fat deposits.

Jerusalem artichoke relieves stomach problems

When it comes to abdominal pain caused by a reduced amount of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, instead of reaching for a variety of synthetic solutions and tablets, feel free to use Jerusalem artichoke as a medicine. Thanks to thiamine, which synthesizes carbohydrates and produces hydrochloric acid, it helps bring protein metabolism to normal.

Reduction in the amount of gastric acid is not safe, because in this case bacteria can develop which are harmful to the digestive system, and results in diarrhoea and rapid loss of water from the body. In this case, it is best to eat soup of Jerusalem artichoke every day until the symptoms completely disappear.

Reduces the level of fat in the blood

The healing properties of wild potatoes, particularly high levels of potassium, normalize the level of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. It is advised to people who have problems with increased fat in blood vessels, and is useful for those who have an inborn risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Strengthens hair roots and reduces hair loss

Because it contains iron, copper and vitamin C, doctors often recommend that a Jerusalem artichoke is used as a remedy for the problems of hair loss. 100 grams contain 20 percent of the daily amount of these minerals that are much needed if you have a weak and thin hair prone to breaking and falling out. Iron contributes to better supply the cells with oxygen, and copper gives the hair strength, and therefore follicle will be healthier and will create a stronger hair that will be stronger and brighter.

Jerusalem artichoke salad is good for male potency

Men who have problems with erectile dysfunction Jerusalem artichoke is recommended as a natural was for solving this problem. Since it contains magnesium, it represents a kind of a natural aphrodisiac and helps with sexual functions in members of the stronger sex so it solves the problems of impotence and therefore increases the mobility of sperm and enhances fertility.

To ensure an optimal intake of healthy substances that help with this problem, doctors usually advise to add fresh salad out of this plant to your menu.

Recipes for dishes made from Jerusalem artichokes

We will give you a few recipes on how to make a delicious meal out of Jerusalem artichokes and thus take advantage of it to improve your health.

The Jerusalem artichokes soup

Ingredients:

  • 4 tubers of Jerusalem artichokes
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 parsley with leaves
  • 150 g of potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of flour (gluten-free)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • salt (optional)

How to prepare it: 

Wash carrots and parsley, and then cut into slices and fry gently in butter until they turn rosy colour. Then, add the flour and a little water, and the desired amount of salt. Jerusalem artichokes need to be rinsed, peeled and cut into cubes. In the meantime, do the same procedure with potatoes. When water boils, put Jerusalem artichokes and cook them until they become tender, and then insert potatoes. At the end of the soup, add sour cream and chopped parsley to get its creamy appearance and flavour.

Tasty Jerusalem artichoke salad

Ingredients:

  • 200 grams of Jerusalem artichokes (tubers)
  • 4 tablespoons of sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped chives

Preparation:

Wash the tubers thoroughly to remove all dirt. Then grind or slice them with a knife. Add the chopped shallots onto noodles and pour it all with a mixture of whipped cream, lemon juice and olive oil. We believe that you will like Jerusalem artichoke in this combination.

The medicinal tincture of Jerusalem artichoke

Necessary ingredients:

  • homemade brandy or 70 percent alcohol
  • 4 Jerusalem artichokes (tubers)

How to make tincture:

The Jerusalem artichoke (tubers) needs to be to washed and grated into thin strips. Then insert it into a glass jar and pour the alcohol so that grated mass is completely covered with liquid. Seal the lid of a jar so that the air does not come into it. It needs to rest for 10 to 14 days, during which time we need to occasionally shake and store it at room temperatures. After that, through a strainer or gauze strain it in a separate bottle.

Tincture prepared in this way can be drunk every day, one teaspoon before meals.

Where to buy Jerusalem artichoke and what is the price

After you have read all the ways Jerusalem artichoke can be used as a medicine, we believe that you are interested in buying and trying it. It can be purchased in all markets during the period from November to March, and since it is similar to potatoes it is usually sold together on the same stalls.

When buying you should pay attention if the tubers are fresh so that they do not have stains caused by strokes or any other damage. Its price is about 1 dollar per kilogram. Since it is a plant that is very easy to plant and maintain, it is certainly more profitable to grow it yourself so you will have it at your fingertips.

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