Nuts and Seeds


Black-eyed Bean 

Latin: Vigna unguiculata
The seed of the annual plant Vigna sinensis (L.), or Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp., of the Leguminosae/Fabaceae family. A subspecies of the cowpea, blacked-eyed bean is native to Asia and Africa, and have been cultivated since ancient times in China. It is one of the most ancient crops known to man, with its center of origin and subsequent domestication being closely associated with pearl millet and sorghum. Now it is a broadly adapted and highly variable crop, cultivated around the world primarily as a pulse, but also as a vegetable (both for the greens and the green peas), a cover crop, and for fodder. It is grown commercially in India and China and as a high-protein subsistence crop in Africa. Introduced in the early 18th century from the Old World to the West Indies and eventually to the southern United States, by way of the slave trade, black-eyed beans are featured in many southern American or soul-food favorites. Perhaps the best known of these dishes is Hoppinˇ¦John, traditionally thought to bring good luck when served at New Year.

All cultivated black-eyed bean varieties are considered warm season and adapted to heat and drought conditions. Some varieties are erect and bushy, while others are viney in growth habit. Black-eyed bean may reach 1 m in height. The seed pods are borne above the leaf axil, thus the pods are very visible. The seed pod is typically 7 to 15 cm long and has 6 to 13 seeds per pod.

The largest acreage is in Africa, with Nigeria and Niger predominating, but Brazil, West Indies, China, India, United States, Burma, Sri Lanka, Yugoslavia, and Australia all have significant production. Dry seed production is estimated at 1.24 million tons annually.

Black-eyed beans are sold dried, canned, and frozen. They are available year-round. Some southern American markets provide fresh peas in season.

Also called as cow pea, cowpea, black-eyed pea, China bean, field pea, string bean, southern pea, or spelled as black-eye bean.
Sweet and salty in flavor, mild in nature, it is related to the spleen and kidney channels.
Strengthens the spleen and nourishes the kidneys.
Black-eyed bean is applied in diarrhoea due to deficient spleen and dyspepsia (indigestion). It is also applied in leukorrhea (whitish discharge from the vagina resulting from inflammation or congestion of the mucous membrane), frequent urine and night emission.

1. For indigestion with flatulence:

Raw black-eyed bean is chewed or pounded and swallowed with cooled boiled water.

2. For leukorrhea:

Prepare black-eyed bean and water spinach, each 100 g, and simmer with a chicken until well done. This can be served once or twice a week.

3. For general weakness and polyuria (excess urine):

Boil black-eyed bean for daily use, 150-300 g each dose in the morning on empty stomach.
Dosage and Administration:
Before cooking dried peas, soak them for four hours, then pressure cook for ten minutes, or simmer on the stove for one hour or till tender. 1 cup dried black-eyed beans yields approximately 2 1/2 cups of cooked beans.

Follow package directions for preparing frozen beans.

Cooked black-eyed beans can be pureed into a delicious spread for sandwiches or crackers. Serve them with rice and cooked collard greens for a taste of the South.
Cautions on Use:
Reference Materials:
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Modern Researches:
Black-eyed bean is considered nutritious with a protein content of about 23 percent, fat content of 1.3 percent, fiber content of 1.8 percent, carbohydrate content of 67 percent and water content of 8-9 percent. As in most legumes, the amino acid profile complements cereal grains. It also contains nicotinic acid, viatmins A, B1, B2 and C; and is an excellent source of calcium and folate.
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