Herbs & Plants

Macrotyloma uniflorum

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Botanical Name : Macrotyloma uniflorum
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Macrotyloma
Species: M. uniflorum
Kingdom: Plantae

*Dolichos benadirianus Chiov.
*Dolichos uniflorus Lam. var. stenocarpus Brenan
*Dolichos biflorus auct.
*Dolichos uniflorus Lam.

Common Names : Biflorus (Australia); Horse gram, Horse grain,Kulthi bean, Madras bean, Madras gram, Poor man’s pulse (English); Dolic biflore, Grain de cheval (French); Kerdekorn, pferdebohne, Pferdekorn (German); Gahat, hurali, Kalai, Kallu, Kollu, Kulat, kulatha, kurtikalai, kekara, kulthi, Muthera, Muthira, Muthiva, Ulavalu, Wulawula (India); Dolico cavallino (Italian); Faveira (Portuguese); Frijol verde (Spanish); Pé-bi-zât.

In India it is also known as Gahat, Muthira, Kulath or Kulthi, (huraLi).
In South Canara region of Karnataka, in Tulu it is also called as Kudu In Odisha it is known by the name (Kolatha).
In Kerala, horse gram, (called (Muthira) in Malayalam which almost sounds like (kuthira), Malayalam word for horse), is used in special kinds of dishes.
In Maharashtra, and specifically the coastal Konkan region and Goa, horse gram (Kulith) is often used to make Kulith Usual, pithla and laddu.

Habitat :Macrotyloma uniflorum is native to tropics and subtropics. (Africa: Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire), Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa (Transvaal), Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe.
Asia: Bhutan, China, India, Indonesia (Java), Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan.
Australasia: Australia.) It is grown mostly under dry-land agriculture.
Macrotyloma uniflorum is a twining, sub-erect annual plant with cylindrical, slightly hairy to tomentose stems, 30–60 cm tall in pure stands, or 60–90 cm with support framework. Leaves trifoliolate; stipules 7–10 mm long; leaflets ovate, rounded at the base, acute or slightly acuminate, terminal leaflet symmetrical, laterals asymmetrical, (2.5–) 3.5–5 (–7.5) cm long, 2–4 cm broad, softly tomentose on both surfaces, fimbriolate, paler beneath. Flowers yellow or greenish yellow, single or in short, sessile or subsessile, 2- to 4-flowered axillary racemes, calyx tomentose, standard oblong, 9–10.5 mm long, 7–8 mm broad, with two linear appendages about 5 mm long, wings about as long as the keel, 8–9.5 mm long. Pod shortly stipitate, slightly curved, smooth or tomentose, linear-oblong, 2.5–6 cm long, about 6 mm broad, with a point about 6 mm long. Seed ovoid, 5–8 per pod, 4–6 (–8) mm long, 3–5 mm broad, pale fawn, light red, brown, or black sometimes with faint mottles or with small, scattered black spots, (or both), hilum central. 33,000–75,000 seeds/kg

Usually grown as a pulse for livestock and human consumption, mostly as an intercrop with annual grains (e.g. sorghum) or in orchards. Has value as a pioneer legume or sometimes a regenerating annual in permanent pasture . Can be used for deferred grazing or as a fodder crop for dry season feed.

In Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, horse gram (Ulava (singular) Ulavalu (plural), is prescribed for persons suffering from jaundice or water retention, and as part of a weight loss diet. It is considered helpful for iron deficiencies, and is considered helpful for maintaining body temperature in the winter season. Ulavacharu (Horse gram soup) is popular dish in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, it is served in most of the Telugu speaking people’s weddings and ceremonies and tastes wonderful with boiled rice.
In Tamil Nadu, horse gram (called Kollu), in the southern districts it is called Kaanam) is commonly used in Tamil dishes, including kollu chutney, kollu porial, kollu avial, kollu sambar, and kollu rasam. In traditional siddha cuisine, horse gram is considered a food with medicinal qualities.

It is used to make popular dishes like Kulitan Saaru, Kulitan Upkari, Kulitan Ghassi(coconut curry preparation) and idli like preparation(but not fermented) called Kulitan Sannan.

In Karnataka cuisine, (huraLi saaru), (huraLi) is a main ingredient. Hurali is also used in preparation like usali,chutney and Basaaru and upsaaru or upnesaru (Particularly in Old Mysore Regions like Mandya & Chamrajnagara Districts)
Gahat or Kulath is a major ingredient in the food of Pahari region of northern India. In Himachal Pradesh, Kulath is used to make Khichdi. In Uttarakhand, it is cooked in a round iron saute pan (“kadhai”) to prepare Ras, a favorite of most Kumaonis. In Garhwal region, another more elaborate dish is “phanu” which is made in a kadhai with roughly ground gahat (previously soaked overnight) boiled over several hours. Towards the end, some finely chopped greens (like palak or spinach, rai, tender radish leaves, or dhania (coriander leaves) if nothing else is available) are added to complete the dish. Served with boiled rice, jhangora (a millet-like grain, used as a staple by poorer Garhwalis only a decade ago and now a prized health-food) or just roti, phanu is a wholesome and nutritious meal. Phanu is somewhat heavy to digest; it’s quite possible to go through the whole day without feeling in the least bit hungry, after having a big phanu meal in the morning. Similar Botanical name of horse gram/Gahat or Kulath/KULTHI IS Dolichos biflorus from the Leguminiaceae family.
Chemical Constituents:
The chemical composition is comparable with more commonly cultivated legumes. Like other legumes, these are deficient in methionine and tryptophan, though horse gram is an excellent source of iron and molybdenum. Comparatively, horse gram seeds have higher trypsin inhibitor and hemagglutinin activities and natural phenols than most bean seeds. Natural phenols are mostly phenolic acids, namely, 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic, 4-hydroxybenzoic, vanillic, caffeic, p-coumaric, ferulic, syringic and sinapic acids. Dehusking, germination, cooking, and roasting have been shown to produce beneficial effects on nutritional quality of both the legumes. Though both require prolonged cooking, a soak solution(1.5% NaHCO
+ 0.5% Na2CO3 + 0.75% citric acid) has been shown to reduce cooking time and improve protein quality. Moth bean is mostly consumed as dhal or sprouts.

Medicinal Uses:
Scientists from the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology have found that unprocessed raw horse gram seeds not only possess anti-hyperglycemic properties but also have qualities which reduce insulin resistance. The scientists made a comparative analysis between horse gram seeds and their sprouts and found that the seeds would have greater beneficial effects on the health of hyperglycemic individuals. The majority of anti-oxidant properties are confined to the seed coat and its removal would not do any good. Raw horse gram seed is rich in polyphenols, flavonoids and proteins, major anti-oxidants present in fruits and other food materials. The seed has the ability to reduce post-prandial hyperglycemia by slowing down carbohydrate digestion and reduce insulin resistance by inhibiting protein-tyrosine phosphatase 1 beta enzyme

A teaspoonful of horse gram boiled in about 2 cups of water makes an infusion which is prescribed for colds and high blood pressure.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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