Due to a variety of betalain pigments, beetroots are a common source for red food colouring. All parts of the plant contain oxalic acid – as such, thorough cooking prior to consumption is highly recommended. Historically, beetroots have been used in folk medicine to treat a great variety of illnesses. Ancient Romans used the rhizomes to treat fevers, constipation and many more, and its juice was considered a great aphrodisiac. Beets are also thought of as excellent laxatives.