Lupin

Lupinus sp.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Seed.

Edible Uses: Coffee; Oil.

Seed - cooked. Used as a protein-rich vegetable or savoury dish in any of the ways that cooked beans are used, they can also be roasted or ground into a powder and mixed with cereal flours in making bread etc. If the seed is bitter this is due to the presence of toxic alkaloids and the seed should be thoroughly leached by soaking it and then discarding the soak water before cooking. Seeds contain 32 - 40% protein, 8 - 12% oil. The roasted seeds can be used as a snack in much the same way as peanuts. An edible oil is obtained from the seed. The roasted seed is used as a coffee substitute.

Medicinal Uses

Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Hypoglycaemic; Vermifuge.

The seeds, taken internally, are diuretic, emmenagogue, hypoglycaemic and vermifuge. When bruised and soaked in water they are used as a poultice on ulcers etc. The seeds are opening and cleansing, good to destroy worms. Outwardly they are used against deformities of the skin, scabby ulcers, scald heads, and other cutaneous distempers. The seeds contain a crystalline substance called Magolan, which is a useful remedy in diabetes mellitus. The bruised seeds, after soaking in water, are sometimes used as an external application to ulcers, etc., and internally are said to be anthelmintic, diuretic and emmenagogue.

Other Uses

Cosmetic; Fibre; Green manure; Oil.

The seed contains up to 12% oil. This is used in making soap. A fibre obtained from the stems is used for making cloth etc. A cosmetic face-mask can be made from lupin flour, this is used to invigorate tired skin. A useful spring-sown green manure crop, especially on light soils. It is deep rooting, fairly fast growing, produces a good bulk and fixes atmospheric nitrogen.
Cultivation details

An easily grown plant, succeeding in any moderately good soil. It prefers a light acid soil but tolerates adverse conditions. Requires a sunny position. The white lupin is sometimes cultivated, especially in S. Europe, for its edible seed and also as a green manure crop. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby. When removing plant remains at the end of the growing season, it is best to only remove the aerial parts of the plant, leaving the roots in the ground to decay and release their nitrogen.

Propagation

Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and sow in mid spring in situ. You may need to protect the seed from mice. Germination should take place within 2 weeks.