Travel virtually and learn about other places and cultures

If you like honey, fear not the bees. -African Proverb

Sunday, January 18, 2015

In Africa the Poisonous Lab-Lab Bean Plant Is Considered a Traditional Food

The family Leguminosae or bean families of plants are an important family of flowering plants that feed the world. The lab-lab bean is a poisonous plant native to Tropical Africa. In Africa the poisonous lab-lab bean plant is considered a traditional food. The lab-lab bean is a climbing, warm-season plant that can grow up to 3 feet, and the climbing vines stretching up to 25 feet from the plant.


The family Leguminosae or bean families of plants are an important family of flowering plants that feed the world.
The Dolichos lablab plant  photo  by patti haskins
The Dolichos lablab plant is a lesser known member of the bean family and is known by many names; gerenge in Ethiopia, Kikuyu bean in Kenya, gueshrangaig in Egypt, lab-lab bean, and poor man's bean. The lab-lab bean is a climbing, warm-season plant that can grow up to 3 feet, and the climbing vines stretching up to 25 feet from the plant.

The lab-lab bean is a poisonous plant native to Tropical Africa. The seeds contain large amounts of vitamins and minerals, but contain tannins and trypsin inhibitors so the bean must be soaked and cooked before the bean is eaten. The acidity from tannins is what causes your mouth to pucker and trypsin is an enzyme involved in the breakdown of proteins during digestion.

In Africa the lab-lab bean plant is considered a traditional food. The lab-lab bean plant; the leaves and pods are cooked, the flowers are eaten raw or steamed, dried seeds should be boiled in two changes of water before eating since they contain poisonous chemical compounds. The fruit and beans are edible if boiled well with several changes of the water. The seeds can be white, cream, pale brown, dark brown, red, black, or mottled depending on variety.
  

Share this page

Chic African Culture Featured Articles

Mental Discovery

The eye never forgets what the heart has seen - African Proverb

African Proverb

African Proverb
A tree without roots cannot survive the wind