Synonyms: lady's finger, gumbo, bhindi, bindi, bamia.
A member of the hibiscus family, okra is a tropical annual that gets 1-3 m tall, has large lobed leaved, and bears yellow flowers that give rise to the familiar okra pods so valued in Cajun gumbos. The large lobed leaves are slightly spiny and the plant has a thick, semiwoody stem with few branches. The flowers are hibiscus-like with pale yellow or cream colored petals and purplish hearts. Okra blooms and produces over an extended season, usually until first frost.
The pods are fuzzy green, 5 to 10 cm in length, and contains a sticky, mucilaginous juice that can be used as a thickener.
Okra is the key ingredient in the American Southern dish, gumbo. Chinese okra is a different food, luffa acutangula.
Used as a vegetable and in soups.
IGE AND IMMUNE:
IgE-mediated immediate-type allergy.
Tomoda has suggested that okra has anticomplementary and hypoglycemic activity. (Tomoda 1989 ref.2901 1)
Animal workers, cosmetics, docker, refinery worker, chemical & lab workers, farming
Two workers picking and packing okra showed distinct positive intradermal reactions to two brands of okra extracts. 9 of 14 farmers engaged in picking and packing okra were also found to be positive.
Contact dermatitis - may also be due to the proteolytic activity of immature okra pods. (Manda 1992 ref.2895 3)
32 of 52 workers (61.5%) reported previous or current skin diseases from okra cultivation. The sites of skin lesions were mainly the arms, fingers and fingertips. (Matsushita 1989 ref.2899 5)
Information supplied from an abridged section of:
Allergy Advisor - Zing Solutions
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