Entada phaseoloides  (L.) Merr. Snuffbox seabean   Fabaceae

Entada spp.

The snuffbox seabean, Entada phaseoloides, similar to the sea heart, Entada gigas, is a woody vine native to tropical Asia.  Brown seeds up to two inches (5 cm) long can be found on beaches from southeast Africa to Hawaii and are considered to bring good luck.

Seeds and bark have been used in many countries as a fish poison.  Though the seeds are poisonous they are rendered edible by the aborigines of Australia by prolonged soaking and roasting.7 A similar procedure is practiced in India and Indonesia to make the seeds edible.8 In South Africa they are sometimes used as a coffee substitute.

The aborigines of Australia string together the halved empty seed-coats to make leg-rattles for dancers.  Seeds are used in games, as baby teethers, and as match boxes.  Regarded as a lucky bean, it is a valuable charm for many African tribes.  Zulus hollow out the seed and place a potion inside to bring love, wealth and happiness.9  The plant is grown as a fetish in Yoruba villages.

 

 

 

 

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