Lakshmi Menon is a published author who writes both fiction and non-fiction. She is also a travel enthusiast.
Lady's finger (Okra)
Lady's finger, also known as okra, is an essential vegetable in many of the households all over the world. The scientific name of okra plant is hibiscus esculentus. Some of the other names by which this humble vegetable is known are bhendi (Hindi), bhenda, vendakka (Malayalam), vendakkai (Tamil) and bendekai (Kannada) . Grown in tropical, subtropical and warm temperature areas, okra is considered as a healthy vegetable.
The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies.
Health Benefits of Okra
- The laxative property contains in the okra helps in lubricating the large intestine.
- They are beneficial in treating genital disorders like syphilis and gonorrhoea.
- Okra increases sexual potency
- Okra is helpful in treating tuberculosis
- A decoction of leaves and flowers is used in treating bronchitis and pneumonia.
- It is also helpful in reducing excess menstrual blood.
- Soothes the gastrointestinal tract
- Controls blood sugar
- Controls cholesterol level
- Helpful in healing ulcers
- Useful in leucorrhoea and dysuria.
- Helpful in preventing colo-rectal cancer.
- Provides a lot of protein for the growth and maintenance of our body.
- Also used as home remedy for common cold because of its mucilage quality.
- Some people use this vegetable for thickening soups
- Good to get a bouncy look of your hair
Some people use it for diabetic purpose: After removing both the ends of okra, two tender ones can be just cut lengthwise once, and keep them in a glass of water overnight. Remove them the next morning and the water is consumed, to reduce sugar level. Lady finger is rich in mucilage and fiber and is believed to stabilize blood sugar as it curbs the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract.
Nutritious Value of lady's finger (Okra)
From the research of Ms. Sylvia Zook, PH.D (nutrition), University of Illinois. "Okra is a powerhouse of valuable nutrients, nearly half of which is soluble fiber in the form of gums and pectins. Soluble fiber helps to lower serum cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease. The other half is insoluble fiber which helps to keep the intestinal tract healthy, decreasing the risk of some forms of cancer, especially colo-rectal cancer. Nearly 10% of the recommended levels of vitamin B6 and folic acid is also present in a half cup of cooked okra.Okra is a rich source of many nutrients, including fiber, vitamin B6 and folic acid." The guy got the following numbers from the University of Illinois.
Okra Nutrition (half-cup cooked okra)* Calories = 25* Dietary Fiber = 2 grams* Protein = 1.5 grams* Carbohydrates = 5.8 grams* Vita! min A = 460 IU* Vitamin C = 13 mg* Folic acid = 36.5 micrograms* Calcium = 50 mg* Iron = 0.4 mg* Potassium = 256 mg* Magnesium = 46 mgThese numbers should be used as a guideline only.
How to Choose the Best Okras
While buying this wonderful vegetable, we have to be careful in choosing the tender, fresh looking and dark green colored okras, free from any cuts and bruises, or over-grown ones. In addition, don't forget to check for any worms or insect infestation.
How to Store them
It is always better to use the fresh vegetables. But always it is not possible and hence we have to store them in the fridge. In room temperature it can stay fresh only up to two days, and if need to preserve them for longer time, we have to store them in the refrigerator, in a net bag or plastic bag. They can be preserved as a whole or cut them into the required sizes and can be stored them.
How Lady's fingers are used
Okras (lady's fingers) are used as main recipe, side recipe, to thicken the soup, and tender ones are even eaten as row.
They are slime on cutting. To remove the slime, few drops of lime juice or vinegar can be added. Another method to remove slime is saute the vegetables for a few minutes.
Okra Recipes (Lady's finger Recipes)
In India, several types of recipes are made with lady's finger. Some of the popular ones are vendakka sambar, vendakka poriyal, vendakka theeyal, vendakkai mor kuzhambu, vendakkai pachadi, stuffed lady's finger, fried lady's finger, bendakkai saru, lady's finger molly , okra chips etc.
Vendakkai mor kuzhambu
lex123 (author) on July 27, 2014:
maung maung mya on July 26, 2014:
very helpful information
lex123 (author) on March 13, 2013:
Hi Neil, you can find okra in Asian shops, and if you like you can try it once . In many of the English speaking countries it is known as lady's finger.
Nell Rose from England on March 12, 2013:
Hi I had never heard of it being called ladyfinger before, fascinating. I don't think I have eaten okra before so this was really interesting, thanks!
lex123 (author) on March 05, 2013:
Glad to know that you too like okra. Thanks for reading the hub and leaving a comment. Thanks also for voting it up.
lex123 (author) on March 05, 2013:
Thanks Radhika for your visit and comment. Vendakka fry is a good combination with chappathi. I too love it.
iguidenetwork from Austin, TX on March 04, 2013:
I also like okra but I wasn't aware of the health benefits then, and its other name "lady finger". Voted up and useful. :)
Radhika Sreekanth from Mumbai,India on March 04, 2013:
We make bhindi fry or Vendakka fry for taking along-with chappathi. You've put together all the details of Okra. Up,useful and interesting. Sharing with my friends here.
lex123 (author) on January 27, 2013:
Thank you for reading the hub and leaving an encouraging comment. I notice that I have forgotten to add the Kannada word for okra. I have updated the hub now.
Dr.S.P.PADMA PRASAD from Tumkur on January 27, 2013:
A useful hub, beautifully designed.In Kannada also, Vokra is called- 'Bendekai'.It is well praised in Ayurveda
lex123 (author) on January 07, 2013:
Thanks Ruchira for reading and offer your encouraging comments.
Ruchira from United States on December 19, 2012:
bhindi is my family's favorite.
did not know the various benefits. awesome!!
lex123 (author) on December 19, 2012:
Thank you peachpurple for stopping by and for your comments. There are several recipes you can make with okra. The picture is from what I made recently at home.
peachy from Home Sweet Home on December 18, 2012:
well written hub on okras. I love okras but not familiar with the recipes. Thanks for sharing.