We know all kinds of grams like black gram, red gram, but we are unaware of a gram that is more nutritious than others. That’s horse gram!!

Horse gram called Macrotyloma uniflorum has been around since the early ages – as early as 2000 BC! It was grown in Africa and Asia. Commonly it is known as kulith, hurdle, or Madras beans. It is a promising food source in the future according, to the US National Academy of Sciences.

A horse gram is a short, climbing herb that bears flattened tiny seeds. They are red, brown, or black and resemble the shape of a curved beak. These grams are rich in proteins that make them an essential food for our health.

Why does it call as horse gram?  

Because it was a feed of horses and cattle and it is also considered a poor man’s food. So, you will predominantly find that it was eaten by the farming community and in rural areas. 

How to use it?

The horse gram can consume in various ways. It may help make different dishes like powder form, soup, salad with sprouts, boiled horse gram for breakfast, etc. In Ayurveda, they suggest several horse gram formulations that helped treat health anomalies.

Nutritional facts of horse gram

These minute seeds are rich in various nutrients and micro-nutrients which, are beneficial for our health in numerous ways. It is rich in below nutrients for 100 grams include values –

  • Protein – 22 gm
  • Carbohydrates – 57 gm
  • Minerals – 3 gm
  • Calcium – 287 mg
  • Phosphorus – 311 mg
  • Iron – 7 mg
  • Fibers – 5 gm
  • Antioxidants – polyphenols and flavonoids

They also contain diuretic and astringent properties. These properties help in keeping the body warm during winters, along with other health issues.

Health benefits of horse gram

 Here we enlisted 15 research-based horse gram uses for our health –

1: May help with weight loss 

Horse gram is rich in fibers and proteins that play an essential role in weight loss programs. It has natural qualities that work as a fat burner and may reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol). The seeds are rich in fiber which is helpful to keep your digestive system active. High protein contents in horse grams help reduce the hunger hormone levels – ghrelin, which makes us crave less to eat, thus aiding weight loss.

How to consume– You can eat horse powder or horse gram water for weight loss. Combine horse powder with cumin seeds in a glass of water and drunk twice a day on an empty stomach at your ease. 

2: May reduce blood sugar level

Horse gram brings down the raised blood sugar level and brings down insulin resistance in the body too. This gram reduces the formation of insulin inside the body that helps control the blood sugar levels.

How to consume – The horse gram can either be eaten empty stomach or added to salads for obtaining benefits.

3: Help lower cholesterol levels 

The horse gram contains lipids and fiber, which help control the LDL (bad cholesterol) in the blood. It eliminates the bad cholesterol that is stuck in the heart veins and reduces the risk of blockages.

How to consume – Take a handful of horse grams and soak them overnight. You can eat that two to three times every day on an empty stomach.

4: May help in skin disorders 

The horse gram help reduce boils, rashes, and other skin disorders when applying topically. It has antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties that nourish your skin and reduces recurrent skin infections. 

How to consume – Make a horse gram paste by soaking the gram overnight. Apply the paste over your face and wash off after half an hour with cold water. It exfoliates the skin and removes the dead skin cells too.

5: Help treat menstrual disorders and leucorrhoea 

When you have heavy bleeding during your cycle, horse gram may help you. It may maintain the levels of hemoglobin in the body as it is rich in iron. It also helps to reduce leucorrhoea when there are a burning and foul odor discharge from the vagina. 

How to consume – Soak a handful of horse gram overnight in a bowl of water, and boil it the next day. This water should be drink thrice a day to treat symptoms of menstruation and leucorrhea.

6: May reduce urinary discharges 

Foul and irritating urinary discharges can be disturbing and difficult to manage. It can cause inflammation, infection, and pain in the cervix as well as the vagina too. In this condition, horse gram can work magically to reduce the foul smell and help at the time of sexual arousal.

How to consume – Soak the horse gram overnight and boil it in the morning. Consume the water around three times a day for treating the symptoms.

7: Helps improve sperm count

Horse gram contains significant amounts of calcium, phosphorous, iron, and other amino acids. These are essential nutrients that have been known to help increase sperm count in males. This is because these minerals promote increased blood supply to the male reproductive organs which helps improve sperm production. The amino acids contained in horse grams also help to increase enzymatic activity that is necessary for healthy sperm production. 

How to consume – You can consume horse gram either boiled or cooked in delicious Indian curries. Regardless of the mode of consumption, they will provide the necessary nutrients needed to increase sperm count in males.

8: Protects liver function

Horse gram when consumed raw provides a healthy dose of essential plant-based nutrients like flavonoids and polyphenols. These are organic compounds that have hepatoprotective properties, meaning they protect the liver. These compounds also help ensure optimal functioning of the gallbladder. Therefore, horse grams are an essential food item that can help your body purify the blood and leave it detoxicated from unwanted chemicals. 

How to consume – The best way to consume horse grams so that it benefits your liver functioning, is to have them boiled with some light spices and eaten with a side of either plain rice or some bread.

9: Helps break down kidney stones

Horse gram seeds have powerful doses of antioxidants which are a crucial ingredient needed to reduce and sometimes prevent the crystallisation process through which kidney stones are formed. Since kidney stones are formed by crystallisation and hardening of a collection of calcium phosphate salts in the kidney, the only way to break down these stones is the action of antioxidants that help to eliminate free radical particles (like calcium phosphate salts). Therefore, horse gram is often suggested as a dietary supplement by doctors to people who are suffering from kidney stones. It is usually the first line of home-based treatment for kidney stones, after the failure of which, surgical intervention is needed.
How to consume – The best way to consume horse grams as a diuretic (a substance that increases urine flow) is to consume it as a soup. You can soak them overnight and then boil them to make a nutritious as well as palatable soup.

There are many health benefits of horse gram as it is effective on every system of our body. However, for some person, it won’t be effective and may cause some side effects such as –

  • People who have hyperacidity should avoid eating horse grams. 
  • Horse gram may cause a bloating sensation as it is rich in carbohydrates. 
  • The people suffering from gout should also avoid consuming horse gram.


  1. Horse Gram Soup

Ingredients: Horse gram, tamarind paste, crushed peppercorns, mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves, freshly chopped coriander, salt to taste, oil.


  • Soak horse grams in water overnight and boil them in a pressure cooker till soft the next morning. 
  • Drain the horse gram and keep the water aside. 
  • Next, dry roast the cumin, mustard seeds and peppercorn and make a fine powdery mix of the roasted masala. 
  • Take half of the total horse grams and make a paste. 
  • Now, take a pan, add oil and let it heat. Add curry leaves to shallow fry. 
  • After the curry leaves have been fried, add the tamarind paste, paste horse gram, the dry roasted masala, salt and the water you had kept aside. 
  • Bring it to a boil and add the rest of the boiled horse gram. 
  • As the soup thickens, remove from flame and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. 
  • Serve hot with rice as comfort food.
  1. Horse gram sprouts

For some people, horse grams may be difficult to digest. Turning the grams into sprouts makes its consumption and digestion easier. For this, you need to wash the horse grams thoroughly in water and place them in a clean white cloth. Place this cloth with the horse grams soaked in a bowl of water for 8 hours. After that, keep the grams closed. Within 3 days, the seeds will sprout and be ready for consumption if the sprouts are at least an inch out of the seeds. It is advisable to chew the horse gram sprouts well before swallowing. It will aid in digestion and is good for the bowel system.

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