Category Archives: Lentils

Masoor Dal

Botanical Name : Lens Culinaris/Red Lentil
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Vicieae
Genus: Lens
Species: L. culinaris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Synonyms: Lens esculenta. Moench.

Common Name : Masoor  Dal  Masur Dal

Habitat :
Red Lentil (Lens culinaris L.) was first grown in southwest Asia about 7,000 BCE in the area that is now southern Turkey and northern Syria. It is best adapted to the cooler temperate zones of the world, or the winter season in Mediterranean climates.

The two main lentil market classes are red and green. Red lentil is marketed as whole seed, but 90-95 per cent of red lentil is dehulled before it is eaten. Dehulled lentil is consumed in whole form (footballs) or in split form.
Lens culinaris is an annual plant growing to typically short, compared to cereal crops, ranging from 20 – 65 cm (8 – 26 inches) in height depending on variety and growing conditions.
The leaves are alternate, with six pairs of oblong-linear leaflets about 15 mm (0.5 inch) long and ending in a spine. Two to four pale blue flowers are borne in the axils of the leaves in June or early July. The pods are about 15–20 mm long, broadly oblong, and slightly inflated and contain two seeds the shape of a doubly convex lens and about 4–6 mm in diameter. There are many cultivated varieties of the plant, differing in size, hairiness, and colour of the leaves, flowers, and seeds. The seeds may be more or less compressed in shape, and the colour may vary from yellow or gray to dark brown; they are also sometimes mottled or speckled.

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Because most red lentil is dehulled before consumption, the suitability of new red lentil varieties for secondary processing such as dehulling and splitting is of utmost importance. Dehulling and splitting yields in some processing plants are higher for more thick seeds which may be more desired for specific markets.
An easily grown plant, it prefers a sandy soil in a warm sunny sheltered position. Another report says that it does best on clay. It produces most seed when grown on poorer soils. Lentils are widely cultivated in warm temperate and tropical zones for their edible and very nutritious seed, there are many named varieties. The plants are much hardier than is commonly supposed and many of these varieties can succeed in Britain, particularly in warm summers. There is at least one, called ‘WH2040’, that can withstand temperatures as low as -23°c in the seedling stage. ‘Chilean’ is a low-growing plant that can be grown in the winter in areas where winter vegetables can be grown. ‘HarLen’ tolerates temperatures down to -10°c and performs very well in gardens. The plants take the same time as peas to mature, so lentils are a potential commercial crop for Britain. Yields of up to 2 tonnes per hectare are possible. The main problem with growing them as a commercial crop is that they are produced by using cheap labour in many countries which makes it very difficult for British farmers to compete on prices. However, this does not preclude their being grown in the garden and allotment. Lentils are also beneficial to grow as part of a rotation on the farm or garden. They have a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby and, if the roots are left in the ground when the seeds are harvested, this will provide a source of nitrogen for the next crop.

Propagation :
Seed – sow early April in situ. Some cultivars are probably suitable for sowing outdoors in the autumn, at least in the milder parts of the country

Edible Uses: Dehulled lentil is most commonly eaten as soup in the Mediterranean region or as dhal – a thick sauce in which spices are used as flavouring – in south Asia. It is an important source of dietary protein and carbohydrate.
Seed – cooked or sprouted and eaten raw. A very nutritious food, the seeds can be cooked on their own or added to soups, stews etc. The seed can be soaked for 12 hours in warm water and then allowed to sprout for about 5 days. They have a crunchy, fresh flavour. Lentils are more digestible than many legumes. The dried seed can also be ground into a powder and used with cereal flours in making bread etc, this greatly enhances the value of the protein in the bread. The seed stores better if it is left in its husk. Young seedpods – used fresh or cooked like green beans.

Products from

Whole Red Lentils Nutritional Information Per 100 g dry
Amount……………………………… % Daily Value
Fat………………………….. 1.0 g………………..2 %
Carbohydrates…….59.1 g……………..20%
Total Fibre………… 14.2 g…………………..57%
Insoluble Fibre… 12.4 g
Soluble Fibre……… 1.81 g
Sucrose……………….. 1.79 g
Protein……………….28.4 g
Calcium……………. 97.3 mg………………10%
Iron…………………….. 7.3 mg………………41%
Potassium….. 1,135 mg………………….32%
Vitamin C…………. 0.73 mg……………….1%
Thiamin……………. 0.34 mg…………….23%
Riboflavin………… 0.31 mg………………18%
Niacin……………….. 1.73 mg………………..9%
Vitamin B6……… 0.28 mg………………14%
Folate…….. 186 mcg…………………………47%

Medicinal Uses :     The seeds are mucilaginous and laxative. They are considered to be useful in the treatment of constipation and other intestinal affections. Made into a paste, they are a useful cleansing application in foul and indolent ulcers.



Botanical Name: Vigna radiata
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Vigna
Species: V. radiata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

*Azukia radiata (L.) Ohwi
*Phaseolus abyssinicus Savi
*Phaseolus aureus Roxb.
*Phaseolus aureus Wall.
*Phaseolus aureus Zuccagni
*Phaseolus chanetii (H.Lev.) H.Lev.
*Phaseolus hirtus Retz.
*Phaseolus novo-guineense Baker f.
*Phaseolus radiatus L.
*Phaseolus setulosus Dalzell
*Phaseolus sublobatus Roxb.
*Phaseolus trinervius Wight & Arn.
*Pueraria chanetii H.Lev.
*Rudua aurea (Roxb.) F.Maek.
*Rudua aurea (Roxb.) Maekawa
*Vigna brachycarpa Kurz
*Vigna opistricha A.Rich.
*Vigna perrieriana R.Vig.
*Vigna sublobata (Roxb.) Babu & S.K.Sharma
*Vigna sublobata (Roxb.) Bairig. & al.

Common Names: Mung ,Mung bean, Moong bean, Green gram

Habitat : Mung is native to the Indian subcontinent, the mung bean is mainly cultivated today in India, China, and Southeast Asia. It is also cultivated in hot, dry regions in Southern Europe and the Southern United States. It is used as an ingredient in both savory and sweet dishes.

Mung is an upright annual legume ranging in height from 15 cm to 1 m; average height of mature plant, 0.9 m. Branches freely, but not heavily foliaged. Leaves, stems and pods are slightly hairy. Junctions of branches and stems are stipuled. The first flowers appear seven to eight weeks after planting and the crop reaches maturity in 12 to 14 weeks. Pods borne at top of plant. Seeds, green and almost globular (Doherty, 1963a). Pods clothed in long, spreading, deciduous silky hairs.


Mung bean or green gram has long been a food crop in Asia. It is less known as a useful green manure crop. Recently it has become of interest in Queensland as a fodder crop. In its short growing season, Vigna radiata will outyield cowpea and velvet bean of the same age, although maximum yields of the other two are greater. It is, therefore, a useful legume for early forage. It is adapted to a wide range of well drained soils, but is best on fertile sandy loams. On sandy soils of low fertility, 185 to 250 kg./ha molybdenized superphosphate will usually give adequate growth.

A good seed bed (as for maize or sorghum) should be prepared. The seed is broadcast or drilled in rows 16 to 35 cm apart, the usual seeding rate being 6 kg./ha drilled and up to 10 kg./ha broadcast. It can also be sod-seeded into existing pastures. Seed is preferably inoculated with the cowpea strain of Rhizobium before sowing. The first grazing can be given about six weeks after planting, before the flowers appear; two grazings are usually obtained. Green manure should be ploughed in when the plant is in full flower. Mung bean should be cut for hay as it begins to flower. The cut material should be conditioned to hasten drying. Doherty (1963a) obtained a yield of 1 872 kg./ha of green matter from mung bean sod-seeded into a Rhodes grass/green panic pasture at the rate of 11 kg./ha in 53-cm rows, fertilized with 264 kg./ha molybdenized superphosphate. Unfertilized pasture yielded only 623 kg./ha of green matter.

Edible Uses:
Mung beans are commonly used in various cuisines across Asia.

Whole beans and mung bean paste:
Whole cooked mung beans are generally prepared from dried beans by boiling until they are soft. Mung beans are light yellow in colour when their skins are removed. Mung bean paste can be made by dehulling, cooking, and pulverizing the beans to a dry paste.

Although whole mung beans are also occasionally used in Indian cuisine, beans without skins are more commonly used; but in Kerala, whole mung beans are commonly boiled to make a dry preparation often served with rice gruel (kanji). Dehulled mung beans can also be used in a similar fashion as whole beans for the purpose of making sweet soups. Mung beans in some regional cuisines of India are stripped of their outer coats to make mung dal. In Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, steamed whole beans are seasoned with spices and fresh grated coconut in a preparation called sundal. In south and north Indian states, mung beans are also eaten as pancakes. They are soaked in water for six to 12 hours (the higher the temperature, the lesser soaking time). Then they are ground into fine paste along with ginger and salt. Then pancakes are made on a very hot griddle. These are usually eaten for breakfast. This provides high quality protein that is rare in most Indian regional cuisines. Pongal or kichdi is another recipe that is made with rice and mung beans without skin. In Kerala, it is commonly used to make the parippu preparation in the Travancore region (unlike Cochin and Malabar, where toor dal, tuvara parippu, is used). It is also used, with coconut milk and jaggery, to make a type of payasam.

In Chinese cuisine, whole mung beans are used to make a Tong sui, or dessert, otherwise literally translated, “sugar water”, called ludou Tong sui, which is served either warm or chilled. In Indonesia, they are made into a popular dessert snack called es kacang hijau, which has the consistency of a porridge. The beans are cooked with sugar, coconut milk, and a little ginger.

In Hong Kong, dehulled mung beans and mung bean paste are made into ice cream or frozen ice pops. Mung bean paste is used as a common filling for Chinese mooncakes in East China and Taiwan. Also in China, the boiled and shelled beans are used as filling in glutinous rice dumplings eaten during the dragon boat festival. The beans may also be cooked until soft, blended into a liquid, sweetened, and served as a beverage, popular in many parts of China.

In the Philippines, ginisáng monggó (sautéed mung bean stew), also known as monggó guisado or balatong, is a savoury stew of whole mung beans with prawns or fish. It is traditionally served on Fridays of Lent, when the majority Roman Catholic Filipinos traditionally abstain from meat. Variants of ginisáng monggó may also be made with chicken or pork.

Mung bean paste is also a common filling of pastries known as hopia (or bakpia) popular in Indonesia, the Philippines and further afield in Guyana (where it is known as black eye cake) and originating from southern China.

The seeds and sprouts of mung bean (Vigna radiata), a common food, contain abundant nutrients with biological activities. This review provides insight into the nutritional value of mung beans and its sprouts, discussing chemical constituents that have been isolated in the past few decades, such as flavonoids, phenolic acids, organic acids, amino acids, carbohydrates, and lipids. Moreover, we also summarize dynamic changes in metabolites during the sprouting process and related biological activities, including antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antihypertensive, lipid metabolism accommodation, antihypertensive, and antitumor effects, etc., with the goal of providing scientific evidence for better application of this commonly used food as a medicine.

Known Hazards: They are one of many species recently moved from the genus Phaseolus to Vigna, and is still often seen incorrectly cited as Phaseolus aureus or Phaseolus radiatus.

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



Botanical Name: Cicer arietinum
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Cicer
Species: C. arietinum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

*Cicer album hort.
*Cicer arientinium L
*Cicer arientinum L.
*Cicer edessanum Bornm.
*Cicer grossum Salisb.
*Cicer nigrum hort.
*Cicer physodes Rchb.
*Cicer rotundum Alef.
*Cicer sativum Schkuhr
*Cicer sintenisii Bornm.
Common Names: Chickpea or chick pea, Gram, or Bengal gram, Garbanzo or Garbanzo bean, Egyptian pea, ceci, Cece or Chana or Kabuli Chana (particularly in northern India).

Habitat: Chiekpea is native to Asia. It is grown in cultivated beds. It is one of the earliest cultivated legumes: 7,500-year-old remains have been found in the Middle East

Chickpea is an annuak plant. It grows to between 20–50 cm (8–20 inches) high and has small feathery leaves on either side of the stem. Chickpeas are a type of pulse, with one seedpod containing two or three peas. It has white flowers with blue, violet or pink veins. It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)It can fix Nitrogen.

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There are three main kinds of chickpea.
Desi has small, darker seeds and a rough coat. It is grown mostly in India and other parts of the Indian subcontinent, as well as in Ethiopia, Mexico, and Iran. Desi means ‘country’ or ‘local’ in Hindustani; its other names include Bengal gram or kala chana (“black chickpea” in both Hindi and Urdu) or chhola boot. Desi is probably the earliest variety because it closely resembles seeds found both on archaeological sites and the wild plant ancestor Cicer reticulatum of domesticated chickpeas, which only grows in southeast Turkey, where it is believed to have originated. Desi chickpeas have a markedly higher fibre content than other varieties, and hence a very low glycemic index, which may make them suitable for people with blood sugar problems. The desi type is used to make chana dal, which is a split chickpea with the skin removed.

Bombay chickpeas (Bambai) are also dark but slightly larger than desi. They too are popular in the Indian subcontinent.

Kabuli are lighter-coloured, larger and with a smoother coat, and are mainly grown in the Mediterranean, Southern Europe, Northern Africa, South America and Indian subcontinent. The name means “from Kabul” in Hindi and Urdu, and this variety was thought to come from Kabul, Afghanistan when it was introduced to India in the 18th century. It is called Kabuli chana in Marathi and safed chana in India.

An uncommon black chickpea, ceci neri, is grown only in Apulia, in southeastern Italy. It is larger and darker than the desi variety.

Green chickpeas are common in the state of Maharastra, India. In Marathi, they are called harbhara. Chana dal is also called harbara dal . Tender, immature harbara roasted on coal before the skin is removed is called hula in Marathi.
Requires a hot sunny position, tolerating drought once established. Prefers a light well-drained fertile soil. Tolerates a pH in the range 5.5 to 8.6. Plants are hardy to about -25°c when covered by snow. This suggests that plants can be autumn sown – some trials are called for, especially of some of the hardier cultivars. The chickpea is widely cultivated in warm temperate and tropical areas for its edible seed. There are many named varieties, some of which should be suitable for cultivation in Britain. Plants only succeed outdoors in Britain in hot summers. Plants are about as hardy as broad beans but they often do not succeed in mild moist maritime climates because the seedpods are hairy and this holds moisture. The moisture then encourages fungal growth and the seed usually rots before it is fully mature. Plants require 4 – 6 months with moderately warm dry conditions if they are to crop well. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby. When removing plant remains at the end of the growing season, it is best to only remove the aerial parts of the plant, leaving the roots in the ground to decay and release their nitrogen.

Seed – sow April/May in situ under cloches. Chick peas can germinate at lower temperatures than broad beans. Could an early spring or even autumn sowing outdoors be successful

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Leaves; Seed; Seedpod.
Edible Uses: Coffee; Drink.

Seed – raw or cooked. The fresh or dried seed is cooked in soups, stews etc. It has a somewhat sweet flavour and a floury texture somewhat reminiscent of sweet chestnuts. The mature seed can also be sprouted and eaten raw. Parched seeds can be eaten as a snack. The seed can also be ground into a meal and used with cereal flours for making bread, cakes etc. The seed is a good source of carbohydrates and protein. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute. The roasted root can also be used. Both the young seedpods and the young shoots are said to be edible but some caution is advised. See the notes above on toxicity. A refreshing drink can be made from the acid dew that collects on the hairy seedpods overnight.

Chickpeas are a nutrient-dense food, providing rich content (> 20% of the Daily Value, DV) of protein, dietary fibre, folate, and certain dietary minerals such as iron and phosphorus. Thiamin, vitamin B6, magnesium and zinc contents are moderate, providing 10-16 percent of the DV (right table). Chickpeas have a Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score of about 76 percent, which is higher than fruits, vegetables, many other legumes, and cereals.

Compared to reference levels established by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization and World Health Organization,[20] proteins in cooked and germinated chickpeas are rich in essential amino acids like lysine, isoleucine, tryptophan and total aromatic amino acids.

A 100 g serving of cooked chickpeas provides 164 kilocalories (690 kJ) (see table). Carbohydrates make up 68 percent of calories, most of which (84 percent) is starch, followed by total sugars and dietary fibre. Lipid content is 3 percent, 75 percent of which is unsaturated fatty acids for which linoleic acid comprises 43 percent of total fat

Medicinal Uses: An acid exudation from the seedpods is astringent. It has been used in the treatment of dyspepsia, constipation and snakebite

Other Uses: Animal feed:
Chickpeas serve as an energy and protein source not only in human nutrition but also as animal feed.

Cajanus cajan (Pegion pea)

Botanical Name :Cajanus cajan (Linn) Millsp.
Other scientific names:  Cystisus cajan, Cystisus pseudo-cajan  ,Cajan inodorum  ,Cajanus bicolor,Cajanus indicus
Family :Fabaceae

Genus: Cajanus
Species: C. cajan
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales

Synonyms:Cajanus indicus Spreng. (Valder 1895) and Cytisus cajan (Crawfurd 1852)
Common Names :Arhar, Red gram, Pigeon pea, Gablos (Tag.) ,Kadios (Mang., Tag., P. Bis.) ,Kagyos (Tag.) ,Kaldis (Ig., Ilk.)   Kagyas (Tag.) ,Kalios (Tag.) , Kardis (Ibn., Ilk., Ig.) ,Kidis (Ilk., Bon.) ,Kusia (Ig., If.) , Tabios (Bik., C. Bis.) ,Guandu (Brazil) .Pigeon pea (Engl.),toor dal or arhar dal (India), Congo pea or gungo pea (in Jamaica), Pois Congo (in Haiti), gandul (in Puerto Rico), gunga pea, or no-eye pea.   arhar dal  in Bengali

Habitat :
Probably native to India, pigeon pea was brought millennia ago to Africa where different strains developed. These were brought to the new world in post-Columbian times. Truly wild Cajanus has never been found; they exist mostly as remnants of cultivations. In several places Cajanus persists in the forest. The closest wild relative, Atylosia cajanifolia Haines, has been found in some localities in East India. Most other Atylosias are found scattered throughout India, while in North Australia a group of endemic Atylosia species grow. In Africa Cajanus kerstingii grows in the drier belts of Senegal, Ghana, Togo, and Nigeria. Pigeon peas occur throughout the tropical and subtropical regions, as well as the warmer temperate regions (as North Carolina) from 30°N to 30°S (Duke, 1981a). In settled areas throughout the Philippines: cultivated, semicultivated, and in some places, spontaneous.


It is  is a perennial herb.An erect, branched, hairy shrub, 1-2 meters high. Leaves are oblong-lanceolate to oblanceolate with three leaflets. Flowers are yellow, in sparse peduncled racemes, about 1.5 cm long. Pod is hairy, 4-7 cm long, 1 cm wide, containing 2-7 seeds.


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The cultivation of the pigeon pea goes back at least 3000 years. The centre of origin is most likely Asia, from where it traveled to East Africa and by means of the slave trade to the American continent. Today pigeon peas are widely cultivated in all tropical and semi-tropical regions of both the Old and the New World. Pigeon peas can be of a perennial variety, in which the crop can last 3–5 years (although the seed yield drops considerably after the first two years), or an annual variety more suitable for seed production.

Pigeon peas are an important legume crop of rainfed agriculture in the semi-arid tropics. The Indian subcontinent, Eastern Africa and Central America, in that order, are the world’s three main pigeon pea producing regions. Pigeon peas are cultivated in more than 25 tropical and sub-tropical countries, either as a sole crop or intermixed with cereals such as sorghum (Sorchum bicolor), pearl millet (Pennisetium glaucum), or maize (Zea mays), or with other legumes, such as peanuts (Arachis hypogaea). Being a legume, the pigeon pea enriches soil through symbiotic nitrogen fixation.

The crop is cultivated on marginal land by resource-poor farmers, who commonly grow traditional medium- and long-duration (5–11 months) landraces. Short-duration pigeon peas (3–4 months) suitable for multiple cropping have recently been developed. Traditionally, the use of such input as fertilizers, weeding, irrigation, and pesticides is minimal, so present yield levels are low (average = 700 kg/ha). Greater attention is now being given to managing the crop because it is in high demand at remunerative prices.

Pigeon peas are very drought resistant and can be grown in areas with less than 650 mm annual rainfall.

World production of pigeon peas is estimated at 46,000 km2. About 82% of this is grown in India. These days it is the most essential ingredient of animal feed used in West Africa, most especially in Nigeria where it is also grown

Edible Uses: Vegetable food crop ( seeds and pods) in South-East Asia.Pigeon peas are both a food crop (dried peas, flour, or green vegetable peas) and a forage/cover crop. They contain high levels of protein and the important amino acids methionine, lysine, and tryptophan.  In combination with cereals, pigeon peas make a well-balanced human food. The dried peas may be sprouted briefly, then cooked, for a flavor different from the green or dried peas. Sprouting also enhances the digestibility of dried pigeon peas via the reduction of indigestible sugars that would otherwise remain in the cooked dried peas.

In India, split pigeon peas (toor dal) are one of the most popular pulses, being an important source of protein in a mostly vegetarian diet. In regions where it grows, fresh young pods are eaten as vegetable in dishes such as sambhar.

In Ethiopia, not only the pods but the young shoots and leaves are cooked and eaten.


In some places, such as the Dominican Republic and Hawaii, pigeon peas are grown for canning and consumption. A dish made of rice and green pigeon peas (called “Moro de Guandules”) is a traditional food in Dominican Republic. Pigeon peas are also made as a stew, with plantain balls. In Puerto Rico, arroz con gandules is made with rice and pigeon peas and is a typical dish.

In Thailand, pigeon peas are grown as a host for scale insects which produce lac.

Pigeon peas are in some areas an important crop for green manure, providing up to 40 kg nitrogen per hectare. The woody stems of pigeon peas can also be used as firewood, fencing and thatch.

Used mainly for its edible young pods and seeds.

Chemical constituents :
Roots are considered antihelminthic, expectorant, febrifuge, sedative, vulnerary.
Seeds are rich in carbohydrates (58%) and proteins (19%).
Fair source of calcium and iron; good source of vitamin B.
Chemical studies reveal: 2′-2’methylcajanone, 2′-hydroxygenistein, isoflavones, cajanin, cahanones, among many others.

Analysis of dhal (without husk) gave the following values: moisture, 15.2; protein, 22.3; fat (ether extract), 1.7; mineral matter, 3.6; carbohydrate, 57.2; Ca, 9.1; and P, 0.26%; carotene evaluated as vitamin A, 220 IU and vitamin B1, 150 IU per 100 g. Sun-dried seeds of Cajanus cajan are reported to contain (per 100 g) 345 calories, 9.9% moisture, 19.5 g protein, 1.3 g fat, 65.5 g carbohydrate, 1.3 g fiber, 3.8 g ash, 161 mg Ca, 285 mg P, 15.0 mg Fe, 55 mg b-carotene equivalent, 0.72 mg thiamine, 0.14 mg riboflavin, and 2.9 mg niacin. Immature seeds of Cajanus cajan are reported to contain per 100 g, 117 calories, 69.5% moisture, 7.2 g protein, 0.6 g fat, 21.3 g total carbohydrate, 3.3 g fiber, 1.4 g ash, 29 mg Ca, 135 mg P, 1.3 mg Fe, 5 mg Na, 563 mg K, 145 mg b-carotene equivalent, 0.40 mg thiamine, 0.25 mg riboflavin, 2.4 mg niacin, and 26 mg ascorbic acid/100 g. Of the total amino acids, 6.7% is arginine, 1.2% cystine, 3.4% histidine, 3.8% isoleucine, 7.6% leucine, 7.0% lysine, 1.5% methionine, 8.7% phenylalanine, 3.4% threonine, 2.2% tyrosine, 5.0% valine, 9.8 aspartic acid, 19.2% glutamic acid, 6.4% alanine, 3.6% glycine, 4.4% proline, 5.0% serine with 0 values for canavanine, citrulline and homoserine. Methionine, cystine, and tryptophane are the main limiting amino acids. However, in combination with cereals, as pigeon peas are always eaten, this legume contributes to a nutritionally balanced human food. The oil of the seeds contains 5.7% linolenic acid, 51.4% linoleic, 6.3% oleic, and 36.6% saturated fatty acids. Seeds are reported to contain trypsin inhibitors and chymotrypsin inhibitors. Fresh green forage contains 70.4% moisture, 7.1 crude protein, 10.7 crude fiber, 7.9 N-free extract, 1.6 fat, 2.3 ash. The whole plant, dried and ground contains 1,1.2% moisture, 14.8 crude protein, 28.9 crude fiber, 39.9 N-free extract, 1.7 fat, and 3.5 ash. (Duke, 1981a)

Medicinal Uses:
Parts used
Leaves, roots.

*Decoction or infusionn of leaves for coughs, diarrhea, abdominal pains.
*Tender leaves are chewed for aphthous stomatitis and spongy gums.
*Pulped or poulticed leaves used for sores.
*In Peru, leaves are used as an infusion for anemial, hepatitis, diabetes, urinary infections and yellow fever.
*In Argentina, leaves used for genital and skin problems; flowers used for bronchitis, cough and pneumonia.
*In China, as vermifuge, vulnerary; for tumors.
*In Panama, used for treatment of diabetes (See study below).
*In Indian folk medicine, used for a variety of liver disorders.

Other Uses:

As forage or hay.
Branches and stems for basket and fuel. (Source)

Often grown as a shade crop for tree crops or vanilla, a cover crop, or occasionally as a windbreak hedge. In Thailand and N. Bengal, pigeon pea serves as host for the scale insect which produces lac or sticklac. In Malagasy the leaves are used as food for the silkworm. Dried stalks serve for fuel, thatch and basketry. (Duke, 1981a).

RBC Sickling Inhibition: StudyClinical studies have reported seed extracts to inhibit red blood cell sickling and potential benefit for people with sickle cell anemia.
• Antiplasmodial constituents of Cajanus cajan: Study isolated two stilbenes, longistylin A and C and betulinic acid from the roots and leaves of CC and showed moderately high in vitro activity against Plasmodium falcifarum strain.
• Stilbenes / Neuroprotective / Alzheimer’s Disease: Study of stilbenes containing extract-fraction from C cajan showed significant amelioration of cognitive deficits and neuron apoptosis. Findings suggest sECC has a potential in the development of therapeutic agent to manage cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer’s disease through increase choline acetyltransferase activity and anti-oxidative mechanism.
• Hypocholesterolemic Effect: Study on the stilbenes containing extract-fraction of CC showed a hypocholesterolemic effect possibly through enhancement of hepatic LDL-receptor and cholesterol 7-alpha-hydroxylase expression levels and bile acid synthesis.
Hyperglycemic Effect: Evaluation of traditional medicine: effects of Cajanus cajan L. and of Cassia fistula L. on carbohydrate metabolism in mice: Contradicting its traditional use for diabetes, CC did not have a hypoglycemic effect on sugar, instead at higher doses, it produced a hyperglycemic effect.
Antimicrobial: Study shows the organic solvent extracts to inhibit E coli, S aureus and S typhi and the aqueous extract were inhibitory to E coli and S aureus.
• Antimicrobial / Antifungal: Nigerian study on the antimicrobial effects of the ethanol and aqueous extracts of locally available plants, including C cajan, showerd inhibition against S aureus, P aeruginosa, E coli and C albicans. The extracts of C cajam produced wider zones of inhibition against C albicans.
• Hyperglycemic Effect: Study of the aqueous extract of C cajan leaves showed a hyperglycemic effect, suggesting a usefulness incontrolling hypoglycemia that may be due to excess of insulin or other hypoglycemic drugs.
• Hepatoprotective: (1) Study of the methanol-aqueous fraction of C cajan leaf extract showed it could prevent the chronically treated alcohol induced rat liver damage and presents a promise as a non-toxic herb for therapeutic use in alcohol-induced liver dysfunction. (2) Study in mice with carbon tetrachloride-induced liver damage showed the methanol extracts of B orellana, C cajan, G pentaphylla and C equisetifolia showed significant decrease in levels of serum markers, indicating the protection of hepatic cells in a dose-dependent manner.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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