Inga Bean

Ice cream bean

Inga Edulis

A sub-tropical tree, indigenous to the Amazon rainforest growing up to 60' tall.
The flowers grow in dense spikes and the fruit is a ribbed cylindrical pod up to 3' long.
Inside are the green seeds covered in white fluffy pulp.
This sweet pulp can be eaten.
The seeds of ice cream bean contain trypsin and chymotrypsin inhabitors.

Medicinal Uses

Seeds are said to improve sight. Crushed and boiled down leaves of Inga edulis are drunk to relieve coughing and applied to sores on lips.

Decoctions of the leaves and bark are used as astringent in diarrhea, and as a lotion for arthritis and rheumatism. The root decoction is used for diarrhea or dysentery, (considered more effective if mixed with the rind of pomegranate). Bark and fruit are used for dropsy and irritations of the raucous lining of the intestines. Cuna Indians used the plant as a nervine for headaches.