Herbs of the Holyland by Nissim Krispil

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Common name:


Synonym name:

Mountain lupine

Hebrew name:

תרמוס ההרים

Scientific name:

Lupinus Pilosus



Arabic name:


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annual plant
0.5-0.8 m
Flowering color:
Flowering period:
Growing areas:
Mountain lupine grows in scrublands and uncultivated fields in mountain areas, especially in basalt soils, rendzina and near ancient mounds and abandoned settlements.


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An annual herb with a single erect stems and palmate leaves that are contained of 8-12 leaflets. The flowers are large, grows in long clusters and intense blue color. The fruit is a flat legume within are large and very beautiful seeds. 
The plant is common among the Israeli Arabs and other Israeli eastern communities. especially for patients with diabetes. It also helps to regulate bowel movements and to get rid of intestinal worms.
To eat lupine seeds you have to boil them twice to get rid of their bitterness. Drinking the water of the first boiling is recommended for diabetes. The dosage: 3-4 cups a day. 
The decoction water are very bitter and the folk medicine claims that all the bitter plants are good for diabetes.
Even nowadays you can find in Arabs markets stacks of lupine seeds. The Israeli Arabs likes to eat scalded seeds of cultural lupine. 
Our ancestors grew lupine in their vegetable gardens, "lupine and wild lupine do not constitute kilayim one with the other" (Mishnah, kla'ayim 1, 3). The seeds were used for food, "and dry lupines because it is food for the poor." (shabat 18,1). Our ancestors were aware of the fact that the seeds contain toxic materials that can be eliminated by prolonged boiling.
The Romans used lupines for food; they claimed that it gives a special glare to the facial skin. The seeds were used as a replacement of money in the theater. 
Assaf the Jew, the ancient physician says that lupine is the "Head of cures" and he gives the plant a lot of qualities "would help to bandage on the liver, removes the pain. And if bandaged on the abdomen it will remove fever, benefit boils (skin disease) called a pig ... and remove all sorts of intestine parasites".
 Maimonides said that anyone who eats a handful of lupines bark will improve his sight.