Food farmacy at its best (JAD). Seeds, sprouts, young pods, young leaves, and the vinegar off the leaves are all eaten by humans. Great for the heart (say I) is hummus with plenty of garlic and olive oil; sesame and parsley optional but good. Let us hope the Tibetans are right, "Skinny people will gain weight, while fat people will lose weight when consuming sesame oil" (TIB). Juice of fresh leaves is used as hair tonic (NPM).
• Ayurvedics deem the tart leaves astringent, flatugenic, orexigenic, using for bronchitis and enterosis (KAB).
• Belgians and Italians applied in cataplasm to testicular cancers (JLH).
• Deccanese with dysmenorrhea sit over a steaming decoction of the plant (KAB).
• French applied the plant to warts (JLH).
• North Africans use decoction (seed?) for itch, leposy, and smallpox (BOU).
The oxalic acid may be contraindicated in people with calculus (DEP). Boulos notes that inadequately cooked chickpeas can cause paralysis, like lathyrus peas can cause lathyrism (BOU).
Queiroz-Monici et al. (2005) found chickpea and pea better as bifidogenics than beans and lentils. Chickpea-fed groups consumed more food and showed better food conversion efficiency. Animals fed leguminous diets showed higher counts of Bifidobacterium, and lower Enterobacter and Bacteroides (X15850967). It also seems to be as "health-giving" and "heart-friendly" as soy without the high fat. The germinated seeds ("sprouts") contain the flavonoids, daidzein, formononetin, pratensin, liquirit-genin, isoliquiritigenin, and its 4'-glucoside, 4',7-dihydroxyflavonol, garbanzol, biochanin-7-glucoside, and p-coumaric acid. Kaufman et al. (1997) reported 45 ppm genistein in chickpea seeds; cf. 25 for soy in comparing circa 75 legume accessions for isoflavone content (X9395689). In USA Patent No. 6599536, "Premenopausal Uses of Clover-Derived Isoflavones" claimed uses for the composition are for treatment or amelioration of premenopausal, benign disorders associated with an abnormally high activity of steroidal estrogen, for example, cyclical acne, endometriosis and endometrial hyperplasia, mastalgia, ovarian cysts, polycystic ovarian disease, and uterine fibroids. The patent cites specific "clovers (Trifolium spp.)" and "chick peas" as sources of isoflavones. Remember, my reader, that being cited in a patent does not necessarily make chickpea good for these ailments, but were I suffering any, I might increase my intake of hummus and/or chickpeas [USA Patent No. 6599536 (2003)].
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