Katuray, (pronounced as ‘Kah-too-rye’, botanical name Sesbania grandiflora Linn.) also known as the West Indian Pea, is a tree that grows to about 5 to 12 meters high. In the Philippines, various parts of the tree serve a wide variety of uses as vegetable, medicine or key ingredients in herbal creams and poultices.
The flowers are white and in the Philippines the bark, root, flowers serve a variety of uses. In folkloric medicine, the juice of the root is mixed with honey as an expectorant, and juice of leaves and flowers are used to cure nasal catarrh and headaches.
In Ayurveda, fruits are used for anaemia, bronchitis, fever, tumours and the flowers for gout and bronchitis, amongst others. The flowers are also edible and are often used as salad ingredients. The flowers makes a delectable side dish with bagoong (fermented fish or shrimp sauce) and tomatoes.
*Don’t eat the tree, only the flower 🙂