Black Gram (Urad dal) – Uses, Side Effects, Remedies, Research

By Dr Renita D’Souza
Black gram is the best aphrodisiac bean. It is the best diet for those who are indicated to take sweet substances daily and one who feels exhausted daily. It is a best aphrodisiac and Vata dosha alleviating diet.

Rice cooked with Blackgram

As per the reference found in Charaka Samhita, one of the authentic Ayurvedic text book, Rice prepared with meat, vegetable, muscle fat, oil, ghee, marrow and fruit is strength promoting, refreshing, cardiac tonic, heavy and nourishing. Similar are the properties of the rice prepared of Black gram, Sesame, Green gram and Milk.
Read – Ayurveda Mahodadhi: Legumes Green Gram, Chickpea, Peas

Medicinal action

Black gram possess emollient, thermogenic, diuretic, aphrodisiac, nutritious, galactagogue, appetizer, laxative, and styptic properties. It is a good nervous tonic. As a medicine it is used to treat pains, Parkinson’s disease , Sciatica, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, asthma, cardiac diseases, loss of taste, constipation, neurological disorders, paralysis, facial paralysis, debility etc. It is also used as a medicinal herb in Panchakarma therapies.
Read – Wheat Uses, Health Benefits, Side Effects: Complete Ayurveda Details

Botanical Name – Vigna mungo
Synonyms – Phaseolus mungo, Phaseolus roxburghii
Family – Leguminosae (Simbi kula / Aparajita Upakula)

Vernacular names

Names in different languages
Sanskrit Name – Masha
English Name – Black gram, Mungo bean, Urad bean
Hindi Name – Udad, Udid, Urad, Urid, Urdi
Bengali Name – Masha kalaay, Mashkalai ḍal
Marathi Name – Udeed
Tamil Name – Ulundu, Uluntu
Gujarati Name – Adad, Alad
Kannada Name – Uddu, Uddina Bhele
Malayalam Name – Uzunu
Telugu Name – Uttulu, Minumulu
Tulu Name – Urdu bele
Punjabi Name – Daal maash
Nepali Name – Maas

Home remedies

Traditional Health Remedies of Black Gram

  • In Vata disorders like arthritis, joint pain, fatigue etc, the decoction prepared from Black gram is beneficial.
  • Roots of Masha is used to cure problems related to bones and in lack of sleep (insomnia).
  • Hot aqueous extracts of black gram leaves are used as a remedy in diseases related to brain, stomach, jaundice, rheumatic pain and inflammatory disorders.
  • Flour of mungo beans is used as an excellent skin detox, making the skin smooth. It can be used as bath powder.
  • To stop bleeding, the orifice of the wound should be smeared with powder of Priyangu, Licorice, Black gram etc. –A. H. Su 27/48.
  • Gruel used to evacuate the bowel – Gruel of vegetables, meat, Sesame and Black gram evacuates bowel. (Ch.Su 2)

Black Gram Snack – Vedhanika

By Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD
Here is a preparation by name Vedhanika (Vedhani), in fact it is a fried dish which has every scope of use as snacks.
Method of preparation of Vedhanika – a traditional black gram snack:
Whole black gram or green gram is taken and soaked in water.
Its husk is removed by maceration.
Further, it is ground well in a mixer and fine paste is made.
This fine paste is kept inside the dough of wheat flour and cooked well or fried in oil or ghee.
Salt, black pepper, cumin, cinnamon etc spices can be added as per one’s taste.

When it is crispy and light it is taken out of the fire and allowed for cooling. This is called Vedhani or Vedhanika.
It looks similar to Bonda, Bajjiya or Samosa.

Sanskrit verse


Energizer, aphrodisiac, appetizer,
Pacifies vata dosha
Hot in nature, nutritive, heavy to digest.
spermatogenic, laxative, diuretic,
galactagogue, medavardhaka (bulk enhancing), aggravates pitta and kapha.
Read related – Healthy tips To Put On Weight, To Become Fat Naturally

Health benefits

It can be recommended in hemorrhoids, facial paralysis, abdominal pain, oligospermia, dysuria etc.
Food can be a medicine if used properly and administered with appropriate adjuvant.

Black gram Qualities

Medicinal Qualities of Masha
Guru – heavy to digest
Vipaka (taste conversion after digestion) – Sweet
Virya (potency) – Hot (ushna)
Action on dosha – Vatakapha samaka
Sara – causes intestinal movements
Snigdha –   unctuous
Ruchya – improves taste
Sramsana – causes mild purgation
Tarpana – nourishes
Balya – promotes physical strength
Shukrala – increases sperm count
Brumhana – promotes bulk of tissues
Bhinna Mutra mala – excretes urine and feces
Sthanyo – enhances breast milk
Medhah pitta kaphapradah – increases Fat, Pitta and Kapha dosha
Mamsabala pradah – increases muscle bulk and strength
Raktha pitta prakopana – vitiates blood tissue and pitta dosha
Pharmacological actions – Aphrodisiac, Nervine tonic
Read – Traditional Ayurvedic Fried Flour Preparation – Masha Apupa

Sanskrit verse

Masha (black gram) as Unwholesome diet

Indications, Tridosha effect

Therapeutic indications of Black gram
Guda keela – piles
Arditha – facial palsy
Shwasa – asthma
Pakthi shoola – abdominal pain during digestion

Effect on Tridosha
Balances Vata dosha
Increases Kapha and Pitta dosha
As per the Nighantus, Masha (black gram) is one among the 4 substances that increases kapha and pitta – Black gram, Curds, Fish and Brinjal
Read – Barley (Hordeum vulgare) – Qualities, Uses, Remedies, Research

Roots of blackgram

  • Narcotic and Diuretic in action
  • Used in the treatment of abscess, pain related bones, oedema, headache and inflammation.(A)

Part Used
Seeds, Roots

Forbidden in diseases

Black gram is one among the foods which is not recommended to take daily. In some disease conditions black gram is considered as unwholesome. Example –

Bad Food Combinations

Wrong food combination with Black gram

  • Ripe fruit of Nikucha (Artocarpus lakoocha Roxb) should not be taken with the black gram soup, sugar candy and ghee.
  • Meat of Yak, buffalo, cow, deer, elephant, fish, whale, pearl oyster, conch snail, catfish, crocodile should not be taken together with honey, sesame seeds, sugar candy, milk, black gram, radish, lotus stalk or germinated grains (Viruda dhanya).
    Read – Bad Food Combinations And Solution As Per Ayurveda

Side effect management

Treatment for indigestion caused by Urad Dal

  • Indigestion caused by black gram is treated by Shodhita dhattura (Purified belladonna seeds), sugar candy and Buttermilk
  • Indigestion caused by Black gram vada cured by Neem root decoction.
  • Indigestion due to intake of Masha vataka (Vada of black gram)  is treated by Veshavara (spice mixture), Shodhita
    dhattura (Purified belladonna seeds).
    Read – 120 Remedies For Indigestion Caused By Specific Foods

Udad Dal as Svedopaga substance

Black gram is one among the adjuvants of sweating treatment (svedopaka gana)
Read – Swedopaga Gana: Adjuvant Herbs For Sweating: Review, Benefits

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.

Morphology, Distribution, Nutritional Value

Morphology of Mungo bean
Vigna mungo is an erect, densely hairy, annual legume, growing up to 30-100 cm in height. Pods are narrow, cylindrical, 4-6 cm long. Leaves are hairy, trifoliate with ovate leaflets, 4-10 cm long and 2-7 cm wide. Flowers are yellow.

 Vigna mungo originated from central Asia and India. It is found in Asia, Africa and Madagascar

Nutritional Value of Black Gram
Black gram is a very nutritious and good source of Protein, Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Niacin, Thiamine and Riboflavin.

Ayurvedic medicine, Research

Research on Vigna Mungo
Antihyperlipidemic and Antihyperglycemic Activity – A research article about preventive and curative potential of Vigna mungo against metabolic syndrome in acute and chronic rat models have proved black gram as a potential antihyperlipidemic and antihyperglycemic agent which is used to prevent and treat type 2 diabetes.

Ayurvedic medicines with black gram as Ingredient
Mahamasha thailam – Used in neurological conditions like paralysis, deafness, tinnitus, stiffness and pain in locked jaw, headache, etc
Mashabaladi Kashaya – Used in the treatment of paralysis, facial palsy, neck rigidity, tinnitus etc. 
Kolakulathadi Choornam – Used for dry powder massage to reduce fat.
Marma Gulika – Used in the treatment of heart, brain, urinary system, liver etc.
Mahakukkutamamsa Tailam – Used in rheumatism, muscle atrophy, paralysis, palsy, monoplegia, paraplegia, headache, eye diseases etc.
Karpasasthyadi Thailam – Used in the treatment of  paralysis, facial palsy, spondylosis and other neuro-muscular conditions caused due to Vata imbalance.
Dazzle Oil – Used as instant muscular pain reliever.
Madana Kameswari Lehyam – It is used to improve sperm count, sperm and semen quality and quantity. It is a good natural aphrodisiac.
Prasarinyadi Kashayam –  Used to treat joint pains and Vata diseases.
Galacto Plus Granules – used to enhance breast milk production
Shatavaryadi Churna –  used in treatment for rejuvenation and to relieve stress and tiredness. It acts as natural aphrodisiac.
Ikshuradi Lehaym – Used to improve vigor
Sri Sri Tattva Shishu Taila – It is a oil used to protect and nourish baby’s skin.
Spondylon Capsules – Used in treatment of Spondylitis, Cervical spondylosis, etc
Migrakot Oil – It reduces headache and enhances transmission of nerve cells.
Santhwanam Oil – Used in the treatment of inflammation.
Gywomin Powder – used for the treatment of Functional impotence, Sexual weakness, Spermatorrhoea, Sexual neurosis and Neurological disorders.


Classical categorization
Bhavaprakasha Nighantu – Dhanya Varga
Kaiyadeva Nighantu – Dhanya Varga
Raja Nighantu – Shalyadi Varga
Dhanvantari Nighantu – Suvarnadi varga

Scientific Classification
Kingdom – Plantae
Order – Fabales
Family – Fabaceae
Subfamily – Faboideae
Tribe – Phaseoleae
Genus – Vigna
Species – Vigna mungo
Click to Consult Dr Renita D’Souza


vrushamkuram – sprouted seeds are aphrodisiac
kuruvinda – masha promote hair growth
pitrubhojana – In Hindu tradition Masa is used in several ritual ceremonies


Powder – 5 – 10 g

Sthanika Karma (Systemic Action)

External Application – Indicated in degenerative joint pathology. Alleviate vata dosha.
Internal administration –
Nervous System – Strengthen nervous system, Root causes intoxication.
Digestive System – Increase the bulk of the stool. Indicated in abdominal colic, constipation, Liver disorders etc.
Excretory System – It has diuretic action. Indicated in dysuria
Reproductive system – Increases semen production, Aphrodisiac, improves breast milk production. Indicated in oligomenorrhea
Satmikarana – Promote body strength, and bulk. (Balya, Brimhaniya, Jeevaniya, Medovardhaka)

5 comments on “Black Gram (Urad dal) – Uses, Side Effects, Remedies, Research

  • Raje

    18/10/2019 - 8:19 pm

    Dear Doctor
    Thanks for this nice information

    Rice cooked with Black Gram.. is this recipe is good for daily morning breakfast ?
    What is the quantity ratio (Rice+ Black Gram+Sesame+Green Gram+Milk) to be used ?
    Ghee is recommended while eating or not ?
    is it good to add sugar or Gud while cooking ?

    Thanks Again

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

      28/10/2019 - 12:09 pm

      Black gram is not recommended for daily usage. Hence, rice cooked with blackgram is good to use once or twice a week.
      4 parts rice
      2 part Black Gram
      1 part sesame +
      2 parts Green Gra
      4 to 5 parts milk.

      You can add 1 part gud during cooking.
      Ghee can be added.

      Reply to comment
      • Raje

        10/05/2020 - 2:02 pm

        Dear doctor,
        thanks for the reply.
        After reading above article, I changed my morning breakfast habit.
        It helped me to bring variety in my breakfast.
        Thanks again.

        Reply to comment
  • Jay

    04/05/2022 - 4:29 pm

    Black Gram is not recommended everyday, should Idli/Dosa be avoided daily ?

    Reply to comment

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