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The seeds of the bay bean have been found during excavations of ancient civilizations in Oaxaca, Yucatan and Peru. The plant was also found around tombs of the Mazatec and other tribes.

Dried leaves of Canavalia maritima (bay bean) were used as a ritualistic herb in ancient Mexican rituals. Mazatecs and other tribal groups considered the bay bean a sacred plant. It has mild soothing effects on its own and it is known to be a potentiator of many other herbs. Bay beans are referred to in botanical texts as being both Canavalia Rosea as well as Canavalia Maritima.


Gilman, Edward F. “Canavalia Maritima Beach Bean, Bay Bean.” EDIS New Publications RSS, Environmental Horticulture, 11 Aug. 2015,

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