The Miracle of Hyacinth Beans (Bataw)
Health and Medicinal Benefits of Bataw
Do you know this vine vegetable called Bataw? This is widely known as hyacinth beans in English, but in the Philippines we call this Bataw. We commonly see this vine vegetable growing well in many yards in the provinces. They are mostly creeping over fences, or improvised wooden arbor
Bataw has lots of health and medicinal benefits. It is a rich source of antioxidants, also of Vitamin C, calcium, iron and other minerals. It is also anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic . 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 has antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties
Bataw in the Morning, Bataw in the Evening
There was a time in my life when my whole family was eating nothing but bataw dish every meal. I was barely seven years old then and not even aware of the wonderful health and medicinal benefits of this vine vegetable. In fact, my whole family was eating nothing but Bataw and rice every meal. This was not because of the health benefits but because we had no choice. We were so poor that we had no means to buy meat, fish or any other dishes.
My father was a Driver but he met an accident leaving him jobless for sometime and so we had to practically live through the very fruitful 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 prudent person did every possible way to save on food so he could save money for other expenses at home. Everyday my mother 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. In my innocent mind, I did not know yet that God used this Bataw plant to save my whole family from hunger. It was only when I grew old enough to understand that I realized that this was God's miracle.
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. It was like getting even much tastier each day.
We were poor but we were never sick and it is only now that I realized that it was the Bataw dish that 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'm grown up, have my own family, and living a more comfortable life in the city, I still could not forget the good taste of my mother’s sautéed Bataw. I could never forget those Bataw days. This is one evidence that God's grace is truly sufficient. The fact that our Bataw plant did not run out of pods even if we were picking day by day was some kind of miracle only those who know and trust God will fully understand.
May you also see the miracle of God in your lives. God bless you and thank you for reading.