Pigeon Pea

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					                                  Pigeon Pea

   The pigeon pea is one of the important pulses in India. It is a woody, short-lived
perennial herb, 1 to 4 meters tall. It is sometimes grown as an annual herb. It has a
pronounced deep tap-root, angled and hairy stems, and spirally arranged leaves.
The fruit is a flattened pod. Seeds vary in size, shape and colour, usually round or
oval, white or grayish, red, brown purplish or speckled, with a small white hillium.

Origin and Distribution
   Pigeon pea is probably a native of tropical Africa, where it is sometimes found
wild or naturalized. Seeds have been found in Egyptian tombs and it was cultivated
there before 2000 BC. Pigeon peas were cultivated in Madagascar from very early
times, and this region now constitutes a centre of diversity with the greatest number
of varieties. The crop was taken to the New World in early post-Columbian days,
but it did not reach the pacific until 1772. Pigeon peas are now widely spread
throughout the tropics and subtropics. Its areas of cultivation include India,
Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Caribbean, East and West Africa.

Food Value
   The fresh leaves are used as a vegetable. The immature pods are also cooked.
Dried seeds are added to soups and stews. The ripe dry seeds are boiled and eaten as
a pulse. In India these are split into dhal. The dried husks, seeds and broken dhal
are used as cattle feed in India.

Moisture                  13.4%                 Calcium              73mg
Protein                   22.3%                 Phosphorus          304mg
Fat                        1.7%                 Iron                 5.8mg
Minerals                   3.5%                 Small amount of
Fiber                      1.5%                   Vitamin B Complex
Carbohydrates             57.6%
                                                                Calorific Value – 335

Natural Benefits and Curative Properties
   The pigeon pea is easily digested and therefore suitable for invalids. It has many
medicinal properties. It relieves inflammation of internal organs. However,
excessive use of pigeon pea causes hyper-acidity and wind in the intestines.
Therefore, it is forbidden in gastric ulcer and heart disease.

  A fine paste made of this pulse is highly useful in bald patches. It should be
applied regularly.
   The expressed juice of the leaves given, with a little salt, is highly beneficial in the
treatment of jaundice. 60ml of this juice should be taken daily in this condition.

Checking Breast Milk Secretion
  The pulse and leaves ground into a paste, warmed and applied over the mamma,
has the effect of checking the secretion of breast milk.

  The leaves of the plant are effective in all inflammatory conditions. A poultice
made with the seeds will also reduce swelling.

   Paste of the leaves, mixed with a teaspoonful of paste of Neem leaves, is highly
beneficial in the treatment of piles and itching in the anus. It should be taken once
daily for a week.

(The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a
substitute for advice from your Physician or other health care professional. These are the
forgotten recipes compiled by the author H.K. Bakhru an expert naturopath of India.)

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