By Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD
Black gram (seeds of Vigna mungo) is a rich source of iron, calcium, phosphorous, potassium, and magnesium. Regular consumption of certain amount of black gram in various forms of food certainly boosts the energy and it fulfils the body’s iron and protein demand.
Ayurveda refers black gram as Masha and it is considered as a good food for weight gain. Also pulses of de-husked black gram improves digestion (even though it is heavy for digestion) of food due to its rich fiber content. In addition, due to its rich fiber content it acts as laxative.
Black gram is one of the highest used pulses in Asian subcontinent area. Mostly in Dosa, Idly, Vada, Dhokla, Daal, Chakli etc it is used as the base material. Black gram is appreciated for its rich nutritional benefits and being a rich source of energy.
Charaka Samhita contributed separate chapter in its name (Mashaparni bhriteeya adhyayaya)- one among the Rasayana (rejuvenation way) method is explained where the cows are fed with the whole and fresh plants of Black gram and its milk is asked to drink by the seeker of health and longevity.
Also, in Shraddha karma/Pitru karma (funeral ceremonies) also the dishes prepared out of black gram are mandatory.
Above said two evidences show that the great Indian knowledge about black gram is certainly utilized in health care.
The pulses are rich with phosphorus content which is nearly 8-10 times more than any other pulses. Protein and carbohydrate s are also rich in black gram. As the black gram possesses a special kind of protein it helps in the strengthening of the muscle fibers.
As per Ayurveda, black gram is heavy-unctuous and
motile in nature. Also, it is sweet in taste and bio- transformation(Vipaka).
Due to these qualities it acts as body stabilizer, laxative, nutritive, bulk enhancer, semen promotive/aphrodisiac, diuretic, galactagogue and at the most a proven Vata pacifier.
The texts recommend black gram in the cases like haemorrhoids, constipation, facial paralysis/paralysis, asthma, pain in the flanks etc.
Many Ayurvedic medicines contain black gram as
ingredient. Such as –
Samisha masha taila,
Mashadi modaka, Ikshuraka choorna etc are few among them.
Few simple and effective remedies can be formed out of black gram and are cited here below-
Energiser, for sexual vigor
1. Fine powder of black gram, sesame and jaggery:
Equal quantity of black gram and black sesame seeds are taken and dried well or fried a little. This is made into fine powder and mixed thoroughly.
2-3 gram of this powder is mixed with a teaspoon of jaggery and taken daily along with milk, after food.
This acts as a very good energiser. It is traditionally used as a tonic to improve sexual libido.
This remedy can be continued for a period of 4 – 6 weeks’ time and is not suitable for diabetic patients.
Degenerative joint disorders
2. Oil prepared out of black gram:
30 gram of black gram seeds is taken and oil is cooked with 100 ml sesame oil and 30 ml of water. This oil is used to apply over the scalp in cases like head lice.
This is used for applying over joints in cases of degenerative joint pain.
Note: In the lice of pet animals also this is used with good results.
Joint swelling, pain
3. Fine paste of black gram in joint pain:
Black gram powder is taken and fine paste is made by adding little sesame oil. This paste is applied over the joints to reduce the swelling as well as to relieve the pain. Useful in both rheumatoid arthritis and osteo arthritis.
4. Sprouted black gram for sexual strength:
5-10 gram of black gram is taken and soaked in water. When it is germinated (sprouted) this is cooked with milk and later it is macerated well (as per one’s desire sugar can be added).
This is consumed during the evening hours.
This serves as an energy drink and it improves the reproductive health in men.
5. Fine powder of black gram for
Fried seeds of black gram are made into fine powder. This is consumed along with sour butter milk. This improves the bulk of the stool. Those who are suffering from improper bowel habit and irregular passage of the stool are advised well to take this simple recipe.
6. Black gram flour along with sugar candy and
jaggery for sexual health:
Fine powder of the black gram (obtained on frying the black gram)-approx. 4-5 gram is mixed with sugar candy or
For better strength
7. Traditional Laddu of black gram for strength and
This is a winter season special sweet in Orissa, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Black gram flour is fried with ghee and added to sugar syrup or jaggery syrup. Then it is rolled into bolus and stored. This is taken daily in winter season as to strengthen the body and to overcome the cold.
8. Decoction of black gram, Ashwagandha (Withania
somnifera) and Bala (Sida cordifolia) for brachial neuralgia:
The drugs Black gram, Ashwagandha and Bala are taken in coarse powder form in equal amount and decoction is made. In case of decreased appetite small amount dry ginger can be added. This decoction is used twice daily in the conditions of neuralgia and back ache. It effectively manages the above said complaints.
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