Bambara Groundnut, also known as Vigna Subterranea, is a leguminous plant. Its seeds are highly nutritious and we can consider them a complete food. The health benefits of Bambara Groundnut are due to the abundance of some nutrients, which are present in them. It provides relief from general debility, weakness, prolonged or heavy menstruation, insomnia, malnutrition etc. It also promotes red blood cell production, so it is good food for people suffering with anemia. Bambara groundnuts are more nutritious when we compare them with Cow’s milk.
Bambara Groundnut shares pea family (Fabaceae), which is also named as bean family, legume or pulse family.
|Scientific Name||Vigna Subterranea|
|Other Names||Bambara-Bean, Bogor peanut, Congo Goober, cokon, Earth Pea, Ground Bean, Hog Peanut, indlubu, kacangBogor, Nyimo bean|
Botanical Classification (Taxonomy)
|Type of Plant||Legumes|
|Native Range (Geographic Distribution)||West Africa|
|Height (grows up to)||10 – 25 cm|
|Habitat (type of environment)||1. Tropical dry and wet 2. Subtropical dry summer|
|Optimal temperature||Between 19°C to 32°C|
|Optimal soils||Sandy soils|
|Roots||Roots have many nitrogen-fixing nodules.|
|Pods||1. Round and wrinkled 2. About ½ inch long|
|Seeds||Pod contains one or two seeds, which are round and smooth. Dried seeds are very hard. Seed color may be brown, cream and red.|
Bambara groundnut has a significant nutritional value, which is comparable with milk products. It is rich in protein, carbohydrates and fiber content. It is highly nutritious and a complete food.
|Major Nutrient||Value per 100 g|
|Calories from Fat||54|
|Total Fat||6 – 6.5 grams|
|Trans Fat||0 mg|
|Total Carbohydrate||65 grams|
|Dietary Fiber||6 grams|
|Moisture Content||1.5 to 2.5 g|
|Minerals||Value per 100 g|
|Calcium, Ca||14 – 18 mg|
|Iron, Fe||0.15 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||164 – 187 mg|
|Potassium, K||57 – 80 mg|
|Sodium, Na||19 – 25 mg|
|Manganese||50 to 70 mg|
|Selenium||0 – 0.21 mg|
Note: Information is based on 2000 calories diet and approximate values are provided.
In medicines, seeds (also called nuts) are used for various health and nutritional benefits.
Bambara groundnut has following healing properties.
- Nutritious tonic
Bambara groundnut is helpful in following health conditions.
- General debility
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Physical exhaustion
- Low bone mineral density
- Irritable bowel syndrome & Diarrhea
- Heavy or prolonged menstruation
Health Benefits of Bambara groundnut
Bambara groundnut is beneficial in following health conditions.
Bambara groundnuts are nutritious nuts, which helps in malnutrition. These are considered as a complete food, which provide almost all major nutrients to compensate the daily requirement. 100 grams Bambara groundnuts can provide around 395 calories from which about 260 calories from carbohydrates, 54 calories from fat and 80 calories from protein content.
Bamabara groundnut flour is rich in protein content, so it is a good food for children suffering with protein deficiency, also called Kwashiorkor.
Bamabara groundnut gives strength to the body and reduces physical exhaustion. These effects are due to high protein content present in Bamabara groundnut.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Some people feel extreme fatigue without any underlying medical condition. It is known as chronic fatigue syndrome. Bamabara groundnuts are very effective for reducing fatigue and providing strength in such people.
Bambara groundnuts contains good amount of amino acid tryptophan, which helps in secretion of serotonin in the brain. It regulars healthy sleeping pattern and induces a good sleep.
Serotonin also has other effects on the activity related to the brain namely battles depression, alleviates mood swings and helps to control weight.
Low bone mineral density
Bamabara groundnut contains a good amount of lysine amino acid, which helps in proper absorption of calcium in the body and aids in increasing bone mineral density.
The antioxidant properties of seeds of Bambara groundnut plant help preventing cancer by restricting absorption and production of carcinogens in the body.
Irritable bowel syndrome & Diarrhea
Bambara groundnut is rich in beneficial bacteria, also known as probiotics. Its milk is used for therapeutic purposes in diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome. It reduces the frequency of passing stool and helps in maintaining consistency of stool.
Heavy or prolonged menstruation
Bambara groundnut is a good home remedy for heavy and prolonged menstruation. It can be used on regular basis for at least three months. Just eating 10 to 20 grams Bambara groundnuts with milk can help in this condition.
Bambara groundnuts help preventing damage to the stomach mucus linings. It action might be due to ulcer healing property. However, alone Bambara groundnuts would not help in this condition, other remedies might also require, but you can use it as anti-ulcer food.
Bambara groundnuts are good source of iron and other nutrients, which help in production of RBC’s (Red blood cells).
- It is good food for patient with osteoarthritis.
- Bambara groundnuts contain amino acid Valine, which is important for tissue repair and maintaining body’s nitrogen balance. It helps regulating proper muscle metabolism.
- It is also recommended in the treatment of irregular menstrual cycle, polymenorrhea and dysmenorrhea.
There is no defined therapeutic dosage for Bambara Groundnuts, but we recommend using it 10 grams to 20 grams a day for therapeutic purposes and should not take regularly more than 3 months.
Its use as food would be better because it is a complete food and beneficial for providing good nutrition all age groups.
Caution & Side Effects
Bambara Groundnuts are POSSIBLY SAFE when taken in food amounts. Medicinal value of Bambara Groundnuts is due to its nutritional value, but there is no defined therapeutic dosage for them. Thus, you should use it as a healthy food instead using it as medicine.
If you are allergic to other legumes, you might also have allergy with Bambara Groundnuts. Therefore, you should avoid taking them or consult your doctor before using them.
Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
Bambara groundnuts are POSSIBLY SAFE in food amounts when used occasionally.
Excess and regular intake can put on weight, but it is reported only when you exceed daily calorie requirement. Otherwise, it can help you feeling full abdomen and help coping with food craving.
Interaction of Bambara groundnuts with other medicines are yet unknown.
Although Bambara groundnuts are very familiar for its nutritional value, they are still thought as one of the importantly overlooked and undervalued food.
The seeds of the Bambara groundnuts are used for making flour, also utilized in the manufacturing of beverages in virtue of its high protein content and antioxidant properties.
- Potential of Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea)
- Nutritional composition bambara groundnut seeds (vigna subterranea)
- Nutritional attributes of Bambara groundnut