The lupine, whose botanical name is Lupinus albus in the white variety, Lupinusi luteus in the yellow variety and Lupinus angustifolius in the blue variety, is an annual plant belonging to the Leguminosae - Papilionaceae family,
It is native to southern Europe and the Middle East, then spread also in North Africa, where it grows both spontaneous and cultivated. In our country its seeds are eaten, fresh or toasted, which can be consumed after boiling in water and a long period of soaking to free them of the bitter taste.
The name lupine derives from the Greek "lype", which means "modesty" and the first cultivations of this plant seem to date back to 4,000 years ago, in fact even the Greeks and Romans knew it, as evidenced by some works of Hippocrates and Horace in mentioned. It is said that Virgil defined the "sad" lupine seeds as bitter. Instead Pliny and Columella in some ancient writings described the lupine as a strange plant because of the ability of the leaves to follow the path of the sun.
In the past, lupine seeds were used as fodder for animals and fertilizer for the soil, while for human consumption they were used to replace coffee, after being toasted.
Lupins have recently been re-evaluated, after some studies that found their properties beneficial to the organism. Being a legume poor in fat and rich in protein, it is in fact perfectly suited for human nutrition.
There lupine plant it can reach a height of one meter and a half, it has an erect stem and alternate leaves formed by a petiole containing small oval and lanceolate leaves, in numbers from five to nine, covered at the bottom by a slight down.
The flowers are very large and showy, arranged in clusters on the branches, and can be white, blue and yellow, depending on the variety. The fruits contain the seeds, which can be from three to six, called lupins.
There lupine plant it grows well in acid and very drained soils, while it cannot survive in calcareous soils. Sowing takes place in autumn, from October to November, and maturation takes place in summer, generally in July.
Lupine seeds are used both for food and for herbal preparations. It appears that the substances they contain have hypoglycemic properties, thus able to lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels in people with diabetes.Lupine can be used as a vermifuge, being particularly effective against parasites of the intestine, it also produces diuretic effects, febrifuge, aperitifs and emmenagogues. It also has emollient properties and can be used against eczema and other skin problems.lupine: Uses
Up to 5 roasted lupine seeds can be eaten every other day to treat diabetes. If you prefer to take the seeds in the form of a drink, they can be ground like coffee and added at the rate of two teaspoons to two ounces of water, to be drunk twice a day.
An intestinal enema can be prepared against intestinal parasites with the infusion of dry seeds, soaked in water for at least a day. For one liter of water 100 grams of seeds are needed, after which the infusion must be filtered and the enema can be done every other day.
For eczema and other skin problems, on the other hand, decoctions are effective, even those prepared with seeds, 30 grams are enough in a liter of water. Furthermore the decoction can also be used as a diuretic and to stimulate digestion.
With lupine seeds you can also make a flour, which in ancient times was cooked together with vinegar to obtain a compound that was used against pain caused by cancer, applied directly to the diseased area. The "pomata" made with lupine flour was also applied to the hair in case of lice due to its anti-parasitic capacity.
As for food use, lupins, which can be found on the market both fresh and dried, or cooked or vacuum-packed, can be preserved in brine such as olives or eat toasted or fresh, but always after having boiled or kept for a long time in the water.