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Family Fabaceae / Leguminosae
Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (L.) DC.
Si leng dou

Common names Common names
Botor tetragonolaba (L.) Kuntze. Kalamismis (Tag.)
Botor tetragonolobus (L.) Kuntze. Kalomismis (Tag.)
Dolichos ovatus Graham Kabey (Bis.)
Dolichos tetragonolobus Linn. Segidilla (Tag.)
Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (L.) DC. Sigarilyas (Tag.)
  Asparagus bean (Engl.)
  Four-angled bean (Engl.)
  Goa bean (Engl.)
  Princess pea (Engl.)
  Short-day asparagus pea (Engl.)
  Winged bean (Engl.)
Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (L.) DC. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
BURMESE: e saung ya, Hto pong, Ku bemya.
CHINESE: Si leng dou, Si jiao dou.
DANISH: Goabønne, Goaboenne.
DUTCH: Ketjipir.
FINNISH: Goanpapu.
FRENCH: Pois asperge, Pois carré, Haricot ailé, Pois ailé.
GERMAN: Flügelbohne.
HINDI: Chaukoni sem.
ITALIAN: Fagiolo quadrato.
JAPANESE: Shikaku mame, Tousai, Urizun.
KHMER: Prâpiëy.
LAOTIAN: Thwàx ph'uu.
MALAY: Kecipir, Kethipir, Ketjeepir, Kachang botol, Kacang kelisa, Kachang botor, Kacang sirek, Kechang bolon, Kachang belimbing.
PORTUGUESE: Fava de cavalo.
RUSSIAN: Psofokarpus chetyrekhkylyi.
SINHALESE: Dara dambala, Darambulla.
SPANISH: Dólico de Goa, Frijol alado, Judia careta, Calamismis.
SWEDISH: Vingböna.
THAI: Thua phuu.


Sigarilyas is a vine with climbing stems and leaves, to a height of 3-4 meters. Leaves are pinnate or palmate to trifoliate. Bean pod is about 6 to 8 inches long, four-angled. Flowers are large and pale to bright blue.

- Seasonal cultivation.

- Rich in oil (up to 17%), protein, vitamin E and calcium.
- Proximate analysis showed P. tetragonolobus to be rich in proteins (33.83%), with considerably high amount of carbohydrate (22.30%). Fat content was 17.51%; crude fiber, 12.23%; water content, P>0.05. (see study below) (6)
- Mineral composition (mg/kg) of winged beans yielded magnesium, 2238.18 ±0.04; zinc, 364.76 ±0.64; copper, 90.79 ±0.72; calcium, 889.86 ±0.63, sodium, 1972.34 ± 0.69; potassium, 4219.30 ± 0.81. (6)
- Study showed that fatty oil from fully mature seeds had a higher proportion of unsaturated fatty acids (75.5%); immature seeds yielded a higher percentage of saturated FA (61.3%). Unsaponification of fatty oil yielded stigmasterol (66.4%) and ß-sitosterol (25.1%). Total lipids of fully mature seeds yielded neutral, glyco- and phospholipids. Fatty oil of fully mature seeds yielded mono-saturated FA (38.6%) and polyunsaturated FA (36.9%) without trans-fatty acids, thereby meeting the edible oil standard. (10)

- Nutritional analysis of raw immature seeds per 100 g. yielded: (1) Principle: energy 49 Kcal, carbohydrate 4.31g, protein 6.95g, total fat 0.87g, cholesterol 0 mg; (2) Vitamins: folates 66 µg, niacin 0.900 mg, pantothenic acid 0.059 mg, pyridoxine 0.113 mg, riboflavin 0.100 mg, thiamin 0.140 mg, vitamin A 128 IU, vitamin C 18.3 mg; (3) Electrolytes: sodium 4 mg, potassium 240 mg; and (5) Minerals: calcium 84 mg, copper 0.051 µg, iron 1.5 mg, magnesium 34 mg, manganese 0.218 mg, phosphorus 37 mg, selenium 1.5 µg, zinc 0.39 mg. (13)

- Studies have suggested antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-nociceptive, antioxidant, platelet aggregation inhibitory, hepatoprotective properties.

- Whole plant is edible, the beans used as vegetable; but the other parts –leaves, flowers and roots–are also edible. Immature seeds used in soups.
- Young pods can be eaten raw or added to salads.
- Flowers used as rice and pastry colorant; eaten raw or cooked; a sweet flavor that makes an appealing addition to salads.
- Young leaves can be pickled or prepared as vegetable, like spinach.
- Leaves and young shoots, raw or cooked, are surprisingly delicious.
- Good source of vitamins A and C, calcium and iron.
- Roasted seed used as coffee substitute.
- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.

Antimicrobial / Pods / Leaves:
Results of study of extract of PT pods showed activity against B. subtilis and B. cereus, P mirabilis, E coli, S typhi, K pneumonia and C albicans and suggested a potential source for antimicrobial compounds. (1) Methanol extract of Psophocarpus tetragonologus leaves exhibited bactericidal effect on Pseudomonas aeruginosa.(3) Study of a methanol extract of P. tetragonolobus leaves for antimicrobial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa showed favorable activity with MIC of 2.55 mg/mL. SEM studies showed complete collapse of the bacterial cells. The extract exhibited no significant toxicity (LC50=1.30 mg/mL) against Artemia salina. (15)
Study of methanol extract of PT root showed no toxicity and a favorable antimicrobial activity against Candida albicans. (2)
Aluminum Content of Edible Portion:
Study was done to evaluate the accumulation of aluminum in the edible parts of the plant: leaves, pods, seeds and tubers. Results showed all edible portions of the plant accumulate aluminum from high to very high levels compared to an average of less than 300 ppm in other crop plants; the accumulation was highest in the youngest tissues, especially the roots, recording as high as 25,000 ppm. (4)
Phytohemagglutinins / Seeds:
One of the drawbacks in the utilization of winged bean protein is the presence of anti-nutritional factors typical of legumes. Study evaluated the seeds from eleven cultivars of Psophocarpus tetragonolobus for phytohemagglutinin activity. Levels ranges from 3,200 to 25,600 hemagglutinating units/g sample, on a fresh weight basis. Seeds showed greater activity than tubers and leaves. Phytohemagglutinins were found to be thermolabile. (5)
Proximate Analysis:
Winged beans is unique among leguminous crops in that many plant parts—leaves, pods, seeds, and tubers—are edible and rich in protein. Based on findings on proximate analysis, winged beans could be useful in the formulation of infant formula. (see constituents above) (6)
Isolectins / Leaves: Study isolated two isolectins from the leaves of winged bean, differing from each other in immunological properties, hemagglutinating activities, sugar inhibition patterns, and amino aid compositions. (7)
Anti-Candidal / Pod Extract:
Study evaluated a pod extract of Psophocarpus tetragonolobus for antimicrobial activity against Candida albicans. Results showed alteration in morphology and complete collapse of yeast cells after 36 hours of exposure. Study confirms the possible antimicrobial potential of the pod extract. (8)
Anti-Inflammatory / Antioxidant / Anti-Nociceptive:
Study evaluated the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-nociceptive properties of six Malaysian medicinal plants, including Psophocarpus tetragonolobus. All plants showed significant nitric oxide inhibitory activity without causing cytotoxicity to RAW 264.7 cells. All plants showed different degrees of antioxidant activities, attributed to phenolic compounds. All plant species suppressed writhing response of mice at different degrees of inhibition.  (9)
Hepatoprotective / Seeds:
Study evaluated the hepatoprotective and antioxidant effects of total flavonoids from P. tetragonolobus seeds in vitro and in vivo in carbon tetrachloride induced acute liver injury in mice. Results showed significant hepatoprotective effect, possibly by scavenging of free radicals and inhibition of lipid peroxidation and TNF-α expression. (14)
• Antibacterial / Leaves:
Study of a methanol extract of P. tetragonolobus leaves for antimicrobial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa showed favorable activity with MIC of 2.55 mg/mL. SEM studies showed complete collapse of the bacterial cells. The extract exhibited no significant toxicity (LC50=1.30 mg/mL) against Artemia salina. (15)
• Platelet Aggregation Inhibition Activity / Pod:
Study evaluated the antiplatelet activity of pods of P. tetragonolobus in vitro. A 4mg/mL concentration showed the highest average percent platelet aggregation inhibition of 69.58% and greatest average percent antiplatelet activity of 75.49% among the pod extracts. (16)
• Biodiesel Potential / Seed Oil:
Paper presents preliminary studies on biodiesel from two novel sources of oil: fruit pulp of C. ovatum (pili) and seed of P. tetragonolobus (winged bean). The kinematic viscosity of the FAME from sigarilyas was above maximum limit for Philippine standard. Initial results suggest acceptable FAME may be obtained from these two new potential sources of feedstocks. (17)
• Effect on Heat
Treatment on Nutritional value of winged bean: Autoclaving suggested that autoclaving at 124 c within minutes should be adequate to remove protease inhibitors and can improved digestibility of winged beans. (18)


© Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Updated May 2018 / January 2016

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Fungicidal Effect and Oral Acute Toxicity of Psophocarpus tetragonolobus Root Extract / S Sasidharan et al / Pharmaceutical Biology, Volume 46, Issue 4 April 2008 , pages 261 - 265 / DOI: 10.1080/13880200701740858
Antibacterial Activity and Toxicity of Psophocarpus tetragonolobus. / Pharmaceutical Biology / 2007, Vol. 45, No. 1, Pages 31-36
Aluminum contents of the edible portions of the winged bean, Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (L.) DC. (Fabaceae): field study and caveat / Harder D K / Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 1994 Feb;45(2):127-37.
Phytohemagglutinins in the Winded Bean Psophocarpus tetragonolobus L. DC / S S Sri Kantha and N S Hettiarachchy / J. Natn. Sci. Coun. Sri Lanka 1981 9(2): 223-228
Two isolectins from leaves of winged bean, Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (L.) DC. /
Yagi F, Sawada R, Imada T, Toyonaga S, Tadera K, Ishihata K / Plant & cell physiology 35:7 1994 Oct pg 1087-95
Effect of Psophocarpus tetragonolobus pod extract on Candida albicans / S. Sasidharan*, Z. Zuraini, L. Yoga Latha, S. Suryani, and S. Sangetha / Journal of Tropical Medicinal Plants, Vol 9, No 1.
Evaluation of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-nociceptive activities of six Malaysian medicinal plants / K. H. Lee, A. M. Padzil, A. Syahida*, N. Abdullah, S. W. Zuhainis, M. Maziah, M. R. Sulaiman, D. A. Israf, K. Shaari and N. H. Lajis / Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, Vol.5(23), pp. 5555-5563 , October 2011
Physicochemical analysis of Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (L.) DC seeds with fatty acids and total lipids compositions / Chandra Sekhar Mohanty & Rama Chandra Pradhan & Vinayak Singh & Neha Singh & Rojalin Pattanayak & Om Prakash & Chandan Singh Chanotiya & Prasant Kumar Rout / J Food Sci Technol DOI 10.1007/s13197-014-1436-1
Sorting Psophocarpus names / /Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 - 2020 / A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The University of Melbourne. Australia.
Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (L.) DC / Synonyms / The Plant List
Wing beans nutrition facts / Source: USDA Nutrient data base / Nutrition and You
Antioxidant Activity and Hepatoprotective Activity of Total Flavonoids from Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (L.) DC. Seeds / HUANG Xiaobo, FU Ming*, CHEN Dongming / FOOD SCIENCE, 2015, 36(15): 206-211.
Antibacterial Activity and Toxicity of Psophocarpus tetragonolobus. / L Yoga Latha, S Sasidharan, Z Zuraini, S Suryani, L Shirley & S Sangetha / Pharmaceutical Biology, Vol 45, Issue 1, 2007
In Vitro Platelet Aggregation Inhibition Activity of Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (L.) DC. Pod Extract
/ Gerard Lee L See, Juleos Adam A Lopez, Elijah Nicole C Alterado, Florencio Jr V Arce / International Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemical Research 2017; 9(1): pp 70-75 /
DOI: 10.25258/ijpapr.v9i1.8043
Preliminary Evaluation of Biodiesel from Canarium ovatum (Pili) Pulp Oil and Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (Winged bean) Seed Oil / Dr Luis Razon / De La Salle University, College of Engineering
Effect of heat Treatment on Nutritional Value of Winged bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus) as compared to soybean I.Chemical Characteristics of Treated Winged bean / R Mutia, S Uchida / AJAS;Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 1993;6(1): 19-26. / DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.1993.19 
Antioxidant activities of Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (L.) DC / Zhu Xiaodi, Lian Pengli, Zhang Dan, Kang Wenyl / Journal of Henan University Medicinal School, 2015
Psophocarpus tetragonolobus / Useful Tropical Plants

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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