Horse Gram also known as Kulth or Muthira in Hindi or Kollu in Tamil, is a variety of pulse found all over India. It is also grown in some areas of Sri Lanka, Malaysia and the West Indies. The scientific name of horse gram is Macrotyloma Uniflorum. It is known as horse gram because, in older times, it was mainly used for feed horses and cattle. It is one of the lesser known and used pulses. According to Ayurveda, it is considered to have medicinal properties and is hot in nature.
Horse Gram Nutrition
Horse gram or Muthira is rich in
- Calcium. Contains the highest calcium content out of all other pulses.
- Proteins. It has a very high content of vegetarian protein.
- Carbohydrates. It contains slowly digestible carbohydrates which are good for weight loss and diabetes.
- Vitamin B
- Very low quantity of healthy fats
According to Eishi Vagbhatt (In Ashtanga Hridayam), Horse gram or kulattha (Dolichos biflorus) is described as
उष्णाः कुलत्था: पाकेस्म्ला: शुक्राश्मश्श्रा सपीनसान् ॥
कासार्श: कफवातांश्र्च घ्नन्ति पित्तास्त्रदा: परम् ।
It is having kasaya rasa (Astringent taste), madhura rasa (Sweet taste), usna virya (Hot nature) and amla vipaka (sour post digestive taste).
It is useful in the management of sukra dosa (reproductive fluids) , asmari (Urolithiasis), swasa (respiratory problems), pinasa (Chronic Sinusitis / Cold), kasa (Cough), arsas (haemorrhoids), kapha and vata roga. Excessive use of horse gram leads to raktapitta (bleeding disorders).
Horse Gram Health Benefits
1. Horse Gram For Kidney Stones
Horse gram is used in the treatment of kidney stones. It resembles small pebbles or stones in its appearance, and it has been known to treat kidney stones the best. It prevents the formation of calcium oxalate stone in the kidney and regular consumption breaks down stones and eliminates and expels small stones through urine.
2. Horse Gram For Diabetes
Raw horse gram or muthira has amazing benefits of diabetics. The regular consumption of horse gram, reduce blood sugar levels considerably just after consumption. This happens due to the slow digestion of its complex carbohydrates. It creates low insulin resistance in the blood which keeps diabetes in check.
3. Horse Gram For Weight Loss and Obesity
Due to high fibre and protein with the minimum amount of fat content, it is great to include muthira in a weight loss diet. It helps eliminate excess fat from the body by attacking the fat tissues with the help of its phenol content.
It controls the cholesterol levels in the blood and provides sufficient protein for the muscles and fibre for a healthy gut. It is also known for being the most protein-rich pulse in the world.
4. Horse Gram For Constipation and Digestion
Horse gram contains a high amount of dietary fibre which helps to clear out the gut and to eliminate constipation. Regular consumption is also helpful in reducing acidity, stomach infections and intestinal worms. Its low lipid and sodium content makes it easily digestible.
5. Horse Gram For Irregular Periods
Horse gram is highly beneficial for women having irregular or painful and excessive bleeding during menstrual cycle. The iron content in this pulse increases the haemoglobin levels in blood and prevents loss of blood the body.
6. Anti – Ageing
Kulth contains Flavonoids and Antioxidants which remove free radicals from the cells and keeps the cells young and healthy. It contains flavonoids which are known to have antiviral, anti-fungal, antibacterial, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties.
Apart from these major benefits, muthira is traditionally also used in the treatment of
- Water Retention
- Cough and Cold
- Heart Disease
- Intestinal Worms
- Bad Digestion
How To Consume Horse Gram?
There are many simple ways to cook horse gram. You can either soak it overnight and pressure cook it the next morning with some spices or can be consumed in soup form. You can also make it in the sprouts form and consume little every day in the winter season.
It is easily available on Amazon. Make sure to buy the organic version only
Caution and Side Effects of Horse Gram:
Consumption of Horse Gram is only recommended for people living in cold areas or during the winter season as it is considered hot in nature. Consumption during summers can increase pitta and may aggravate pitta related health issues. For main information on pitta, read this.
Horse gram is not advised for pregnant women, tuberculosis patients and people wanting to gain weight.
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