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The Okra, food and medicine

The Okra, food and medicine

The okra is also known as okraquingongóchimbombó, okra, civet Yñaju, is a herbaceous plant belonging to the Malvaceae family, native to Africa and currently cultivated in various intertropical regions of America, especially in the Antilles and Venezuela, where the leaves and tender fruits are eaten, especially in salcochos and some stews.

It was originally classified as part of the genusHibiscus, but now it is classified in the genusAbelmoschus. It is also widely used for its medicinal properties and for the extraction of essential oils.

In the kitchen

  • The main form of consumption of this vegetable is cooked, although to a lesser extent it is consumed raw in salads or dehydrated.
  • Okra contains a mucilaginous juice that gives it the sticky power in the famous Louisiana Creole gumbo, plus it has a special flavor, similar to eggplant.
  • Cooked and dressed with lemon, it is an ingredient in many stews. It can be served combined with eggs, potatoes or other vegetables.
  • Roasted, it does not give off the mucilaginous liquid that it releases when boiled in water and it is also a simple dish to prepare.
  • The immature pods are used for soups, canning and stewing or as a vegetable that is eaten fried or boiled.
  • Roasted and infused beans produce a drink that tastes like coffee, but does not affect the nerves like this.


Of its nutritional values ​​it can be noted that it is low in calories, rich in fiber and vitamins of group A, B and C, as well as carbohydrates, potassium and calcium.

As medicine

  • This plant also has some medicinal applications. The poultice of the fruit is an effective remedy for the liver, eating it at the same time every day cooked or in a salad.
  • The infusion of the roasted and powdered seeds is good for ailments of the liver and intestines.
  • Due to its richness in soluble fiber and mucilage, it exerts a balsamic and protective function of the digestive mucosa.
  • When it is taken for therapeutic purposes, it should be taken together with the juice that it releases during cooking.
  • The cooking water is used to improve certain gastric and throat conditions.
  • The chewed seeds fight bad breath; it is used as a stimulant; it is also used as an aphrodisiac. The emulsion prepared by grinding the seeds with water has antispasmodic properties and is used in the treatment of abdominal cramps associated with intestinal diseases. It is also said to be an antidote to the venom of some snakes.
  • It is used as an insecticide. It is also applied as a poultice for intense itching on the skin.
  • It is used in aromatherapy for the treatment of depression and anxiety.
  • Externally, it is used to relieve joint pain and improve circulation.

Other attributed properties

  • Leaves: emollient, anticatarrhal, diuretic, stomachic, vulnerable and abortifacient.
  • Fruits: emollient, restorative and decisive; It is used to treat eye conditions.
  • Seeds: anti-inflammatory, anti-asthmatic, anti-hysterical, antispasmodic, hepatotropic, sudorific, aphrodisiac, insecticidal and stomachic.

Video: Let Food Be Thy Medicine (August 2021).