Groundnut famous by its Indian name Mongphali. The groundnut belongs to the pea and bean family and is a leguma but is considered as nut because of its high nutrition value.
The groundnut is the native of South America, where it has been cultivated for several countries. In 16th century the Portuguese took it from Brazil to other countries and it spread in India also.
Groundnut is the only nut that grows beneath the earth. They become mature in about two months, when the leaves of the plant turn yellow.
The groundnut is particularly valued for its protein contents, which is of high biological value. Groundnut contains more protein then meat, two and half more then eggs and more then any other vegetable food. The proteins in groundnut are well balanced.
Natural Benefits and Curative properties :
Groundnut is one of the most nourishing foods available in the world. It contains five important nutrients such as food energy, protein, phosphorous, thiamin and niacin. Groundnuts have considerable medicinal value. They contain a good deal of oil, which is very easily digested, and for this reason they are useful consumptives. The oil is regarded as an excellent aperient or a mild laxative and emollient which softens the skin. Eating fresh roasted groundnuts with jaggery and goat's milk is a very nutritious food for growing children, pregnant women and nursing mothers. It builds a resistance against all infections, such as Hepatitis and tuberculosis.
Ground nuts or groundnut products are useful in the treatment of hemophilia, and inherited blood decease, which causes hemorrhage. It is also useful in nose bleeding and incases of excessive bleeding during menstruation in women.
Groundnuts are valuable in diabetes. It is also useful in diarrhea, especially chronic diarrhoea, which is more frequent immediately after meal. The patient can use it by drinking goat's milk in which lemon is squeezed with a handful of fresh roasted groundnuts. Diarrhoea is caused due to nicotinic acid deficiency mainly and groundnuts provide the required quantity of Niacin.
Chewing fresh groundnuts with a pinch of salt strengthens the gums, cures stomatitis, and kills harmful bacteria.
A teaspoon of refined groundnut oil mix with equal quantity of limejuice may be applied daily on the face before going to bed. It keeps the face fresh. Its regular use nourishes the skin and prevents acne also. A large number of food products are prepared from the groundnuts.
For proper digestion, groundnut requires thorough mastication. Experiments made with the ground nut show that it is quite indigestible unless chewed to smooth paste. Excessive use of groundnuts causes high acidity, spermetorrhoea and premature ejaculation. Asthmatics in particular should obstain from eating groundnuts in excess. Groundnuts that are boiled in salted water are less harmful for such persons.
(Compiled by Seema Ghildiyal)
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