Herb: Lentil

Latin name: Lens culinaris

Synonyms: Cicer lens, Ervum lens, Lens esculenta

Family: Leguminosae

Medicinal use of Lentil:

The seeds are mucilaginous and laxative. They are considered to be useful in the treatment of constipation and other intestinal affections. Made into a paste, they are a useful cleansing application in foul and indolent ulcers.

Description of the plant:


45 cm
(1 foot)

Habitat of the herb:

Not known in the wild.

Edible parts of Lentil:

Seed - cooked or sprouted and eaten raw. A very nutritious food, the seeds can be cooked on their own or added to soups, stews etc. The seed can be soaked for 12 hours in warm water and then allowed to sprout for about 5 days. They have a crunchy, fresh flavour. Lentils are more digestible than many legumes. The dried seed can also be ground into a powder and used with cereal flours in making bread etc, this greatly enhances the value of the protein in the bread. The seed stores better if it is left in its husk. Young seedpods - used fresh or cooked like green beans.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow early April in situ. Some cultivars are probably suitable for sowing outdoors in the autumn, at least in the milder parts of the country.

Cultivation of Lentil:

Not known in the wild.

Known hazards of Lens culinaris:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.