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Family Fabaceae
Cajanus cajan
(Linn.) Millsp.

Mu dou

Scientific names  Common names
Cajan cajan (L.) Millsp.        [Spelling variant] Gablos (Tag.) 
Cajan indorum Medik. Kadios (Mang., Tag., P. Bis.) 
Cajan inodorum Medik. Kagyos (Tag.) 
Cajanus bicolor DC. Kagyas (Tag.) 
Cajanus cajan (L.) Huth Kaldis (Ig., Ilk.) 
Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp. Kalios (Tag.) 
Cajanus flavus DC. Kardis (Ibn., Ilk., Ig.) 
Cajanus indicus Spreng. Kidis (Ilk., Bon.) 
Cajanus inodorum Medik. Kusia (Ig., If.) 
Cajanus luteus Bello Tabios (Bik., C. Bis.)
Cajanus obcordifolia Singh Congo pea (Engl.)
Cajanus obcordifolius V. Singh Pigeon pea (Engl.) 
Cajanus striatus Bojer Red gram (Engl.)
Cytisus cajan L.  
Cytisus guineensis Schum. & Thonn.  
Cystisus pseudocajan Jacq.  
Phaseolus balicus  L.  
Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
ARABIC: Bisillah hindîyah, Lûbyâ sûdânî, Shakul.
CAMBODIAN: Sandaek dai, Sandaek kroeb sa, Sandaek klong.
CHINESE: San ye dou, Niu dou, Dou rong, Shu tuo, Mu dou.
DANISH : Ærtebønne, Ærteboenne.
DUTCH : Struikerwt, Katjang goedé,
ESTONIAN : Harilik tuvihernes.
FINNISH : Kyyhkynherne.
FRENCH : Ambrevade, Pois d'Angola, Pois du Congo, Pois cajan.
GERMAN: Straucherbse, Strauchbohne, Taubenerbse.
HINDI: Arhar, Toor, Tuur, Tur, Tuvar, Tuver.
INDONESIAN: Kacang hiris, Kacang gude, Gude, Kekace, Undis, Lebui, Legui, Kance, Fou hate,
ITALIAN : Pisello d'Angola, Pisello del tropico, Caiano.
JAPANESE: Pijonpii, Ki-mame, .
KHMER : Sândaèk dai, Sândaèk kroëb sâ, Sândaèk klöng.
LAOTIAN : Thwàx h'ê.
MALAY : Kacang, Kacang dal, Kacang hiris, Kacang kayu, Kacang gude.
MALAYALAM: Tuvara, Tuvara parippu.
PORTUGUESE : Feijão-guandu, Guandu, Guisante-de-Angola.
SANSKRIT: Adhaki, Tuvari.
SPANISH : Cachito, Fríjol de árbol, Frijol de la India, Frijol guandul, Frijol quinchancho, Gandul.
SWEDISH : Duwärt.
TAMIL: Thuvari.
THAI: Thua rae, Thua maetaai, Ma hae.
VIETNAMESE: Cay dau chieu, Da sang, Dau thong.

Kadios is an erect, branched, hairy shrub, 2 to 4 meters high. Stems are angled and covered with fine hairs. Leaves are oblong-lanceolate to oblanceolate, trifoliate with two lateral leaflets and a central/terminal leaflet on a longer petiole. Flowers are yellow, occurring in sparse peduncled racemes, about 1.5 centimeters long. Pod is hairy, flattened, 4 to 7 centimeters long, about 1 centimeter wide, containing 2 to 7 seeds. Seeds are smooth, 4 to 8 millimeters in diameter, green when immature, turning white, yellow, red or black on maturity, entire or mottled.

- In settled areas throughout the Philippines, cultivated, semicultivated, and in some places, spontaneous, occurring from sea level to 2,400 meters.
- Probably prehistoric introduction
from tropical Asia of Malaya.
- Now pantropic.

- Phytochemical screening yielded carbohydrates, protein, amino acid, fats and oils, steroid, glycosides, anthraquinone glucoside, saponin glycoside, flavonoids, alkaloids, phenolic compounds.
- Pigeon pea is rich in starch, protein, calcium, manganese, crude fiber, fat, trace elements, and minerals.
- Seeds are rich in carbohydrates (58%) and proteins (19%).
- Studies yielded 2'-2'methylcajanone, 2'-hydroxygenistein, isoflavones, cajanin, cajanones, among many others.

- Leaves are rich in polyphenolic compounds, i.e., flavonoids like luteonin and apigenin, and also stilbenes, saponins, tannins, resins, and terpenoids.
- Roots yield genistein and genistin, hexadecanoic acid, α-amyrin, ß-sitosterol, pinostrobin, longistylin A, longistylin C and cajanol. (23)
- Physicochemical study of leaf powder yielded total, acid-insoluble and water-soluble ash values and moisture content of 9.50%, 1.40 g/100 g, 4.15 g/100 g drug and 6.72%, respectively.
Significant phenolic and flavonoid content was observed. (see study below) (30)
- Comparative quantitative phytochemical analyses of bioactive compounds of C. cajan seeds and leaves yielded: flavonoids (423.75 ± 57.81 and 31.08 ± 8.20 mg/100g), tannins (31.55 ± 2.67 and 17.30 ± 0.47 mg/100g), alkaloids (3118.86 ± 79.35 and 385.54 ± 75.15mg/100g), saponins (51.21 ± 4.66 and 1.82 ± 0.29mg/100g), cyanogenic glycosides (43.91 ± 5.99 and 12.42 ± 1.84mg/100g), glycosides (3.55 ± 1.98 and 3.80 ± 1.01mg/100g) and anthocyanins (8.35 ± 0.172 and 4.75 ± 0.174mg/100g), respectively. (37)
- Nutrient analysis of mature seeds, cooked, boiled without salt, per 1 cup (168 g) yielded: (Proximates) water 115.16g, energy 203, protein 11.36g, total lipid(fat) 0.64g, carbohydrate, by difference 39.06g; fiber, total dietary 11.3g; (Minerals) calcium 72mg, iron, Fe 1.86mg, magnesium 77mg, phosphorus, P 200mg, potassium K 645mg, sodium Na 8 mg, zinc 1.51mg; (Vitamins) vitamin C 0.0, thiamin 0.245mg, riboflavin 0.099mg, niacin 1.312mg, vitamin B6 0.84mg, folate DFE 186µg, vitamin B12 0.0, vitamin A 0.0, vitamin D 0.0; (Lipids) saturated fatty acids 0.139g, monosaturated fatty acids 0.005g, polyunsaturated fatty acids 0.344g, total trans fatty acids 0.0, cholesterol 0.0. (38)
- Phytochemical analysis of leaves, seeds and stems of C. cajan yielded the presence of saponins, tannins, alkaloids, flavonoids, anthraquinones, and reducing sugars. Quantitative analysis of leaf, seed and stems yielded phenolic compounds 16.61%, 3.82% and 14.19%; saponins 5.97%, 6.35% and 4.98%; tannins 0.49%, 0.23% and 0.22%; alkaloids 2.65%, 2.65% and 2.51%; flavonoids 4.77%, 2.11% and 5.44%, respectively. (39)
- Phytochemical screening of ethanolic extract of leaves yielded glycosides, flavonoids, flavonones, steroids, tannins, fixed oil, fatty acids, and protein (see study below) (47)
- GC-MS analysis of leaves, stems and seeds for essential oil yielded sesquiterpenes, 92.5%, 81.2%, and 94.3% respectively. Major compounds were α-himachalene (9.0-11.5%), ß-himachalene (8.0 - 11.0%, y-himachalene (6.9 - 8.1%), α-humulene (7.1 - 8.7%), and α-copaene (4.5 - 5.6%). (55)
- Review reports a total of 27 flavonoids reported in literature representing seven flavonoid classes. The following are flavonoids from stems and leaves: 4'-O-methylcajanin (S), 2'-hydroxygenistein (S), apigienin (L), biochanin A (L), cajanin (S), cajanol (S,L), chrysanthemmin, formonentin (L), genistein (S), isorhamnetin (L), luteolin (L), orientin (L), peonidin 3-glucoside,, pinostrobin (L), quercetin (L), and vitexin. (L) (60)

- Roots are considered anthelmintic, expectorant, febrifuge, sedative, vulnerary.
- Studies have suggested antihyperglycemic, anti-inflammatory, anti-plasmodial, anti-sickling, antihyperlipidemic, antimicrobial, anticancer, antioxidant, anti-fertility, biosorbent, antiulcer, neuroprotective, hepatoprotective properties.

Parts used
Leaves, seeds, roots.

Edibility / Nutrition
- Used mainly for its edible young pods and seeds.
- Vegetable food crop ( seeds and pods) in South-East Asia.
- Fair source of calcium and iron; good source of vitamin B.
- Kernels are nutritionally rich, containing 20-22% protein.
- Ground dry peas can be mixed with wheat flour to improve the flour quality and protein content.
- Decoction or infusion of leaves for coughs, diarrhea, abdominal pains.
- Tender leaves are chewed for aphthous stomatitis and spongy gums.
- Pulped or poulticed leaves used for sores.
- Leaves used in the treatment of measles, rheumatism, infected burn wounds, bedsores.
- Roots chewed for toothache; leaves used to clean teeth.
- In Peru, leaves are used as an infusion for anemia, hepatitis, diabetes, urinary infections and yellow fever.
- In Argentina, leaves used for genital and skin problems; flowers used for bronchitis, cough and pneumonia.
- In China, as vermifuge, vulnerary; for tumors.
- In Panama, used for treatment of diabetes and jaundice.
- In Bangladesh, used for treatment of diabetes.
- In Indian folk medicine, used for a variety of liver disorders.
- Used in the treatment of jaundice, bronchitis and cough; used as anthelmintic and in child delivery.
- In Saint Lucia, boiled with chadon benni (Eryngium foetidum), and decoction drunk as tonic "when not feeling right." As laxative handful of leaves is pounded, the extracted juice is mixed with Barbados oil, castor oil, and cooking oil. (
- Forage: Used as forage or hay.
- Crafts: Branches and stems for basket and fuel.

- Mulch: Fallen leaves can be used as mulch and enhance water holding capacity of soil. (52)
- Broiler feed: Study has suggested it as an alternative protein source in broiler feed, as 7.5% of the diet or as 50% substitution for soybean mean. (57)

RBC Sickling Inhibition / Sickle Cell Anemia : Clinical studies have reported seed extracts to inhibit red blood cell sickling and potential benefit for people with sickle cell anemia.
Sickle Cell Anemia: In a single blind placebo controlled study, results showed CC extract may cause a reduction of painful sickle cell crises and ameliorate the adverse effects of sickle cell anemia on the liver.
Sickle Cell Anemia / Phenylalanine: Paper reports that both extract of C. cajan and the amino acid phenylalanine of which it is rich, are good biochemical reducing agents and oxidative free radical scavengers, and can be employed in the treatment not only of sickle cell disease, but other conditions involving oxidative stress. (13)

Antiplasmodial constituents of Cajanus cajan:
Study isolated two stilbenes, longistylin A and C and betulinic acid from the roots and leaves of CC and showed moderately high in vitro activity against Plasmodium falciparum strain. (2)
Stilbenes / Neuroprotective / Alzheimer's Disease:
Study of stilbenes containing extract-fraction from C cajan showed significant amelioration of cognitive deficits and neuron apoptosis. Findings suggest SECC has a potential in the development of therapeutic agent to manage cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer's disease through increase choline acetyltransferase activity and anti-oxidative mechanism. (9)
Hypocholesterolemic Effect:
Study on the stilbenes containing extract-fraction of CC showed a hypocholesterolemic effect possibly through enhancement of hepatic LDL-receptor and cholesterol 7-alpha-hydroxylase expression levels and bile acid synthesis. (3)
Hyperglycemic Effect: Evaluation of traditional medicine: effects of Cajanus cajan L. and of Cassia fistula L. on carbohydrate metabolism in mice: Contradicting its traditional use for diabetes, CC did not have a hypoglycemic effect on sugar, instead at higher doses, it produced a hyperglycemic effect. (4)
Antimicrobial: Study shows the organic solvent extracts to inhibit E coli, S aureus and S typhi and the aqueous extract were inhibitory to E coli and S aureus. (5)
Antimicrobial / Antifungal: Nigerian study on the antimicrobial effects of the ethanol and aqueous extracts of locally available plants, including C cajan, showed inhibition against S aureus, P aeruginosa, E coli and C albicans. The extracts of C cajan produced wider zones of inhibition against C albicans. (6)
Hyperglycemic Effect / Leaves: Study of the aqueous extract of C cajan leaves showed a hyperglycemic effect, suggesting a usefulness in controlling hypoglycemia that may be due to excess of insulin or other hypoglycemic drugs. (7)
Hepatoprotective / Alcohol-Induced Liver Damage: Study of the methanol-aqueous fraction of C cajan leaf extract showed it could prevent the chronically treated alcohol induced rat liver damage and presents a promise as a non-toxic herb for therapeutic use in alcohol-induced liver dysfunction. (8)
Hepatoprotective / Carbon-Tetrachloride Hepatotoxicity: Study in mice with carbon tetrachloride-induced liver damage showed the methanol extracts of B orellana, C cajan, G pentaphylla and C equisetifolia showed significant decrease in levels of serum markers, indicating the protection of hepatic cells in a dose-dependent manner. (10)
Antioxidant / Hypolipidemic: Study of methanolic extract of CC in alloxan-induced hyperglycemic rats showed a significant reduction in blood glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol, and creatinine concentrations. Antioxidant activity was confirmed with in vitro studies.
Anticancer / Cajanol / In vitro Cytotoxicity: Cajanol, an isoflavanone from the roots of C. cajan was investigated for anticancer activity towards MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. Results showed inhibition of growth of MCF-7 cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner and induction of apoptosis via a ROS-mediated mitochondria-dependent pathway. (16)
Cajachalcone / Antimalarial Potential / Leaves: A bioassay-guided fractionation of a crude methanolic extract of leaves yielded Cajachalcone, 2′,6′-dihydroxy-4-methoxy chalcone, as the biologically active constituent from the ethyl acetate fraction. Chalcones and derivatives are small bioactive synthesized molecules with a high potential as leads for discovery and development of antimalarial agents. (18)
Toxicity Study / Dose Related Hepatotoxic Potential: Study evaluated the effect of oral aqueous leaf extract on electrolyte concentration and ALT, AST, and ALP activities in normal rats. Results showed the aqueous leaf extract has a hepatotoxic potential when consumed at a daily dose of 0.5 g/kg BW or more for 14 days, and suggests lower dosages for local use of the plant extract. (19)
Effect on Litter Size and Serum Progesterone in Pregnant Rats: Study showed oral administration of aqueous leaf extract increases litter size and plasma progesterone in pregnant rats. (20)
Anti-Drepanocytosic Activity: Study evaluated four plants, including Cajanus cajan, for anti-depranocytosic activity. C. cajan showed the presence of fatty acids, one of which was characterized as an unsaturated fatty acid. Crude hexane and methanol extracts of Cajanus cajan showed in vitro anti-sickling activity. (21)
Anti-Oxidative Protection Against Iron Overload Induced Liver Damage / Leaves: Study investigated a methanol extract of C. cajan leaf for antioxidative protection against iron-overload induced liver damage in mice. The plant extract reversed the serum enzymes to approach normal value, and counteracted the overwhelmed serum ferritin level. In vitro studies suggested potential antioxidant activity. Histopath studies substantiated the ameliorative effects of the plant extract. (22)
Anti-Drepanocytosic Activity: Study compared the protective antioxidant activity, total phenol content and antihyperglycemic activity of a methanolic extracts of Cajanus cajan root and Tamarindus indica seeds. Both plants showed high antioxidant capacity. Reduction efficacy of blood glucose was proportional to their dose, but the methanol extract of C. cajan showed more potent reduction of blood glucose. (24)
Anti-Fertility Activity / Seed: Study of methanol extract of Bassia latifolia bud and Cajanus cajan seed produced anti-fertility activity on mature female mice. The contraceptive action of both plant extracts is not permanent and the ovarian activities return a few days after withdrawal of the extract. (26)
Anti-Ulcer / Anti-Inflammatory / Leaves: Study evaluated various extracts of leaves for possible anti-gastric ulcer properties and anti-inflammatory activity in mice. Results showed anti-ulcer activity in three acute models: HCl/ethanol induce ulcer, immersion-restraint stress, and drug-induced ulcer. Study also showed significant anti-inflammatory effect in cotton pellet granuloma and carrageenan induced paw edema models. (27)
Antihyperglycemic / Cytotoxicity: Study evaluated the antihyperglycemic and cytotoxic potential of methanolic extracts of leaves and roots of C. cajan in mice. Results showed dose dependent and significant reductions of glucose levels. On brine shrimp lethality bioassay, both leave and root extracts showed high degree of cytotoxicity suggesting a promising source of anticancer compounds. (28)
Antioxidant / Leaves: Study for in vitro antioxidant activity of various leaf extracts showed concentration dependent activity. The aqueous extract exhibited the highest antioxidant activity in all the assays tested (DPPH, reducing power, hydroxyl radical scavenging, and phosphomolybdenum assays). The antioxidant activity of the leaf extracts were attributed to the presence of polyphenols. (see constituents above) (30)
Biosorbent for Ni / Pods: Study evaluated pods of pigeon pea as eco-friendly material for nickel binding efficiency. Results suggest the pods to be a promising adsorbent for removal of Ni (II) ions from aqueous solution. Findings suggest an economical alternative to the commercially available activated carbon in the treatment of effluent containing Ni(II) ions. (31)
Hepatoprotective / D-galactosamin-Induced Hepatitis: Study evaluated the hepatoprotective effect of ethanolic extract of CC on hepatic antioxidant status is D-galactosamine-induced hepatitis in rats. Results suggest a possible and potential antiperoxidative role for Cajanus cajan plant extract in hepatic extract. (32)
Antiulcer / Pylorus-Ligated Induced Gastric Ulcer / Leaves: Study of ethanolic extract of leaves of C. cajan for antiulcer activity in pylorus ligation induced ulcer model in rats showed dose dependent reduction of total acidity and ulcer index, and increase in pH of gastric juice. (33)
Rust Prevention / Seed Hull Extract: Study evaluated the effect of pigeon pea seed hull extract against rust. Results showed the combination of pigeon pea seed hull extract with turpentine or distilled water is effective in preventing formation of rust. (34)
Effect of Addition of Pigeon Pea Flour on Cassava Bread: Study showed cassava bread elaborated with the addition of pigeon pea flour resulted in higher content of protein, fat, fiber, ash and resistant starch, and lower contents of carbohydrates, cyanide, in vitro alpha-amylosis rate and calories compared to counterpart without pigeon pea flour. Results may be of benefit in people requiring a low carb diet, including diabetic and obese patients. (35)
Pulp and Paper-making: Study evaluated pigeon pea plant for suitability in pulp and paper-making Results showed the short fibered plant can be mixed with long fibered wood species for production of paper with good properties and increased pulp yield. The addition of 0.13% anthraquinone to pulping liquor reduced active alkali consumption and increased pulp yield. (36)
Antifungal / Modulation of Conventional Antifungals / Leaves and Root: Study evaluated the antifungal activity of C. cajan ethanolic extracts of leaves and roots and the modulatory activity of antifungals fluconazole and ketoconazole. Results showed the presence of tannins, flavonoids and alkaloids. The leaves extract showed best activity against C. albicans and C. tropicalis. The evaluation of antifungal modifying activity suggest the extracts are a therapeutic alternative to yeasts resistant to conventional antifungals. (40)
Tyrosinase Inhibitory Potential / Total Phenolic Content: Study evaluated the total phenolic content and tyrosinase inhibitory potential of root, stem, and seeds parts of C. cajan. The dichlormethane seed extract yielded higher total phenolic content (92.00 ± 1.24 mg GAE/g extract) than methanol and water seed extracts. Highest tyrosinae inhibitory activity was found in the root methanol extract with IC50 of 3.55 ± 0.35 mg/ml. (41).
Cytotoxic Prenylated Stilbenes / Leaves: Study evaluated extracts of air-dried leaves and isolated compounds for cytotoxic activity. Thin-layer chromatography isolated two prenylated stilbenes, longistylin A and C. The prenylated stilbenes exhibited in vitro cytotoxic activity against human amelanotic melanoma, C32, human breast adenocarcinoma, MCF-7, and human large cell lung carcinoma, COR-L23, cell lines, with IC50s ranging between 20 and 35 µM. These compounds have previously been reported to have antiplasmodial activity. (42)
Antioxidant / Antibacterial / Anti-Inflammatory / Leaves: Study evaluated the antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory activity of leaves of three Thai edible medicinal plants viz. Cajanus cajan, Morinda citrifolia, and Ocimum americanum. All extracts exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated macrophages. C. cajan exhibited broad spectrum antibacterial activity against gram-positive and gram-negative aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. All three exhibited antioxidant effects. (43)
Antisickling / L-Phenylalanine and p-Hydroxybenzoic Acid: Study Review describes the nutritional composition of pigeon pea and their relationship in the inhibition of sickling in sickle cell disease (SCD). Two chemical components, L-phenylalanine and p-hydroxybenzoic acid, may be related to the inhibitory effect on sickling. (45)
Acute Toxicity / Leaves: Study evaluated the chemical composition and toxicological profile of leaves of C. cajan in Wistar female rats. Phytochemical screening yielded flavonoids, sterols and polyterpenes, polyphenols, catechin tannins, quinone substances and saponosids. The acute toxicity of the extracts by oral route showed an LD50 of 3715.35 mg/kbw for aqueous extracts and 1174.90 mg/kbw for hydroalcoholic extracts. MTD (maximal tolerated dose) for aqueous and hydroalcoholic extracts were 3500 mg/kg and 400 mg/kbw, respectively. The toxicological data suggest slight toxicity. (46)
Anticonvulsant / Leaves: Study evaluated the anticonvulsant activity of ethanolic leaf extract of C. cajan in MES-induced convulsions in rat and PTZ-induced convulsion in mice. Phenytoin and diazepams were used as standard drugs. At doses of 100 and 200mg/kg, the extracts significantly increased the onset of latency in PTZ-induced convulsions and caused significant (p<0.0001) effect on the level of GABA and glutamate in a dose dependent manner in both models. Anticonvulsant effect was attributed to flavonoids. (see constituents above) (47)
PPARy Activators / Anti-Inflammatory / Cytotoxic: Study evaluated the role of peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) as potential target of C. cajan and its compounds for the treatment of cancer, inflammation, and inflammation-related disorders. C. cajan and its compounds exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity on LPS-stimulated macrophages and showed good cytotoic activity against 3 different cancer cell lines viz. HeLa, CaCo-2 and MCF-7. Main compounds were orientin, pinostrobin, and vitexin. Cajaninstilbene acid and pinosylvin monomethylether were identified as novel PPARγ activators.  (48)
Antidiabetic / Leaves: Study evaluated the antidiabetic activity of methanol extract of C. cajan leaves. The extract at 400 and 600 mg/kbw dose significantly (p<0.05) reduced fasting blood sugar and alloxan-induced diabetic rats in a dose-dependent manner. It also significantly suppressed peak postprandial rise in blood glucose. Acute toxicity study of leaf extract gave an oral LD50 greater than 5 g/kg. (49)
Potentiation of Phytoestrogen / Effect on Development of Ovaries / Seeds: Study evaluated the estrogenic compounds in pigeon pea and its effect on the development of ovaries of female Sprague Dawley rats. Analysis of seeds yielded several phytoestrogens. GC-MS analysis of seeds yielded up to 7.91945 µg/kg of 17ß-estradiol. Histologic exams showed normal liver tissue structure and lobules of hepatic sinusoids appeared clean without necrosis; ovarian tissues appeared normal. Results suggest C. cajan has potential as a natural estrogenic substance, which is effective, efficient, and safe for use in human hormone replacement therapy. (50)
Anti-Hyperglycemic / Antioxidant / Seed Husks: Study evaluated the antioxidant and anti-hyperglycemic potential of pigeon pea seed husks. Methanolic extracts of seed husks were found to be a rich source of polyphenols and protein and showed in vitro free radical scavenging and antioxidant activities. The extract of seed husks significantly (p<0.05) mitigated starch-induced postprandial glycemic excursions and reduced glycemic load in rats, similar to standard drug acarbose. (51)
Hepatoprotective / -NDEA-Induced Hepatotoxicity: Study evaluated the hepatoprotective potential of C. cajan in male Wistar rats with NDEA -induced hepatotoxicity. NDEA is a nitrosamine found in smoke, meat and food products. Results showed C. cajan ameliorated NDEA-induced hepatotoxicity as evidenced by significantly (p<0.05) decreased ALT and AST and significantly (p<0.05) elevated ALB, biochemical markers altered by NDEA. Hepatoprotective activity may be to antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties from phytochonstituents like alkaloids, flavonoids, steroids, and triterpenoids. (53)
Anti-Wrinkle / Anti-Melasma / Peptides: Study evaluated the antioxidant activity of peptides extracted from pigeon pea and its cosmetic applications. Antioxidant activity was measured by DPPH assay. IC50 of peptide extracts was 61 µg/ml, higher than ascorbic acid with IC50 1.37 µg/ml. The peptide extracts showed highest activity for stimulating collagen type 1 synthesis. Anti-wrinkle and anti-melasma were evaluated on healthy Asian skin type female between 35-65 years old. Anti-wrinkling effect was evidenced by decreased number of wrinkles and mean depth. Results suggest the extracted peptides were suitable as active ingredients in cosmetics. (54)
Hyperglycemic Effect / Leaves: Study evaluated the glycemic profile of an aqueous extract of C. cajan leaves in STZ-induced T2 diabetic rats. A single oral administration of graded doses of aqueous extract of leaves showed significant increment of 14.3% in fasting blood glucose levels of normal rats. Similar hyperglycemic effect was seen in subdiabetic and mild diabetic models. Rather than the hypoglycemic effect reported in seeds, this study on leaves showed an opposite and hyperglycemic effect. The effect may be useful in controlling the hypoglycemia occasionally caused by excess of insulin and other hypoglycemic drugs. (56)
Effect in Hemorrhagic Anemia / Seeds: Study evaluated the effect of C. cajan seeds extract on some hematological parameters among rats with hemorrhagic anemia. There was a significant increase in hemoglobin value (p<0.001) , among others. The increase in hematologic parameters led support to the use of ethanol seed extracts in the treatment of hemorrhagic anemia. (58)
Germinated Pigeon Pea / Diet for Lowering Oxidative Stress and Hyperglycemia: Study evaluated the antioxidant activity of extract of germinated pigeon pea in alloxan induced diabetic rats. Total phenolic and DPPH scavenging activity increased by 30% and 63%, respectively, after germinating pigeon pea. Consumption of germinated pea reduced fasting blood glucose level in diabetic rats. LPO drastically increased, but there was an increased in GSH level. Results suggest germinated pigeon pea is a good dietary supplement for controlling hyperglycemia and LPO. (59)
Leaf Formulation / Invention: Invention reports on a formulation of extract of leaves and its new uses: treatment of ischemic necrosis of caput femoris and osteoporosis, improvement of hematological index, anti-inflammatory and analgecization, for enhancement of immunological function, and treatment of angina of CAD, fracture, cerebral infarction, infected wounds and infected wounds of open fracture. (61)
Comparative Antidiabetic and Antioxidant Activity / Roots: Study evaluated the comparative protective antioxidant activity and antihyperglycemic activity of methanol extracts of C. cajan roots and Tamarindus indica seeds. Results showed significant decrease in fasting glucose levels (p<0.001) in alloxan induced diabetic mice. Both extracts showed high antioxidant capacity. The methanolic root extract of C. cajan showed more potency than T. indica seeds. (62)

Cultivated, semicultivated, or wildcrafted. 

Updated March 2020 / December 2016

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Public Domain / File:Cajanus cajan Blanco1.167-cropped.jpg / Flora de Filipinas / Francisco Manuel Blanco (O.S.A.) / 1880-1883? / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
GUANDU / Cajanus cajan / RainTree
Antiplasmodial constituents of Cajanus cajan / George Duker-Eshun et al / Phytotherapy Research
Volume 18 Issue 2, Pages 128 - 130 / DOI 10.1002/ptr.1375
Hypocholesterolemic effect of stilbenes containing extract-fraction from Cajanus cajan L. on diet-induced hypercholesterolemia in mice / Q. Luo, L. Sun, J. Si, D. Chen / Phytomedicine, Volume 15, Issue 11, Pages 932-939 /
Evaluation of traditional medicine: effects of Cajanus cajan L. and of Cassia fistula L. on carbohydrate metabolism in mice / Exposito Avella M et al / Rev Med Panama. 1991 Jan;16(1):39-45.

Antimicrobial effect of leaf extracts of pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan (L.) millsp.) on some human pathogens / Okigbo R N and Omodamiro O D / Journal of herbs, spices & medicinal plants, 2006; 12(1-2): pp f117-127
Antimicrobial Activities of Cajanus cajan, Garcinia kola and Xylopia aethiopica on Pathogenic Microorganisms / G. O. Ezeifeka et al / Biotechnology, 3 (1):41-43,2004/
Study of glycemic profile of Cajanus cajan leaves in experimental rats / Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry / Volume 23, Number 2 / April, 2008 / DOI 10.1007/s12291-008-0037-z
Cajanus cajan Linn. (Leguminosae) prevents alcohol-induced rat liver damage and augments cytoprotective function / Kundu R, Dasgupta S, Biswas A, Bhattacharya A, Pal BC, Bandyopadhyay D, Bhattacharya S, Bhattacharya S. / J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Aug 13;118(3):440-7. Epub 2008 May 15 /

Protective effect of stilbenes containing extract-fraction from Cajanus cajan L. on Aβ25–35-induced cognitive deficits in mice / Can-Jun Ruan et al / Neuroscience Letters, Vol 467, Issue 2, 25 December 2009, Pages 159-163
Hepatoprotective Activity of Methanol Extract of Some Medicinal Plants Against Carbon Tetrachloride-Induced Hepatotoxicity in Rats / Md. Rajib Ahsan et al / European Journal of Scientific Research, Vol.37 No.2 (2009), pp.302-310
Clinical Evaluation of Extract of Cajanus cajan (Ciklavit®) in Sickle Cell Anaemia / A O Akinsulie, E O Temiye, A S Akanmu et al / Journal of Tropical Pediatrics Volume51, Issue4Pp. 200-205
Evaluation of hypolipidemic and potential antioxideant effects of Pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan (L>) Millsp. leaves in alloxan-induced hyperglycemic rats / Akinloye O A and Solanke O O / J. Med. Plant. Res.
Mechanism of the Antisickling Effects of Cajanus cajan and Phenylalanine / Chidi G. Osuagwu / Nigerian Journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 25 (2): 68 - 71, 2010.
Cajanus cajan (L.) Huth (accepted name) / Chinese names / Catalogue of Life, China
Sorting Cajanus names / Authorised by Prof. Snow Barlow / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.
Cajanol, a novel anticancer agent from Pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.] roots, induces apoptosis in human breast cancer cells through a ROS-mediated mitochondrial pathway. / Luo M, Liu X, Zu Y, Fu Y, Zhang S, Yao L, Efferth T. / Chem Biol Interact. 2010 Oct 6;188(1):151-60./ doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2010.07.009. Epub 2010 Jul 16.
Biological activities and medicinal properties of Cajanus cajan (L) Millsp. / Dilipkumar Pal, Pragya Mishra, Neetu Sachan, and Ashoke K. Ghosh / J Adv Pharm Technol Res. 2011 Oct-Dec; 2(4): 207–214. / doi: 10.4103/2231-4040.90874
Cajachalcone: An Antimalarial Compound from Cajanus cajan Leaf Extract / E. O. Ajaiyeoba, O. O. Ogbole, O. O. Abiodun, J. S. Ashidi, P. J. Houghton,4 and C. W. Wright / Journal of Parasitology Research
Volume 2013 (2013) / http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/703781
IGHODARO, O. M. and OMOLE, J. O. / Animal Research International (2010) 7(3): 1304 – 1308 1304
Effects of aqueous leaf extract of Cajanus cajan on litter size and serum progesterone in pregnant rats /
Luqman Aribidesi Olayaki*, Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, Ayodele Olufemi Soladoye, Olusegun Rabiu Jimoh, Olaide Ghazal and Martins Ighodalo / Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy Vol. 1 (2) pp. 021-024, August, 2009
Phytochemical and anti-drepanocytosis studies of Cajanus cajan, Callistemon viminalis, Melaleuca bracteata var. Revolution Gold and Syzygium guineense / Theses, 2010 / Tshibangu, Damien Sha-Tshibey
Anti-Oxidative Protection against Iron Overload-Induced Liver Damage in Mice by Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp. Leaf Extract / Rhitajit Sarkar, Bibhabasu Hazra & Nripendranath Mandal / Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol 51, Feb 2013, pp 165-173.
Preliminary Phytochemical Screening of Cajanus cajan Linn. / P.K. Mohanty*, Neha Chourasia, Neraj Kumar Bhatt and Y.A. Jaliwala / Asian J. Pharm. Tech. 2011; Vol. 1: Issue 2, Pg 49-52
Comparative study of antidiabetic activity of Cajanus cajan and Tamarindus indica in alloxan-induced diabetic mice with a reference to in vitro antioxidant activity / Laizuman Nahar, Fatema Nasrin, Ronok Zahan, Anamul Haque, Ekramul Haque, Ashik Mosaddik / Pharmacognosy Research, 2014, Vol 6, Issue 2, pp 180-187.
Quality nutrition through pigeonpea—a review / Kul Bhushan Saxena, Ravikoti Vijaya Kumar, Rafat Sultana / DOI: 10.4236/health.2010.211199 3,990
Anti-Fertility Activity of Methanol Extract of Bassia latifolia and Cajanus cajan in Female Albino Mice Ovaries
S. BANDYOPADHYAY / IJPT, July2010, vol.9, no.2, 83-87
Anti-Ulcer and Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Cajanus cajan Linn. / Jaliwal Y A, Mohanti P K, Jain Neetesh Kumar / International Research Journal of Pharmacy, 2014, 5(4) / DOI: 10.7897/2230-8407.050466
Antihyperglycemic Activity and Brine Shrimp Lethality Studies on Methanol Extract of Cajanus Cajan (L.) Millsp. Leaves and Roots / Md. Mazharul Anwar, Marjina Akhter Kalpana, Bithika Bhadra, Shahnaz Rahman, Sanjoy Sarker, Majeedul H. Chowdhury, Mohammed Rahmatullah / Advances in Natural and Applied Sciences, 2010; 4(3): pp 311-316
Cajanus cajan / Synonyms / The Plant List
In vitro antioxidant and pharmacognostic studies of leaf extracts of cajanus cajan (l.) millsp
/ B Mahitha, P Archana, Md. H Ebrahimzadeh, K Srikanth, M Rajinikanth, N Ramaswamy / Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2015, Vol 77, Issue 2: pp 170-177 / DOI: 10.4103/0250-474X.156555
Pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) pod as a novel eco-friendly biosorbent: a study on equilibrium and kinetics of Ni(II) biosorption / Jeyaseelan Aravind*, Shanmugaprakash Muthusamy, Sangeetha Hubbathalai Sunderraj, Lenin Chandran and Kanmani Palanisamy / International Journal of Industrial Chemistry 2013, 4:25 / doi:10.1186/2228-5547-4-25
Hepatoprotective effect of Cajanus cajan on tissue defense system in D-galactosamine-induced hepatitis in rats / Oluseyi Adeboye Akinloye, Moshood Olajire Olaniyi / Türk Biyokimya Dergisi [Turkish Journal of Biochemistry–Turk J Biochem] 2011; 36 (3) ; 237–241.
Phytochemical And Antiulcer Activity Of Cajanus Cajan Leaves Against Pylorus Ligation-Induced Gastric Ulcer In Rats / Mohammad Mansoor, Cheelapogu Venkateswarlu*, Srinivasa Rao D. / INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVANCES IN PHARMACY MEDICINE AND BIOALLIED SCIENCES, Volume 3, Issue 2, Page 84-88, May-August 2015.
The Effect of Pigeon Pea (Cajanus Cajan) Seed Hull Extract against Rust / Antones, Jo Kristoffer G.; Baldove, Grover; Ermita, Andrew Paul J.; Loreno, Cyril Rio L.; Nama, Jerwin Patrick N / John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University
Effect of the addition of pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) flour on the chemical, nutritional and sensory quality of cassava bread ("casabe") / Ciarfella, A. T.; Perez S, E.; Tovar, Juscelino LU ; Sanchez, T. and Dufour, D.
(2013) In Revista de la Facultad de Agronomía de la Universidad del Zulia 30(1). p.131-148
Pulp and Papermaking Characteristics of Cajanus cajan Stems from Sudan / Osman Taha Elzaki, Tarig Osman Khider and Safaa Hassan Omer / American-Eurasian J. Agric. & Environ. Sci., 12 (2): 159-163, 2012 ISSN 1818-6769 © IDOSI Publications, 2012
Comparative Phytochemical Composition of Cajanus cajan Leaf and Seed / P.M. Aja, E.U. Alum, N.N. Ezeani, B.U. Nwali and N. Edwin / International Journal of Microbiological Research 6 (1): 42-46, 2015 /
DOI: 10.5829/idosi.ijmr.2015.6.1.93132
Pigeon peas / National Nutrient Database / USDA
PHYTOCHEMICALANALYSIS OF THE LEAF, STEM AND SEED EXTRACTS OF CAJANUS CAJAN L(DICOTYLEDONEAE: FABACEAE / Meena Sahu, Devshree Vermaand, K.K. Harris* / World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol 3, Issue 8: pp 694-733
Evaluation of the antifungal activity and modulation between Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp. leaves and roots ethanolic extracts and conventional antifungals / Samara A Brito, Fabiola Rodrigues, Adriana Campos, Jose G M de Costa / Pharmacognosy Magazine, 2012; 8(30): pp 103-106 / DOI: 10.4103/0973-1296.96550
Total Phenolic Content and Tyrosinase Inhibitory Potential of Extracts from Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp. / Prasob-on Rinthong and Suthira Maneechai / Pharmacognosy Journal, Nov-Dec 2018; 10(6)Suppl: pp 109-112
Cytotoxic stilbenes from Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp. leaves / JS Ashidi, PJ Houghton, PJ Hylands  / Planta Med 2006; 72 - P_016 / DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-949816
Pigeon pea / Plants of Saint Lucia
Review of Medicinal Cajanus cajan of properties in Sickle Cell Disease. / K Cordovil et al / Rev. bras. plantas med., 2015, 17(4) Suppl.3: pp 1199-1207 /  https://doi.org/10.1590/1983-084x/14_139.
Phytochemical and acute toxicity study of Cajanus cajan fabaceae / Zokoré Zazou Ange Kévin, Yapo Adou Francis, Okpekon Aboua Timothée, Miezan Bilé Aka Patrice, Droucoula Guillaume Cyril, Koua Kadio Brou Donald, Kouakou Siransy Gisèle / European Journal of Biotechnology and Bioscience, Jan 2018; Volume 6; Issue 1: pp 01-05
EVALUATION OF ANTICONVULSANT ACTIVITY OF ETHANOLIC EXTRACT OF LEAVES OF CAJANUS CAJAN (L) MILLSP. IN RODENTS / Ankita Prakash Kore, Nilofar Shahnwaj Naikwade, Padma Laxmikant Ladda, Tabbasum Shabbirahmad Shikalgar, Shirish Sidgonda Patil / International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Research, 2019; 11(6): pp 330-336 / DOI https://doi.org/10.25004/IJPSDR.2019.110608 
Cajanus cajan – a source of PPARγ activators leading to anti-inflammatory and cytotoxic effects / Roswitha Schuster, Wolfgang Holzer, Hannes Doerfler, Wolfram Weckwerth, Helmut Viernstein, Siriporn Okonogi and Monika Mueller / Food Funct., 2016; 7: pp 3798-3806 / DOI: 10.1039/C6FO00689B  
Experimental evidence for the antidiabetic activity of Cajanus cajan leaves in rats / Adaobi C. Ezike, Peter A. Akah, Charles C. Okoli and Chinwe B. Okpala / Pulsus
CHARACTERIZATION AND POTENTION PHYTOESTROGEN OF PIGEON PEA (CAJANUS CAJAN L. MILL SP.) ON RAT OVARY / Cicilia Primiani, Pujiati Pujiati, Sutiman Sumitro / TJPS: Thai Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2019, 43(1)
PIGEON PEA SEED HUSKS AS POTENT NATURAL RESOURCE OF ANTI‑OXIDANT AND ANTI‑HYPERGLYCAEMIC ACTIVITY / Ashok Kumar Tiwari, Bacha Abhinay, Katragadda Suresh Babu, Domati Anand Kumar, Amtul Zehra, Kuncha Madhusudana / IJGP: International Journal of Green Pharmacy, 2013; 7(3)
Pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) an important food legume in Indian scenario – A review / S Sarkar, S Panda, K K Yadav, P Kandasamy / Legume Research / DOI: 10.18805/LR-4021  / Article Id: LR-4021
Protective Effect of Cajanus cajan in Hepatotoxic Rats / Evbakhavbokun, Winifred O. and Iweala E.J. Emeka / IOP Conf. Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 2019; 331: 012023 / doi:10.1088/1755-1315/331/1/012023
In vivo anti-wrinkle and anti-melasma activities of peptides isolated from Pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan L. Millsp) / Tuanta Sematong, Ubon Rerk-am, Sarunya Laovitthayanggoon, Bantika Kongsombat and Sirinan Thubthimthed / Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research, Thailand / European Chemistry Congress /  Chem Sci J / DOI: 10.4172/2150-3494.C1.003
Constituents of Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp., Moringa oleifera Lam., Heliotropium indicum L. and Bidens pilosa L. from Nigeria / Akinola O. Ogunbinu, Guido Flamini, Pier L. Cioni, Muritala A. Adebayo and Isiaka A. Ogunwande / NPC: Natural Product Communication, 2009; 4(4): pp 573-578
STUDY OF GLYCEMIC PROFILE OF CAJANUS CAJAN LEAVES IN EXPERIMENTAL RATS / Dolly Jaiswal, Prashant Kumar Rai, Amit Kumar and Geeta Watal / Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry, 2008; 23(2): pp 167-170
Pigeon Pea (Cajanus cajan) as an alternative protein source in broiler feed / M E Abd El-Hack, A A Swelum, M A Abdel-Latie, D Mas Toro / World's Poultry Science Journal, Sept 2018; 74(3): pp 541-548 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0043933918000296
The Effect of Cajanus Cajan Seeds Extraction on Some Haematological Parameters Among Haemorrhagical Anaemic Rats in Khartoum–Sudan / Khalid Mohamed Khalid Elhussain, Nora Nahal Bouderba, Salma HaiderMohmmed Abu Algasim, TasbihElhadi Mohammed Ahmed, Weam Mustafa Hasab Alrasol, Wegdan Ibrahim Ahmmed, Mohammed ElfatihHussein Ournasseir and Abdulazeem Abdulsalam Ibrahim Alkhidir / Biomedical Journal of Science & Technical Research, 25(4) / DOI: 10.26717/BJSTR.2020.25.004220
Germinated Pigeon Pea (Cajanus cajan): a novel diet for lowering oxidative stress and hyperglycemia / Nneka N Uchegbu, Charles N Ishiwu / Food Science & Nutrition, Jan 2016; 4(5)/ https://doi.org/10.1002/fsn3.343
The flavonoid profile of pigeonpea, Cajanus cajan: a review / Aaron Nix, Cate A Pauli, Michelle Colgrave / SpringerPlus, 2015; 4(125) / https://doi.org/10.1186/s40064-015-0906-x
Leaves of Cajanus Cajan(L.) Millsp and extract, formulation and uses thereof  / FPO
Comparative study of antidiabetic activity of Cajanus cajan and Tamarindus indica in alloxan-induced diabetic mice with a reference to in vitro antioxidant activity / Laizuman Nahar, Fatema Nasrin, Ronlk Zahan, Anamul Haque, Ekramul Haque, Ashik Mosaddik / Pharmacognosy Researh, 2014' 6(2): pp 180-187 / DOI: 10.4103/0974-8490.129043

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