Patani is a climbing, slender, annual, smooth,
sparingly hairy, herbaceous vine reaching a length of 4 or more meters. Leaves
are thin, compound with three leaflets which are ovate, 6 to 12 centimeters long, rounded
at the base and pointed at the tip. Flowers are greenish or pale yellow,
about 10 to 13 millimeters long, on axillary and solitary racemes 8 to 20 centimeters long.
Pods are oblong and slightly curved, 6 to 12 centimeters long, about 2 centimeters wide,
containing 1 to 4 large, variously colored, white, greenish or purplish seeds.
- Thoroughly naturalized.
- A wild variety is common in thickets at low and medium altitudes, ascending to 2,000 meters.
Extensively cultivated for its edible
- Introduced from tropical America.
• The seeds of the wild lima
variety, especially the dark purple beans, yield phaseolunatin, C10H17O6N, a cyanogenetic glucoside, in dangerous
amounts; very minimal in the cultivated variety.
• The leaves and stems also contain phaseolunatin, but not in
• Study of hydrocyanic acid content of patani varieties grown in Philippines showed: Wild variety, 0.060-0.240; semiwild, 0.049-0.055; cultivated variety, 0.030; green beans, wild variety, 0.030; and green beans, cultivated, 0.011 percent HCN.
• High in carbohydrate and protein, fair in iron, and deficient
• In isolates, protein content was found to be 71%.
• Contains a number of anti-nutrients. Raw lima beans contain cyanide, trypsin-inhibitor, lectin, phytin and tannin. Autoclaving removes all of the antinutrients except tannin. Soaking removes trypsin inhibitors and lectin.
• Contains linamarin, a cyanogenic glucoside; safe when cooked.
• The seeds of the wild lima
variety may be poisonous.
Edibility / Nutritional
• Edible: Leaves, seeds, seedpods.
• Usually eaten as a green bean or before it becomes dry and hard.
• The cultivated patani is a popular vegetable; the white variety
considered the best. The colored variety should be boiled in several
changes of water.
A form of patani with dark-colored seeds is common in thickets in parts of the Philippines. Seeds are edible, but sometimes may be poisonous, and deaths have been reported.
• A wild lima bean or dark-colored variety may be poisonous with dangerous
amounts of phaseolunatin. The cultivated bean is free or contains very small quantities of this glucoside.
In dietary-induced hypercholesterolemic rats, there was a significant
reduction of serum lipids in rats fed the lima beans Legume Diet and
Saponin diet which was attributed to the saponin in the legume.The resuts
suggest the consumption of lima beans can be recommended to lower cholesterol
and promote cardiovascular health. (1)
• Lunatusin / Antimicrobial / Antimicrobial
/ Antiproliferative: Lunatusin, an anti-fungal peptide
was purified from the seeds of Chinese lima bean. It exhibited anti-fungal
and antibacterial activities, anti-proliferative activity in a breast
cancer line among other effects. (3)
• Estrogen-like Activity:
Study suggested molecular mechanisms and different pathways in the estrogen-like
activities of the ethanol extracts of Adzuki bean and Lima bean. (4)
• Trypsin Inhibitors / Reverse Transcriptase Inhibition:
Study showed the trypsin inhibitor from P lunatus was able to inhibit HIV-1 reverse-transcriptase. (5)
Lectin-related polypeptides are a class of defense proteins found in the seeds of Phaseolus species. Such proteins and their genes have been characterized in lima bean. (7)
Raw lima beans in a feeding broiler starter diet trial hindered growth in chicks and produced serious histopathological changes in the liver, kidneys, pancreas, spleen and lungs. (8)
• Hypoglycemic / Hypolipidemic / Hepato-Nephroprotective:
Study evaluated the effect of heat-treated lima beans on serum glucose and some biochemical parameters in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Results showed heat-treated lima beans has a significant hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects in diabetic rats. In addition, study showed protection of liver and kidney functions. (10)
• Hypoglycemic / Alpha-Amylase Inhibiting Activity:
The common white bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) produces an alpha-amylase inhibitor. A specific proprietary product, Phase 2 Carb Controller, has the potential to induce weight loss and reduce sugar spikes in blood sugar caused by carbohydrates through it alpha-amylase inhibiting activity. (11)
• Weight Loss / Alpha-Amylase Inhibiting Activity / CHO Blockers:
The mechanism of weight loss from taking bean extract was attributed to alpha-amylase inhibiting activity. In vitro study of the extract has shown inhibition of alpha-amylase, promoting weight loss by interfering with digestion of complex carbohydrates to simple absorbable sugars, with potential reduction of carbohydrate-derived calories. (12)
• Lima Bean Protein Hydolysates / Antihypertensive / ACE-1 Inhibitory Activity:
Lima bean protein hydrolysates prepared with Alcalase or pepsin-pancreatin are a potential ingredient in the production of physiologically functional foods with antihypertensive activity. In the study, pepsin-pancreatin hydrolysates exhibited the highest ACE inhibitory activity. (13)
Wild and cultivated.