Horse Gram which is also known as “Kulath” is a very popular gram used commonly in food recipes in the northern part of India. This lesser known gram world over has a bounty of benefits, that many of us stay deprived, owing to lack of awareness and knowledge about the gram. This gram is generally used as a cattle feed. The plant of Horse gram is known to have antioxidant and diuretic action and be found to be extremely useful and recommended by doctors in the treatment of haemorrhoids, diarrhoea and haemorrhage.
The gram is further beneficial in cases of bleeding during pregnancy, menstrual disorders, colic and weak liver, spleen enlargement, leucorrhoea, hypertension, kidney stones, gall stones and many other serious health concerns. This gram is rich in B-complex vitamins and protein, and is highly delicious for the taste buds and nutritious as well.
In India, the horse gram is mostly prescribed as an Ayurvedic medicine for conditions like difficulty in breathing, cough, ulcers, gastric problems, excessive perspiration, and worm infections and also helps control joint pain. However, this gram is not suggested for women during pregnancy and those with tuberculosis. Those who suffer from kidney stones or gall stones, can consume horse gram by soaking a little quantity in a glass of water for about 8 to 10 hours, and then it can be mashed up to be consumed two times a day. The horse gram is an excellent food for those looking to reduce weight.
This Indian brown lentil is known by different names in India –Kulthikalai (Bengali), Kulthi (in Hindi), Ulavalu (Telegu), Kollu (in Tamil), Hurali (Kannad), Kadthi dal (Gujarati), Kolatha(Oriya), Kulith (Marathi), Gahat (Kumaoni) and Muthira (Malayalam). Because of lack of commercial interest, teh horse gram is generally cultivated as a cattle fodder.
According to a study by scientists from the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, they have found that the unprocessed raw horse gram seeds possess anti-hyperglycemic properties and qualities that reduce insulin resistance. Hence, horse gram is a highly recommended food for diabetics. On a comparative analysis between horse gram seeds and their sprouts, it was found that the seeds have greater beneficial effects on the health of hyperglycemic individuals over the sprouts. Calling horse gram as a poor man’s pulse crop in South India, it is generally used as a body warming food for rich energy in winters.
Further study by scientists indicate that the horse gram seeds are rich in polyphenols, proteins and flavonoids, the major anti-oxidants present in fruits and other materials. Some of the benefits with specified consumption patterns deliver huge health benefits from the horse gram, they are:
- When horse gram is mixed with asafoetida, dry ginger and “veed salt”, it helps treat stomach pain immediately.
- Use of horse gram in diet relieves the pain caused from dry piles.
- Use in women dietary intake, as horse gram helps in purification during menstruations.
- A semi-liquid solution of horse gram in water helps reduce flatulence and gas.
Eating kulath regularly keep you afar of worm infections and tones up the digestive to prevent acidity and flatulence. For immediate relief from cold, take a small quantity of horse gram, boil it and cool it. Then mix this into a grinder for semi solid paste, add salt and pepper to taste. This will offer immediate relief from sore throat, cold and cough. In Andhra Pradesh, horse gram soup is recommended for persons suffering from jaundice, or water retention and also helps compensate iron deficiencies in the body. In Pahari regions of northern India, this legume is used to make khichdi.