Kodo Millet Uses, Qualities, Research, Recipes, Remedies

By Dr Renita D’Souza
Kodo millet is the gluten free wholesome food for healthy person. It is a rich source of antioxidant, dietary fiber and iron. Used for both culinary and medicinal purposes. It is traditionally used to treat diabetes, general debility, wound, inflammation, bleeding etc.
It is cooked to prepare different recipes or ground to flour and used to make desserts or a savoury dish. It is also used as animal fodder.


Kodo millet is included under Trina dhanya varga (group of grains produced by grass like plants). It is a medicine that bring about lightness in the body (langhana). Excess intake increases vata dosha and causes skin disease. It is one of the ingredient used in preparation of Dhanyamala.

General qualities of Trinadhanya
Cold in potency, easily digestible, increases Vata, Lekhana (scraping in nature) and balance Kapha and Pitta. (Ref – A.H. Su 6)

Botanical Name – Paspalum scrobiculatum
Family – Gramineae

Vernacular Names

English Name – Kodo millet, Cow grass, Rice grass, Ditch millet, Indian Crown Grass
Hindi Name – Kodo dhana, Kodava, Kodo, Kodon, Kodaka, Koddon
Bengali Name – Kodo aadhana
Gujarati name – Kodra, Kodro, Meya
Marathi Name – Kodra, Harika, Kodru
Punjabi Name – Kodra
Kannada Name – Harka, Gowdru Kanaja, Kodon, Arikelu, Varagu, Arka, Haraka
Tamil Name – Varagu, Koduain Odia, Karuvaragu, Varaku
Telugu Name – Arika, Allu, Alu, Arikalu, Aruga
Urdu Name – Kodon

Morphology, Distribution

Kodo millet is an annual millet grows to a height of approximately 4 feet. Leaves are slender, light green, 20 – 40 cm in length. Seeds are small, light brown to dark grey in color, ellipsoidal, approximately 1.5 mm in width and 2 mm in length.

Kodo millet is grown in India, Pakistan, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and West Africa

Medicinal Qualities

Qualities of Kodrava
Taste – sweet, bitter
Grahi – absorbent in intestine
Virya (potency) – cold
Ruksha – dry in nature
Laghu – light to digest
Beneficial in wound healing
Vishajith – anti poisonous
Baddavinmutra – constipating in nature
Lekhana – scrapes excess fat
Raktapittajith – relieves bleeding disorders
Vikashi – It reaches 7 tissues (dhatus) and deprives them from their possession of ojas, there by causing the clinical effect of looseness of the joints and the associated structures.
Effect on Tridoshas
Vayukarak – increases vata dosha
Pitta kaphaapah – balances pitta and kapha dosha

Vana kodrava

Vanakodrava (uddala) is a wild variety of Kodrava.

Qualities of Vanakodrava (udaala)
Potency – hot
Grahi – absorbent
Vatakaro – increases vata dosha


Therapeutic uses

  • It is a beneficial diet in diabetes and diabetic carbuncles (ref – Ch.Chi 6/19-21)
  • Wholesome diet in raktapitta (bleeding disorders)
  • It is also used to treat the diseases caused by improper oleation therapy (Ref – Ashtanga.Hrudaya. Sutrasthana 16).

Food recipes

  • Kodo millet Halwa – Kodo and wheat millet in 2:1 ratio is roasted with ghee and added to the boiling milk. Stir continuously to avoid lumps. when it becomes thick add sugar and ghee.When required consistency is obtained stop heating.
  • Pappad – prepared using Kodo millet and Bengal gram flour added with spices such as cumin seeds, salt and sodium bicarbonate for taste. Dough is divided into small balls. They are flattened by rolling into a round shape and dried.
  • Thatuvadai – Thick dough is prepared using Kodo millet and rosted bengal gram dhal added with spices like chilli powder, salt, curry leaves and butter. Small balls are prepared from this dough and rolled on a polythene sheet and fried deeply in oil.
  • Muruku (chakkli) – well known crispy snack prepared by making a thick dough using water, Kodo millet flour added with chilli powder, sesame seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida, butter and salt to taste. It is extruded using chakli maker machine and fried deeply till it turns golden brown.
  • Kolukattai – Paste is prepared using Kodo millet flour with water. Seasoned using chopped onion, green chilies, coriander leaves, asafoetida, mustard seeds and blackgram dhal. This dough is boiled with continuous stirring to make thick consistency. Small oval shape balls are made and steamed. Sweet kolukattai is made by mixing it with jaggery, grated coconut and cardamom powder.
  • Roti or paratha – Dough prepared using Kodo millet flour and rice flour in 2:1 proportion added with chopped onion, green chillies, asafoetida, cumin seeds and salt. Dough divided into small balls, flattened and fried in oil.
  • It is also used to prepare Biscuits, soup, bread, cookies, Laddoo, idli, dosa, chappathi, Pakoda, Kheer, Vadai, pongal, puttu, idiyappam, kozhukattai, boli etc (read related)

Kodo Poisoning

Intake of fungal infested Kodo millet often cause poisoning in human and animals. The grains infested by Aspergillus flavus, A. tamarii and Phomopsis paspalli produced toxic substance, cyclopiazonic acid, which causes Kodo poisoning when consumed. The research study shows that kodo poisoning causes acute hepatotoxicity in humans and animals.(read related)
In Ayurveda, Master Vagbhata mentioned formation of Amadosha by impaired doshas mixing with one another is similar to the production of toxic substance (visha) by spoilt kodrava.

Sanskrit Verses

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 of the 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.

Phytochemical Constituents

Kodo millet contains tannins, phenolics, saponins, proteins and carbohydrates.

Usage in Rasashastra

Vajrashodhana (Purification of diamond)
Diamond gets purified in three days with the juice of shyama, shami, dhamarova punarnava, dhoosara, dhusthura, kodrava, akhaparni, agasthi, kunatha, aamlavethasa, meshashrungi, and tuber of surana.

Purification of Makshika
Makshika is kept in sooranakanda and swedana should be done in horse-gram decoction, kodrava decoction, naramootra, amlavetasa and katutrika. Again pachana is done in rambhadrava.
Read – Swarna Makshik Bhasma Benefits, Dosage, Ingredients, Side Effects

Antioxidant Activity – A research study conducted to evaluate anti oxidant property of Kodo millet have proved that it is a good source of antioxidant and protect against various diseases.
Anti diabetic Activity – Research conducted to evaluate the anti-diabetic activity of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Paspalum scrobiculatum Linn grains in alloxan induced diabetic rats have concluded that Paspalum scrobiculatum have potent anti diabetic activity.

Ayurvedic Medicine

Cervigest capsule – It is used to treat cervical spondylosis, muscular spasm, stiffness etc mainly related to head, neck, shoulders and arms. 

Classical Categorization

Bhavaprakasha Nighantu – Dhanya varga
Kaiyadeva Nighantu – Dhanya varga
Dhanvantari Nighantu – Suvarnaadi varga
Raja Nighantu – Shalyadi varga
Shodala Nighantu – Trinadhanya varga
Click to Consult Dr Renita D’Souza

1 thought on “Kodo Millet Uses, Qualities, Research, Recipes, Remedies”

  1. I’d guess uddala is an alternate name for uddalaka, mentioned in Caraka Su.25 as best for fat reduction. Do you know if it is commercially available?

    Other grains I’m trying to track down are mahashali, kalama, and semi-wild nivara. The first two may no longer exist or are only known locally. Mahashali is said to have originated from present day Bihar, and is supposed to be fairly large in size. There’s a record of some chinese visitor commenting on it. Such grains as well as yava and gavedhuka I think are among the most important for rapid treatment of dosha imbalance.


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