Entada rheedii, commonly known as the African dream herb or snuff box sea bean, and as the cacoon vine in Jamaica, is a large woody liana or climber.
The seeds of Entada from India has medicinal values. Seeds of Entada are rich in potassium (K) and phosphorous (P) (1264 and 1240 mg/100 g respectively), followed by calcium (Ca) and sodium (Na) (199 and 68 mg/100 g respectively). The micro element Iron (Fe) level in the seed was 3.3 mg/100 g. The plant is also used as a topical ointment against jaundice, toothache, ulcers and to treat muscular-skeletal problems.
Morphological Characteristic of Entada Rheedii
Common name : African Dream-nut, Elephant Creeper, Mackay Bean, Ladynut
Global distribution : Tropical and South Africa, Sri Lanka, India to China, Malaysia to Australia
Flowering & Fruiting : March to May
Habitat : Common along river and stream sides of evergreen and semi-evergreen forests
Ecosystem service : Seeds eaten by Indian Giant Squirrel (Ratufa indica indica)
Uses – Food : White kernels of seeds are edible.
Entada species are assumed to self-pollinate, with pollen grains being transferred from the anther to the stigma of the same plant. Flowers produce gigantic pods that contain large seeds. The seeds are dispersed by water, and it takes some years before the seed coat is naturally scarified and the embryo is able to root.
- Entada seeds have magical properties. These seeds induce dreams and helps in dreaming.
- Paste made from the leaves, bark and roots, is used to clean wounds, treat burns and heal jaundice in children.
- Tea made from the whole plant is used to improve blood circulation to the brain and heal the after-effects of a stroke.
- The bark is used to treat diarrhoea, dysentery and parasitic infections.
- The seeds are leached in water to remove toxic secondary metabolites and they are cooked and consumed as a vegetable.