Saturday, August 28, 2010

Autumn is closing in....

One sign here in Tampa are these tiny barely emerged bud clusters on my Velvet Bean (Mucuna pruriens) vines as daylengths continue to shorten. Long used in Ayurvedic medicine as an adaptogen and aphrodisiac, this native of India produces rampant annual vines in summer, oddly beautiful flower clusters that look like wisteria on acid in early fall, then the characteristic velvety pods in October, which I boil and freeze to later thaw and cook in water with seasalt, garlic and hot peppers eat like edamame soybeans. The medicinal effect is due to high levels of natural L-dopa, now being used to treat Restless Leg Syndrome, Parkinson's, and libido problems in men and women. Eaten daily for three weeks, then none for three weeks, back and forth, the L-dopa rich beans induce the pituitary gland to make more Human Growth Hormone (HGH) which in turn can delay the graying of hair, can create more lean muscle mass if one works out, and can be a potent aphrodisiac. See the pic I took yesterday of an emerging flower cluster, and one from past seasons of the mature pod. John

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