Hibiscus esculentus L.
Family: Malvaceae

Bengali/vernacular name: Dheros; Vendi (Chittagong).
Tribal name: Lai Long Ma (Murong)
English name: Lady's finger, Okra, Gumbo.

Description of the plant:
ABELMOSCHUS ESCULENTUS (L.) Moench is a tall shrubby annual, covered with rough hairs. Leaves polymorphous; the lower roundish-angled, the upper palmately 3-5-lobed, lobes oblong toothed, hairy on both surfaces; petioles up to 15 cm long. Flowers large, axillary, yellow with crimson centre. Capsule 15-20 cm long, pyramidal-oblong, 5-angled, hispid.

Using information:
Fruits are cooling, stomachic, astringent and aphrodisiac; used in chronic dysentery; useful in gonorrhoea, urinary discharges, strangury and diarrhoea. Tender pods are employed in the form of decoction as an emollient, demulcent and diuretic and are eaten in spermatorrhoea. The whole plant is also used as a valuable emollient and demulcent.

Ablemoschus Esculentus

Seed extract inhibits cancerous cell growth in vitro. It is also fungitoxic against Helminthosporium oryzae (Asolkar et al. 1992).

Chemical constituents:
Petals yield 13 flavanoid glycosides; gossypetin and hibiscetin glucosides. Fresh fruits are rich in pectin and mucilage; it contains oxalic acid, protein, fat, minerals (potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulphur, copper, manganese and iodine), carbohydrate, calcium and phosphorus. Fresh fruits also contain vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, ascorbic acid and niacin. d-Galactose, l-rhamnose and d-dalacturonic acid also isolated from the mucilage of the fruit. Flavonoid compound has been reported from fruits. Essential oil isolated from pods and seeds contain aliphatic alchohols, cyclohexanol, p-tolualdehyde (in fruits), a-terpenylacetate (in seeds) and citral; nonvolatile neutral part contains β-sitosterol & its 3β-galactoside (in seeds). Leaves have got more or less same constituents. Ripe seeds contain 10-22% edible oil. (Anon, 1959; Asolkar et al., 1992).

Cultivated throughout the country as vegetable.