The Miracle of Hyacint Beans (Bataw)
Health and Medicinal Benefits of Bataw
Do you know this vine vegetable called Bataw? In English this is known as hyacinth bean but in the Philippines this is popularly known as Bataw. This lowly vegetable is so easy to grow so that it can be commonly seen either just creeping or climbing over fences, or improvised wooden arbor in many homes particularly in the countryside. Those who live in the city may not know this vegetable at all.
Bataw is actually a rich source of antioxidants, Vitamin C, calcium, iron and other minerals. It also has anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic means. The beans can be taken to lower fever and heal stomach problems. When eaten on a regular basis it will help regulate your cholesterol level. The bean extract is believed to be an antidote for snake bite and also has antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties
Bataw in the Morning, Bataw in the Evening
When I was a child, I was never aware of the nutritional value and medicinal benefits of Bataw; but there was a time I was eating bataw dish every meal. In fact my whole family was eating nothing but Bataw and rice every meal and nothing else not because we knew the health benefits but all because we had no choice. We were so poor that we could not even afford to buy dishes.
My father was jobless for sometime and so we had to practically live through the very productive Bataw plant in our yard. It was like this was our favorite dish but the truth was we had no choice but eat Bataw because it was all my parents could afford.
We have kindhearted Uncle and Aunt who was helping us but even then my mother who was a very virtuous person did every possible way to save on food. Everyday my mother together with my sisters would gather Bataw pods from our yard. Our Bataw plant that was twining and creeping over the bamboo roof of our artesian well did not stop producing. The more we gather the more it brought out new pods. Obviously, God used this Bataw plant to save my whole family from hunger.
Bataw Provided Good Nutrition to My Poor Family
Day after day, God was supplying us with pods of Bataw so that my mother could cook sautéed Bataw pods each day to feed a brood of 7. She would sauté the pods in fresh shrimp sauce and it did taste good. We were happy eating this same kind of dish day after day. We were eating without complaining. Every day the Bataw dish was very tasty to our palate even if it was just the same kind dish.
We were poor but we were never sick and it is only now that I realized that the Bataw dish we kept eating each day kept us healthy. God used this lowly vegetable to sustain us day by day until my father finally found a new job.
Now that I’ve grown up, have my own family, and now living a more comfortable life in the city, I still can't forget the good taste of my mother’s sautéed Bataw. I can never forget the days we were eating Bataw dish all day because it was one big miracle of God. The fact that this Bataw plant did not run out of pods even if we were gathering day by day was a clear proof of God’s never ending grace and mercy. It is a kind of miracle that only those who know and trust God will truly understand.
May you also see the miracle of God in your lives. God bless you and thank you for reading.
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