Horse gram aka kulthi bean (Scientifically known as Macrotyloma uniflorum) is one of the lesser-known beans. In Ayurvedic tradition, horse gram is considered a food with medicinal qualities. It is prescribed for persons suffering from jaundice or water retention and as part of a weight-loss diet. Horse gram is mainly cultivated in India. It is consumed as a whole seed, as sprouts, or as a whole meal in India, popular in many parts of India.
In traditional Indian medicine besides nutritional importance, it has been linked to a reduced risk of various diseases due to the presence of non-nutritive bioactive substances. These bioactive substances such as phytic acid, phenolic acid, fiber, enzymatic/proteinase inhibitors have significant metabolic and/or physiological effects.
The importance of horse gram was well recognized by the folk/alternative/traditional medicine as a potential therapeutic agent to treat kidney stones, urinary diseases, piles, common cold, throat infection, fever, etc. With the inception of the nutraceutical concept and increasing health consciousness, the demand for nutraceutical and functional food is increased.