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Family Fabaceae / Leguminosae
Pisum sativum Linn.
Wan dou

Scientific names Common names
Pisum sativum L. subsp. sativum var. macrocarpon Ser. Sitsaro (Tag.)
Pisum sativum L. convar. axiphium Alef var. macrocarpon Chicharo (Tag., Span.)
  Chinese snow pea (Engl.)
  Common pea (Engl.)
  Eat-all pea (Engl.)
  Edible-podded snow pea (Engl.)
  Flat-podded snow pea (Engl.)

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: He lan do, Tian cui wan dou, Wan dou.
DUTCH: Peul.
ESTONIA: Udi-suhkruhernes.
FRENCH: Pois mangetout à cosse plate, Pois mangetout à gousse plate.
GERMAN: Gemeine Zuckererbse, Zuckerbrecherbse, Zuckererbse, Zuckerpalerbse, Zuckerschwerterbse.
ITALIAN: Pisello mangiatutto.
JAPANESE: Saya endou.
SPANISH: Arveja cometodo.
VIETNAMESE: Dau hoà lan, Dot dau ho lan (shoots).

Sitsaro is an annual climber with compound leaves terminated by branched tendrils. Stems are hollow. Leaves are alternate, pinnately compound, with auricled stipules. Stipules are conspicuous, larger than the leaflets and with indentations on the lower part. Leaflets are obovate, entire, 2 to 4 centimeters long. Peduncles are 1- to 2-flowered. Inflorescences occur at the leaf axils. Flowers are white, pink or purple, developing into inflated pods. Pods are straight or curved, 5 to 10 centimeters long, containing 6 to 9 seeds. Ripe seeds are round, smooth, or wrinkled.

Peas have hypogeal germination: the cotyledons remain enclosed within the seed coat beneath the soil surface. Flowers are white, developing into inflated pods.

- Grows well in Baguio and at lower elevations during cool months.
- Chinese variety adapted to warmer climates.
- Cultivated for its young pods and mature seeds.

Gen info
Sitsaro (Pisum sativum) is the most expensive vegetable legume in the Philippines. There are several types: garden peas, English peas, or green peas (P. sativum var. sativum); field peas or soup peas (P. sativum var. ravense); and flat, edible-podded snow peas known as mangeout peas, sugar peas, or Chinese peas (P. sativum var macrocarpon).

Garden peas are grown for their green peas, field peas for their dried seeds. In the Philippines, the snow pea, with its flat pod, is the most commonly grown. The group also includes snap pea,with its thick, full-bodied, round, edible pods, and sweet, full-sized peas, with the pods snapping when bent like fresh green beans. (7)

- Seeds yield trypsin and
- Green and ripe fruits and seeds yield starch, albuminoids, galactolipids, alkaloids, trigonelline and piplartine, essential oil, and carbohydrates.
- 100 grams of edible portion of fresh sweet pea pods contain: 67 kcalories, water 82.4 g, protein 3 g, fat 0.4 g, carbohydrate 12.8 g, dietary fiber 2.1g, ash 1.4 g, calcium 92 mg, phosphorus 48 mg, iron 1.2 mg, vitamin A 52.0 µg, thiamin 0.16 mg, riboflavin 0.09 mg, niacin 1.0 mg, ascorbic acid 67.0mg. (The Philippine Food Composition Tables, 1997. (Food and Nutrition Research Institute-Department of Science and Technology/FNRI-DOST)
- Green and ripe fruits and seeds yield starch, albuminoids, an oil, galactolipids, alkaloids, trigonelline, and pilartine, essential oil, and soluble carbohydrates. Leaf, petiole, tendril, and stems yielded kaempferol-3-triglucoside, quercetin-3-triglucoside, and their p-coumaric esters. Germinating pea seedlings yield high concentration of D-alanine. Free homoserine has bee detected in the seeds and pods. (8)

- Sweetish and tasty vegetable.
- Seed considered contraceptive, ecbolic, fungistatic, spermicidal.
- Seeds reported to cause dysentery if eaten raw.
- Flour considered emollient and resolvent.

Parts used
Seeds, oil.


Edibility / Nutritional
- Seeds and leaves are edible.
- Immature seedpods, raw or cooked.
- Mature seeds can be ground into powder and added to flour.
- Mature seeds are rich in protein.
- Roasted seed used as coffee substitute.
- Leaves and young shoots used as pot herb.
- Young leaves and shoots used as potherb; young shoots used in salads.
- Caution: Seeds reported to cause dysentery when eaten raw.
- Poultice prepared from dried and powdered seeds use for acne and other skin complaints.
- Flour considered emollient and resolvent, applied as cataplasm.
- Seed oil, taken monthly, believed to prevent pregnancy.

Study evaluated aqueous and methanol extracts of four Leguminosae species--Pisum sativum, Phaesolus vulgaris, Vigna sinensis, and Sestina grandiflora--for cytotoxic potential against a cervical cancer cell line, CaSki. The methanol extract of Pisum sativum was active against CaSki cells with IC50 value of 14.8. Results suggest Leguminosae species may possess potential anticancer properties.(2)
Amino Acid Content: Study evaluated the amino acid content of selected varieties of P. sativum. Most of all essential amino acid profile of total seed proteins compared favorably with FAP/WHO requirements except for phenylalanine. Pisum sativum grown in Central Europe are rich in lycine, leucine and arginine and can fulfill the essential amino acid content of human diet. (3)
Dermatologic Benefits / Photoprotective / Self-Tanning / Increase Melanin Production: Pisum sativum extract provides a new approach as a safe tanning active, increasing the skin's melanin production, and preparing the skin for a healthy tan. The extract reduces inflammatory mediators produced during sunburn. Botanical and eco-friendly, it presents a potential for use in skin care, sun care, and self-tanning preparations. (4)
Catecholamines / L-Dopa and Dopamine: Catecholamines are key metabolites found in the nervous system and endogenous deficiency is associated with patho-physiological disorders. Study investigated the amount of L-DOPA and dopamine in the leaves and roots of three species of legume family viz. Pisum sativum (garden pea), Phaseolus vulgaris (haricot bean) and Vicia faba (broad bean). Results showed all three cultivars accumulated different levels of L-DOPA and dopamine in leaves and roots. (10)
Antibacterial / Skin and Seeds: Screening of seeds and skin of Pisum sativum showed good antibacterial activity when screened against 56 bacterial isolates. (11)
Effect of Mild Hydrothermal Treatment of Pea Flour: Mild hydrothermal treatment of pea flour produced reductions in levels of α-galactosides, phyhtic acid, and trypsin inhibitors, together with a significant increase in digestive utilization of protein and carbohydrates. (12)
Pericarp as Biologically Active Waste Product: Study evaluated the pericarp waste product for phytochemicals and biologic activity. Phenolic content was 27.5 mg/g. Analysis revealed eight phenolic acids (cinnamic, chlorogenic, vanillic, coumaric, ferulic, caffeic, gallic, and syringic) and three isoflavones (daidzein, genistein, and formononetin). Carbohydrate analysis identified glucose, fructose, sucrose, and rhamnose. Saponifiable matter showed significant anti-inflammatory activity. An aqueous-acetone extract showed potential hyperglycemic activity. (13)
Adsorbent for Fe Removal from Industrial Waste: Study showed the sulphuric acid-treated shell of Pisum sativum showed to be an efficient low-cost adsorbent for removal of toxic Fe (II) from aqueous solution. (14)
Adsorbent for Chromium Removal / Seed Husk: Study showed Pisum sativum seed husk has potential as adsorbent for the adsorption of Cr (VI) metal ions from aqueous solution. (15)


April 2013
Last Update July 2015

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: File:Doperwt rijserwt peulen Pisum sativum.jpg / Picture taken by (nl:Doperwt rijserwt peulen )Pisum sativum pods / GNU Free Documentation License / click on image to go to source page / Wikimedia Commons

OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: ILLUSTRATION: Pisum Sativum / Book source: Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thome Flora von Deutschland, Osterreich und der Schweiz, 1885, Gera, Germany , Permission granted to use under GFDL by Kurt Stueber / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Pisum sativum L. - garden pea PISA6 / Tracey Slotta @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photo / Flower / (nl:Doperwt rijserwt bloemen)Pisum sativum / Rasbak / CC BY-SA 3.0 / Wikipedia

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Pisum sativum / Plants For A Future
Cytotoxic Activity of Seclected Leguminosae Species Against CaSKI Cells / Maizatul Azma A L, Nurhayati Z A, Norhanom A W / 21st Annual Seminar of the Malaysian Natural Product Society
Study on Amino Acid Content in Selected Varieties of Pisum sativum (peas) by Ion Exchange Chromatography / Ranjani Amarakoon / 2012 International Conference on Nutrition and Food Sciences IPCBEE vol. 39 (2012)
Pisum Sativum Extract for Safe- and Self-tanning / Isabelle Imbert, PhD; Anne Francoise Clay; Joel Mantelin and Nouha Domlege, PhD / Cosmetcis and Toiletries
Sorting Pisum names / Authorised by Prof. Snow Barlow / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.
Pisum sativum / Common names / EOL: Encyclopedia of Life
Sweet Pea Production Guide / Information Bulletin No. 275/20009 / Department of Trade and Industry
Pisum Sativum / Medicinal Plants of Bangladesh
Chromatographical analysis of Phenolic acids in different preparations of pea (Pisum sativum) and chickpea (Cicer arietinum) / P. Tiwari, A. Singh, U. Singh, S. Maurya, M. Singh / The Internet Journal of Alternative Medicine. 2009 Volume 8 Number 1 / DOI: 10.5580/622

Catecholamines are active plant-based drug compounds in Pisum sativum, Phaseolus vulgaris and Vicia faba Species / Mahdi Khozaei*, Fatemeh Ghorbani, Gashtasb Mardani, Rahman Emamzadeh / J HerbMed Pharmacol. 2014; 3(1): 61-65.
Nutritional Evaluation of Pea (Pisum sativum L.) Protein Diets after Mild Hydrothermal Treatment and with and without Added Phytase / Gloria Urbano , Pilar Aranda , Elena Gómez-Villalva, Sławomir Frejnagel, Jesus M. Porres, Juana Frías, Concepción Vidal-Valverde, and María López-Jurado / J. Agric. Food Chem., 2003, 51 (8), pp 2415–2420 / DOI: 10.1021/jf0209239
The pericarp of Pisum sativum L.(Fabaceae) as a biologically active waste product / KF Taha, MH Hetta, ME Ali, NZ Yassin, OD El Guindi / Planta Med 2011; 77 - PJ22
DOI: 10.1055/s-0031-1282629
Utility of Shell of Pisum sativum as an adsorbent in adsorption study of Iron from aqueous solution. / R K Dandge, S D Rathod and Milind Ubale / Journal of Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery, Special Issue Analytical Chemistry Teachers And Researchers Association National Convention/Seminar 18 January 2015
Adsorption studies of chromium (VI) ion from aqueous solution using Pisum sativum / D. B. Jirekar, Mazahar Farooqui*, Shirsh S. Pingale / Pharma Research Library

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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