Unbelievably, the origin of ladies finger/okra is Ehiopia. Subsequently, it moved to Arabia and adjoining countries along the shores of Nile river and landed in India. Then it got spread to America and European countries by African slaves for trade. It is known to all that ladies finger contains many nutrients and is good for one’s health. But very few only are aware of the fact that it has innumerable medicinal properties right from curing constipation to strengthening one’s marital sexual life
In the past people did not know how to use ladies finger for cooking purpose and hence used to leave them as it is. At that time, the Africans started using them by drying and powdering them for mixing the same with the soup called ‘combo’ for making it more consistent. Later on, many people started using this vegetable in as many forms as possible. Americans cut this, mix with egg or corn flour before frying in oil. In certain other foreign countries, they cut this, add green chillies and tomato and eat it as salad.
The botanical name of ladies finger is ‘abelmoschus esculentus’. It is available in different colours like light green, dark green, red etc. and also grow in different sizes. It is called ‘ladies finger’ abroad because of its tenderness. Ladies finger vegetable is to be used when they are tender so that the sticky liquid is retained which is special in this vegetable.
How to use?
Ladies finger should be preserved without washing. It can be washed just before cutting; preferably, after washing it must be cleaned and dried with a cloth so that the sticky liquid and palatable taste are retained
Normally, it is considered that ladies finger vegetable is not to be boiled which is untrue. However, when it is consumed in liquid stage, its medicinal benefits are found to be more. It has a lot of fibre content. If it is cut into several pieces, soaked in water the previous night and consumed the next morning after due filtering, it will set right the intestines and avoid constipation. It reduces the possibility of intestinal cancer. Similarly, the fibre content in this controls the cholesterol level, thus taking care of the heart ailments.
Ladies finger – duly soaked and filtered water can be taken on a daily basis in order to control the sugar level in the blood. Likewise, the good folates present in this vegetable strengthen the bone structure in the body, thus avoiding osteoporosis. This drink will reinforce the bone density and structure.
Researches reveal that the ladies finger filtered water will cure asthma and related breathing problems also. Further, it contains a lot of anti-oxidants and vitamin C which will improve the immunity level against cold, cough and fever.
The general notion that ladies finger will enhance brain power is not scientifically proved. However, there is no doubt in the fact that it is a general panacea and cures many ailments as under:-
Controls sugar level in the blood
Takes care of anaemia condition
Controls asthma and cholesterol
Prevents of cancer, ulcer
The folate acid present in this takes care of the pregnant women and the foetus in terms of nervous order
Above all, it helps in reducing one’s weight by means of its fibre content
The beta carotene element present in this will prevent cataract and glaucoma diseases in the eyes. It enables better eyesight
Skin glow is improved; pimples and acme are prevented
Can be used like a shampoo with lime in hot water in order to promote the hair shining
Furthermore, ladies finger is capable of curing sexual problems between partners. The process is – dry the roots of ladies finger vegetable, powder it and uses 5 to 10 gms with 2 table spoon brown sugar(palm sugar) in a cup of milk and drink daily for two months. Automatically, it will improve the sex life between the partners. Particularly, the pre-ejaculation problem will be arrested. Tender ladies fingers can also be taken raw in empty stomach to avoid the pre-ejaculation problem.
There is only one caution to be observed. Those who have a gastric problem should avoid this vegetable as it would cause stomach ache if taken more.
Thus it is incredible to note that the simple and common vegetable ladies finger/okra does have so many medicinal benefits for the human beings.
(This article written in Tamil by Maria Belsin has been reproduced in English by P.S.Ramamurthy)