Kulattha or Horse gram – Benefits, Dosage & Side Effects

Kulattha (Macrotyloma uniflorum) is a kind of legume that is used in Ayurveda to cure several ailments. It is often called ‘Poor man’s pulse’ and considered as a low-grade pulse. Often, this amazing legume remains unnoticed as a medicine.

But Ayurveda view this healthy legume as an important herb. Kulattha or Horse-gram is an excellent source of protein, iron, calcium, phosphorus, antioxidants, and nutrients. It is well recognized in Ayurveda for its diuretic, anti-lithic, hypotensive, and hypolipidemic properties. Let’s explore this potential medicinal legume.


Kulattha – All you need to know

Sanskrit name of horse gram is ‘Kulattha.’ Its literal meaning is the creeper which spreads on the ground. It is also known as ‘Tamrabeeja,’ due to its coppery colored seeds.

Kulattha is a climbing herb with sub-erect or twinning branches. Leaves are trifoliate and 3-5 cm long. Usually, plant has 1 or 2 flowers on the axis of leaves. They are white or yellow colored, having short stalks.

Fruits of Kulattha are slightly curved and pod-shaped. Each pod contains 5-7 reddish-brown or grey seeds. Seeds of Kulattha are the most used part in Ayurvedic medicine.

Properties of Kulattha

Kulattha seed tastes astringent. It is dry, shows quick action, and light to digest. It acquires pungent taste after digestion and has hot potency. Owing to its herbal energetics, Kulattha balances increased levels of vata and kapha dosha.

What are the benefits of Kulattha?

Kulattha is one of those overlooked herbs whose medicinal benefits are not well-known to the world. But Ayurvedic seers have mentioned it’s amazing benefits in several classical texts. Some of them are as follows –

Dissolves kidney stones

Kulattha is renowned in Ayurveda for its unique property of breaking kidney stones. It is extensively used in the treatment of kidney stones and other urinary problems. Kulattha is also an excellent diuretic. Overall, its regular intake will keep your urinary system healthy.

Controls your weight

Kulattha has very low-fat content (0.58-2.06%). Further, it shows an anti-hypercholesterolemic effect. This means that it significantly decreases the amount of total cholesterol levels. Also, Kulattha shows the hypoglycaemic effect. Thus, it can be an excellent food for diabetic people concerned with weight control.

Storehouse of antioxidants

Kulattha contains a large array of antioxidants like anthocyanins, flavonoids, polyphenols, phytic acid, tannins, and raffinose family oligosaccharides.

These antioxidants have anti-microbial, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, anti-ulcerative and vasodilatory actions. So, they can prevent you from heart diseases, infections, hormonal cancers, peptic ulcers- etc.

Useful in asthma & allergies

Kulattha possesses an anti-histaminic activity. Histamines are released during allergic reactions and asthma. They induce narrowing of air passages in the lungs and lead to breathing difficulties. Kulattha prevents the above activity of histamines and protects you from asthma and allergies.

Expels intestinal worms

Kulattha has excellent anthelminthic property. It is very beneficial in eliminating worms. One research has suggested that the anthelminthic property of Kulattha is comparable with the standard anthelminthic drug, Albendazole.

How to use Kulattha?

Kulattha is a cheap dietary legume that can be easily included in your diet. Ayurvedic physicians have been using their miraculous healing powers in many ways. Here are some of them –

  • If you suffer from continuous hiccough, then inhale the smoke of burnt Kulattha powder
  • Rubbing powder of parched Kulattha over the body reduces excessive sweating
  • You can get relief from gallstones and kidney stones by consuming decoction of Kulattha added with rock salt
  • Soak one teaspoon of Kulattha in water and let it stay overnight. The next day drink this water in 50-100ml dose. You can also chew soaked Kulattha seeds with it. This is an excellent cure for kidney stones as well as other urinary problems
  • If you suffer from scanty menstrual bleeding and post-menopausal problems, then regularly take one small teaspoon of Kulattha powder in the morning
  • If you have peptic ulcers, then consume ½ teaspoon of roasted Kulattha powder with curd thrice a day. This will relieve you from the pain and cure ulcers
  • Drinking water boiled with Kulattha seeds is very helpful in obesity

What is the recommended dose of Kulattha?

Ayurvedic classical texts recommend taking 50 to100ml of decoction of Kulattha per day. If you are taking powder of Kulattha, then 3 to 5 grams is suitable for a day.

Side effects of Kulattha

As Kulattha enhances pitta levels, it is better to avoid if you are suffering from hyperacidity, any bleeding condition, like bleeding piles, excessive menstrual bleeding, nasal bleeding, etc., and gout. Kulattha is hot and decreases the production of sperm. So, man seeking infertility treatment should avoid using Kulattha.

Kulattha should be included more in diet during winters. It has heating effect which will keep your body warm and keep kapha levels under control.


Final thoughts

Kulattha is a legume crop that is rich in protein, minerals like calcium, phosphorus, iron, and phytoconstituents having the potential to cure several diseases. You can eat Kulattha by roasting, germinating, or making its soup.

If you have hypertension, high cholesterol, urinary problems, respiratory problems, or worm infestation, then you should try this medicinal legume.


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