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Cajanus cajan

Image of Cajanus cajan

Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae

Common name: Arhar, Tur(Beng.); red gram, toovar, toor, togari, gandul, Congo pea, Gungo pea, No-eye pea and Pigeon.
Life cycle: Perennial
Native Range: Native to Africa

Cajanus cajan is a member of the family Fabaceae. The centre of origin is most likely Asia, from where it travelled to East Africa and by means of the slave trade to the New World. Today Cajanus cajan are widely cultivated in all tropical and semi-tropical regions of both the Old and the New World. It is an important grain legume crop of rainfed agriculture in the semi-arid tropics. Cajanus cajan are both a food crop (dried peas, flour, or green vegetable peas) and a forage/cover crop. The dried peas may be sprouted briefly, then cooked, for a flavor different from the green or dried peas.

Floral decoctions are used for bronchitis, coughs, and pneumonia. Chinese shops sell dried roots as an alexeritic, anthelminthic, expectorant, sedative, and vulnerary. Leaves are also used for toothache, mouthwash, sore gums, child-delivery, dysentery. Scorched seed, added to coffee, are said to alleviate headache and vertigo. Fresh seeds are said to help incontinence of urine in males, while immature fruits are believed of use in liver and kidney ailments.