Bean Pod

Reviewed on 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

Baked Beans, Black Beans, Cannelli Beans, Common Bean, Gousse de Haricot, Gousses de Haricot, Green Bean, Haricot à Parchemin, Haricot à Rames, Haricot Beurre, Haricot Blanc, Haricot Commun, Haricot Jaune, Haricot Mange-Tout, Haricot Mange-Tout Jaune, Haricot Mange-Tout Vert, Haricot Noir, Haricot Potager, Haricot Sec, Haricot Vert, Kidney Bean, Kidney Beans, Legume, Légumineuse, Lima Bean, Mange-Tout, Navy Bean, Petit Haricot Noir, Phaseoli Fructus, Phaseolus, Phaseolus vulgaris, Pinto Bean, Refried Beans, Seed-Free Bean Pods, Sine Semine, Snap Bean, Starch Blocker, String Bean, Vaina de Frijol, Wax Bean, White Bean, White Kidney Bean.


Bean pod is a plant that produces bean pods. Seeds are removed from the pods and the remaining husks are then used to make an “extract.” This extract is used as medicine.

Bean pod is used for high cholesterol, obesity, urinary tract infections (UTIs), kidney or bladder stones, diabetes, and lung cancer. It is also taken as a diuretic to increase urine production.

How does it work?

Bean pods are a source of dietary fiber. Fiber might help to prevent cholesterol absorption and increase the elimination of dietary fat.

Products containing bean pod extracts often claim to be "starch blockers." Promoters offer this as a rationale for using their products for weight loss. But research shows that these products do not seem to decrease the absorption of starch.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Possibly Effective for...

  • Obesity. Some research suggests that taking a specific white kidney bean pod extract (Phase 2, Pharmachem Labs) helps reduce weight and waist circumference in overweight people. However, conflicting evidence exists. The reason for this disagreement may be the amount of carbohydrates being eaten by people taking this product. This product seems to reduce weight more significantly in people who eat a high amount of carbohydrates. It does not appear to be effective for people who don't eat a lot of carbohydrates.
    According to an analysis of studies that evaluated white kidney bean pod extract (Phase 2, Pharmachem Labs) and other bean pod extracts, bean pod doesn't seem to help people lose weight. However, it does seem to decrease body fat.
    Products containing white kidney bean pod extract (Phase 2, Pharmachem Labs) plus other ingredients seem to increase weight loss in people who are overweight. Taking a product containing white kidney bean pod extract (Phase 2, Pharmachem Labs) plus chromium while dieting seems to increase weight loss by nearly 6 pounds when used for 30 days. Taking a product containing white kidney bean pod extract (Phase 2, Pharmachem Labs) plus chicory root and garcinia extract seems to reduce weight by 3.5 kg (approximately 7.7 lbs), body mass index by 1.3 kg/m2, and percent body fat by 2.3% compared to before treatment.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Diabetes. Early research suggests that taking a combination of bean pod, white mulberry, and bilberry three times per day for 2 months might lower blood sugar by almost 25% in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • High cholesterol. Early research suggests that taking a bean pod and carob extract modestly lowers cholesterol levels in obese people and increases the amount of fat that leaves the body in the stool.
  • Lung cancer. Some early research suggests that men and women who consume a higher amount of dietary phytoestrogens, such as isoflavones from beans and soy, have a 44% to 72% lower risk of developing lung cancer compared to those who consume smaller amounts. Men seem to benefit more than women.
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs).
  • Kidney stones.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of bean pod for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

There is some evidence that bean pod extracts are POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth for 2 or 3 months. However, eating large amounts of fresh bean husks are POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Raw husks contain chemicals that can cause stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea. Cooking destroys these chemicals.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking bean pod if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Diabetes: Bean pod may lower blood sugar. If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medications may need to be adjusted by your healthcare provider.

Surgery: Bean pod might affect blood sugar levels. There is some concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop taking bean pod at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.


Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Bean pod might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking bean pod along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.


The appropriate dose of bean pod depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for bean pod. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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