Ora-pro-nobis: how to use and how much protein do you have?

Have you heard of Ora-pro-nóbis (whose scientific name is Pereskia aculeata )? This plant is also popularly known as lemon vine, barbados currant, poor steak and orabrobó.

It originated in the American continent and can be found in a large territorial strip, which extends between the United States and Brazil.

The name comes from Latin and means “pray for us”, an expression widely used in Catholic prayers and invocations. It is believed that the appearance of this name is also linked to this religion.

During the colonial period in Brazil, it was common to find the plant in the gardens of the churches. As the priests did not allow anyone to pick it up, people stole some leaves during the mass (which was said in Latin and with their backs to the faithful).

Thus, when the priest spoke the phrase “ora-pro-nobis”, it meant that he was concentrating on the prayers and that the plant could be harvested discreetly and quietly.


What is ora-pro-nobis used for?

The most popular form of use of the ora-pro-nobis plant is in cooking, mainly as a seasoning for some foods (meats, for example) or complements for other dishes (prepared as a salad).

It is also possible to use the leaves to make teas, juices and even ice cream.

Some people crush the ora-pro-nobis and mix it with flour and pasta. Omelets, soups, cakes, breads and sauces can also carry this plant.

Such a plant gives flowers with sweet flavors that can be eaten in salads and used to decorate dishes.

Animals can also ingest ora-pro-nobis, crushed and mixed with the feed or pasture.

This vine can still be grown in gardens for the beauty and perfume of its flowering which can be pink, purple, white or yellow.

In fact, the ora-pro-nobis flower is highly valued because of its rarity. It is born and lasts for only one day during the year.

In other words, the flower blooms in the morning and falls off the branch at night and then it will not be born again until the following year. The flora period is from January to April.

The plant, without flowers, is still cultivated as a hobby or as a form of decoration, since it can grow around decks and bandstands.

What are the benefits of Ora-pro-nóbis?

The ora-pro-nobis is a plant that has healing and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, this creeper helps to fight constipation , as it stimulates bowel movement and elimination of fecal bolus.

Other benefits of ora-pro-nóbis are:

For blood

This plant can help to reduce the levels of fats and sugars present in the blood. Thus, it is indicated for the control of diseases such as diabetes and cholesterol.

For the skin

The ora-pro-nobis ensures hydration and elasticity for the skin. In addition, the vine still prevents the aging of cells.

That is, the skin is firmer, younger and less dry.

For hair

This vine helps in strengthening the hair strands, avoiding excessive falling and breaking the locks.

For the vision

The ora-pro-nobis contains some substances (such as retinol) that help maintain eye health.

It helps to prevent the appearance of diseases such as xerophthalmia (a disease in which there is no natural production of lubrication in the eyes, which makes it difficult to see).

For pregnancy

During pregnancy, the consumption of this plant is also beneficial: it contains folic acid , a substance that helps to prevent malformations in the baby.

How much protein does ora-pro-nobis have?

About 10g of ora-pro-nobis has 2.1g of protein . The same amount of the plant also has approximately 16kcal, 1.7g of carbohydrates , 0.5g of total fats, 0g of trans fat and 5mg of sodium.

With so many properties, this plant can even be a good substitute for meat, since 100g of ora-pro-nobis contains approximately 21g of protein (the same amount as a 100g steak of red meat).

Even with this advantage, it is not recommended that the leaves of this vine are the only source of protein in the diet. Chestnuts, vegetables and legumes should also be part of the diet of those who do not consume animal protein.

How to use ora-pro-nobis?

The ora-pro-nobis is a plant that can be consumed in several ways. Fresh , powder and oil presentations are very common to be used in cooking, mixing in food and juices. In addition, it has the capsule version.

Learn a little more about each of these presentations:

In nature 

This is the most common way to find the plant. Both leaves and flowers can be consumed.

They can be cut or chopped to add to pies, cakes and omelets.

The fresh plant is also used as a form of seasoning. Simply place one or two leaves on the chicken or red meat while preparing the dish and then remove them when serving.

In powder

The ora-pro-nobis powder is widely used to be mixed with wheat flour in pasta and bread. This form of presentation is also ideal for mixing with animal feed.

In oil

The presentation of ora-pro-nobis in oil is used in the beauty industry as a cosmetic. The plant’s oil is mixed in protectors, moisturizers, creams and soaps because of the beneficial properties for the skin.

In capsules

The consumption of ora-pro-nobis capsules can be indicated for replacement of proteins and some vitamins (such as A).

Usually the ideal recommended dose is 2g per day, which is equivalent to 1 capsule daily.

Can you eat raw pro-nobles?

Yes, ora-pro-nobis can be eaten raw. If this is your choice of consumption, it is worth remembering the importance of properly cleaning the vine before eating it. For example, washing leaves and flowers under running water can eliminate microorganisms that may be present.

How to make ora-pro-nobis juice?

To make the ora-pro-nobis juice, simply place the leaves of the plant in a blender and beat with a little water. You can add other ingredients such as pineapple, honey, apple, mango and orange.

It is normal for the juice to generate a little bit of bagasse, so if you think it is necessary, use a sieve to strain the liquid. If you prefer, add some ice cubes.

Do you lose weight?

The ora-pro-nobis can help with weight loss because it contains high fiber content. About 10g of the plant has approximately 3.9g of fiber.

But how can that help? Well, the fibers provide a feeling of satiety, making the person feel less hungry and eat a smaller amount of food at the next meal.

They also aid in intestinal transit and the elimination of feces, reducing the feeling of bloating.

It is worth remembering that ingesting ora-pro-nobis only once will not give results. To have all the benefits of this plant, consumption must be frequent and combined with a healthy diet and a routine of physical activities.


For the time being, there are no studies that indicate what are the contraindications of ora-pro-nobis.

Even so, ora-pro-nobis, like any other plant, can cause allergies or adverse symptoms in people with sensitivity.

Side effects

First of all, it is worth remembering that anything that is used in excess can be harmful. And ora-pro-nobis is also part of this rule.

That is, if it is consumed moderately, it is possible that the plant provides all the benefits already mentioned above.

But, if the consumption is exaggerated, the ora-pro-nobis can cause intestinal discomfort (such as diarrhea and excess of gases ).

How to plant?

Planting ora-pro-nobis cultivation is very easy. This is because this vine adapts to various types of soil and climate.

Like this? That’s right, this vine can be planted in any type of soil (whether fertile or not) and does not require fertilizer.

In addition, ora-pro-nobis is capable of adapting to temperatures ranging from 0 ° C to 30 ° C (common characteristics of subtropical and tropical climates).

It is also ready for harvest in no time. In approximately 90 days after planting, it is already possible to remove the first leaves (it is important to wear gloves to avoid injury from the plant’s spines).

During the planting of this vine, 2 details are essential: water and space.

Preferably, the ora-pro-nobis should be watered frequently, especially during the moulting phase.

If it is prone to drought, it can also survive, although it does not give as showy and beautiful leaves and flowers.

The space issue is simple: as it is a climbing plant, the plant will grow quickly.

If that is the intention, the ideal is to place supports (like pieces of wood), so that it rises, or even plant it near the wall.

If you do not want a vine, you should prune the ora-pro-nobis frequently.

It can also be used as a protection for the soil. Because it grows quickly, ora-pro-nobis can be planted to spread over a certain piece of land, preventing the soil from burning with the sun or frost, for example.

The ora-pro-nobis is a plant with several health benefits. Its versatility, especially in cooking, is another positive point for this vine. Find out more about food in other Minute Healthy articles!