Nutritional qualities and Benefits
Euphorbia hirta contains both quercetin and gallic acid. Quercetin, a phyto-chemical derived from plants, fruit and vegetables, is a strong antioxidant that is also an antihistamine, analgesic and anti-inflammatory, and potentially, anti-cancer.
As an antihistamine, quercetin helps relieve the symptoms of allergies and asthma by preventing histamines from causing congestion and by improving the performance of our lungs. As an anti-inflammatory, quercetin also minimizes the pain resulting from conditions such as arthritis. Quercetin protects our hearts and lowers the risk of a stroke by preventing the oxidation of LDL or bad cholesterol and by lowering our blood pressure. Some studies have also shown that it lowers your chances of developing cancer-of the prostate, ovary, breast and colon.
In vitro experiments have shown that the antioxidant kills cancer cells via what is called programmed death or PD and through other mechanisms. Recent reports have shown that the quercetin in euphorbia, in high doses, can reduce feelings of fatigue and bouts of depression and anxiety. It has also been shown to have definite potential in cases where chronic stress has resulted in problems such as depression and anxiety, as well as the impairment of our capacity to learn and our memory. One huge benefit of this antioxidant is that, so far, it has not shown any side effects and is considered safe.
Gallic acid-another strong and effective antioxidant-is an astringent-tasting plant compound derived from tannins. It is both an antifungal and antiviral. It protects our cells from damage caused by free radicals and has the ability to select and kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells. So far, several traditional uses of euphorbia as an herbal medicine-as an anti-diarrheic, antibacterial, antispasmodic and as a treatment for dysentery and dengue fever-have been validated by in vitro studies. Further studies should be explored for the maximization of this common but valuable and useful weed.