Herb: Sugar Pea

Latin name: Pisum sativum macrocarpon

Family: Leguminosae

Medicinal use of Sugar Pea:

The seed is contraceptive, fungistatic and spermacidal. The dried and powdered seed has been used as a poultice on the skin where it has an appreciable affect on many types of skin complaint including acne. The oil from the seed, given once a month to women, has shown promise of preventing pregnancy by interfering with the working of progesterone. The oil inhibits endometrial development. In trials, the oil reduced pregnancy rate in women by 60% in a 2 year period and 50% reduction in male sperm count was achieved.

Description of the plant:


2 m
(6 1/2 foot)

May to

Habitat of the herb:

Plants are not known in a genuinely wild condition.

Edible parts of Sugar Pea:

Immature seedpods - raw or cooked. Best harvested when the seeds are under-developed, the young swollen and succulent seedpods have a delicious sweet flavour that is just like a juicier form of garden peas. Immature seeds - raw or cooked. Sweet and delicious, they can be added to salads, or lightly cooked. A nutritional analysis is available. The mature seeds are rich in protein and can be cooked as a vegetable or added to soups etc. They can also be sprouted and added to salads, soups etc. The mature seed can also be dried and ground into a powder, then used to enrich the protein content of flour when making bread etc. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute. Leaves and young shoots - cooked and used as a potherb. The young shoots taste like fresh peas, they are exceptionally tender and can be used in salads.

Propagation of the herb:

Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in situ in succession from early spring until early summer. A minimum temperature of 10C is required for germination, which should take place in about 7 - 10 days. If you want to grow the peas to maturity then the seed needs to be sown by the middle of spring. You may need to protect the seed from the ravages of mice.

Cultivation of Sugar Pea:

Plants are not known in a genuinely wild condition.

Known hazards of Pisum sativum macrocarpon:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.