Black gram is one of the most highly prized pulses of India. It is an erect, sub erect or trailing, densely hairy annual herb. The tap root produces a branched root system with smooth, rounded nodules. The pods are narrow, cylindrical and up to 6cms. long. It is the most nutritious of all pulses. Black gram originated in India where it has been in cultivation from very ancient times. It is not known in a wild state. It has been introduced in recent times elsewhere in the tropics, mainly by Indian immigrants. It occurs throughout Asia and in Africa and the western India, but nowhere it is so important as in India.
Black gram is boiled and eaten whole or after splitting into dhal. It is extensively. used in various culinary preparation like curries and papad. The green pods are eaten as vegetables and they are highly nutritious. The hulls or the outer covering of gram and straw are used as cattle feed.
Rich in Protein – 24.0%, Calcium – 154 mg, Phosphorus – 385 mg, Iron – 9.1mg
Black gram is demulcent or soothing and cooling agents. It is an aphrodisiac and nervine tonic. However, excessive use of black gram causes flatulence which can, however, be prevented by adding little asafoetida, pepper and ginger in the culinary preparations. It should not be taken by those who are easily predisposed to rheumatic diseases and urinary calculi as it contains oxalic acid in high concentration. It is helpful for Diabetes, Sexual Dysfunction, Nervous Disorders, Hair Disorders and Digestive. If it is used in the form of decoction, it is useful in dyspepsia, gastric catarrh, dysentery and diarrhea. Rheumatic Afflictions.