Kadios is an erect, branched,
hairy shrub, 2 to 4 meters high. Stems are angled and covered with fine hairs. Leaves are oblong-lanceolate to
oblanceolate, trifoliate with two lateral leaflets and a central/terminal leaflet on a longer petiole. Flowers are yellow, occurring in sparse
peduncled racemes, about 1.5 centimeters long. Pod is hairy, flattened, 4 to 7 centimeters long,
about 1 centimeter wide, containing 2 to 7 seeds. Seeds are smooth, 4 to 8 millimeters in diameter, green when immature, turning white, yellow, red or black on maturity, entire or mottled.
- In settled areas
throughout the Philippines, cultivated, semicultivated, and in
some places, spontaneous, occurring from sea level to 2,400 meters.
- Probably prehistoric introduction from tropical Asia of Malaya.
- Now pantropic.
- Phytochemical screening yielded carbohydrates, protein, amino acid, fats and oils, steroid, glycosides, anthraquinone glucoside, saponin glycoside, flavonoids, alkaloids, phenolic compounds.
- Pigeon pea is rich in starch, protein, calcium, manganese, crude fiber, fat, trace elements, and minerals.
Seeds are rich in carbohydrates (58%) and proteins (19%).
- Studies yielded 2'-2'methylcajanone, 2'-hydroxygenistein, isoflavones,
cajanin, cahanones, among many others.
- Leaves are rich
in polyphenolic compounds, i.e., flavonoids like luteonin and apigenin, and also stilbenes, saponins, tannins, resins, and terpenoids.
- Roots yield genistein and genistin, hexadecanoic acid, α-amyrin, ß-sitosterol, pinostrobin, longistylin A, longistylin C and cajanol. (23)
- Physicochemical study of leaf powder yielded total, acid-insoluble and water-soluble ash values and moisture content of 9.50%, 1.40 g/100 g, 4.15 g/100 g drug and 6.72%, respectively. Significant phenolic and flavonoid content was observed. (see study below) (30)
- Comparative quantitative phytochemical analyses of bioactive compounds of C. cajan seeds and leaves
yielded: flavonoids (423.75 ± 57.81 and 31.08 ± 8.20 mg/100g), tannins (31.55 ± 2.67 and 17.30 ± 0.47 mg/100g), alkaloids (3118.86 ± 79.35 and 385.54 ± 75.15mg/100g), saponins (51.21 ± 4.66 and 1.82 ± 0.29mg/100g), cyanogenic glycosides (43.91 ± 5.99 and 12.42 ± 1.84mg/100g), glycosides (3.55 ± 1.98 and 3.80 ± 1.01mg/100g) and anthocyanins (8.35 ± 0.172 and 4.75 ± 0.174mg/100g), respectively. (37)
- Nutrient analysis of mature seeds, cooked, boiled without salt, per 1 cup (168 g) yielded: (Proximates) water
115.16g, energy 203, protein 11.36g, total lipid(fat) 0.64g, carbohydrate, by difference 39.06g; fiber, total dietary 11.3g; (Minerals) calcium 72mg, iron, Fe 1.86mg, magnesium 77mg, phosphorus, P 200mg, potassium K 645mg, sodium Na 8 mg, zinc 1.51mg; (Vitamins) vitamin C 0.0, thiamin 0.245mg, riboflavin 0.099mg, niacin 1.312mg, vitamin B6 0.84mg, folate DFE 186µg, vitamin B12 0.0, vitamin A 0.0, vitamin D 0.0; (Lipids) saturated fatty acids 0.139g, monosaturated fatty acids 0.005g, polyunsaturated fatty acids 0.344g, total trans fatty acids 0.0, cholesterol 0.0. (38)
- Phytochemical analysis of leaves, seeds and stems of C. cajan yielded the presence of saponins, tannins, alkaloids, flavonoids, anthraquinones, and reducing sugars. Quantitative analysis of leaf, seed and stems yielded phenolic compounds 16.61%, 3.82% and 14.19%; saponins 5.97%, 6.35% and 4.98%; tannins 0.49%, 0.23% and 0.22%; alkaloids 2.65%, 2.65% and 2.51%; flavonoids 4.77%, 2.11% and 5.44%, respectively. (39)
- Roots are considered anthelmintic,
expectorant, febrifuge, sedative, vulnerary.
- Studies have suggested antihyperglycemic, anti-inflammatory, anti-plasmodial, anti-sickling,
antihyperlipidemic, antimicrobial, anticancer, antioxidant, hepatoprotective properties.
Edibility / Nutrition
- Used mainly for its edible
young pods and seeds.
- Vegetable food crop (
seeds and pods) in South-East Asia.
- Fair source of calcium and iron; good source of vitamin B.
- Decoction or infusion
of leaves for coughs, diarrhea, abdominal pains.
- Tender leaves are chewed for aphthous stomatitis and spongy gums.
- Pulped or poulticed leaves used for sores.
- Leaves used in the treatment of measles.
- Roots chewed for toothache; leaves used to clean teeth.
- In Peru, leaves are used as an infusion
for anemia, hepatitis, diabetes, urinary infections and yellow fever.
- In Argentina, leaves used for genital and
skin problems; flowers used for bronchitis, cough and pneumonia.
- In China, as vermifuge, vulnerary; for
- In Panama, used for treatment of diabetes and jaundice.
- In Bangladesh, used for treatment of diabetes.
- In Indian folk medicine, used for a variety
of liver disorders.
- Used in the treatment of jaundice, bronchitis and cough; used as anthelmintic and in child delivery.
- Forage: Used as forage or hay.
- Crafts: Branches and stems for basket and fuel.
• RBC Sickling Inhibition / Sickle Cell Anemia
: Clinical studies
have reported seed extracts to inhibit red blood cell sickling and potential
benefit for people with sickle cell anemia.
• Sickle Cell Anemia: In a single blind placebo controlled study, results showed CC extract may cause a reduction of painful sickle cell crises and ameliorate the adverse effects of sickle cell anemia on the liver.
• Sickle Cell Anemia / Phenylalanine: Paper reports that both extract of C. cajan and the amino acid phenylalanine of which it is rich, are good biochemical reducing agents and oxidative free radical scavengers, and can be employed in the treatment not only of sickle cell disease, but other conditions involving oxidative stress. (13)
• Antiplasmodial constituents of Cajanus
cajan: Study isolated two stilbenes, longistylin A and C and betulinic acid from the roots and leaves of CC and showed moderately high in vitro
activity against Plasmodium falciparum strain. (2)
• Stilbenes / Neuroprotective / Alzheimer's Disease: Study
of stilbenes containing extract-fraction from C cajan showed significant amelioration of cognitive deficits and neuron apoptosis. Findings suggest SECC has a potential in the development of therapeutic agent to manage cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer's disease through increase choline acetyltransferase activity and anti-oxidative mechanism. (9)
• Hypocholesterolemic Effect: Study
on the stilbenes containing extract-fraction of CC showed a hypocholesterolemic
effect possibly through enhancement of hepatic LDL-receptor and cholesterol
7-alpha-hydroxylase expression levels and bile acid synthesis. (3)
• Hyperglycemic Effect: Evaluation of traditional medicine:
effects of Cajanus cajan L. and of Cassia fistula L. on carbohydrate
metabolism in mice: Contradicting its traditional use
for diabetes, CC did not have a hypoglycemic effect on sugar, instead at higher
doses, it produced a hyperglycemic effect. (4)
Study shows the organic solvent extracts to inhibit E coli, S aureus and S typhi and the aqueous extract were inhibitory to E coli and S aureus. (5)
• Antimicrobial / Antifungal:
Nigerian study on the antimicrobial effects of the ethanol and aqueous
extracts of locally available plants, including C cajan, showed inhibition
against S aureus, P aeruginosa, E coli and C albicans. The extracts
of C cajan produced wider zones of inhibition against C albicans. (6)
Effect / Leaves: Study of the aqueous extract
of C cajan leaves showed a hyperglycemic effect, suggesting a usefulness
in controlling hypoglycemia that may be due to excess of insulin or other
hypoglycemic drugs. (7)
• Hepatoprotective / Alcohol-Induced Liver Damage:
Study of the methanol-aqueous
fraction of C cajan leaf extract showed it could prevent the chronically
treated alcohol induced rat liver damage and presents a promise as a
non-toxic herb for therapeutic use in alcohol-induced liver dysfunction. (8)
• Hepatoprotective / Carbon-Tetrachloride Hepatotoxicity: Study in mice with carbon tetrachloride-induced liver damage showed the methanol extracts of B orellana, C cajan, G pentaphylla and C equisetifolia showed significant decrease in levels of serum markers, indicating the protection of hepatic cells in a dose-dependent manner. (10)
• Antioxidant / Hypolipidemic: Study of methanolic extract of CC in alloxan-induced hyperglycemic rats showed a significant reduction in blood glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol, and creatinine concentrations. Antioxidant activity was confirmed with in vitro studies.
• Anticancer / Cajanol / In vitro Cytotoxicity: Cajanol, an isoflavanone from the roots of C. cajan was investigated for anticancer activity towards MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. Results showed inhibition of growth of MCF-7 cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner and induction of apoptosis via a ROS-mediated mitochondria-dependent pathway. (16)
• Cajachalcone / Leaves / Antimalarial Potential: A bioassay-guided fractionation of a crude methanolic extract of leaves yielded Cajachalcone, 2′,6′-dihydroxy-4-methoxy chalcone, as the biologically active constituent from the ethyl acetate fraction. Chalcones and derivatives are small bioactive synthesized molecules with a high potential as leads for discovery and development of antimalarial agents. (18)
• Toxicity Study / Dose Related Hepatotoxic Potential: Study evaluated the effect of oral aqueous leaf extract on electrolyte concentration and ALT, AST, and ALP activities in normal rats. Results showed the aqueous leaf extract has a hepatotoxic potential when consumed at a daily dose of 0.5 g/kg BW or more for 14 days, and suggests lower dosages for local use of the plant extract. (19)
• Effect on Litter Size and Serum Progesterone in Pregnant Rats: Study showed oral administration of aqueous leaf extract increases litter size and plasma progesterone in pregnant rats. (20)
• Anti-Drepanocytosic Activity: Study evaluated four plants, including Cajanus cajan, for anti-depranocytosic activity. C. cajan showed the presence of fatty acids, one of which was characterized as an unsaturated fatty acid. Crude hexane and methanol extracts of Cajanus cajan showed in vitro anti-sickling activity. (21)
• Anti-Oxidative Protection Against Iron Overload Induced Liver Damage / Leaves: Study investigated a methanol extract of C. cajan leaf for antioxidative protection against iron-overload induced liver damage in mice. The plant extract reversed the serum enzymes to approach normal value, and counteracted the overwhelmed serum ferritin level. In vitro studies suggested potential antioxidant activity. Histopath studies substantiated the ameliorative effects of the plant extract. (22)
• Anti-Drepanocytosic Activity: Study compared the protective antioxidant activity, total phenol content and antihyperglycemic activity of a methanolic extracts of Cajanus cajan root and Tamarindus indica seeds. Both plants showed high antioxidant capacity. Reduction efficacy of blood glucose was proportional to their dose, but the methanol extract of C. cajan showed more potent reduction of blood glucose. (24)
• Anti-Fertility Activity / Seed: Study of methanol extract of Bassia latifolia bud and Cajanus cajan seed produced anti-fertility activity on mature female mice. The contraceptive action of both plant extracts is not permanent and the ovarian activities return a few days after withdrawal of the extract. (26)
• Anti-Ulcer / Anti-Inflammatory / Leaves: Study evaluated various extracts of leaves for possible anti-gastric ulcer properties and anti-inflammatory activity in mice. Results showed anti-ulcer activity in three acute models: HCl/ethanol induce ulcer, immersion-restraint stress, and drug-induced ulcer. Study also showed significant anti-inflammatory effect in cotton pellet granuloma and carrageenan induced paw edema models. (27)
• Antihyperglycemic / Cytotoxicity: Study evaluated the antihyperglycemic and cytotoxic potential of methanolic extracts of leaves and roots of C. cajan in mice. Results showed dose dependent and significant reductions of glucose levels. On brine shrimp lethality bioassay, both leave and root extracts showed high degree of cytotoxicity suggesting a promising source of anticancer compounds. (28)
• Antioxidant / Leaves: Study for in vitro antioxidant activity of various leaf extracts showed concentration dependent activity. The aqueous extract exhibited the highest antioxidant activity in all the assays tested (DPPH, reducing power, hydroxyl radical scavenging, and phosphomolybdenum assays). The antioxidant activity of the leaf extracts were attributed to the presence of polyphenols. (see constituents above) (30)
• Biosorbent for Ni / Pods: Study evaluated pods of pigeon pea as eco-friendly material for nickel binding efficiency. Results suggest the pods to be a promising adsorbent for removal of Ni (II) ions from aqueous solution. Findings suggest an economical alternative to the commercially available activated carbon in the treatment of effluent containing Ni(II) ions. (31)
• Hepatoprotective / D-galactosamin-Induced Hepatitis: Study evaluated the hepatoprotective effect of ethanolic extract of CC on hepatic antioxidant status is D-galactosamine-induced hepatitis in rats. Results suggest a possible and potential antiperoxidative role for Cajanus cajan plant extract in hepatic extract. (32)
• Antiulcer / Pylorus-Ligated Induced Gastric Ulcer / Leaves: Study of ethanolic extract of leaves of C. cajan for antiulcer activity in pylorus ligation induced ulcer model in rats showed dose dependent reduction of total acidity and ulcer index, and increase in pH of gastric juice. (33)
• Rust Prevention / Seed Hull Extract: Study evaluated the effect of pigeon pea seed hull extract against rust. Results showed the combination of pigeon pea seed hull extract with turpentine or distilled water is effective in preventing formation of rust. (34)
• Effect of Addition of Pigeon Pea Flour on Cassava Bread: Study showed cassava bread elaborated with the addition of pigeon pea flour resulted in higher content of protein, fat, fiber, ash and resistant starch, and lower contents of carbohydrates, cyanide, in vitro alpha-amylosis rate and calories compared to counterpart without pigeon pea flour. Results may be of benefit in people requiring a low carb diet, including diabetic and obese patients. (35)
• Pulp and Paper-making: Study evaluated pigeon pea plant for suitability in pulp and paper-making Results showed the short fibered plant can be mixed with long fibered wood species for production of paper with good properties and increased pulp yield. The addition of 0.13% anthraquinone to pulping liquor reduced active alkali consumption and increased pulp yield. (36)