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Copy me to this . Authored by: Maurice M. Print publication date: February Online publication date: February Synonyms — Hibiscus esculentus L. Synonyms — A. Stevels; A. Endl; A. Nakai and Hibiscus manihot ; Hibiscus papyriferus Salisb. Description — Okra is a stout annual herb typically reaching 2 m in height, but some African varieties may grow up to 5 m tall, with a base stem 10 cm in diameter. The heart-shaped, lobed leaves are attached to the thick, woody stem.

They may reach 30 cm in length and are generally hairy. Flowers are borne singly in the leaf axils and are usually yellow with a dark red or purple base. Some of the African varieties bloom only in late fall in temperate zones and are photoperiod sensitive. It is largely self-pollinated, although some outcrossing is reported, and it is often visited by bees. The pod capsule or fruit is 10—25 cm long shorter in the dwarf varieties. Generally, it is ribbed or round and varies in color from yellow to red to green. It is pointed at the apex, hairy at the base, and tapered toward the tip.

It contains numerous oval seeds that are about the size of peppercorns, white when immature and dark green to gray-black when mature. The common okra, Abelmoschus esculentus , however, is a cultigen of uncertain origin. The vast occurrence of primitive types and wild relatives in Africa especially Ethiopia, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Ghana indicates that okra is certainly African. It is, however, widespread in tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate regions but is particularly popular in West Africa, India, the Philippines, Thailand, and Brazil.

The common okra, Abelmoschus esculentus, grows in the whole of tropical Africa, whereas West African okra, Abelmoschus manihot L. Medik [synonyms: A. Nakai; and Hibiscus manihot ] is a cultigen occurring mainly in West and Central Africa. Moench, can be found worldwide throughout the tropics, subtropics, and warm temperate regions. Ethnomedicinal Uses — The immature fruits and the leaves are eaten in various ways.

Fruits, fresh or sliced and dried, are used for soups West African draw-soup , also fried in oil. Leaves are used as a potherb. Young shoots are also eaten. The mucilage is used medicinally and technically as an industrial raw material.

A decoction of the immature okra fruits is demulcent, diuretic, and emollient. It is also used in the treatment of catarrhal infections, ardor urinae , dysuria, and gonorrhea. It has been used as a plasma replacement or blood volume expander. The seeds usually obtained from mature and hard capsules are antispasmodic, cordial, and stimulant.

An infusion of the roasted seeds has sudorific properties. Leaves are sometimes used as a basis for poultices; as an emollient, sudorific or antiscorbutic; and to treat dysuria. The composition of okra fruits per g edible portion is water The composition of okra leaves per g edible portion is water Compared to other fleshy fruit-vegetables tomato, eggplant , okra is particularly rich in Ca and ascorbic acid. The seed protein is similar in amino acid composition to soya bean protein. The seeds are rich in phenolic compounds, mainly composed of oligomeric catechins 2.

Pharmacological Studies — Because of its high nutrient value, okra is considered a good source for food fortification strategies. Okra has also been used in the management of duodenal ulcers and diabetes. The glycosylated molecules found in the okra mucilage have been related to the inhibition of adhesion of Helicobacter pylori to human gastric mucosa. It has been observed that the distribution of phenolics in methanolic extracts of okra correlates with distribution of antioxidant activity. Toxicity — Okra is a common and popular vegetable with no known toxicity report.

Both okra tofu and the protein-rich residue left after oil extraction showed no acute toxicity and offer promise as food additives and animal feed ingredients. The seeds in the mature fruits yield oil that is similar to cottonseed oil, and some varieties are said to contain gossypol or a gossypol-like compound. In some okra seed varieties, the oil contains small quantities of cyclopropenoid fatty acids with their strong physiological properties.

Formulation and Dosage Forms — Okra is usually available in food stores and health food outlets as fresh fruits or as frozen materials. Sun-dried and horizontally or vertically sliced fruits are often sold in West African markets. Freeze-dried, microwave-dried, and controlled temperature backed fruits prepared with the aim of preserving the secondary metabolites have been packaged for the dietary supplement industry. Commerce — Okra is grown throughout the world as an article of commerce. Countries in Asia and Africa are the major producers.

In West and Central Africa, the common okra and its local variety share the market equally. Agriculture — Farmers usually use seeds harvested from their own local cultivar or rather heterogeneous landrace. The easiest way to keep the seed is to leave it in the pods.

To soften the hard seed coat, the seed is often soaked in water or chemicals prior to sowing. The seed is usually dribbled directly in the field 1—3 seeds per hole. Emergence is within 1 week. When the plants are about 10 cm tall, they are thinned to one plant per hole. Germination and initial growth are improved greatly by cultural practices that lower soil temperature e.

Emergence is also within 1 week, and the plants are then thinned to one plant per hole for optimum growth. Commercial okra growers usually practice sole cropping and prefer the early, homogeneous, introduced cultivars of common okra Abelmoschus esculentus.

In traditional agriculture, farmers grow their okra landraces in home gardens or in fields with other food crops. The landraces often consist of a mixture of Abelmoschus caillei and Abelmoschus esculentus , the former being predominant in humid climates and the latter in drier climates. The uptake of minerals is rather high. Under humid tropical conditions, a full-grown crop consumes about 8 mm of water per day.

Some farmers practice ratoon cropping. A ratoon crop flowers soon after cutting but usually in poor-quality fruit with a high percentage of bent fruits. Synonyms — Abrus abrus L. Wright, Abrus cyaneus R. African Names — Ewe: dedekuade, adekude; Hausa: da marzaya, idon Zakara; Chagga: mdela; Giriam: Igbo: anya nnunu; Lozi: mutiti; Luvale: mukakenjenge; Ndebele: amabope; Nyamwezi: Kachenche; Shambala: lufyambo; Sukuma: lufiambo; Swahili: mongaluchi, mtipitipi; Tiwi: dammabo, obereku-aniwa; Yoruba: iwere-jeje; Mozambique: cessane, mini-mini, mpanamene, namecolo, tsangariorio; Swaziland: umphitsi; Zanzibar, Tanzania: matscho ya tipitipi; Afrikaans Namibia : mini-minies, minie-minies, paternostertjies; Afrikaans South Africa : minnie-minnies.

Description — A woody twining plant with characteristic red and black seeds. The seeds are pinnate and glabrous, with many leaflets 12 or more arranged in pairs. The leaflets are oblong, measuring 2. The plant bears orange-pink flowers, which occur as clusters in short racemes, sometimes yellowish or reddish purple in color, and small and typically pea-like.

Abrus produces short and stout, brownish pods, which curl back on opening to reveal pendulous red and black seeds 4—6 in each pod. Habitat and Distribution — It is found occurring wild in thickets, farms, and secondary clearings and sometimes in hedges.

The plant is widely distributed throughout the continent. Ethnomedicinal Uses — The leaf decoction is used for treatment of coughs, constipation, colic, and general pains. The leaves are chewed to relieve hoarseness and bronchial constrictions; the vapor from crushed leaves boiled with water is used to treat eye inflammation. A single dose of the powdered seeds acts as a long-acting contraceptive, with the effect lasting up to 13 menstrual cycles. A poultice prepared from the seeds of Abrus, salt, and the unripe fruits of Musa paradisica is applied topically to boils and abscesses.

Constituents — The seeds contains abrin a highly toxic glycoprotein , hyapaphnorine, precatorine, and some other uncharacterized indole alkaloids. Trigonelline and other related pyridonium derivatives have been isolated from the plant. The free sugars present in the leaves, stems, roots, and seeds of the plants have been characterized as galactose, arabinose, and xylose.

Pharmacological Studies — The activity of the seed powder against cancer of the epithelioma of the hand, skin, and mucosa has been reported. The excitatory exponent contracts most smooth muscles, including the uterus. Its actions are atropine sensitive. The inhibitory fraction also contracts the uterus but relaxes the other smooth muscles; it is resistant to common pharmacological blocking agents but is inhibited by indomethacin, a prostaglandin synthetase inhibitor. Nwodo had shown that trigonellyl glycoside possesses both nicotinic and muscarinic activity at the ganglion i.

He maintained that while the activity of the isolates of Abrus is blocked by indomethacin, these activities were not essentially due to prostaglandin release. The glycosides were neither acutely toxic when tested on mice nor mutagenic to Salmonella typhimurium strain TM A steroidal fraction of extract of the seeds has been shown to cause dose-dependent degenerative changes in the testicular weights, sperm count, later stages of spermatogenesis, and Leydig cells in testes of rats.

A probable mechanism of the alterations in the testes could be at the pituitary level by a feedback mechanism that may result in decrease in production and release of testosterone. Furthermore, the sensitivity of the tissue to oil could be restored by subeffective doses of prostaglandin E2 following blocking with indomethacin. The extracts of the Abrus have also been shown to possess trypanosocidal action, 20 aldose reductase inhibition, 21 antidiabetic properties, 22 milk-induced leukocytosis and eosinophilia in the management of asthma, 23 antitumor and immunomodulatory activities, 24 and anthelmintic activities.

Toxicity — Fatal incidents have been reported for ingestion of well-chewed seeds of Abrus; because of its hard seed coat, it can pass through the gastrointestinal tract undigested and remain harmless. The unripe seed has a soft and easily broken seed coat and is thus more dangerous.

It has been reported that poisoning has been experienced through a finger pricked while stringing the seed. Symptoms may develop a few hours to several days after ingestion; they include severe gastroenteritis with pronounced nausea and vomiting. Mydriasis will occur as well as muscular weakness, tachycardia, cold sweating, and trembling.

There is no known physiological antidote. The treatment is essentially symptomatic. Since there is a long latent period associated with abrin poisoning, little value can be placed on induction of emesis or gastric lavage; these measures are useful only if digestion has just occurred. Bismuth trisilicate may be given during poisoning with Abrus to reduce the degree of gastrointestinal damage. If the emesis or diarrhea become excessive, replacement fluids and electrolytes are advocated. If hemorrhage occurs, blood transfusion may be necessary. Toxicity of Abrus to goats has been evaluated.

Doses of 2, 1, or 0. The main s of poisoning include inappetence, bloody diarrhea, dyspnea, dehydration, loss of condition, and recumbency. Because of the potential use of abrin and the related castor bean toxin ricin in terrorism as a chemical or biological warfare agent, human immunization against both toxins is under development. Synonyms — Mimosa senegal L. African Names — Arabic: shagar; Samgh Arabic: konait; Bambara: patukill; Hausa: akovia, dakwara; Fulani: dibehi; Kanuri: kolkol; Ndebele: umhlahalinye; Nyamwezi: katatula, mgwata, kakakantunda; Peuhl: patuki, bulbi; Swahili: kikwata mgunga; Zinza: mkoto.

Description — Acacia senegal is a small tree or shrub, up to 7 m high, with a short bole, gray-fissured stem, usually coming off as papery patches to reveal a powdery underlayer. It branches low, and its dense foliage gives it the appearance of a somewhat large thorn at the base of the branchlets, with 3 to 6 pairs of pinnae and 6 to 15 pairs of narrow leaflets, about 6—8 mm long. The cream-color, fragrant flowers are borne in axillary clusters, as densely crowded spikes, usually longer than the leaves.

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Horny moms chat in beni dinhet