- Pisum is a genus of flowering plants in the family Fabaceae. It contains one to five species, depending on taxonomic interpretation. The International Legume Database(ILDIS) has three species, one with two subspecies: Pisum abyssinicum, P. fulvum, and P. sativum. (35)
- Etymology: Pisum is the ancient Latin name for pea. The species epithet sativum derives from Latin, meaning 'cultivated, planted' or more literally, "that which is sown".
- Sitsaro (Pisum sativum) is the most expensive vegetable legume in the Philippines. There are several types: garden peas, English peas, or green peas (P. sativum var. sativum); field peas or soup peas (P. sativum var. ravense); and flat, edible-podded snow peas known as mangeout peas, sugar peas, or Chinese peas (P. sativum var macrocarpon).
- Garden peas are grown for their green peas, field peas for their dried seeds. In the Philippines, the snow pea, with its flat pod, is the most commonly grown. The group also includes snap pea,with its thick, full-bodied, round, edible pods, and sweet, full-sized peas, with the pods snapping when bent like fresh green beans. (7)
Sitsaro is an annual climber with compound leaves terminated by branched tendrils. Stems are hollow. Leaves are alternate, pinnately compound, with auricled stipules. Stipules are conspicuous, larger than the leaflets and with indentations on the lower part. Leaflets are obovate, entire, 2 to 4 centimeters long. Peduncles are 1- to 2-flowered. Inflorescences occur at the leaf axils. Flowers are white, pink or purple, developing into inflated pods. Pods are straight or curved, 5 to 10 centimeters long, containing 6 to 9 seeds. Ripe seeds are round, smooth, or wrinkled.
Peas have hypogeal germination: the cotyledons remain enclosed within the seed coat beneath the soil surface. Flowers are white, developing into inflated pods.
- Grows well in Baguio and at lower elevations during cool months.
- Chinese variety adapted to warmer climates.
- Cultivated for its young pods and mature seeds.
- Seeds yield trypsin and chymotrypsin.
- Green and ripe fruits and seeds yield starch, albuminoids, galactolipids, alkaloids, trigonelline and piplartine, essential oil, and carbohydrates.
- 100 grams of edible portion of fresh sweet pea pods contain: 67 kcalories, water 82.4 g, protein 3 g, fat 0.4 g, carbohydrate 12.8 g, dietary fiber 2.1g, ash 1.4 g, calcium 92 mg, phosphorus 48 mg, iron 1.2 mg, vitamin A 52.0 µg, thiamine 0.16 mg, riboflavin 0.09 mg, niacin 1.0 mg, ascorbic acid 67.0mg. (The Philippine Food Composition Tables, 1997. (Food and Nutrition Research Institute-Department of Science and Technology/FNRI-DOST)
- Green and ripe fruits and seeds yield starch, albuminoids, an oil, galactolipids, alkaloids, trigonelline, and pilartine, essential oil, and soluble carbohydrates. Leaf, petiole, tendril, and stems yielded kaempferol-3-triglucoside, quercetin-3-triglucoside, and their p-coumaric esters. Germinating pea seedlings yield high concentration of D-alanine. Free homoserine has bee detected in the seeds and pods.
- HPLC analysis of phenolic compounds of seed coat acetone extract yielded some phenolic acids (benzoic and cinnamic acids, and cinnamic acid derivatives), flavone and flavonol glycoside.
- Study of aerial parts for total phenolic and total flavonoids content yielded 51.23 mg gallic acid equivalent and 30.88 mg quercetin equivalent per gram of dried plant extract, respectively.
HPLC yielded ellagic acid and p-coumaric acid. LCMS yielded eight compounds including naringenin and ß-sitosterol. (see study below) (19)
- Study of the pericarp waste product for biologically active natural substances yielded a phenolic content of 27.5 mg/g. HPLC analysis yielded eight phenolic acids (cinnamic, chlorogenic, vanillic, coumaric, ferulic, caffeic, gallic and syringic acids) and three isoflavones (daidzein, genistein, and formononetin). GC-MS analysis of unsaponifiable and saponifiable fractions yielded two major sterols, stigmasterol and ß-sitosterol, and twelve fatty acids with a major component palmitic acid.
(see study below) (20)
- Methanol extract of seeds yielded glycoside, alkaloids, flavonoids, saponin and tannin types of compounds. (see study below) (21)
- UHP)LC-Q-Orbitrap HRMS study for polyphenols showed 5-caffeoylquinic acid, epicatechin, and hesperidin were the most relevant polyphenols with mean value of 59.87, 29.46, and 19.94 mg/100 g, respectively.
- Phytochemical screening of ethyl acetate extract of seeds yielded alkaloids, cardiac glycosides, flavonoids, phenols, saponins, steroids, tannins, and terpenoids. (see study below)
- Nutrient value of green peas, raw (fresh) per 100 g (3.50z): Energy 339 kJ (81 kcal); Carbohydrates 14.45 g, sugars 5.67 g, dietary fiber 5.1 g; Fat 0.4 g; Protein 5.42 g; Vitamins: vitamin A 38 µg, thiamine (B1) 0.266 mg, riboflavin (B2) 0.132 mg, niacin (B3) 2.09 mg, vitamin B6 0.169 mg, folate (B9) 65 µg, vitamin C 40 mg, vitamin E 0.13 mg, vitamin K 24.8 mg; Minerals: calcium 25 mg, iron 1.47 mg, magnesium 33 mg, manganese 0.41 mg, phosphorus 108 mg, potassium 244 mg, sodium 5 mg, zinc 1.24 mg. (USDA FoodData Central)
- Sweetish and tasty vegetable.
- Seed considered contraceptive, ecbolic, fungistatic, spermicidal.
- Seeds reported to cause dysentery if eaten raw.
- Flour considered emollient and resolvent.
- Studies have suggested anticancer, photoprotective, antibacterial, adsorbent, hypoglycemic, antioxidant, analgesic, thrombolytic, anticoagulant, antiplatelet properties.
Edibility / Nutritional
- Seeds and leaves are edible.
- Immature seedpods, raw or cooked.
- Mature seeds can be ground into powder and added to flour.
- Mature seeds are rich in protein.
- Roasted seed used as coffee substitute.
- Leaves and young shoots used as pot herb.
- Young leaves and shoots used as potherb; young shoots used in salads.
- Caution: Seeds reported to cause dysentery when eaten raw.
- Poultice prepared from dried and powdered seeds use for acne and other skin complaints.
- Flour considered emollient and resolvent, applied as cataplasm.
- Seed oil, taken monthly, believed to prevent pregnancy.
• Anticancer: Study evaluated aqueous and methanol extracts of four Leguminosae species--Pisum sativum, Phaesolus vulgaris, Vigna sinensis, and Sestina grandiflora--for cytotoxic potential against a cervical cancer cell line, CaSki. The methanol extract of Pisum sativum was active against CaSki cells with IC50 value of 14.8. Results suggest Leguminosae species may possess potential anticancer properties.(2)
• Amino Acid Content: Study evaluated the amino acid content of selected varieties of P. sativum. Most of all essential amino acid profile of total seed proteins compared favorably with FAP/WHO requirements except for phenylalanine. Pisum sativum grown in Central Europe are rich in lycine, leucine and arginine and can fulfill the essential amino acid content of human diet. (3)
• Dermatologic Benefits / Photoprotective / Self-Tanning / Increase Melanin Production: Pisum sativum extract provides a new approach as a safe tanning active, increasing the skin's melanin production, and preparing the skin for a healthy tan. The extract reduces inflammatory mediators produced during sunburn. Botanical and eco-friendly, it presents a potential for use in skin care, sun care, and self-tanning preparations. (4)
• Catecholamines / L-Dopa and Dopamine: Catecholamines are key metabolites found in the nervous system and endogenous deficiency is associated with patho-physiological disorders. Study investigated the amount of L-DOPA and dopamine in the leaves and roots of three species of legume family viz. Pisum sativum (garden pea), Phaseolus vulgaris (haricot bean) and Vicia faba (broad bean). Results showed all three cultivars accumulated different levels of L-DOPA and dopamine in leaves and roots.(10)
• Antibacterial / Skin and Seeds: Screening of seeds and skin of Pisum sativum showed good antibacterial activity when screened against 56 bacterial isolates. (11)
• Effect of Mild Hydrothermal Treatment of Pea Flour: Mild hydrothermal treatment of pea flour produced reductions in levels of α-galactosides, phyhtic acid, and trypsin inhibitors, together with a significant increase in digestive utilization of protein and carbohydrates. (12)
• Pericarp as Biologically Active Waste Product: Study evaluated the pericarp waste product for phytochemicals and biologic activity. Phenolic content was 27.5 mg/g. Analysis revealed eight phenolic acids (cinnamic, chlorogenic, vanillic, coumaric, ferulic, caffeic, gallic, and syringic) and three isoflavones (daidzein, genistein, and formononetin). Carbohydrate analysis identified glucose, fructose, sucrose, and rhamnose. Saponifiable matter showed significant anti-inflammatory activity. An aqueous-acetone extract showed potential hyperglycemic activity. (13)
• Adsorbent for Fe Removal from Industrial Waste: Study showed the sulphuric acid-treated shell of Pisum sativum showed to be an efficient low-cost adsorbent for removal of toxic Fe (II) from aqueous solution. (14)
• Adsorbent for Chromium Removal / Seed Husk: Study showed Pisum sativum seed husk has potential as adsorbent for the adsorption of Cr (VI) metal ions from aqueous solution. (15)
• Hypoglycemic Mechanism on Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes / Study evaluated the mechanism by which consumption of peas affects glycemia in a rat model of non-insulin dependent diabetes. Various diets of pea resulted in a significant decline in glycemia. Significant inhibitory activity of pancreatic amylase enzyme was detected in the raw pea extract. A possible mechanism may be its inhibitory effect on carbohydrate digestion. (17)
• Chemical Composition / Antioxidant / Aerial Parts: In OGTT, the extract (200 mg/kbw) showed a 30.24% decrease (p<0.05) in blood glucose levels at 30 min. DPPH scavenging assay showed an IC50 value of 158.52µg/mL. Among other compounds, ellagic acid and ß-sitosterol may be responsible for the antioxidant and antihyperglycemic activities. (see constituents above) (19)
• Pericarp as Biologically Active Waste Product / Phenolic Content / Antihyperglycemic / Antibacterial: The pericarp of Pisum sativum pods is separated from the seeds as waste product. Phytoanalysis yielded biologically active constituents. Study of saponifiable fraction showed significant antibacterial activity, with no effects on fungi or yeast. The unsaponifiable matter exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity. An 80% aqueous-acetone extract showed potential antihyperglycemic activity. (see constituents above) (20)
• Antioxidant /
Analgesic / Thrombolytic / Seed: Study investigated a methanol extract of seed of Pisum sativum for analgesic, antioxidant, and thrombolytic effects. Analgesic effect was evidenced by 42.75% inhibition of writhing movements (Diclofenac 74.20% inhibition). The extract showed mild antioxidative activity with IC50 of 489.25 µg/m. Thrombolytic activity was 18.25 ± 0.04% compared with standard Streptokinase at 66.98 ± 0.11%. (see constituents above) (21)
• Lectin / Anticancer / Human Hepatocellular Cell Lines: Study investigated the anticancer activity of lectin extracted from Pisum sativum on Human Hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2). The lectin exhibited high antioxidant activity on HepG2 cells compared to control 5FU. A 25% lectin dilution exhibited LC50 on HepG2 cells. The lectin had ability to upregulate gene expression of KP53 and IkBa and downregulate Bax and Bcl2. Results suggest a potential in hepatocarcinoma treatment. (23)
• Catecholamines (L-DOPA and Dopamine) from Herbal Sources / Seeds: Catecholamines (L-DOPA and dopamine) are key metabolites in the nervous system. Study investigated the amount of L-DOPA and dopamine in the leaves and roots of three species from the legume family viz., Pisum sativum (garden pea), Phaseolus vulgaris (haricot bean), and Vicia faba (broad bean). Seeds were treated and cultured under glasshouse conditions. All cultivars accumulated different levels of L-DOPA and dopamine in leaves and roots. The metabolites were higher in the leaves of P. sativum and V. faba compared to roots. Study suggests potential of plants sources for L-DOPA and dopamine. (24)
Protease Inhibitor Associated Antimicrobial Activity / Seeds: Aqueous and organic extracts prepared from fresh pea seeds showed significant protease inhibitory activity. Antibacterial activity assay using E. coli (ATCC 25922) strain, the crude aqueous extract, 90% fraction and ethanolic extract significant inhibited bacterial growth. (25)
Potential Ingredients in Nutraceutical Formulations: Acid-resistant capsules (ARC) and none-acid resistant capsules (NARC) containing pea pod extract underwent GI digestion. Results showed ARC formulations were able to preserve active compounds along the simulated GI process, highlighting a higher TPC value and antioxidant capacity than NARC formulations and non-encapsulated extracts. Results suggest pea-pods water-based extracts can be utilized as a potential source of active compounds, and ARC could be a suitable nutraceutical formulation to vehiculate the active compounds. (see constituents above) (27)
Antioxidant / Effect of Cooking / Immature Pods: ImmatureTutankhamun pea (Pisum sativum) with purple flowers and pods has a higher antioxidant activity than other frequently consumed varieties. Peas were cooked six different ways: two types of simmering, steaming, oven cooking, microwave oven cooking and boiling. Oligomeric (epi)gallocatechins and derivatives were identified. Although the major compound was degraded by heating, its activity remained stable. After simmering and microwave cooking, >60% of antioxidant activity was retained, but which drastically decreased with boiling. Results suggest simmering or microwave oven cooking is recommended to harness maximum antioxidant activity. (28)
Antioxidant / Colored Seed Coat: Study compared the composition and contents of phenolic acids and condensed tannin in seed coats of white and colored varieties of pea and evaluated the antioxidant properties of methanol and acetone extracts containing the phenolic compounds. Sum of free phenolic acids was higher from colored seed coat (78.53 g/g dry matter) than white seed coat (17.17 g/g dm). Protocatechuic, gentisic and vanillic acids were dominant in the colored seed coat, while ferulic and coumaric acids in the white seed coat. Condensed tannins was 1560 mg of catechin equivalent/100 g colored seed coat, with none detected in the white seed coat. Strong antioxidant properties were observed in a crude tannin extract of colored seed coat, which slightly changed when cooked in water for 30, 60, and 90 mins. (29)
Effect on Glycemic Index, Blood Glucose, and Insulin Resistance: The glycemic index (GI) is a comparative ranking of carbohydrate levels by measuring blood glucose levels. Carbohydrates with lower GI (55 or <) are slow in digestion and absorption, consequently decreasing insulin resistance. Pea is in the lower rank of the GI, with a value of 22, and there is a scientific correlation between blood sugar, insulin, and glycemic index. The fiber and protein constituents help slow down digestion, which reversibly helps smooth out blood sugar level after eating. Reduction in triglyceride level in plasma and liver with pea fiber supplementation has been reported. It has also been reported that pea polysaccharides helps ameliorate diabetes-induced injury to pancreatic tissues. (30)
Seed Powder as Tablet Excipient: Study evaluated the binding capacity of P. sativum seed powder in lornoxicam tablet formulation in comparison with standard binder such as acacia. Results showed formulation containing concentration of 13.3% P. sativum powder as binding agent exhibit short disintegration, fast dissolution to produce a table of better mechanical strength. Optimized formulation subjected to stability studies at 40° and 75% RH showed no change in hardness, disintegration time, and in vitro drug release at 3 months. (31)
Anticancer / MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cell Line / Seed: Study evaluated the presence of secondary metabolites in an ethyl acetate extract of P. sativum seeds and their cytotoxic effects against human breast adenocarcinoma (MCF-7) cell lines using MTT assay. Maximum percentage growth inhibition value obtained was 79.1 ± 3.93% at 3 mg/mL concentration. Results support its traditional use in the management of cancer. (see constituents above) (32)
Anticancer / Lectin / Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cell Line / Seed: Study evaluated the anticancer activity of the lectin extracted from P. sativum on Human Hepatocellular carcinoma (He[G2). The lectin exhibited high antioxidant activity on HepG2 cells. The extracted lectin promoted both apoptosis and autophagy in HepG2 cancer cells. Results suggest a potential role in the treatment of hepatocarcinoma. (33)
Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet Activity / Pods: Study evaluated the anticoagulant and antiplatelet activities of P. sativum pod extract (PSPE). The PSPE increase the clotting time of citrated human plasma from control of 220 sec to 460 sec, suggesting anticoagulant property. PSPE specifically prolonged clotting time of APTT but not PT due to interference in the intrinsic pathway of the coagulation cascade. PSPE exhibited anti-aggregation activity by inhibiting agonists such as ADP and epinephrine induced platelet aggregation in a dose dependent manner at 58% and 82% respectiively. PSPE did not hydrolyze RBC cells signifying its non-toxic property. (34)