Okra: Ladies’ Finger Medicinal Health Benefits, Home Remedies

Okra is a versatile and nutritious vegetable that has been enjoyed for centuries in many cultures around the world. It is a member of the mallow family and is related to hibiscus, cotton, and cacao. Okra is a warm-weather plant, so it is usually grown in warmer climates, but it can also be grown in cooler climates with some protection. It is a popular vegetable in the United States, the Caribbean, and Africa, where it is often used in soups, stews, and curries. Okra can be cooked in a variety of ways, including steamed, boiled, stir-fried, baked, or grilled. It can be added to recipes such as soups, stews, curries, and salads. It can also be pickled, fried, or candied. Okra is a delicious and nutritious vegetable that is versatile and easy to prepare.

Okra / Ladies’ Finger / Bhindi

Okra Nutritional Value and Calories Chart

Okra is a nutritious vegetable that is high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is rich in antioxidants and contains a good amount of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It also contains small amounts of B vitamins, iron, and zinc. Okra is low in calories and fat and is a great source of dietary fiber. Okra is an excellent addition to a healthy diet, as it is low in calories and fat but high in essential vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in antioxidants, which help protect the body against disease. Okra is also a great source of dietary fiber, which is important for digestive health and regularity. Nutritional value per 100 g raw okra:

  • Biotin: 0.43 mcg
  • Calcium: 61 mg
  • Carbohydrates (Carbs): 5.4 g
  • Chloride: 53 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Choline: 7.2 mg
  • Chromium: 0.3 mcg
  • Copper: 0.1 mg
  • Dietary Fiber: 2.5 g
  • Energy (Calories): 33 kcal
  • Fat: 0.2 g
  • Iodine: 1.2 mcg
  • Iron: 0.6 mg
  • Magnesium: 35 mg
  • Manganese: 0.2 mg
  • Molybdenum: 0.4 mcg
  • Pantothenic Acid: 0.2 mg
  • Phosphorus: 43 mg
  • Potassium: 267 mg
  • Protein: 2.6 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.04 g
  • Selenium: 0.3 mcg
  • Sodium: 8 mg
  • Sugars: 0.7 g
  • Vitamin A: 877 IU
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 0.1 mg
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 0.1 mg
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 0.6 mg
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): 0.2 mg
  • Vitamin B6: 0.2 mg
  • Vitamin B9 (Folate / Folic Acid): 116 mcg
  • Vitamin B12: 0 mcg
  • Vitamin C: 13.5 mg
  • Vitamin D: 0 IU
  • Vitamin E: 0.5 mg
  • Vitamin K: 36 mcg
  • Water: 89.3 g
  • Zinc: 0.3 mg

Okra in India

Okra pods are anywhere from 5 to 12 inches long, horn-like in appearance, green or creamy green in color and with ridges that are either smooth or hairy. The pods contain numerous seeds that are rounded, striate and hairy. The entire okra plant is aromatic emitting an odor resembling cloves. In the Middle East countries, okra vegetable is usually cooked in a thick stew made with other vegetables and meat. It is also very popular in India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Japan, the Philippines, Caribbean islands, Brazil, and the southern part of the United States.

  • Scientific Binomial: Abelmoschus esculentus
  • Common English: Ladies’ Finger / Gumbo / Ochro
  • Ayurvedic: Bhaandi / Bhindaka / Bhendaa
  • Unani: Baamiyaa
  • Sanskrit: Bhenda
  • Hindi / Urdu: Bhindi / Raamturai
  • Bengali: Bhindi / Bhendi
  • Marathi: Bhendi
  • Telugu: Benda Kayi
  • Tamil: Vendai / Vendaikkaay
  • Gujarati
  • Kannada: Bendekai / Bende
  • Malayalam: Vendakka
  • Oriya
  • Punjabi / Sindhi
  • Assamese
  • Kashmiri
  • Konkani
  • Manipuri
  • Dogri
  • Bhojpuri

Home Remedies

Usually, the unripe mucilaginous fruit is fried or cooked with curry. It is excellent with onion, tomatoes, and lemon. To retain the nutrients and self-digesting enzymes, it is better to cook the okra as little as possible. Never add water to the curry as the mucilage will increase; for this reason, the okras need to be washed but nicely dried. Mature okra seeds are used for oil production and, when ground, as a substitute for coffee. Various plant parts are also used as a thickening agent in confectioneries. Lady’s finger is a popular health food due to its high content in soluble fiber. It is also rich source of sodium, calcium, potassium, vitamin C, folate, dietary fiber. It is useful in the treatment of burns, psoriasis, leukorrhea, gonorrhea and rashes.

  • Blood Plasma Replacement: An unusual use for okra pods has been as blood plasma replacements. In India, okra has been used successfully used in experimental blood plasma replacements. In chronic dysentery, the fruit is very effective, and it is generally given in the form of soup. The decoction is administrated in gonorrheal cystitis and in other conditions where there is difficulty in micturition.
  • Leucorrhea: An effective home remedy for leucorrhea is ladies finger. A decoction of this vegetable is prepared by boiling of 100 grams of the fresh capsules, cut transversely, in half a liter of water for 20 minutes and then strained sweetened. This decoction, given in doses of two or three ounces frequently, is highly beneficial in all irritable conditions of genitourinary organs including leucorrhea.
  • Gonorrhea: A decoction of fresh okra has been found useful in treating gonorrhea. A cupful of mucilage of okra is mixed with ripe banana and a glassful of buttermilk. The mixture is a very effective remedy for gonorrhea. Four pods of okra are cut into 2.5 cm. pieces and are boiled in quarter liter of water for about 15 minutes. After cooling the pieces are squeezed and the mucilage is extracted and strained through a muslin cloth.
  • Lowers LDL Cholesterol: Sodium is the most abundant chemical in the extra-cellular fluid of the body. It is a major factor in maintaining acid-base equilibrium, in transmitting nerve impulses, and in relaxing muscles. It is also required for glucose absorption and for the transport of other nutrients across cell membranes. Sodium can help prevent catarrh. The amount of fiber in the diet also influences the cholesterol levels and LDL cholesterol can be lowered by taking diets rich in fibers.
  • The lady’s finger is great tonic for improving sexual vigor. It has been mentioned in ancient text that the persons who take 5 to 10 gm of root powder of this vegetable with milk and ‘misri’ (also known as crystallized sugar lumps or rock sugar) daily will never lose sexual vigor.
  • Burns: To treat burns a very nice liquid dressing made out of slippery elm bark, white oak bark and okra can be used. The mucilage will not only reduce the pain and swelling of the severe inflammation, but the tannic acid present from the white oak bark should proliferate new cell growth and strongly discourage infectious bacteria from forming later on.
    • In a pot, bring 5 cups of water to boil.
    • Reduce heat to a low setting.
    • Add 2 cups each of sliced okra and dried, cut slippery elm bark, together with 1-1/4 cups of dried, cut white oak bark.
    • In case the inside bark of slippery elm isn’t available, the same amount of dried, cut comfrey root may be substituted instead.
    • Cover and simmer mixture for 40 minutes.
    • Mixture should be fairly thick and slimy by this time.
    • Strain immediately while still hot, then again through several layers of muslin material.
    • Allow it to cool.
    • Take a gauze strips saturate with this herbal mucilage material and then laid onto the burned area.
    • Five hours is about maximum before the dressing needs to be changed.

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