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Lens culinaris


Lens culinaris

(Lentil)


Botanical info: 

Lentil is a much-branched, erect, bushy, annual plant growing 30 - 80cm tall.  Lentil is one of the oldest pulse crops and probably originated in western Asia. The earliest record of its use is dated back to 11,000 BCE in Ancient Greece. Flowering in early spring.  


Hippocratic legacy: 

    a. In Regimen 2:

        a. Lentil sap is secretive and laxative. 

    b. In Epidemics 1:

        a. Lentil sap is indicated for the treatment of oral ulcers. 

    c. In Internal Affections:

        a. For the treatment of pulmonary inflammations. 

        b. For the treatment of generalized body inflammation. 

        c. For the treatment of spleen disease.  


Other uses: 

A very nutritious food, the seeds can be cooked on their own or added to soups, stews etc. The seed can be soaked for 12 hours in warm water and then allowed to sprout for about 5 days. They have a crunchy, fresh flavour. Lentils are more digestible than many legumes. The dried seed can also be ground into a powder and used with cereal flours in making bread etc, this greatly enhances the value of the protein in the bread. The whole seed is roasted, then salted and eaten as a snack. The seed stores better if it is left in its husk. The seeds are mucilaginous and laxative. They are considered useful in the treatment of constipation and other intestinal affections. Made into a paste, the seeds are a useful cleansing poultice, applied to foul and indolent ulcers. The seeds are a source of starch for the textile and printing industries. The plant remains, after the seed has been harvested, can be used as a fuel.


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