Bok choy

Origin: Bok choy is a green leafy vegetable. It is new to the western world, however, it’s been in use in Asia for thousands of year now. It’s been a staple cooking ingredient in Asian cooking. The plant may be relatively new to the western world, but bok choy has been cultivated in Asia for thousands of years. 

In the Cantonese language, “bok choy” means “white vegetable”. It is also referred to as white cabbage because of its resemblance to cabbage. bok choy natively belongs to China, most importantly around the Yangtze River Delta area. This area is one of the oldest and most famous agricultural regions in the world. Bok choy has been in cultivation for over 5000 years in this area. 
In 1300, the bok choy was imported to Korea. It was then considered one of the most important food item.  During this era, Koreans used to cook different dishes with fermented bok choy. This dish is now popularly known as Kimchi.

There has been mention of Bok choy in many journals from the late 18th century. There are many books written on medicinal values of bok choy.

Scientifically: Bok choy is small in size with green leaves and the bottom is white. Bok choy belongs to the mustard family along with cabbage, kale, cauliflower, mustard, turnips, and broccoli. It belongs to the species called Brassica rapa. Also, popularly known as Chinese cabbage. 

Usage: Bok choy is most commonly used in salads, stir-fries and sautés. iTs an important ingredient in Chinese cuisine. Bok choy is not only used for culinary use but also for its medicinal benefits. These vegetables are a good supply of nutrients and are low in calories. This vegetable helps in losing weight and building immunity.  Bok choy is also rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene. These nutrients work as a great antioxidant agent that help protect cells against damage by free radicals. The iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin K in bok choy also help in building and maintaining bone structure and strength. It also helps in improving skin and hair health. 

Below are some DIYs with bok choy: 

-    Take a handful of bok choy and extract its juice. Apply this fresh juice on the face with the help of a cotton ball. Let it sit for 20 minutes and then wash off your face with cold water. This remedy helps in cleansing the pores and reduces the appearance of any zit. 
-    Mix a tablespoon of bok choy juice with a teaspoon of aloe vera and a few drops of lemon. Combine them together and apply on the face. Keep it on for 5-10 minutes. This clears out the complexion and gives hydrated skin.
-    Apply half a cup of Bok choy juice on the hair and scalp. Gently massage it. Leave it on for 30 minutes and then shampoo it. This works as a hair rinse and provides all important nutrients to strengthen the hair.
-    Blend a few leaves of bok choy with a teaspoon of yogurt and a teaspoon of honey. Apply this mixture on the face for 10 minutes. This helps in moisturizing the skin and keeps wrinkles at bay.’