Spinach is a vegetable. The leaves are used for food and to make medicine.
As a medicine, spinach is used to treat stomach and intestinal (gastrointestinal, GI) complaints and fatigue. It is also used as a blood-builder and an appetite stimulant.
Some people use it for promoting growth in children and recovery from illness.
How it works
Spinach contains vitamins and other nutrients.
Not ProvenStomach and intestinal complaintsFatigueStimulating growth in childrenPromoting recovery from illnessOther conditions
Spinach is LIKELY SAFE for most people when used as a food. However, the safety of larger, medicinal amounts is unknown.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Spinach isLIKELY SAFEduringpregnancyandbreast-feeding when used in food amounts, but the safety of larger medicinal doses is unknown.Are there any interactions with medications?
Children: Giving spinach to infants less than four months old is LIKELY UNSAFE. The nitrates in spinach can sometimes cause a blood disorder (methemoglobinemia) in young infants.
Allergies: People who are sensitive to certain molds or latex might have allergic responses to spinach.
Diabetes: Spinach might lower blood sugar levels. Some doctors worry that it might make blood sugar levels drop too low if used along with diabetes medications. If you use spinach in medicinal amounts and take diabetes medications, monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medications might need to be changed. Check with your healthcare provider.
Kidney disease: Spinach may cause hard crystals to form in the kidneys. These crystals won't dissolve and might make kidney disease worse.
Surgery: Spinach might lower blood sugar levels. Some doctors worry that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using spinach in medicinal amounts at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Spinach might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking spinach along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.Spinach contains large amounts of vitamin K. Vitamin K is used by the body to help blood clot. Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. By helping the blood clot, spinach might decrease the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin). Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.