Okra plant or lady finger is an annual, flowering herb that grows up to 9 feet in height. The palmate leaves are heart-shaped with 5-7 lobes. It has white or yellow flowers with 5 petals. The seed pods are 3 to 10 inches in length about an inch wide. It is tapering in shape with ribs along the length of the pod. In this article, we will talk about okra benefits for health and medicinal uses.
The common name for this plant is okra. In English, we call it lady finger plant. In Hindi, it is called Bhindi.
Botanical name or family of okra plant
The botanical name is Abelmoschus esculentus. It belongs to the Malvaceae family.
Geological places where lady finger grows
It is native to tropical Africa. We cultivate it widely in many parts of the world including India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, China, and Malaysia. In India, it grows in all the states.
Okra health benefits and medicinal uses
The immature pod of the Abelmoschus esculentus has plenty of nutrients. The mucilage has medicinal properties. Nutrients in the okra include flavonoids, carbohydrates, calcium, coumarins, and saponins. We dry, crush, and store the leaves for use later.
- Protection for the stomach: The mucilage from the okra forms a coating on the inner lining of the stomach. This helps to preserve the mucus and also helps generate them. This is one of the best okra benefits.
- Treat inflammation of the mucous membrane: The property of the lady finger to soothe the lining of the stomach and cure infections helps treat the inflammation.
- Poultice for wounds: Okra cures superficial wounds fast. You can pack the poultice with the paste of the lady’s finger to get a fast cure for your wounds and cuts. The anti-microbial activity helps prevent infections.
- Antiscorbutic action: The Abelmoschus esculentus helps prevent scurvy attacks. Scurvy is the disease that occurs when your body has a shortage of vitamin C.
- Good laxative property: You get relief from constipation if you include lady’s finger in your diet. The okra has mucilaginous material that coats the insides of the intestines.
- Demulcent action: Whenever you have a hot or inflamed tissue, you can use a demulcent agent to provide cool, soothing, and healing action. Bhindi has this property, and so you can use it on the wounds that remain inflamed.
- Removes waste from the intestine: The lady’s finger helps improve bowel movement. The mucilaginous material in the okra binds to the toxins and removes them from the intestines. It also removes the leftover food in the intestines. This prevents the incidence of diseases, and also, the formation of gas.
- Antioxidant property: The antioxidant property of the Abelmoschus esculentus helps fight the action of free radicals and stop them from destroying the healthy body cells. This keeps the body free from diseases. It has many antioxidants like catechin, quercetin, rutin, and procyanidin.
- Leaves help reduce inflammation: Bhindi has a wonderful way to reduce inflammations, so it finds use in controlling the pain and inflammation in the bone joints. Apply the paste made from the leaves of the okra plant on the joints and get fast relief from the pain.
- Controls muscle spasms: Okra seeds helps control muscle spasms. Grind the seeds of lady’s finger and apply it on the places where you have muscle spasms. It will help you control the spasms.
- Reduce bile and cholesterol: Eating okra daily reduces the cholesterol because the mucilaginous material helps reduce the LD cholesterol and make the blood pure.
- Anti-cancer nature: Due to the antioxidant nature of the lady’s finger plant, the body develops the resistance to cancer and many other forms of infections.
- Coffee substitute: The roasted seeds form a good if not the best coffee substitute.
- Okra benefits for diabetics: Lady’s finger helps reduce the sugar levels in the blood. The way to have them is to slit a few of them and put in water and leave it overnight to soak. In the morning, you must drink the water. Do this daily for a few weeks until your sugar levels come within control. The soluble fiber and the mucilage help to bind to the sugar and flush it out of the system.
- Good for pregnant women: The folate content in the okra proves useful for the health of the unborn baby. It helps prevent neural tube defects. So, pregnant women should have Bhindi often.
- Anti-microbial: The Bhindi helps fight microbes of all kinds including bacteria and fungi. Having okra water helps good oral hygiene.
- Treat urinary problems: The lady’s finger helps promote the passing of urine. It flushes the toxins and cures any infections of the urinary system.
- Helps with blood clotting: The Bhindi has vitamin K that is vital for blood clotting.
- Good for the skin: You can use it to treat psoriasis and skin burns. The antimicrobial nature helps prevent infections while the emollient nature helps promote the skin health. Grind the entire fruit to a paste. Apply this paste to the skin where you have the burn. Then, let it sit for 2 hours. Wash with cold water. Do these for two weeks or until the burn scars disappear?
- Prevent sunstrokes: Abelmoschus esculentus helps prevent sunstrokes by cooling the body. Take some Bhindi and soak them in the water and drinking the water. This will cool the body immediately.
- Promote sweating: Another helpful action of the lady’s finger is the way it promotes sweating. This adds to the way it helps decrease the heat in the body.
- Hypolipidemic nature: Bhindi helps inhibit cholesterol metabolism and thereby shows hypolipidemic effect.
- Controls obesity: People who have okra often will not be fat. This is because it helps mobilize the fats before they undergo absorption in the intestines.
- Prevent kidney disease: Take okra water daily in the morning and you will not have any kidney disease at all. This is because the okra water flushes all toxins out of your body. The kidneys become free of toxins, and so they remain free from disease.
- Improve bowel movement: It acts as a lubricant for the intestinal passage and facilitates the easy movement of waste. It promotes proper absorption of water.
- Abdominal pain: When you have abdominal pain, you must take some okra water, and this will remove your pain. This is due to the way it promotes bowel movement and flushes out the toxins.
The hairs on the seed pods might sometimes prove irritating to some people. You can remove this by washing. Eat okra plant fruits vegetable every day to get all okra health benefits.