Kidney Bean, Common Bean


Hazard Information

Route: Ingestion     Plant Part: Beans

Scale: Low

Poisoning induced by as little as 5 raw beans.

Toxin can be degraded by heat.

Recovery in four-five hours.

Vomiting, diarrhoea.



Common Name(s)

Kidney Bean, Common Bean

Latin Name

Phaseolus vulgaris




Herbaceous annual plant domesticated independently in ancient Mesoamerica and the Andes, and now grown worldwide for its edible bean.

Varieties form erect bushes 2060 cm tall, while pole or running varieties form vines 23 m long. All varieties bear alternate, green or purple leaves, divided into three oval, smooth-edged leaflets, each 615 cm long and 311 cm wide.



The toxic compound lectin phytohaemagglutinin is present in many varieties, but is especially concentrated in red kidney beans.; causes gastric upset 

Dry beans;  ten minutes at 100 degrees Celsius required to degrade the toxin.

Much shorter than the hours required to fully cook the beans themselves.



Poisoning can be induced from as few as five raw beans and symptoms occur within three hours, beginning with nausea then vomiting which can be severe and sustained (profuse), then diarrhoea. Recovery occurs within four or five hours of onset, usually without the need for any medical intervention.


Flowering Period

Common bean is a warm-season, annual legume .




Can be sold in natural form in UK and is dangerous until cooked properly. Grown worldwide.