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Velvet Bean

Introductory Profile
Velvet Bean is called so due to its attractive physical appearance. Scientifically known as Mucuna pruriens, this particular bean belongs to the bean family Fabaceae.

Description
Velvet Bean is an annual, regular climbing shrub with elongated vines which are usually 15 m in height. Gray silky and trifoliate leaves decorate the plant evenly.Purple colored flowers blossom on these vines and later give way to curved fruits which bear around 4 to 6 seeds. The pods covered with orange hair are generally itchy when they come in contact with skin. It is found in tropical Africa, India and the Caribbean.velvet bean is a tropical legume native to Southeast Asia and related to

soybean and kudzu. Velvet beans were introduced into the southern United States in 1875, apparently by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Some southerners used the fast-growing vines for shade around their homes. Farmers also used velvet beans for a variety of purposes, especially after the discovery of a short-season velvet bean that became known as the "Alabama" variety.
 

Historical Background
Mostly grown in tropical Africa, India and the Caribbean, Velvet bean is a tropical legume Velvet beans were introduced into the southern United States in 1875, apparently by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Some southerners used the fast-growing vines for shade around their homes. Farmers also used velvet beans for a variety of purposes, especially after the discovery of a short-season velvet bean that became known as the "Alabama" variety.

Medicinal Uses:

  • Velvet Bean is high in levodopa which helps maintain healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels
  • It is remarkably efficient in curing diseases like Parkinson,s disease
  • Ayurveda has proved Velvet Bean as a medicinal herb which should be used in minor quantities to ensure balanced effect on health.
  • Body building supplements contain Velvet Bean to enhance the production of human growth hormone.
  • One of the very successful legumes, With an enormous power to sustain the fertility of soil and enhancing it to a greater extent, Velvet Bean is a perfect inter crop to go for and the cheapest fertilizers one can get.
  • In the tropical regions it is widely used as a cover crop with corn to provide shelter to corn along with providing it the needed nutrition and surprisingly corn yields can be increased to a greater extent.
 

Scientific Results Regarding Dopa Elimination
Although it has been scientifically proved that Velvet Bean do contain 5% "Dopa", as psychoactive substance which though cures Parkinson's disease but also causes certain side effects for normal healthy people such as uncontrolled muscle twitches and might progress to neurotic disorders like Schizophrenia. However dilemma lies here. The taste of Velvet Bean is greatly praised by people which has resulted in many delicious recipes which claim to restore the taste and not the problem that lies deep inside. So what if it is a bit risky, great taste always finds suitable alternatives.

It is a scientifically proven fact that the desire to consume Velvet Bean due to its great taste has led

to invention of various techniques which ensure to reduce the dopa level to an extent that it is safe for human consumption. A wide variety of food processing techniques used in common households in West Africa should be promoted so as to enable the entire world to come up with full fledged safety measures before consuming Velvet Beans.Also a selection or molecular manipulation of cultivars for lower L-Dopa content in seed should also be initiated, a step that would enhance the general utility of the crop.
 

Velvet Bean Recipes
Majorly used as a substitute for coffee which is supposed to be called nutri cafe or any name you can take delightedly. Scientifically it has been proved that making "coffee" is the most ideal way to extract dopa. thus the cheapest way to cure Parkinson's disease as well.

Now all it needs to make Velvet Bean worthier is to jot down everything in a big recipe book. One can easily prepare various delicious delights using the toasted nutri-flour and mashed cooked beans to make hot, high protein drinks(they could boost your muscles as well) tortillas, dough nuts, ravioli, pasta and a variety of sweet cakes and desserts.Don't even think that it will be hassling to prepare all this. think of easy ways to blend simple and easily available ingredients and you will surely turn up with surprising recipes.