Horse Gram, Dolichos biflorus Linn reduces fat, expels kidney stones and is an anti-oxidant. Packed with flavonids it neutralises free radicals in the system.
Dolichos biflorus Linn: commonly known as the Horse Gram or Cowpea in English is taken as a food supplement in South India, apart from fodder feed for horses. It is also known as Hyacinth Bean and Bonnavista Bean. It is Habbul Kulth in Arabic and Bian Dou in Chinese, Kulatha Kalai in Sanskrit, Kollu and Kulti in Hindi, Kuntikali in Bengali and Muthira in Malayalam.
Horsegram Plant and Seeds:
It is cultivated in West Bengal, Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala and several other states. It is found in Myanmar, China and certain European countries as well. It grows as a small shrub with small egg-shaped leaves and a pointed end. Yellow flowers appear in August and is followed by bean pods in September. The seeds come in yellow, brown-black and pale white color.
During my childhood days in Kerala, my Granny used to make a delicious evening snack with boiled horsegram mixed with grated coconut and jaggery. It was a high energy food and we used to say, ..”eat Muthira (Malayalam for horsegram) and run like a Kuthira (Malayalam for horse)”. I don’t remember the particular taste but it reminds me of another Kerala snack called Sukhiyan, made of boiled Greengram (Moong), grated coconut and jaggery. Well, what is good for horses can’t be bad for human beings?
Medicinal Uses and Health Benefits:
Ayurvedic Physicians of the Gangetic Basin of India use the simple horsegram for various ailments ranging from Piles to Rheumatism and Conjunctvitis of Eyes to eliminating worms. It is widely accepted as a cure for eliminating phlegm in chronic cold and cough, remission of fevers, regulating menstruation in women having such problems, and controlling post-delivery bleeding etc. The powdered beans if applied on skin, minimises heat rash and similar skin eruptions. It helps to dissolve kidney stones and expel them through the urethra. Old horsegram boiled and taken cures rheumatism. It’s phenolic content or some inherent property helps phenomenal reduction in weight, if taken regularly.
Kidney Stone Expeller Drink:
Soak one teaspoon of horsegram, overnight, in a glass of water and keep it covered. In the morning, drink the glass of water after stirring it. The soaked seeds can be chewed and consumed. The water has a peculiar taste and the soaked grains taste bland. Within six to seven days the kidney stones will be dissolved and eliminated through the urine. This horsegram water is a diuretic and regulates ordinary kidney problems, particularly if there is swelling of the legs. People staying in the so-called Stone Belt of India, viz: Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Assam and Uttar Pradesh should make a habit of drinking horsegram water to keep their kidneys stone-free.