|Sword Bean Quick Facts|
|Scientific Name:||Canavalia gladiata|
|Origin||Tropical regions of Central and South America|
|Colors||Initially green turning to brown or dark brown as they mature|
|Shapes||Elongated, typically cylindrical or slightly flattened pods up to 20-40 cm long|
|Taste||Mild, earthy and nutty with some sweet and buttery taste|
|Health benefits||Treats vomiting, abdominal dropsy, kidney-related lumbago, asthma, obesity, stomach-ache, dysentery, coughs, headache, intercostal neuralgia, epilepsy, schizophrenia, inflammatory diseases and swellings|
Canavalia comes from the Portuguese word “canaval,” which means “bean” or “plant with edible seeds.” The plant was given this name because it is in the family of legumes (Fabaceae) and has seeds that can be eaten. Gladiata is a specific name that comes from the Latin word “gladius,” which means “sword.” It has to do with the way the leaves of the Sword Bean look, which are long and shaped like a sword. It is used as a food in the central interior and south central parts of India, but it is not grown on a large scale. In Africa and Asia, the green pods are consumed as a veggies. The title”sword bean” is also utilized for other legumes, common jack bean. They are a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins (like thiamine and niacin), and minerals (like iron and potassium). They also have little fat, which makes them a healthy part of a well-balanced diet. It is sometimes grown as a flower because its flowers, which look like pink and white peas, are very pretty.
Sword Bean Facts
|Scientific Name||Canavalia gladiata|
|Native||Tropical regions of Central and South America. It is widely cultivated in South and South-East Asia, especially in Brazil, India, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Burma, Nigeria, Philippines and Indo-China|
|Common Names||Jack bean, Sabre bean, Brazilian Bean, Horse bean, Sword-leaf bean, Brazilian broad bean, Wild Bean, Chinese sword bean, Bell bean, Sword-lily bean, Indian sword bean, Mauritius bean, Bay bean, Catalina bean, Sikkim sword bean, Fiji bean, Sudan bean, Madagascar bean, Rongai bean, Sudanese bean, Mombasa bean, Manila bean, Kaffir bean, Macassar bean, Chinese long bean|
|Name in Other Languages||Afrikaans: Swaardboontjie
Albanian: Fasule shpate
Amharic|: Bak’ēla (ባቄላ)
Arabic: Fasooliya’ al-sayf (فاصولياء السيف), Fasooliya’ al-khinjar (فاصولياء الخنجر), Fasooliya’ al-miqṣ (فاصولياء المقص), Fasooliya’ al-qaws (فاصولياء القوس), Fasooliya’ al-dawliki (فاصولياء الدولكي), Fasooliya’ al-namshah (فاصولياء النمشة), habat alsyf (حبة السيف), Fûl hindî
Armenian: Suri lob (սուրի լոբ)
Azerbaijani: Qılınc lobya
Bengali: Tôrôṅgô shim (তরঙ্গ শিম), Sabar shim (সাবর শিম), Mora shim (মোড়া শিম), Bheja shim (ভেজা শিম), Chhoto mug (ছোট মুগ), Golaya mug (গলয়া মুগ), Tarōẏāla bina (তরোয়াল বিন), sahebsim
Bulgarian: Bob grakh (боб от меч)
Burmese: Pellmyoehcone (ပဲမျိုးစုံ)
Chinese: Jiàn dòu (剑豆), Cì jiāng dòu (刺豇豆), Zháng jiāng dòu (长豇豆), Dòu dòu (斗豆), Jiāng dòu dāo (豇豆刀), Xiǎodāo dòu (小刀豆)
Croatian: Mač mač
Cuba: Haba de caballo frijol café frijol de machete
Czech: Fazole meče
Danish: Sabelbønne, sværd bønne
Dominican Republic: Carabanz
Dutch: Zwaardboon, Dolkboon, Reuzendolik, Kromhalsboon, Sabelboon, Zwaarderwt
English: Sword bean, Scimitar-bean, Sword jackbean, Sword-bean, jack bean, Jamaican horse bean, horse bean, Japanese jackbean
Esperanto: Glavo fabo
Filipino: Bean ng tabak
French: Haricot sabre, Dolique gladiateur, Haricot épée, Haricot sablier, Pois sabre, Dolique épée, Dolique sabre, Dolique géant, Dolique à rames, Haricot géant, Haricot, Pois sabre rouge, Pois sabre de la Jamaïque, Pois de l’Inde, Dolique sabre, Fetischbohne, Windende Schwertbohne, Schwertbohne, dolic en sabre
Georgian: Khmlis lobio (ხმლის ლობიო)
German: Schwertbohne, Degenbohne, Riesendolde, Schwertlilienbohne, Riesendolik, Schwertlinse, Schwertlilienkern
Greek: Fasóli me spathí (Φασόλι με σπαθί), Fasóli tou ippóti (Φασόλι του ιππότη), Fasóli tis gigan tóspathas (Φασόλι της γιγαντόσπαθας), Fasóli spathoporto kalí (Φασόλι σπαθοπορτοκαλί), Fasóli tis pí nas (Φασόλι της πείνας), Fasóli tis thálassas (Φασόλι της θάλασσας), spathí (σπαθί)
Gujarati: Talavāra bīna (તલવાર બીન), Talavari mag (તલવારી મગ), Pānjar vālī mag (પાંજર વાળી મગ), Talavari phalli (તળવારી ફળી), Mota reṇḍī (મોટા રેનડી), Sem (સેમ), Jambudan (જંબુદણ)
Hausa: Wake da kiwon haske, Gwargwadon giwa, Gwargwadon fata, Gwargwadon mutum, Gwargwadon giginya, Gwargwadon mai karyan kwashe, wake takobi
Hebrew: שעועית חרב
Hindi: Talwar bean (तलवार बीन), Talwari mung (तलवारी मूंग), Talwari phalli (तलवारी फली), Talwari keema (तलवारी कीमा), Talwari sem (तलवारी सेम), Talwari gavar (तलवारी गावर), Sabudana (सबरदाना), chamma kaya, tamma, tammi kaya, Khadsampal, Badi sem (बड़ी सेम)
Hungarian: Kard bab
Icelandic: Sverð baun
Igbo: Agwa na mma, Ebanke ndu, Agwa na ajọ ajọ, Agwa osisi, Agwa ụgbọ ala
Indonesian: Kacang parang, Kacang pedang, Kacang dolken, Kacang jangkar, Kacang sabit, Kacang topeng, kacang parasman, kara pedang, koas bakol
Irish: Bean claíomh
Italian: Fagiolo spade, Fagiolo di San Giuseppe, Fagiolo lancia, Fagiolo ad arco, Fagiolo damasco, Fagiolo spadone
Japanese: Sōdo bīn (ソードビーン), Yatsudemame (ヤツデマメ), Kiba mome (キバモメ), Chanoki (チャノキ), Motoku nendou (モトクネンドウ), Shāpu bīn (シャープビーン), Nata mame (ナタマメ), Datehaki(タテハキ)
Javanese: Kacang buncis
Kannada: Kattari bīn (ಕತ್ತರಿ ಬೀನ್), Kattari hoori (ಕತ್ತರಿ ಹೂರಿ), Kattari been (ಕತ್ತರಿ ಬೀನ್), Kattari kalla (ಕತ್ತರಿ ಕಳ್ಳ), Kattari tore (ಕತ್ತರಿ ತೊರೆ), Sim hoori (ಸೀಂ ಹೂರಿ), Kattari avare (ಕತ್ತರಿ ಅವರೆ), Kattari aku (ಕತ್ತರಿ ಆಕು), Darekayi (ದರೆಕಾಯಿ)
Kazakh: Qılış burşaq (қылыш бұршақ)
Kinyarwanda: Burunga, Etsungu, Inganigani
Korean: Geomkong (검콩), Geomhodu (검호두), Geomeun kong (검은콩), Geomeun kongnamu (검은콩나무), Geomeun ppurikong (검은뿌리콩), Geomeun ppurikong (검은뿌리콩), Geomeun kong-gwa (검은콩과), kalbin (칼빈)
Kurdish: Sûr bev
Lao: Thov dab (ຖົ່ວດາບ), khao, khièo, khùa
Laotian: Khùa, ‘khao ‘khièo
Latin: Gladius faba
Latvian: Zobena pupiņa
Lithuanian: Kalavijo pupelė
Macedonian: Mech hrav (меч грав)
Malay: Kacang pedang, Kacang panjang, Kacang arang, Kacang golok, Kacang lima, Kacang cina, Kacang parang, Kacang polong, Kacang parasman, Koas bakol
Malayalam: Chuttimeluthu (ചുറ്റിമെഴുത്ത്), Katti payar (കത്തി പയർ), Vālā payar (വാലാ പയർ), Thorai vāl payar (തോറൈവാല് പയർ), Thalavāra payar (തലവാര പയർ), Valārichchenna payar (വളാരിച്ചെണ്ണ പയർ), Thorai vāl payar (തോറൈവാല് പയർ), Thalavāra payar (തലവാര പയർ), Valārichchenna payar (വളാരിച്ചെണ്ണ പയർ), Valapayar (വാളപയർ), vāḷ kāppikkuru-vāḷ (വാൾ കാപ്പിക്കുരു)
Malaysia: Kacang parang, kacang polong
Maltese: Fażola xabla
Manipuri: Tebi (তেবী)
Marathi: Talavārī vāla (तळवारी वाल), Talavari chavali (तळवारी चवळी), Phudani (फूदनी), Talavari val (तळवारी वाल), Sem (सेम), Talavari turi (तळवारी तूरी), Jangali phanas (जंगली फणस)
Marathi: Talavaar been (तलवार बीन)
Mongolian: Ild shosh (илд шош)
Nepali: Taravāra bīna (तरवार बीन)
Oriya: ଖଣ୍ଡା ବିନ୍ |
Pashto: توره لوبیا
Persian: شمشیر لوبیا
Philippines: Habas, magtambokau
Polish: Fasola miecza, kanawalia szablasta
Portuguese: Feijão-de-espada, Feijão-gigante, Feijão-catarino, Feijão-espada, Feijão-manteiga, Feijão-longo, Feijão-cabaceiro, feijão-de-porco, feijoeiro-espada
Punjabi: Talavāra bīna (ਤਲਵਾਰ ਬੀਨ)
Romanian: Fasole de sabie
Russian: Mechevaya fasol (Мечевая фасоль), Kanavaliya mechevidnaya (Канавалия мечевидная), Glazun’ya mechevidnaya (Глазунья мечевидная), Glazun’ya yantarnaya (Глазунья янтарная), bob mech (боб меч)
Sanskrit: Mahasimbi (महासिम्बी), Asisimbi
Serbian: Mach (мач)
Sindhi: تلوار جي بي
Sinhala: Kaḍuva bōṁci (කඩුව බෝංචි)
Slovenian: Meč fižol
Spanish: Frijol de espada, Frijol espadín, Frijol espada, Habichuela de espada, Frijol corridor, Frijol cimarrón, Frijol chivato, Frijol sword, Frijol de vara (Nicaragua), Frijol de hacha (El Salvador), Frijol de chucho, haba espada, Haba de burro, Poroto sable, Carabanz
Sundanese: Buncis kacang
Swahili: Maharagwe ya upanga, Maharagwe upanga, Maharagwe shoka, Maharagwe la kijeshi, Maharagwe mkali, Maharagwe kamba, Mbwanda
Tajik: Bodiring şamşer (бодиринг шамшер)
Tamil: Valaitoorai (வளைத்தூரை), Valaitoorai (வளைத்தூரை), Sengkodi payaru (செங்கொடி பயறு), Sivan payaru (சிவன் பயறு), Valaitoorai keerai (வளைத்தூரைக் கீரை), Therdalai payaru (தேர்தலை பயறு), Therdalai vidhai (தேர்தலை விதை), Vāḷ pīṉ (வாள் பீன்), Segapputampattai (வாள் அவரை)
Telugu: Katti been (కత్తి బీన్), Kadi been (కడి బీన్), Gunde been (గుండె బీన్), Akumudu (ఆకుముడు), Kampina jonna (కంపిన జొన్న), Tambakāya (తంబకాయ)
Thai: Thua phrang (ถั่วพราง), Thua dao rueang (ถั่วดาวเรือง), Thua lingk (ถั่วลิงค์), Thua lam (ถั่วหลาม), Thua malakun (ถั่วมาลาคุ), T̄hạ̀w dāb (ถั่วดาบ), Thua phraa
Turkish: Kılıç fasulyesi, Mızrak fasulyesi, Yer fıstığı fasulyesi, Gölge fasulyesi, Palamut fasulyesi, Üzengi fasulyesi
Ukrainian: bobovyy mech (бобовий меч)
Urdu: تلوار بین
Uzbek: Qilich fasulyesi
Vietnamese: Đậu kiếm, Đậu đinh ba, Đậu cháo, Đậu sấm, Đậu gươm, Đậu trường kiếm, kiếm đậu, dậu rựa
Welsh: Ffa cleddyf
Yoruba: Oloyin jìnrìn, Oloyin oníle, Oloyin àgbèrè, Oloyin àlùgbè, Oloyin àfẹfẹ́rẹ́, Oloyin aṣo
Zulu: Iphansi lesibhamu, Iphansi elisalugazi, Isibhamu sombo, Isibhamu sokukhomba, Isibhamu semkhumbi, Isibhamu senkomo, inkemba ubhontshisi
|Plant Growth Habit||Vigorous, deep-rooted, fast-growing, heavily producing, annual to perennial climbing legume plant|
|Soil||Prefer well-draining soil with good fertility. A sandy loam or loamy soil with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5 is suitable|
|Plant Size||Up to 10 meters (33 feet) in length|
|Root||Primary root grows vertically into the soil and provides a central axis for the root system. As the Sword Bean grows, lateral roots emerge from the primary root|
|Stem||Cylindrical and elongated, growing upright or twining around a support structure|
|Bark||Outermost layer of the Sword Bean bark is called the periderm. The periderm is composed of several protective tissues, including the cork and cork cambium|
|Leaf||Alternate, large, trifoliolate. Sword bean leaflets are oval-shaped, 7.5–20 cm long and 5–14 cm broad, shortly pubescent on both faces|
|Flower||Inflorescence is a large axillary raceme (7 to 12 cm long) bearing several flowers. The flowers are papillonaceous, inverted, white to pink in color|
|Fruit Shape & Size||Elongated, typically cylindrical or slightly flattened pods up to 20-40 centimeters long containing 8 to 16 seeds|
|Fruit Color||Initially green turning to brown or dark brown as they mature|
|Seed||Seed are 2-3.5 cm -1.5-2 cm, oblong-ellipsoid in shape, very variable in color. They range from red, red-brown to white or black|
|Flavor/Aroma||Mild, sweet scent (flower)|
|Taste||Mild, earthy and nutty with some sweet and buttery taste|
|Plant Parts Used||Seeds, leaves, roots|
|Propagation||By seeds, Transplanting, stem cutting, layering|
|Lifespan||Approximately 90 to 120 days|
Sword bean is a vigorous, deep-rooted, fast-growing, heavy-yielding, annual or permanent climbing legume plant that can grow up to 10 meters (33 feet) long. When given the right support, like trellises, poles, or fences, the plants can grow several meters long or more, making a thick and lush growth. Since it grows in a twining way, it can climb and wrap itself around other plants or buildings for support. They have long, flexible roots that wind their way up, allowing the plant to grow to heights of several meters or more.
The plant does best in dirt that drains well and has a lot of nutrients. Soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5 that is sandy loam or loamy is good. The earth should have a lot of organic matter and be able to hold a lot of water while letting the extra water drain away. Avoid grounds that are too wet or have a lot of clay because they can cause root rot and stunt growth. The plant is growing in tropical and subtropical areas all over the world because its seeds can be eaten.
Appropriate growing environment for Sword Bean
Sword Bean thrives in warm tropical and subtropical regions. It requires specific growing conditions to ensure optimal growth and productivity. Here are the key factors for creating an appropriate growing environment for Sword Beans:
- Climate: Sword beans grow best in places that are warm, with temperatures between 25°C and 35°C (77°F and 95°F). They can’t handle temps below 10°C (50°F) because frost hurts them. The plant grows best when it has a long growth season and lots of sunlight.
- Sunlight: For best growth, sword beans need to be in full sun. They should be planted in a spot that gets direct sunshine for at least 6 to 8 hours a day. If plants don’t get enough sunshine, they may grow slower and produce less.
- Soil: The Sword Bean grows best in dirt that drains well and has a lot of nutrients. Soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5 that is sandy loam or loamy is good. The earth should have a lot of organic matter and be able to hold a lot of water while letting the extra water drain away. Avoid grounds that are too wet or have a lot of clay because they can cause root rot and stunt growth.
- Watering: Sword beans need to be watered often so that the soil stays wet. They can’t handle dryness and can’t stand being flooded. Aim for a steady level of wetness that isn’t too high or too low, and avoid both drought stress and overwatering.
- Nutrient requirements: The Sword Bean grows best in dirt with lots of organic matter, like compost or well-rotted manure. Even though their root patches can fix nitrogen from the air, they still need enough nitrogen for their growth. Phosphorus and potassium are also important for a plant’s general growth.
- Trellising or support: Sword beans are growing plants that need trellises or other structures to help them grow. As they grow, their roots need to wrap around something. Giving the plants something to climb on, like a trellis, poles, or a framework, lets them get the most sunlight and reduces the risk of disease.
- Pest and disease control: Pests like aphids, caterpillars, and spider mites may attack Sword Beans, just like they do other legumes. Pest populations can be controlled with regular tracking and the right pest control methods, which, if possible, can include organic methods. Also, rotating your crops and keeping your yard clean can reduce the chance of diseases like root rot and fungal infections.
The first part of a sword bean plant is the main root, also called the taproot. The main root grows straight down into the soil and acts as the root system’s center axis. As the Sword Bean grows, it sends out new stems from its main root. From the main root, these roots spread out crosswise and into the soil around them. Lateral roots help the plant get a better hold on the ground and take in more water and nutrients.
There are many tiny root hairs all over the surface of the root system of a sword bean. Root hairs make the roots’ surface area much bigger, making it easier for water and nutrients to get in. Like other plants in the bean family, the Sword Bean can make root nodules. Rhizobia are good bacteria that fix nitrogen and live in these special structures called nodules. Rhizobia bacteria live in a symbiotic connection with plants. They convert nitrogen from the air into a form that plants can use, which adds nitrogen to the soil. The root cap is a protective structure at the end of the Sword Bean root. The root cap protects the sensitive part of the root that is growing as it pushes through the dirt from damage and wear.
The stem of a sword bean is vegetable, which means it is not made of wood and can bend. Herbaceous plants have stems that are mostly made of soft parts and are called legumes. The Sword Bean has a long, cylindrical stem that grows straight up or wraps around a stake. The plant grows in a rising or trailing way, with the stem getting longer as it looks for a place to grow up.
There are nodes and internodes on the stem. Nodes are places on the plant where leaves, branches, or flowers grow. On the other hand, internodes are the gaps between the nodes. The length of the internodes depends on how far apart the nodes are. This distance also affects how the leaves and branches are spaced and arranged on the stem. Stem is made up of different organs. The epidermis is the layer on the outside, and it covers the tissues inside. The cortex is the area underneath the skin. It is made up of cells that store and move nutrients. The bundles of xylem and phloem tissues that make up the blood vessels are buried in the cortex. Xylem moves minerals and water from roots towards the remaining parts of the plant, while phloem moves sugars prepared by photosynthesis towards other parts of plant.
The periderm is the name for the bark on the outside of a Sword Bean. The periderm is made up of a number of protective layers, such as cork and cork cambium. The cork cells stick together to make a shield that keeps water out and keeps the inner tissues from drying out. The cork cambium, also called the phellogen, is a layer of cells that makes new cork cells. This lets the bark keep getting new cells and keep growing. The top layer of the Sword Bean bark is made up of dead cells called cork cells. They are tightly packed and have a suberized cell wall, which makes them strong and resistant to physical damage and diseases. The suberin in the cell walls keeps gases and water from getting into the cork cells, which helps protect the tissues underneath.
Lenticels are small bumps on the surface of the bark of a Sword Bean. They look like tiny dots or lines and let gas move between the inside of the body and the outside world. Lenticels are holes in the stem that let oxygen in and let carbon dioxide out. This lets the plant breathe. Under the cork is the inner wood, which is also, called the phloem. The phloem is what moves the sugars that are made in the leaves during photosynthesis to other parts of the plant. It is made up of live cells, such as sieve tube elements and companion cells, that work together to help sugars and other nutrients move through the plant.
The leaves of the sword bean are compound, which means that they have more than one leaflet connected to a central stalk called the rachis. The leaves are long and have an oblong or lanceolate shape, which looks like a sword. This is why the plant is often called a sword plant. Along the rachis, the leaves are set up in pairs. The Sword Bean has a noticeable midrib that runs down the middle of each leaflet. From the midrib, secondary veins branch out to make a network of veins that carry water, nutrients, and sugars to all parts of the leaflet. The edges of the leaves are smooth and do not have any cuts or teeth.
They come in different sizes, but most are medium to big. Most leaves are between 8 and 25 centimeters long, giving the plant a lot of surface area for photosynthesis. The leaves of the Sword Bean are smooth, and the top surface is a little shiny. The waxy layer on the leaf surface helps keep water from evaporating and protects the plant from some pests and diseases. The leaves of the Sword Bean are usually a bright green color, which shows how much chlorophyll they have. During photosynthesis, chlorophyll is the pigment that takes in light energy. The leaves of the Sword Bean are pinnate, which means that the secondary veins spread out from the midrib like feathers. This arrangement of veins makes it easier for water, nutrients, and sugars to get to all parts of the leaf surface. This makes photosynthesis and the use of resources more efficient.
The flowers of the Sword Bean grow in groups called racemes, which are long inflorescences. These groups of flowers can grow in the spaces between the leaves or at the ends of the stems. The flowers of the Sword Bean have a unique form that looks like a pea flower. They are zygomorphic, which means that they can only be cut in half through a single line. Each flower has a total of five petals: one huge standard petal and two smaller wing petals, and two lower petals which are connected together to make boat-shaped part known as keel.
The normal petal of a Sword Bean flower is usually a bright shade of purple-pink. The wing and keel petals, on the other hand, are usually a lighter shade of pink or white. Pollinators like bees and butterflies are drawn to the colors on the petals. There are both male and female parts in the flowers of the Sword Bean. The stamens are the male parts of the flower. They are made up of threads that end in pollen-making anthers. The stigma, style, and ovary are all parts of the pistil, which is the female part of the flower. The stigma is where pollen grains land, and the style is the long tube that connects the stigma to the ovary. The ovary is where the ovules are, which will turn into seeds when they are fertilized.
The flowers of the Sword Bean may have a light, sweet smell, which also helps bring in pollinators. The smell helps insects find the flowers and pollinate them. Most of the pollination of Sword Bean flowers is done by animals, especially bees and butterflies. Most of the time, the flowers of the Sword Bean only last a few days. But the plant makes more than one cluster of flowers while it is growing. This makes sure that there are always flowers for pollination and making seeds.
Sword Bean has seeds that are called pods and are made of leguminous material. After fertilization, the ovary turns into a long, usually cylindrical or slightly flattened structure called a pod. The pods of the Sword Bean can grow to be between 20 and 40 centimeters long. They are long and thin, with sides that are slightly curved. Towards the ends, they may get thinner. Most of the time, the pods are divided into segments, and one or more seeds are in each section. When the Sword Bean pods are ready to be eaten, they change from green to brown or dark brown. The pods are tough and rubbery, which protects the seeds that are inside. There may be small wrinkles or bumps on the surface.
The pods of the Sword Bean are made up of several layers. The exocarp, also called the pod skin, is the layer on the outside. It covers the inner tissues. The mesocarp is the middle, meaty layer. Depending on how old the fruit is, it can be thin or quite thick. The endocarp is the layer that covers the seeds on the inside. The pods of the Sword Bean are dehiscent, which means that when they are ready, they naturally split open on both sides to let the seeds out. The pod splits along a seam, and the two halves curl back, revealing the seeds and letting them spread.
Most of the time, the seeds of a sword bean are big and long. They are about 1 to 2 centimeters long and have an oval or kidney-shaped shape. Depending on the type, the form may be a little different. The testa, which is also known as the seed coat, protects the seeds of the sword bean. The seed coat is pretty tough and hard, which protects the young plant inside. It helps protect the seed from things like mechanical damage, drying out, and other stresses from the surroundings. The seeds of the Sword Bean come in different shades of brown, from light tan to dark brown, based on the variety. There may also be spots or mottled designs on the seed coat, which adds to their beauty.
People think that the Sword Bean came from Africa, especially the tropical and subtropical parts of the continent. It is one of the oldest crops that have been grown. There is proof that it has been tamed for thousands of years. No one knows for sure when or where it was first domesticated, but it is thought to have been grown in old societies in Africa and Asia.
Several different ancient cultures grew the Sword Bean. Ancient Egyptians grew it in Africa because they liked to eat it and because it was good for them. The crop also went to Asia, where it was grown in India, China, and Southeast Asia, among other places. It’s possible that trade routes and cultural exchanges brought it to these places.
As trade and exploration grew, the Sword Bean was brought to places outside of its natural range. Explorers and settlers from Europe did a lot to spread the crop to different parts of the world. It was brought to the Americas during the time of colonization, and it is now grown in many tropical and subtropical countries around the world.
Even today, the Sword Bean is still grown as a food item, especially in places where it has been grown for a long time. The seeds can be cooked, baked, or ground into flour. They can be eaten as a source of protein and other nutrients. The plant is also grown as forage crop for cattle because it is good for them and can help make animal feed.
Varieties of Sword Bean
Certainly! Here are some detailed varieties of Sword Bean:
- Red Flower (Canavalia gladiata var. gladiata): This type can be recognized by its bright red flowers, which give the plant a striking look. After the flowers come long, curved pods that can be up to 60 centimeters long. Most of the time, the seeds of the ‘Red Flower’ type is beige or light brown.
- White Flower (Canavalia gladiata var. gladiata): In comparison to the ‘Red Flower’ variety, the ‘White Flower’ variety has white flowers that bloom before the pods form. Like other types of Sword Bean, these pods are long and bent. The seeds of the ‘White Flower’ type are usually a light beige or cream color.
- Chinese Sword Bean (Canavalia gladiata var. gladiata): This kind is used a lot in Chinese cooking. It gets its name from the long, flat pods that look like swords and are what make the plant stand out. The pods can be 30-45 centimeters long. The seeds of the ‘Chinese Sword Bean’ type are usually big and round.
- Blue Pod (Canavalia gladiata var. ensiformis): The ‘Blue Pod’ type stands out because its pods are blue. This gives the plant a unique look. The beans are long and curved, like those of other types of Sword Beans. Most of the time, the seeds of ‘Blue Pod’ are beige or light brown.
- Green Pod (Canavalia gladiata var. ensiformis): This type of Sword Bean is known for its green pods, which are shorter and bigger than those of other types. The pods can be 20–30 centimeters long. Most of the time, the seeds of the ‘Green Pod’ type are light beige or cream-colored.
- Black Pod (Canavalia gladiata var. gladiata): The ‘Black Pod’ type is known for its dark purple or black pods, which make the plant, stand out visually. The beans are long and curved, like those of other types of Sword Beans. Most of the time, the seeds of the ‘Black Pod’ type are black or dark brown.
- Gigante: This type is known for having seeds and pods that are big. The pods can get as long as 50 centimeters and hold big, round seeds. The large size of “Gigante” Sword Beans makes them popular, and they can be used in many ways in the kitchen.
- Golden: The ‘Golden’ type of Sword Bean has pods that are golden in color. These pods add color and visual charm to gardens and other outdoor spaces. Most of the time, the seeds of the ‘Golden’ type are cream to pale yellow in color.
- Multicolor: The ‘Multicolor’ Sword Bean is special because its pods have a variety of colors. When the plant is in full growth, the pods can be green, purple, or even yellow or red, which makes for an interesting sight.
- Dwarf: As the name suggests, the ‘Dwarf’ Sword Bean is a smaller version of the plant that usually only grows 60–90 centimeters tall. This variety can grow in small gardens or pots, making it a good choice for people who don’t have much room.
- Variegated: The ‘Variegated’ variety of Sword Bean has leaves that are generally a mix of green and white or cream-colored leaves. This ornamental variety adds visual interest to gardening and can be grown for its looks instead of its taste.
- Purple Seed: People know the ‘Purple Seed’ type because its seeds are a deep purple color. These brightly coloured seeds can be used in a variety of ways, both in cooking and as decorations.
Health benefits of Sword Bean
There are many good things for your health that come from eating Sword Bean. It has a lot of protein, which makes it a great choice for vegetarians and vegans who want to get enough protein in their diet. The fiber helps with digestion, makes you feel full, and helps you have good bowel movements.
Also, it has a lot of antioxidants, which are very important for getting rid of dangerous free radicals and lowering oxidative stress in the body. If you eat Sword Beans on a regular basis, you might be less likely to get heart disease or certain types of cancer. Here are some of the possible health benefits of sword beans:
1. Rich in Nutrients
Sword beans are a good source of many important nutrients, like protein, fiber, vitamins (like vitamin C, thiamine, and riboflavin), and minerals (like iron, calcium, and phosphorus). Adding sword beans to your diet can help you get some of the nutrients you need every day.
2. Antioxidant Properties
Among the antioxidants found in sword beans are phenolic substances, flavonoids, and vitamin C. These antioxidants help keep free radicals from damaging the cells of the body. By getting rid of free radicals, they can lower the risk of chronic illnesses like heart disease, cancer, and diseases that damage nerve cells.
3. Heart Health
Sword beans are good for your heart because they have fiber and iron in them. Dietary fiber helps lower cholesterol by making it harder for the body to absorb cholesterol. Potassium helps control blood pressure by cancelling out the effects of sodium. This lowers the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
4. Controls Hypertension
The sword bean is a type of bean that comes from Africa. People use them because they can lower blood pressure. Research shows that eating 2 cups of cooked sword beans a week can lower blood pressure by 4 mmHg in the systolic direction and 6 mmHg in the diastolic direction. Sword beans are also high in iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B6, and fiber.
5. Blood Sugar Regulation
The fiber and complex carbs in sword beans help control how much sugar is in the blood. Fiber makes it take longer for glucose to get into the bloodstream. This keeps blood sugar from rising quickly. This can help people with diabetes or who are trying to keep their blood sugar levels in check.
6. Digestive Health
Sword beans are good for digestion because they have a lot of fiber. Fiber makes the stool bulky, which keeps you from getting constipated and helps you have regular bowel movements. It also helps keep the microbiome in the gut healthy by feeding the good bacteria there.
7. Potential Anti-inflammatory Effects
Some studies show that some of the chemicals in sword beans may help reduce inflammation. These qualities may help lower inflammation in the body, which is linked to a number of long-term diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and some kinds of cancer.
8. Weight Management
Sword beans are good for a weight loss plan because they are low in calories and high in fiber. The fibers makes you feel full, which keeps you from eating too much and makes you feel satisfied. The low number of calories helps keep your calorie intake in check.
9. Bone Health
Minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, which are important for strong, healthy bones, can be found in sword beans. These chemicals help keep bones strong and help keep diseases like osteoporosis from happening.
10. Energy Boost
The complex carbohydrates in sword beans give you energy in a steady stream. They help keep blood sugar levels steady and stop energy crashes, which makes sword beans a good food for keeping your energy up all day.
11. Fight Infection
Flavonoids, which are strong antioxidants, are found in sword beans and help them fight infections. They are also full of fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids that are important to your body. They help keep germs from sticking to your cells and causing inflammation, which is a great way to fight infections. Plus, they taste good, are good for you, and are cheap.
12. Eye Health
Antioxidants like vitamin C and beta-carotene are good for your eyes and can be found in sword beans. They protect the eyes from toxic stress and age-related macular degeneration, which can cause vision loss and keep the eyes from working as well as they should.
13. Boost Immune System
Sword beans are a type of bean that grows in humid areas. They have a lot of vitamins B1, B2, C, E, K, and P, as well as antioxidants, fiber, protein, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and magnesium. They are also good for boosting your immune system. Lignans, which are found in sword beans, help your body fight off infections, viruses, and germs. Lignans also lower cholesterol and lower the chance of getting heart disease. Sword beans are also full of fiber, which helps keep your blood sugar level steady and makes you go to the toilet more often. Fiber can also help keep you from getting constipated or getting piles.
14. Anti-parkinsonian effect
When mice were given different extracts of Sword Bean seeds, the alcoholic extract helped them get stronger grips, move more on their own, and be more aware. People with Parkinson’s disease may benefit from eating sword bean because it may have antioxidant properties and contains L-dopa and flavonoids.
15. Anti-cancer Potential
Even though research is limited, some studies show that flavonoids and phenolic compounds, which are found in sword beans, may help fight cancer. These chemicals may be able to stop cancer cells from growing and cut the risk of getting some kinds of cancer. But more study is needed to fully understand how it works and what benefits it might have.
16. Better nervous system
In many places of Asia and Africa, sword bean seeds are eaten as a dietary supplement to make people stronger and more alert. Extracts from these seeds have been shown to stimulate the nervous system by helping to keep the amounts of chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Together, these hormones make it easier for you to pay attention and concentrate, and they also give you more energy.
17. Skin Health
The antioxidants and vitamin C in sword beans can help keep your skin healthy. Antioxidants protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals, and vitamin C is important for collagen production, which helps keep the skin flexible and reduces the signs of ageing.
18. Good for alveolar bone resorption
Sword bean has a lot of canavanine and is used in Japanese and Chinese folk medicine to treat pus discharge. Researchers looked at the effects of sword bean extract on oral bacteria, human oral epithelial cells, and the growth and development of alveolar bone loss in rats caused by an infection with Porphyromonas gingivalis. The results show that sword bean extract might be able to fight Porphyromonas gingivalis caused by Porphyromonas gingivalis infection.
19. Promotes Weight Loss
Sword beans are a type of bean that is high in protein and fiber. They are often used to help people lose weight because they make you feel full quickly and for longer than other beans. Also, they have a lot of enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. So when you eat them, you feel full longer and stay pleased. So, you won’t want to eat snacks in between meals. Tryptophan, which is found in sword beans, is a chemical that helps people feel less stressed and anxious. Because of this, they are great for helping you unwind after a hard day at work.
You also take in fewer calories when you eat sword beans. Because they are full of fiber, which makes digestion and nutrient uptake slower. So, if you want a healthy snack that will keep you full and pleased, you might want to try sword beans.
20. Prevent Strokes
Sword beans are a type of bean that contains a chemical called L-ergothioneine (L-ET), which helps avoid strokes. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, looked at how L-ET affected mice and found that it lessened the damage to the brain after a stroke. They came to the conclusion that L-ET might help people who have had a stroke.
Researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Centre found that L-ET may help prevent heart disease. They found that L-ET lowers inflammation in the arteries and keeps plaque from building up in the blood vessels. Other studies show that L-ET might lower the chance of getting Alzheimer’s. Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Centre found that L-et might stop Alzheimer’s disease from getting worse.
Culinary uses of Sword Bean
Certainly! Sword Bean has several culinary uses. Here are some ways it can be used in cooking:
- Seed Curry: Sword Bean seeds that are ready to be used can be used to make tasty curries. After the seeds have been soaked and boiled until they are soft, they can be cooked with onions, tomatoes, and other ingredients to make a curry. When the seeds are cooked, they take on the flavors of the spices and become soft and creamy.
- Side Dish: Young, tender Sword Bean pods can be used as a side veggie dish. You can stir-fry them, sauté them, or steam them. Depending on what you like, you can season them with herbs, spices, and other ingredients. The cooked pods have a mild flavor that goes well with many different foods.
- Salad Ingredient: Sword Bean seeds can be added to salads to make them more healthy and full of protein. After the seeds have been boiled and let cool, they can be added to fresh veggies, greens, herbs, and dressings to make a healthy salad.
- Soups and Stews: Soups and stews can be made healthier and more interesting by adding cooked Sword Bean seeds. They give the dish a creamy and rich texture. Add them to vegetable soups, bean stews, or meals with meat to make them more protein-rich.
- Roasted Snack: When cooked and seasoned, sword bean seeds make a tasty and healthy snack. Just put a little oil and salt on them and roast them in the oven or on the stove until they are crispy and golden brown. They are a healthy option to snacks that are made in a factory.
- Rice and Grain Dishes: When mixed with rice or other grains, sword bean seeds add flavor and nutrition to meals. Spices, herbs, and vegetables can be added to the cooked seeds and rice or grains to make a full and satisfying meal.
- Fermented Products: In some countries, the seeds of the Sword Bean are fermented to make things like tempeh. Fermented Sword Bean can be used in stir-fries, sandwiches, wraps, and other recipes to add protein without meat.
- Purees and Dips: You can mash or mix sword bean seeds to make smooth purees and dips. After the seeds have been boiled and cooked, mix them with herbs, spices, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil to make a bean puree or dip with a lot of flavor. It can be eaten with bread, snacks, or as a spread in sandwiches and wraps.
- Fritters and Patties: When the seeds of a sword bean are ground up and mixed with other materials, they can be used to make fritters or patties. Mix the ground seeds with breadcrumbs, onions, herbs, and spices. Make cakes out of the mixture and cook them on the stove or in the oven until they are golden brown. These cakes or patties can be served as a main dish for vegetarians or used in place of burger patties.
- Hummus Variation: In hummus recipes that usually call for chickpeas, sword bean seeds can be used instead. Boil the seeds and cook them, then blend them with tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil until smooth. This makes a tasty dip that you can eat with pita bread, veggies, or as a spread on a sandwich.
- Sprouts: Sword Bean seeds can be sprouted to make salads, sandwiches, and wraps more healthy and crunchy. Soak the seeds in water overnight, then drain and rinse them. Put them in a jar or tray for sprouting and keep them wet until sprouts show. Add the sprouts to different recipes to give them more texture and a fresh taste.
- Stir-Fries and Noodle Dishes: Sword Bean pods that have been cut in half can be used in stir-fries and noodle recipes. Cut the pods into thin strips or bite-size pieces and stir-fry them with veggies, sauces, and noodles. They make the dish crunchy and have a mild taste.
- Pickling: By pickling Sword Bean pods, you can make a tangy and tasty treat. Cut the pods into pieces and put them in a bowl with vinegar, salt, sugar, and spices. Let them sit in the mixture for a few hours or even overnight. You can eat the pickled Sword Bean pods as a side dish, add them to salads, or use them to decorate sandwiches and burgers.
- Savory Baked Goods: Cooked and mashed Sword Bean seeds can be added to bread, cakes, and other savory baked goods. They give baked items moisture, nutrition, and a unique flavor.
Different uses of Sword Bean
Certainly! Sword Bean has various uses beyond culinary applications. Here are some different uses of Sword Bean:
- Green Manure: As a green waste crop, sword bean is often used. Through its relationship with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, it is able to fix nitrogen from the air. When grown as a cover crop, Sword Bean adds organic matter and nitrogen to the soil, which makes it more fertile. It also helps get rid of weeds and stop runoff.
- Livestock Feed: The leaves, roots, and pods of the Sword Bean plant can be used to feed animals. The plant is very healthy and full of protein, so it can be used to feed animals. It is often added to the diets of cattle, goats, pigs, and other animals.
- Soil Erosion Control: Sword Bean is used to stop dirt from washing away because it grows quickly and has a large root system. When grown on slopes or in areas that are prone to erosion, its deep roots help hold the soil together, stop water from running off, and keep the land stable.
- Ornamental Plant: It can be used as a decorative plant because it has pretty flowers, big leaves, and pods that look like swords. It can be grown in gardens or other areas to make them look better. The vines of this plant can be trained to grow up trellises or fences to make a nice vertical feature.
- Rope and Fiber: Sword Bean plants can be used to make strong, flexible fibers that can be used to make ropes, twines, and woven mats. The fibers are taken from the roots and then made into strong materials that can be used in many ways.
- Agroforestry: Sword Bean can be used in agroforestry methods, where it is grown alongside other plants or trees. Its ability to fix nitrogen and provide shade makes it a good part of agroforestry systems. This improves the health of the land and the amount of crops that can be grown.
- Bee Forage: Because they have a lot of nectar, bees and other pollinators like to visit the flowers of the sword bean. By growing Sword Bean in gardens or on farmland, it can provide bees with a useful source of nectar, which helps them pollinate plants and makes the area more diverse.
- Biofuel Production: The seeds of the Sword Bean could be used to make biofuels. The seeds have a lot of oil that can be taken out and turned into biodiesel, which is a source of clean, green energy.
- Soil Improvement: Sword bean is a good crop to grow to improve the health and fertility of the land. It has a large root system that helps break up hardened soil, improve soil structure, and make it easier for air to get to the soil. The plant’s dead matter, or biomass, can be added to the soil as organic matter. This gives the earth more nutrients and makes it better overall.
- Bio-fumigation: The bio fumigant qualities of Sword Bean have been looked into. When the plant is mixed into the soil, it releases natural chemicals that can help stop pests, diseases, and worms that come from the soil. This bio fumigant action can help farmers keep pests under control in a sustainable way.
- Green Mulch: Sword Bean can be used in gardening and farming as green mulch. The plant’s thick leaves and ability to cover the ground help stop weeds from growing, keep soil moist, and control soil temperature. As the plant breaks down, it adds organic matter to the soil, which over time makes the earth better.
- Firewood and Biomass: Sword Bean’s woody stems can be cut down and used as firewood or as a source of waste. The stems can be dried and burned as a source of green energy, or they can be used to cook, heat, or do other things with biomass.
- Craft and Art: Because of their unique features, like their curved and long form, Sword Bean pods can be used for art and crafts. When the pods are dried, they can be used to make decorations, jewelry, gifts, and other things.
- Traditional Rituals and Festivals: In some countries, the Sword Bean is used in ceremonies and has other meanings. Parts of the plant or the whole plant may be used in traditional ceremonies, rituals, or holidays to represent wealth, fertility, or to keep away evil spirits. They can be used as decorations, gifts, or parts of ancient rituals.
- Soil Stabilization and Slope Protection: The Sword Bean’s large root system helps to stabilize the soil and protect slopes. When trees are placed on slopes or in areas that are prone to erosion, the roots help hold the soil together. This makes it less likely that landslides or erosion will happen.
- Bee Gardens and Pollinator Habitat: Bees and other pollinators can be brought to parks and farms by planting Sword Bean. Pollinators get food from the nectar-filled flowers, which helps keep their numbers up and helps nearby plants reproduce.
- Educational Purposes: The Sword Bean can be used as a teaching tool to teach kids about how plants grow, how nitrogen is fixed in the soil, farming techniques, and how to live in a sustainable way. It grows quickly and has interesting traits that make it a good plant for educational gardens and other places where people learn.
Side effects of Sword Bean
While Sword Bean has several benefits, it’s important to be aware of potential side effects and considerations associated with its consumption. Here are some possible side effects of Sword Bean:
- Toxicity: Canavanine and concanavalin A, two natural poisons, are found in Sword Bean seeds that are raw or not properly cooked. When eaten in large amounts or when not cooked properly, these toxins can make you sick. To get rid of these chemicals and lower the risk of poisoning, Sword Bean seeds must be cooked for a long time before they can be eaten.
- Allergic Reactions: Some people might be allergic to Sword Bean or one of its parts. Allergic reactions can range in how bad they are, and signs can include itching, swelling, hives, trouble breathing, or stomach pain. Before eating Sword Bean, you should be careful if you know you are allergic to legumes and talk to a medical expert.
- Flatulence and Digestive Discomfort: Like many other beans, Sword Bean can give some people gas, bloating, and stomach pain. This is because beans have a lot of fiber and complex carbs. Adding Sword Bean to the diet slowly and making sure to drink enough water and cook it well can help reduce these stomach problems.
- Interference with Medications: Some medicines, especially those that stop blood from clotting or anticoagulants, may not work well with sword bean. Because Sword Bean contains natural substances, it may change how these medicines work or how their bodies use them. Before adding Sword Bean to your diet, you should talk to a medical professional if you are taking any kind of medicine.
- Avoidance during Pregnancy: Most of the time, pregnant women are told not to eat Sword Bean or any other uncooked bean. This is because the raw seeds are poisonous and need to be cooked right to get rid of any risks. For detailed advice on what to eat during pregnancy, it’s best to talk to a doctor or nurse.
- Cross–Reactivity: People who are allergic to other legumes, like peanuts, soy, or lentils, may be more likely to have an allergic reaction to Sword Bean. This means that if you are allergic to a different kind of bean, you may also be allergic to Sword Bean. If you have had problems with legume issues in the past, you should be careful and talk to a doctor before eating Sword Bean.
- Contamination Risk: As with any food, there is a chance that pathogens, pesticides, or other natural contaminants could get into it. To reduce the risk of contamination, it’s important to buy fresh, high-quality Sword Beans from sources you trust and to handle and store food the right way.