Lablab purpureus

Botanical Name : Dolichos lablab
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Lablab
Species: L. purpureus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Synonyms :  Lablab purpureus L. Sweet; Dolichos lablab L; Dolichos purpureus L; Dolichos lablab ssp ensiformis Thunb; Dolichos cultratus Thunb; Dolichos bengalensis Jacq; Dolichos lablab var; hortensis Schweinf & Muschler; Dolichos albus Lour; Dolichos uniflorus; Dolichos lablab ssp bengalensis Jacq; Lablab niger Medik; Lablab vulgaris Savi; Lablab leucocarpos Davi; Lablab purpureus ssp purpureus Verdc; Lablab vulgaris var; niger DC; Lablab purpureus ssp uncinatus Verdc; Lablab perennans DC; Lablab nankinicus Savi; Lablab purpureus ssp bengalensis (Jacq.) Verdc.

Common Names : Dolichos bean, Hyacinth bean, Bonavist bean, Seim bean, Lablab bean, Egyptian kidney bean, Indian bean, Common bean, Field bean, Pendal bean, Pole bean, Waby bean (English); Avare, Chapparadavare, Chikkadikai (Kannada, India); Avari, Mochai (Tamil, India); Anumulu, Chikkudu (Telugu, India); Avara, Mochakotta (Malayalam, India); Sem, Ballar (Hindi, India); Shim (Bengali, India); Val (Gujarathi, India); Pavta, Wal (Marathi, India); Sin bean (Assam, India); Agni guango ahura (Ivory coast); Australian pea, Bannabees (Guyana); Batao, Batau, Beglau, Parda, Agaya, Itab (Philippines); Bounavista pea, Seim bean, Sem (Trinidad); Bunabis (Grenada.); Butter bean (Bah., Dom., Guy.); Caraota Chivata (Venzula); Chiancha Japanese (Spain); Chimbolo Verde (Costa Rica); Dauvan, Dall van (Vietnam); Dolic (d’ Egypte), Ataque, D. du Soudan, Feved Egypte (France); F, Cabellero (Salvador); Frijol bocon, F chileno (Peru); F.de la tierra (Cuba); Fuji-mame (Japan); Gallinazo blanco (Venezuela); Gallinita (Mexico); O- cala, Amora guaya, Gerenga (Ethiopia); Gueshrangaig (Egypt); Haricot cutelinho (Portugal); Helmbohne (Germany); Kashrengeig (Sudan); Kachang Kara, Kara-Kara, Kekara (Malaysia); Kerara (Indonesia); Fiwi bean, Kikuyu bean (East Africa); Cumandiata, Labe-labe (Brazil); Lubia bean (Ethopia, Sudan); Macape (Malag); Macululu (Angola); Pe-gyi (Burma); Tonga bean, Papaya bean, Poor man bean (Australia); Poroto bombero (Chile); P.de Egipto (Argentina); Tua nang. T. pab, T. pep (Thailand); P.contor, P.coolis, P.dum sou, P.en tout temps, P.indien (Mauritius); Macululu (Angola); Louria (Cyprus).

Habitat :Lablab purpureus grows  throughout the tropics, especially in Africa, India and Indonesia.It is a  traditional food plant in Africa,

Description:
Lablab bean is a twining vine with leaflets in threes and showy bright purple flowers and pods. In frostfree areas the vine becomes woody and can reach more than 30 ft (9 m) in length. In zones 9 and colder, the vine remains herbaceous and rarely exceeds 10 ft (3 m). The leaflets are purplish green, broad oval or triangular in shape and 3-6 in (7.6-15.2 cm) long. The flowers are pealike, a rich, brilliant purple and arranged in loose clusters on long stems that extend above the foliage. The pods are just as showy as the flowers. They are flat and curved, about 3 in (7.6 cm) long and bright purple. The beans inside are dark colored with a conspicuous white hilum, the elongate scar on the edge of the bean where it was attached to the inside of the pod.

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Several cultivars have been selected including some with white flowers and pale green pods; some with red flowers; some with long, thin cylindrical pods; and some dwarf forms. Some cultivars are grown primarily for the pods, some for the seeds, and some for roots. Some are day length neutral and some flower mainly as day length shortens.

Uses:
It is often grown as forage  and as an ornamental plant. In addition, this plant is also cited as a medicinal plant and a poisonous plant.
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In Maharashtra, a special spicy curry, known as vaala che birde , is often used during fasting festivals during Shravan month.

In the Telangana region of India, bean pods are cut into small pieces and cooked as spicy curry in Pongal festival season, along with bajra bread; it has been a very special delicacy for centuries.

In Hue, Vietnam, it is the main ingredient of the dish chè dau ván.

In Kenya, it is known as njahi, and is popular among the Kikuyu group. It is thought to encourage lactation and has historically been the main dish for breastfeeding mothers. Beans are boiled and mashed with ripe and/or semiripe bananas, giving the dish a sweet taste.

The leaves are used as greens, but have to be cooked like spinach and the water has to be discarded

Medicinal Uses:
Lablab purpureus is mild-and-lightly-warm-natured, tastes sweet.  It can tonify the spleen and stomach, relieve internal heat fever, relieve summer beat-and damp and remove dampness to stop diarrohea, etc.,  leukorrhea, with reddish discharge, infantile malnutrition and anti-cancer, etc.  The seeds are used to stimulate gastric activities, for vomiting and diarrhoea in acute gastro-enteritis, thirst in heat-stroke,  rheumatic arthritis, sunstroke, as an antidote against fish and vegetable poisoning and to treat colic and cholera.  The flowers are used to treat dysentery when there is pus and bloody stools, inflammation of the uterus and to increase menstrual flow.  Contraindicated in cases of intermittent fevers and chills, and in cold disorders.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://www.floridata.com/ref/d/doli_lab.cfm

http://www.lablablab.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lablab_purpureus

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_FGH.htm

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