(Phaseolus vulgaris); the Legume family (Fabaceae); common beans
The New World made a wonderful gift to the Old – beans. Among other overseas wonders, its seeds were brought to Europe by Christopher Columbus from the newly discovered America. Beans are such an ancient Central and South American crop that their wild ancestors are unknown. In its homeland, it was one of the main food plants grown in Peru, Mexico and other countries. Now it is cultivated very widely, but more often in areas with a warm and humid climate. It has also taken root in Russia, mainly in the southern part, but sometimes it ripens in the middle lane as well. In Ukraine, the plant is grown throughout the territory as a food, rarely medicinal plant.
Common bean is an annual herbaceous plant. Its stem is strong, upright, weakly branched, up to 1 m tall. There are also twisted forms that require support. Leaves, beans are large, triangular. The flowers are irregular, large, of different colors: from white to bright red. They bloom in July-September. The fruit is a bean, and its color varies in different varieties and forms from white to black-purple.
Ripe beans contain 24-27% protein, up to 50% carbohydrates, 2% fat, almost 20% soluble crystalline protein from the group of globulins – phaseolin, cholesterol, lecithin, protease enzyme, organic and mineral acids, phosphorus salts, potassium, ascorbic acid ( vitamin C) vitamins of group B and other compounds. Green kidney beans are rich in vitamins C and B1, provitamin A (carotene). Bean proteins include essential amino acids: arginine, lysine, methionine, tyrosine, tryptophan.
For medicinal purposes, dry husks (fruiting plants) are used after the fruits have fully ripened. It is used only in folk medicine.
The husk is rich in essential amino acids, besides it also contains hemicellulose (45-50%), micro- and macroelements – silicon, copper, cobalt and nickel.
Preparations made from bean husks have diuretic, antibiotic, antidermatous and hypoglycemic (lowering blood sugar) properties. Decoctions of husk, sometimes in combination with other medicinal herbs, are used to treat hypertension, rheumatism, chronic dermatoses, inflammation of the kidneys and bladder, uncomplicated forms of diabetes and edema associated with kidney and heart failure.
In terms of nutritional value, beans are close to meat, they are easily absorbed by the human body. Beans are eaten cooked – in soups and other dishes, used as a side dish, mashed (usually with the addition of greens). Beans promote the secretion of gastric juice and are extremely useful as a dietary product for patients with hypoacidic (with reduced acidity) gastritis. Boiled bean puree is used for atherosclerosis and heart rhythm disorders.
Beans are a good honey source, but, unfortunately, they are not very accessible to bees (due to the short proboscis of insects). But bumblebees collect nectar from flowers. The bees get the remaining nectar after the bumblebees pierce the flower. Despite this, beans provide a supportive honey collection.
Decoction of husk. 20 g of dry bean husks are crushed and boiled in 1 liter of water over low heat until the liquid volume is reduced by half, filtered. After cooling, the obtained decoction is drunk during the day in small sips. With diabetes.