Kulthi(Horse Gram) Medicinal Uses

Kulthi or horse gram is a popular pulse grown in many parts of India, particularly in Madras, Mysore, Mumbai, Orissa and Hyderabad. It is native to India and belongs to plant family Fabaceae. Fabaceae or leguminosae refers to legume or bean family of plants. This is a huge plant family that bears fruits like beans.



The botanical name of Kulthi is Macrotyloma uniflorum (previously referred as Dolichos biflorus Linn). Kulthi dal is used in treatment of inflamed joints, fever, musculoskeletal disorder, breast milk purifier, sinus wounds, tumours, ascites and kidney stone.

Kulthi plant is an erect, sub-erect or trailing, densely hairy annual plant. It has tap root with branched root system having smooth, rounded nodules that fixes nitrogen.

Botanical name: Macrotyloma uniflorum;Dolichos biflorus Linn;Vigna unquiculata (L.);Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp. ssp. unguiculata

Family: Papilionaceae;Fabaceae

Vernacular names: Sanskrit: Kulatha;Bengali: Kurtikalai, Gujarati: Kalathi, Kulit;Hindi: Kulthi;Kannada: Hurali;Malayalam: Muthiva, Muthera;Marathi: Kulith, Kulthi;Tamil: Kollu;Telugu: Ulavalu;Trade name: Horse gram

The Kulthi Dal or Seeds

Kultha dal is bitter, acrid, thermogenic, anthelmintic, astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, ophthalmic and very good source of protein.

The pulse or dal is very rich in proteins. It contains crude protein about 21 percent (equivalent to soybeans). The lysine of Kulthi dal is more compared to Arhar dal. Lysine is basic amino acid which is a constituent of most proteins.

Kulthi dal has diuretic and antilithiatic properties. It is clinically established that decoction of Kulthi dal breaks the urinary stones into small particles and thus expels stones from body.

Nutritional value (per 100 gm.) of different nutrient in Kulthi




57.3 gm.


11.8 gm.


0.5 gm.

crude protein

22.0 gm.


321 calorie


5.3 gm.

Mineral matter

3.1 mg


7.6 mg


- 0.28 mg

Nicotinic acid

1.5 mg


11.9 IU.


0.39 mg.

Vitamin B

0.42 IU.

Kulthi seeds shows diuretic activities. It's diuretic activity has been found to be 2-3 times that of acetazolamide (diuretic or water pill) in albino rats. Kulthi dal is also rich source of urease enzymes. Urease, is an enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of urea, and converting it in ammonia and carbon dioxide. The seeds also exhibits kidney protective activities.

Kulthi Green pod

The green pods of Kulthi contains vitamin A. These are edible and oral intake of leaves cures vitamin A deficiency.

Kulthi leaves

Kulthi green leaves contains ascorbic acid and calcium. These can be used to cure vitamin C deficiency.

Traditional Use of Kulthi

  • Kulthi dal is a well-known home remedy for eliminating urinary stones from body.
  • Kulthi dal lowers the cholesterol level in body. It is an Antioxidant that reduces the free radical damage. In Andhra Pradesh, Kulthi water is used for treating Jaundice.
  • Kulthi dal is also indicated in rheumatic fever, leucorrhoea, bleeding piles, diarrhoea, and obesity.
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