Abelmoschus esculentus (Linn.) Moench.


Synonym Hibiscus esculentus Linn.
Family Malvaceae.


English Names Gumbo, Lady Finger, Okra.
Ayurvedic  Names Bhaandi, Bhindaka, Bhendaa.
Unani Baamiyaa.
Siddha/Tamil Vendai.
Folk Bhindi, Raamturai


Assamese Bhendi
Eng Okra, Gumbo, Lady’s finger
English Name : Lady's finger
Hin Bhendi, Bhindi-tori, Ram-turi, Bhindi
Kannada Bende kaayi, Bende kaayi gida
Others Ladies Finger, Venda
Sanskrit Name : Tindisha, Pitali, Darvika, Bhenda, Gandhamula
Tamil Name : Vendaikkai, Venaikkay
Telugu Name : Bendakaya, Vendakaya, Penda
mal Ventakaya, Venda
mar Benda, Bhajichi-bhendi, Ramturai


Annual herbs, 2 m tall; stems and branches hirsute white bristly hairs.
Leaves simple, alternate, spiral; stipules ca. 7-10 mm long, filiform;
petiole ca. 15-35 cm, long hirsute, often with pubescent adaxial groove; lamina ca. 6-12 x 4-10 cm, variable, palmately 3-7-lobed to palmately partite, with widely triangular, ovate, oblong or lanceolate, acute or acuminate at apex, coarsely dentate-serrate, upper sagittate; secondary nerves 5-7 pairs. Flowers axillary, solitary; pedicel ca. 1-5 cm, sparsely strigose; epicalyx lobes 10-12, filiform, ca. 5-18 × 1-2.5 mm, sparsely hirsute; calyx campanulate, 2-3 cm, densely stellate puberulent; corolla yellow or white with dark purple centre, 5-7 cm in diam.; petals obovate, ca. 3.5-5 × 3-4 cm; Filament tube ca. 2-2.5 cm; staminal column short, at apex 5 toothed; style distally divided into 5, spreading branches.
Capsule cylindric to tower-shaped, ca. 10-25 × 1.5-3 cm, long beaked, sparsely strigose. Seeds 5-15 per locule, ca. 3-6 mm, dark brown or grey, globose to reniform, striate, and minutely warty.

Leaves alternate, palmately lobed, transversely orbicular, about 4-13 x 5-16 cm across, base cordate, 5-7 nerved, lobes about 3-7, ovate-oblong, ovate-triangular, with about 2-3 lobules, margins crenate-dentate, rarely entire, adpressed pubescent with stiff simple hairs both above and beneath, becoming glabrescent later, coriaceous, petiole usually longer than the leaf lamina, about 12-15 cm long, stipules filiform, sparsely hirsute, about 6-10 x 2-3 mm across. Inflorescence axillary or terminal, solitary.

Flowers bisexual, yellow, pedicel slender, inarticulate, about 0.5-2 cm long, epicalyx 9-12, free, base rarely connate, segments about 1 cm long, calyx 5 lobed, base connate, valvate, membranous, stellate pubescent, about 1-2.5 x 1 cm across, corolla large, 5, yellow with dark purple or pink near the centre, obovate, densely studded with bristles, about 2-3.5 x 1-1.5 cm across.

Stamens indefinite, monadelphous, forming an epipetalous staminal tube united with corolla, filament short, introrse, anthers basifixed, throughout. Ovary superior, 5 locular, ovules many, style 1, stigma discoid.

Fruit capsule, ovoid-cylindric, apex beaked, dehiscent with longitudinal slits towards the base, densely hispid with simple hairs. Seed many, reniform or globose, about 3-5 mm across, villous or glabrous, black or dark brown.



Medicinal Uses: 

Immature pods (decoction)—emollient, demulcent and diuretic (in catarrhal affections, ardor urine, dysuria, dysentery). Seeds—antispasmodic.
Fatty fraction of the fresh watery extract of the seeds causes destruction of cancerous cell growth in vitro.

The pods are reported to exhibit antitumour activity An ethanolic extract of pods was effective against Gram- positive bacteria.

The ripe fruits contain quercetin, hyperin (hyperoside), hydrolysate of precipitated mucilage, proanthocyanidins, D -glucose, D -glucuronic and galacturonic acids.
Fresh flowers contain flavonol glycosides and anthocyanins.

Medicinal plants of India ; Ayurveda

Encyclopedia of Indian Medicinal Plants/Herbs mainly using in Ayurveda with good quality pictures and information like therapeutic usage of Medicinal Plants, cultivation, morphology, habitat, flower characters, Chemical content, parts used, research works etc.

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