Alternative names: Fava Bean, Field Bean, Bell Bean or Tic Bean.
Broad beans are known more as a food than for their medicinal properties.
Rich in carbohydrates, protein, calcium, phosphorous and several vitamins, they are more digestible while tender. They should be soaked for a day and cooked before eating.
The broad bean decoction can act as a diuretic to counter water retention or obesity.
As a detoxifier/cleanser and anti-rheumatic, the broad bean decoction is good for "washing" the kidneys and purifying blood that contains too much uric acid. Also very useful against arthritis.
Consuming broad beans helps the body to remove fat from the arteries, lowering cholesterol levels.
Felons (fingertip infections) and furuncles (deep folliculitis; infection of the hair follicle) benefit from being bathed in a warm decoction of broad bean leaves until the water is cold.
Rich in choline (part of acetylcholine), consuming broad beans can help to maintain the memory in Alzheimer's patients.
Broad beans can combat low sexual desire (low libido); they are an aphrodisiac.
Broad beans are rich in L-dopa, a natriuretic agent which might help control hypertension.
Broad beans can be useful to individuals whose pituitary gland fails to produce of the right amount of human growth hormone.
These beans are also rich in fiber, which helps to regulate gut motility and lower the risks of cancer and hypertension.
Generally used in the form of a decoction, consisting of either the 10gm dry flowers or 20gm fresh pods in 250ml of water. Drink as much as desired.
Broad beans should be avoided by those taking monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors due to their high tyramine content.
Raw broad beans contain the alkaloids vicine, isouramil and convicine, which can induce hemolytic anemia in those with the hereditary condition G6PD. This potentially fatal condition is called "favism", derived from the name "fava bean."
Australian researchers have found that broad beans (Vicia faba) are an extremely good source of l-dopa and can, in some cases, actually replace l-dopa. A 100gm serving of broad beans (including the pods) provides about 250mg of l-dopa and in addition a significant amount of proanthocyanidins. The broad beans remain effective even if canned or frozen, but should always be consumed whole as the pod has been found to have the highest concentration of l-dopa. Medication dosage may have to be adjusted if broad beans are consumed on a regular basis.
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