Reduces swelling, works on atopy
(allergic hypersensitivity reactions)
Azuki beans — synonymous in Japan with celebrations — contain many healthful components whose benefits should not be underestimated.
The first is azuki saponin, a component unique to azuki. Saponin, which is also found in soybeans, prevents the formation of lipid peroxides and is helpful in stalling the aging process. The saponin in azuki, however, is also a diuretic.
Azuki beans contain large amounts of vitamin B1, which aids energy metabolism, helping the body recover from fatigue and build stamina. They also have potassium, which helps to eliminate fiber and excess salt from the body.
People in the past have used azuki to reduce swelling, to increase milk supply in nursing mothers with inadequate milk and for preventing hangover.
Azuki Beans Can Improve Atopy Symptoms
Many people know azuki as the beans in sekihan (red-bean rice) or the beans with which rice cake jam fillings are made of, but did you know it is also considered a Chinese herbal medicine?
In Chinese herbal medicine, azuki are called “sekishozu” (literally, “small, red beans”). Sekishozu are claimed to 1) reduce fever and eliminate excess accumulated body moisture as urine; and 2) eliminate poisons by purging them from the body as urine.
Dr. Mitsuko Uematsu, a pharmacist and doctor of international Chinese medicine at “Uematsu Pharmacy,” a pharmacy specializing in Chinese herbal medicines in Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture, has published a report on a study of how azuki, in combination with other natural medicines, can help people suffering from atopy.
Dr. Uematsu found no “significant difference” between treatments where Chinese herbal medicines were the only medications prescribed versus treatments where azuki was prescribed in combination with other medicines. However, she did find that as a treatment for itching and redness, azuki, in combination with other medications, was 75 percent effective than 66 percent for azuki alone.
(The information provided should not be construed as medical advice or instruction. Consult your physician before attempting any new program. Readers who fail to consult appropriate health authorities assume the risk of developing serious medical conditions.)
Photo: Azuki Beans by Richard West