Dolichos biflorus Linn

Synonym ► Vigna unquiculata (L.) Walp.

Family ► Papilionaceae; Fabaceae.

Habitat ► A pulse crop, particularly in Madras, Mysore, Mumbai and Hyderabad.

English ► Horsegram.

Ayurvedic ► Kulattha, Kulittha, Khalva, Vardhipatraka.

Siddha/Tamil ► Kollu, Kaanam.

Action ► Plant—used in measles, smallpox, adenitis, burns, sores. Seeds—astringent, antipyretic, diuretic. Decoction or soup is used in affections of the liver and spleen, intestinal colic, in leucorrhoea and menstrual dissorders, urinary discharges. A valuable protein supplement.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India recommends the decoction of dry seeds in calculus and amenorrhoea.

The seeds contain crude protein 20.8, pentosan 10.8 and water-soluble gum 2.8%. The presence of antinu-tritional components such as haemag-glutinin and a protease inhibitor has been reported. The inhibitor activity decreased during germination.

The mean protein value of the seeds is 25.47% which is more or less equivalent to soybean, winged bean and gram. Nutritionally, the horsegram seeds are richer in lysine content when compared to Cajanus cajan (Arhar) pulse and gram pulse.

Presence of vitamin A in the green pods makes them a valuable diet for children; green leaves may be used in vitamin C deficiency syndrome, due to the presence of ascorbic acid and calcium. The seeds contain several common phytosterols.

Strepogenin—several times higher than in casein.

A decoction of seeds (soaked or boiled in water) is prescribed as diuretic and antilithiatic and has been clinically established.

Diuretic activity of a dipeptide (py-roglutamylglutamine) has been found to be 2-3 times that of acetazolamide in albino rats.

Globulin fraction of the seeds showed hypolipidaemic effects in rats.

A lectin-like glycoprotein from stems and leaves possesses carbohydrate- binding activity.

decoction 50-100 ml. (CCRAS.)

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