The secret to boiling okra for culinary purposes is to not overcook it (because the slimy texture it produces is not appetizing), but for use in cosmetics this mucilage is exactly the right stuff you need for hair as it is softening, conditioning and moisturising. It keeps curls really smooth and prevents hair from frizzing.
Those who know these green, ridged, finger-like vegetables might call them okra, lady’s fingers or gumbo. Okra are the unripe seed-pods of a herbaceous flowering annual plant (Abelmoschus or Hibiscus esculentus) of the Malva family (Malvaceae). The seed-pods grow on hairy stalks and are picked before they are fully matured.
Popular in Indian, Caribbean and African cooking, the vegetables can be fried in oil, or boiled, but they are most often used as a thickener for soups and broths due to the generous amount of gelatinous mucilage they contain.
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