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Health Issues Regarding Vicia Faba

Health Issues Regarding Vicia Faba


Vicia faba is a species of a particular bean called fabaceae which can be found in the northern part of Africa and southwest of Asia.  It is often called as broad bean, field bean, fava bean, tic bean, bell bean or horse bean. Today, vicia faba could also be cultivated in other places like Europe and the United States. There are a lot of uses for vicia faba. It can be used for culinary purposes and it can also be used as ingredient for medicinal purposes too. To know more about these medical issues, read on further.


Although it is said that the vicia faba can be used medically, there is a restriction advisory for people who are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors or MAO inhibitors. They should avoid the said broad beans for they are rich in tyramine. Broad beans are also rich in L-dopa. It is a chemical substance that is used medically for treating Parkinson’s disease. L-dopa is also used for controlling hypertension for it acts as a natriuretic agent.


There is also another health issue regarding vicia faba cited in medical discussions wherein L-dopa production and human libido are being linked together. There are some who actually use vicia faba or the broad beans as a natural alternative for Viagra.


Raw broad beans contain substance that can induce hemolytic anemeia for people who have G6PD or glucose-6- phospate dehydrogenase deficiency which is a hereditary condition. The substances that can induce this potentially fatal condition include favism, vicine, convincine and isouramil.


In Pakistan, as well as the eastern province of Iran, vicia faba beans are widely cultivated. However, they strictly prohibit their young children to eat the broad beans when they are not fully matured for the fear of developing constipation. They also believe that it can cause yellowish discoloration in their skin.

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