Horse Gram Uses, Recipes, Dose, Side Effects

Horse gram – Dolichos biflorus an ayurvedic herb used for the treatment of kidney stones, cough, asthma, piles etc. It is called Kulattha in Ayurveda.
Botanical Name- Dolichos biflorus Linn. Also called Macrotyloma uniflorum.
Family- Leguminosae (Simbi kula)

Vernacular names

Names in different languages:
English name – Horsegram, Cowpea
Hindi name – Kulathi
Telugu name – Ulavalu
Kannada name – Huruli
Tamil name – Kollu
Unani – Kulthi

horse gram

Sanskrit Synonyms

Kulattha, Kulatthika,
Peetamudga – resemble mung bean but yellow in color
Tamra Varna – seeds with copper color
Surashtraka – grows in Saurashtra region – Gujarat
Druk Prasada – good for eyes

Habitat, varieties

Habitat: Horsegram is a shrub grown and cultivated in the plains of Indian states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, for its seed. The whole seeds of horsegram is used as cattle feed. Its whole seed is also consumed, as sprouts or whole meals in some parts of India.

The herb Kulattha is available in two types based upon the cultivating pattern

  • Wild variety
  • Local grown variety

Dolichos  biflorus is classified into 4 types based upon the color of the seeds

  • Red
  • White
  • Black
  • Brownish

Botanical classification

Kingdom: Plantae
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Dolichos
Division: biflorus

Classical categorization

Charaka- Swedopaga – Group of herbs used in sweating treatment
Vagbhata- Niruhopaga – Group of herbs used in Niruha Basti
Kaiyyadeva Nighantu- Krutanna varga
Dhanvantari Nighantu- Suvarnadi varga
Bhava Prakasha- Dhanya varga
Rajanighantu – Parpatadi Varga

Horse gram, Kulthi

Properties, part used

Horse gram medicinal properties:
Rasa  (Taste) – Kashaya – astringent
Veerya (Potency) – Ushna – Hot
Guna (Qualities) – Laghu – light to digest, Rooksha – Dry in nature, Teekshna- Pungent
Vipaka- Amla – After digestion it undergoes into sour taste
Prabhava (Special effects) – Ashmari Bhedana- breaks down the renal stones

Effect on Tridosha- As the drug is predominant of Kashaya rasa, it is Kapha vata shamaka (reduces the vitiated Kapha and Vata) and Rakta Pitta kopaka (increases the Rakta and Pitta dosha)

Part used- Seeds which are reddish brown in color.

Chemical constituents

Major chemical Constituents of Kulthi:
Horse gram seeds contain 21% of crude protein, 11% of pentosan and about 3% of water soluble gum. They also contain traces of urease and phosphorus. The other chemical constituents present in the seeds are Genistein, Dalberioidin, Phasw and Collidin.

Nutritional value, dosage

The mean protein value of the horsegram seeds is 25.5% which is more or less equivalent to soybean, winged bean. Nutritionally the horse gram seeds are rich in lysine content when compared to gram pulse.

The leaves of the herb Dolichos  biflorus may be used in Vitamin C deficiency, due to the presence of ascorbic acid and calcium.

Dosage– Seed powder- 4-6 g
Decoction of the seed- 40-50 ml per day in divided doses.
Paste of seed: For external application.


Uses of Dolichos biflorus:

  • The paste of Kulatta seeds are used for fomentation to relieve localized swelling. The seeds stimulate and increase sweating, thus opening the sweat pores of the body to push out the toxins from the body.
  • The seed of the herb is powdered, burnt and the smoke coming from it is inhaled to relieve hiccups.
  • Cold infusion (Hima) of the seeds of horsegram is taken in a dosage of 80-100 ml per day to treat renal calculi, difficulty in micturition and pain in the urinary bladder.
  • The powder of the seeds in a dosage of 10-12g per day is used to treat renal calculi.
  • Seeds of Dolichos biflorus are given in the form of decoction to relieve intestinal worms, treat piles and relieve constipation.
  • It induces menstrual periods. Hence people with prolonged menstrual cycle, scanty bleeding (oligomenorrhea), are advised to use horse gram in their diet regularly.

Sanskrit verse

Horse gram benefits

Traditional uses:
Sweda Sangrahaka – it causes sweating
Sara – laxative, promotes movement of liquids in channels
Vidahi – causes burning sensation
Vatanulomi – Causes normal movement of Vata in its proper direction
Shwasa – asthma, respiratory disorders involving difficulty in breathing
Kasa – cold, cough
Diseases of Kapha and Vata Dosha imbalance
Hikka – hiccough
Ashmari – calculi
Daha – Burning sensation
Anaha – bloating
Peenasa – rhinitis
Meda – obesity
Jwara – fever
Krumi – worm infestation (in wounds and in intestines)
Shwasa – asthma, respiratory disorders involving difficulty in breathing
Arsha – Hemorrhoids
Shotha – oedema, swelling, inflammatory conditions.
Udara – Ascites
Tuni, Pratituni – lower abdominal pain
Akshiroga – eye disorders
Horse gram is boiled with water, its steam is used for local sweating treatment, called Nadi Sweda, in Vata imbalance disorders (Charaka Vatavyadi Chikitsa)

Use of horse gram in treating piles:
If the patient is suffering from non bleeding piles with constipation, then he is encouraged to include horse gram in his diet.
But if it is bleeding piles, then it is best to avoid horse gram.

Precautions, side effects

People suffering from hyperacidity, gastric ulcers should not take this herb or any formulation containing this herb as it will worsen the disease condition.
Acharya Charaka in Ayurveda has said that Kulattha is the herb which can cause amlapitta (Hyperacidity)
It is described as Raktapittakrut – It worsens bleeding disorders. Hence, not ideal in people having nasal bleeding, menorrhagia (heavy periods) etc
Shukrahara – it can decrease semen and sperm quality and quantity. Hence, people seeking male infertility treatment should avoid or reduce the intake of horsegram.
In case of gout, because Rakta dhatu is involved, horse gram is best avoided.
When you are taking Shilajit, Horse gram should be avoided, as it increases Pitta Dosha.
In people taking Tapyadi Yoga, a medicine for the treatment of anemia, taking horsegram is contraindicated. (Charaka Pandu Chikitsa)

Horse gram recipes

Healthy horse gram recipes:
Take 4 teaspoons of horse gram, add half liter of water, heat this mixture up until it reduces to one fifth, collect soup, add 2 teaspoons of crushed pomegranate seeds, mix, filter and take once a day. This is especially useful in kidney and bladder stones.

Can Horse Gram Reduce the Size of Kidney Stones?

Vegetable soup of ber fruit, horse gram, coriander, bael, or barley – are indicated in the treatment of vomitting with gastritis. (Charaka Chikitsa 20th chapter)

Interaction with medicines, supplements

Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.

Can this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets, Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.

With western medicines
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.

Horse gram increases Pitta

Sir did you mention kulthi / horse gram as a cause of blood impurity?
Dr JV Hebbar: 
Yes. Horsegram is hot in nature and excess of it can cause Raktapittakrit – vitiate Pitta dosha, increase bleeding tendency and weaken blood vessels. 
Hence, people with aggravated Pitta dosha should not use horse gram. 

Ayurvedic formulations

Formulation containing Kulattha:


Research articles on Dolichos biflorus:

  • Seeds of the herb kulattha is shown to have antihistamine action in the management of asthma
  • The seeds are antioxidant and antiradical in nature.
  • Anti obesity property is seen in the seeds of Dolichos biflorus.
  • The seeds are known to have anti urolithiatic property.

Dr.B.K.Prashanth M.D (Ayu), Ph.D
E mail:

Sthanika Karma (Systemic Action)

External use – Helps to reduce swelling, It can be used for collyrium in Eye disorders. Paste of kulattha is indicated in a condition called karnamoola sotha in Sannipatajvara. (Lymph node enlargement in Infective disorders). Also indicated in excess sweating.

Internal administration

Digestive system – It can cause burning sensation in the digestive tract. Facilitate normal movement of doshas, Purgative in nature, Ant helminthic. Indicated in Abdominal distention, Hepatic and splenic disorders, Colic pain, Hemorrhoids, Helminthiasis. Overdose causes gastric irritation.

Respiratory system – Pacify kapha dosha,. Indicated cough, breathing difficulty, Hiccough etc.

Reproductive system- It is used as a uterine stimulant in cases of Dysmenorrhea and postpartum delivery care. It promotes uterine contractions, facilitating the expulsion of remnants after delivery.
Excretory system – In Renal colic, Calculi and in Dysuria Its powder along with Radish leaf juice can be administered.
Tapakrama – Jvaraghna (indicated in fever)
Satmikarana – It has a scraping action on Tissues, Especially on Sukra dhatu (Sukranasaka). Also indicated in obesity and related disorders

42 comments on “Horse Gram Uses, Recipes, Dose, Side Effects

  • Pavi

    14/03/2016 - 4:18 am

    Dear doctor,

    What should be the minimum age to consume horsegram?


    Reply to comment
    • Dr Malini Bhat

      14/03/2016 - 9:49 am

      Madam, It can be consumed by all. For the kids the soup of it is preferable.

      Reply to comment
  • Snehal Ingle

    16/03/2016 - 8:38 pm

    Kolakulathadhi has kulath but it is used for external application, any medicine for renal stone, with more efficacy,

    Reply to comment
    • Dr Malini Bhat

      17/03/2016 - 10:30 am

      Hello madam, Some remedies:
      • Take 1 cup of horse gram.Add ½ L water.Heat the mixture till water level reduces to 1/5th. Strain and collect the soup. Add 2 tsp of crushed pomegranate seeds.Mix well. Drink once a day
      • Take 10-15 basil leaves.Crush them to make paste. Take 1 tsp of basil leaf paste.Press on a sieve and extract its juice.Add 1 tsp honey. Mix well. Drink this every day
      • Drink a glass of apple juice every day.
      • Drink coconut water, barley water.
      • Pashana bheda swarasa in empty stomach.

      Reply to comment
  • Snehal Ingle

    16/03/2016 - 8:41 pm

    How much days to consume for stone 6 mm in rt. Kidney. 7 mm in left.

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      24/05/2016 - 3:44 pm

      For about 4 – 6 weeks.

      Reply to comment

    11/05/2016 - 8:43 pm

    Is the Powder made using RAW horse gram seeds or is it cooked before powdering?

    Reply to comment
  • vinay

    24/06/2016 - 12:14 pm

    which phyto-constituents of horse gram is responsible for treating the renal stone ?

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      26/06/2016 - 3:03 pm

      Phytic acid, Phytate phosphorus, and aqueous extract of horse gram are known to treat renal stone.

      Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    26/06/2016 - 3:15 pm

    Hi, as per my knowledge, horsegram is not contra indicated in your case.

    Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    21/07/2016 - 5:03 pm

    A 3 mm sized stone is very small and daily usage of horsegram for 10 – 15 days will help its removal. If he wishes to confirm its removal, he may have to collect urine everytime to see the passed stone or he can take an x ray test / abdominal scan after a month time.

    Reply to comment
  • Sarita

    15/09/2016 - 3:33 pm

    is horsegram good for CKD (Proteinuria)

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      15/09/2016 - 7:41 pm

      Horsegram can be taken by a person with CKD.

      Reply to comment
  • Revathi

    28/12/2016 - 11:00 am

    For pitta body type what is the quantity should have take daily for wight loss?

    Reply to comment
  • ESN Murthy

    30/01/2017 - 9:34 pm

    Horse gram appears to be the magical pulse for Renal Stone. I have 4 mm stone in the Lt Renal and Ureteric calcucli (8 mm). How should i take horsegram in the form of powder, decoction, or any other way . How long should i take for complete disolution of the stone. I am aged 62 years

    Reply to comment
  • Marish

    16/05/2017 - 10:04 pm

    Sir, shall I take horse gram daily to reduce my weight? If it so, what’s the quantity I should take per day?

    Reply to comment
  • Soundarya

    18/05/2017 - 11:42 am

    Can u pls suggest how horse gram is useful in pcos problem?

    Reply to comment
  • Deekhu

    20/05/2017 - 7:08 pm

    How many grams to consume for weight reduction??how many days it takes??

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      22/05/2017 - 9:50 pm

      5 – 10 grams, once or twice a day.

      Reply to comment
  • naresh kumar

    01/06/2017 - 9:13 pm

    Gallbladder stones ke liye effective h kya

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      03/06/2017 - 7:16 am

      Depends on size and number of stones. Please consult an Ayurveda doctor directly.

      Reply to comment
  • Pradeep

    20/06/2017 - 5:46 pm

    Sir what is the best way to consume horse gram for a pitta body type.

    Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    21/08/2017 - 3:09 pm

    Boiled / cooked is better.

    Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    18/09/2017 - 5:15 pm

    Morning, after food.

    Reply to comment
  • vaishnavi

    01/10/2017 - 10:29 pm

    how many kgs lose when we take horsegram in one month

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      10/10/2017 - 1:41 pm

      About half – 1 kg. If exercise and diet restrictions are maintained, then may be even more.

      Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    17/10/2017 - 11:56 am

    Hi, you can drink the boiled water or just use horse gram in making sambhar etc.

    Reply to comment

    29/11/2017 - 11:46 am

    Dear Dr. Hebbar

    Can Horsegram be used to handle higher levels of creatinine, say 3.8 levels

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      06/12/2017 - 11:38 am

      Useful, to some extent.

      Reply to comment
  • Kiran

    24/02/2018 - 10:25 pm

    My amh levels are very low what medicines should I take

    Reply to comment
  • Shyja

    04/04/2018 - 12:32 am

    Sir what is the cause of palpitation

    Reply to comment
  • Pallavi L

    17/10/2019 - 7:12 pm

    i read in a ayurvedic book ulavalu(horse gram) should be included in diet in sharat rutu..
    but as u mentioned it causes pitta imbalance.. confused.

    Reply to comment
  • Yaaz

    09/06/2020 - 10:49 pm

    Does horsegram causes permanent pregnancy issues?

    Reply to comment
  • Vijayalakshime bala

    11/01/2021 - 2:34 pm

    Shall we add horse gram for 10 months baby in sathumaavu or health mix powder

    Reply to comment
  • Jitender

    25/01/2021 - 7:53 pm

    kulathi not shukra har however it increases sperm quality by doing dhatu shodhana.
    However it may cause fat loss but shukura har nowhere mentioned they are mentioning it as shukara shodhna.
    Please correct it.

    Reply to comment

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Easy Ayurveda Video Classes

Buy Online Video Courses

Buy Easy Ayurveda Books