Mbilidzongwe is the Chichewa name for Bidens schimperi, which is closely related to Blackjack (Bidens pilosa) ‘Chisoso’. It grows wild in fields, along roadsides, and in natural areas. The leaves are edible and have a wonderful flavor, with a slight celery-like taste. It can be eaten raw in salads or cooked as any leafy vegetable.
Very little research has been done on this plant in terms of nutritional value, but since it is so closely related to Bidens pilosa, it can be assumed that it is high in phytochemicals, essential amino acids, and minerals such as iron, zinc, and manganese. Phytochemicals are compounds which are produced by plants which help them to resist infections from fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Research is showing that phytochemicals can help protect human cells from damage that can lead to cancer.
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