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Ph.D. (Biochemistry), M.Sc (Human Genomics)
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MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
Last updated
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Masoor Dal

Masoor Dal
Masoor Dal, known as Lentil in English, is one of the most ancient legume crops. It has high nutritional value as it is a rich source of protein, fiber and minerals and has low-fat content.
Masoor Dal is beneficial for the skin as it keeps the skin moisturized and healthy due to the presence of vitamin B. It also helps in managing acne as it is a good source of zinc and has anti-inflammatory properties. Applying a face pack made of Masoor Dal powder along with milk or honey on the face acts as a natural scrub and helps in managing facial hair.
Masoor Dal has many health benefits when incorporated into the diet. It reduces the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels due to the presence of dietary fiber, protein, and antioxidants. It is also beneficial in pregnancy and helps in fetal development due to the presence of iron and folate. It can be consumed in the form of Dal (curry), soup or sprouts [1][8][10][14-16].

What are the synonyms of Masoor Dal?

Lens culinaris, Masoor Dali, Masur, Lentil, Masoor Dala, Masura Bele, Chanam payar, Vattupparupu, Massora, Masara, Masoor Paruppu, Masoor Pappu, Masooralu[20].

What is the source of Masoor Dal?

Plant Based

Benefits of Masoor Dal

1. Diarrhea
Diarrhea is known as Atisar in Ayurveda. Certain factors like improper food, impure water, toxins, mental stress and Agnimandya (weak digestive fire) are responsible for aggravating Vata. This aggravated Vata brings fluid in the intestine from various tissues of the body and mixes it with the stools which leads to loose, watery motions or diarrhea. Masoor Dal helps manage diarrhea due to its Kashaya (astringent) and Grahi (absorbent) properties. It helps in the absorption of excess fluid from the intestines and reduces the frequency of motion.

Tips for making Masoor Dal soup
a. Take dry Masoor Dal as per your requirement.
b. Rinse it and boil in 2-4 cups of water with a pinch of salt.
c. Continue boiling the Masoor Dal until the color changes from red to yellow.
d. The water in Dal should be soup-like.
e. Turn off the stove and wait for it to become lukewarm.
f. Add some spices like cumin seeds to make it tastier.
g. Have this soup to fulfill nutritional deficiency during diarrhea.

2. Malnutrition
Malnutrition can be correlated to Karshya disease in Ayurveda. It occurs due to a lack of nutrients and improper digestion. Regular use of Masoor Dal helps to manage malnutrition. This is due to its Balya (strength provider) property which gives strength to the body. Masoor Dal provides instant energy and fulfills the nutrient requirements of the body.

Precautions when using Masoor Dal

Allergy
scientific
Modern Science View
Masoor Dal might cause allergic reactions in some individuals due to the presence of certain allergens in it. The allergen present in Masoor Dal is retained even after boiling so it is advisable for sensitive individuals to consult a physician before consuming Masoor Dal[12][13].
Breastfeeding
scientific
Modern Science View
Enough scientific information is not available for the use of Masoor Dal during breastfeeding. So, it is advisable to consult a physician before consuming Masoor Dal during breastfeeding.
Pregnancy
scientific
Modern Science View
Masoor Dal is safe to be consumed in food amounts during pregnancy. However, it is advisable to consult a physician before consuming Masoor Dal in pregnancy[19].
Side Effects
Important
scientific
Modern Science View
Flatulence[17][18].

How to use Masoor Dal

1. Masoor Dal Soup
Tips for making Masoor dal soup
a. Take dry Masoor Dal as per your requirement.
b. Rinse it and boil in 2-4 cups of water with a pinch of salt.
c. Continue boiling the Masoor Dal until the color changes from red to yellow.
d.The water in Dal should be soup-like.
e. Turn off the stove and wait for it to become lukewarm.
f. Add some spices like cumin seeds to make it tastier.
g. Have this soup to fulfill nutritional deficiency during diarrhea.

2. Masoor Dal
Tips for cooking Masoor Dal
a. Take dry Masoor Dal as per your requirement.
b. Wash it and cook it like regular pulses with light spices.
c. Consume this deliciously prepared dal to get its nutritional benefits.

Benefits of Masoor Dal

Wound Healing
Wound occurs due to any external injury and leads to some conditions like pain, swelling, and sometimes bleeding. This aggravates the doshas (Vata, Pitta or Kapha) on the affected area. Masoor Dal helps manage wounds due to its Kashaya (astringent) and Sita (cold) properties. It reduces symptoms like pain, swelling or bleeding and provides quick healing to the affected area.

Tips for using Masoor Dal in wound healing.
a. Grind Red Masoor Dal to make a powder.
b. Take Masoor Dal powder (as per your requirement) and add sufficient honey or water to make a paste.
c. Apply this paste to the affected area once a day to get quick healing of the wounds.

Precautions when using Masoor Dal

Breastfeeding
scientific
Modern Science View
Enough scientific evidence is not available for the external use of Masoor Dal during breastfeeding. So, it is advisable to consult a physician before using Masoor Dal during breastfeeding.
Pregnancy
scientific
Modern Science View
Enough scientific evidence is not available for the external use of Masoor Dal during pregnancy. So, it is advisable to consult a physician before using Masoor Dal during pregnancy.

How to use Masoor Dal

1. Masoor Dal Face Pack
Tips for making a face pack
a. Grind and sieve ½ cup of red Masoor Dal a few times to get a fine powder.
b. Take 2 tablespoons of Masoor Dal powder and add sufficient milk or honey to make a paste.
c. Leave the paste for 15 minutes.
d. Apply the paste on the face and let it dry for 15-20 minutes.
e. Scrub off the paste.
f. You can use this paste 2-3 times a week for better results. In case of dry skin, use it once a week.

2. Masoor Dal Paste
Tips for using Masoor Dal for wound healing, pigmentation and healthy skin
a. Grind Red Masoor Dal to make a powder.
b. Mix this Masoor Dal powder (as per your requirement) with honey or water to make a paste.
c. Apply this paste to the affected area once a day to get quick healing of the wound.

Frequently asked questions

Q. How can I use Masoor Dal for managing facial hair?

scientific
Modern Science View
Masoor Dal can be used as a natural scrub for managing facial hair. It slows down the growth of facial hair and gives a soft and radiant look to the skin. Masoor Dal face pack can be made by the following method[8].

Tips for making Masoor dal face pack
a. Grind and sieve ½ cup of red Masoor Dal a few times to get a fine powder.
b. Take 2 tablespoons of Masoor Dal powder and add sufficient milk or honey to make a paste.
c. Leave the paste for 15 minutes.
d. Apply the paste on the face and let it dry for 15-20 minutes.
e.Scrub off the paste.
f. You can use this paste 2-3 times a week for better results. In case of dry skin, use it once a week.

Q. What varieties of Masoor Dal are available in India?

scientific
Modern Science View
Two types of Masoor Dal are used in Indian cuisine which are brown (whole) Masoor Dal and orange Masoor Dal.

Q. Do I need to soak Masoor Dal before cooking?

scientific
Modern Science View
Masoor Dal is soft and takes lesser time to cook so it does not require soaking. However, the whole Masoor Dal takes a longer time to cook and can be soaked for 15-20 minutes to reduce the cooking time.

Q. What can be made from Masoor dal?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Masoor dal can be used in various ways. Here are some suggestions to incorporate Masoor dal:
Toss into salads or cooked whole grains.
Lentils can also be sprouted and mixed with raw tomato and onion with some lime juice for a different crunchy texture.
You can add it in a pasta sauce to make it thicker and healthier.
You can substitute cooked red lentils (Masoor) for chickpeas in a hummus recipe.
Grind the lentils into a paste and stir into a veggie burger mixture.

Q. How to store Masoor dal or other lentils?

scientific
Modern Science View
Dry lentils or Masoor dal can be kept in a tightly sealed container in a dark, dry and cool location for upto one year. Cooked lentils can be stored for one week in the refrigerator or up to three months in the freezer[24]. Make sure the container is airtight to avoid any possibility of stale food. However, it is best to have freshly cooked food to best enjoy the taste and flavors.

Q. What are the other names used for Masoor dal?

scientific
Modern Science View
Masoor dal is known by various names around the world. Masur or Masoor in Hindi, Masur in Marathi, Masuri in Bengali, Chanagi in Kannada, Misur paruppu in Tamil and Masur pappu in Telugu.

Q. Is Masoor Dal good for the heart?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Masoor Dal might be good for the heart as it helps to lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels. It contains dietary fibers as well as proteins which helps in maintaining normal blood pressure. It is also a good source of folate which reduces the risk of heart diseases. It also contains antioxidants which reduce oxidative stress and helps in keeping the heart healthy[1].

Q. Is Masoor Dal helpful in diabetes?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Masoor Dal might help in diabetes as it has a low glycemic index. It breakdowns and gets absorbed slowly in the blood this leads to a slow rise in blood glucose levels. It also contains antioxidants (flavonoids) which prevent the damage to pancreatic cells and helps in managing the blood glucose levels[2].

Q. Can Masoor Dal help in weight management?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Masoor Dal might help in managing weight as it has high dietary fiber and low glycemic index. It gives a feeling of fullness and reduces the frequent food intake which helps in weight control[1].

Q. Can Masoor Dal improve digestion?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Masoor Dal might help improve digestion as it contains fibres and prebiotic carbohydrates. These carbohydrates improve the growth or activity of beneficial microorganisms in the gut and maintain healthy digestion. It also has a laxative property which prevents constipation[3][4].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Masoor Dal might help improve digestion due to its Laghu (light) property. This property makes it light and easy to digest and maintains healthy digestion.

Q. Is Masoor Dal good for eyes?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Masoor Dal might be good for the eyes as it contains certain constituents (Vitamin E, lutein, and zeaxanthin) which help in maintaining eye health. These constituents might also prevent age-related eye problems[9].

Q. Is Masoor Dal beneficial in pregnancy?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Masoor Dal might be beneficial in pregnancy as it is a rich source of iron. It prevents pregnancy-related anemia in women. It also contains folate which helps in the development of the fetal nervous system and prevents birth defects[10].

Q. Is Masoor Dal good for kidneys?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Masoor Dal might be good for kidneys as it has nephroprotective property. It contains antioxidants (flavonoids, phenols etc) which protect the kidney cells against damage caused by free radicals and reduces oxidative stress[11].

Q. Does Masoor Dal cause flatulence?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, excessive consumption of Masoor Dal might cause flatulence as it contains certain sugars (raffinose, stachyose) that are not easily digestible. These sugars get deposited in the gut and are fermented by the bacteria present in the gut. This produces intestinal gas and causes flatulence[17][18].

Q. Does Masoor Dal increase uric acid levels?

scientific
Modern Science View
No, Masoor Dal does not increase uric acid levels in spite of high protein content. The proteins present in Masoor Dal have high digestibility which does not lead to accumulation of uric acid in the body[22][23].

Q. Is Masoor dal easy to digest?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Masoor dal is easy to digest when used after soaking and cooking. It is rich in dietary fiber and scores low in glycemic index (GI). Low GI slows the rate at which food is absorbed in the small intestine by blood, thus inhibiting any spike in blood sugar.
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
According to Ayurveda, Masoor dal is considered suitable for many health-related conditions. It is Laghu (light to digest) in nature which helps in improving digestive problems. Pre-soaking Masoor dal can add to a healthy digestion process.

Q. Can you eat raw lentils?

scientific
Modern Science View
No, raw lentils are not advised to be taken. Raw lentils can be hard to digest and may cause digestive distress. Lentils, like many nuts, seeds and grains, contain phytic acid which restricts absorption of important minerals, making them unavailable for absorption into the body. Phytic acid content can be minimized by soaking and cooking. Therefore, it is advisable to soak or cook lentils before use[25].

Q. Is Masoor dal good for weight loss?

scientific
Modern Science View
Masoor dal being rich in dietary fiber helps to optimize the digestion process, supporting weight loss. It is low in fat content and has the perfect amount of carbohydrates to provide a sense of fulfillment.

Q. How is Masoor dal beneficial for overall health?

scientific
Modern Science View
Masoor dal is very versatile. Lentils like Masoor dal are low in sodium and saturated fat. They are high in potassium, fiber, folate and certain plant chemicals that have antioxidant activity. These are also a good source of prebiotics that feed gut flora to help prevent digestive diseases[24]. Being rich in fiber content, they are considered good for weight loss and digestion.
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Masoor dal is known to play an important part in our diet. Apart from that, it is also used as medicine for providing support in treating or preventing various health problems. It can be taken as a soup or dal to treat the digestive problem. It can also be applied externally on the wounds to accelerate the healing process.

Q. Is Masoor Dal good for skin?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Masoor Dal might be good for skin as it helps in retaining moisture of skin due to the presence of Vitamin B. Applying Masoor Dal paste on the face helps in managing acne due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains folate and zinc which helps in repairing skin tissues. The water used for rinsing Masoor Dal rich in minerals and can be used as a face wash. [5][6][15][21].

Q. Can Masoor Dal help in skin injuries?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Masoor Dal might help in skin injuries such as wounds as it has wound healing property. It is rich in antioxidants that stimulate the formation of new skin cells and prevents further cell damage at the site of injury. It also prevents infections at the wound due to its antibacterial properties and promotes quick healing[7].

References

  1. Issa A, Takruri H, Faris M.Role of lentils (Lens culinaris L.) in human health and nutrition: a review.Mediterr J Nutr Metab.2013;6:3–16.External Link
  2. Shams H, Tahbaz F, Entezari MH, et.al.Effects of cooked lentils on glycemic control and blood lipids of patients with type 2 diabetes.ARYA Athero J.2008; 4(1):1-5.External Link
  3. Erskine W.The Lentil: Botany, Production and Uses.CABI.2009.External Link
  4. Johnson CR, Thavarajah D, Combs GF Jr, et al.Lentil (Lens culinaris L.): A prebiotic-rich whole food legume.Food Research International.2013;51:107–111.External Link
  5. Tannis A.Feed Your Skin, Starve Your Wrinkles: Eat Your Way to Firmer, More Beautiful Skin with the 100 Best Anti-Aging Foods.Fair Winds Press.2009.External Link
  6. Raghuvanshi RS, Singh DP.The Lentil: Botany, Production and Uses.CABI.2009.External Link
  7. Vidyavathi M, Farhana SK, Sreedevi A, et.al.Design and Evaluation of Lentil Seed Extract Loaded Bio Scaffolds for Wound Healing Activity.Biomed Pharmacol J.2018;11(1):503-511.External Link
  8. Mut M.Natural Remedies for Women’s Health Issues.GlobalGreenHouse.2019.External Link
  9. Margier M, Georgé S, Hafnaoui N, et.al.Nutritional Composition and Bioactive Content of Legumes Characterization of Pulses Frequently Consumed in France and Effect of the Cooking Method.Nutrients.2018;10(11):1668.External Link
  10. Rahaman A, Mahafooj A, Kumari A, et.al.The importance of micro-propagation of Lens Culinaris and its medicinal significance.World J Pharm Pharm Sci.2016;5(5):1301-1311.External Link
  11. Sreedevi A.Nephroprotective Potential of Lens Culinaris Against Cisplatin-induced Nephrotoxicity.Indian J Physiol Pharmacol.2018;62(1):139-148.External Link
  12. Ibáñez Sandín D, Martínez San Ireneo M, Marañón Lizana F, et.al.Specific IgE determinations to crude and boiled lentil (Lens culinaris) extracts in lentil-sensitive children and controls.Allergy.1999;54(11):1209-14.External Link
  13. Akkerdaas J, Finkina EI, Balandin SV, et al.Lentil (Lens culinaris) lipid transfer protein Len c 3: a novel legume allergen.Int Arch Allergy Immunol.2012;157(1):51-57.External Link
  14. Min M, Shin H. Chemical Composition and Nutritional Characteristics of Lentils ( Lens culinaris ), and Their Application in the Food Industry: A Review.2015:47(3):273-280.External Link
  15. Wu J.Feed Your Face: The 28-day plan for younger, smoother skin and a beautiful body.Hachette Digital.2012.External Link
  16. Lewis T, Waring F, Curtis S. Neal's Yard Remedies Eat Beautiful.Dorling Kindersley Ltd.2017.External Link
  17. Rinzler CA.The New Complete Book of Food: A Nutritional, Medical, and Culinary Guide.Infobase Publishing.2010.External Link
  18. Faith S. Lentil Cooking, Indian Style.Balboa Press.2019.External Link
  19. Rahim S, Dawar S, Tariq M.Mycoflora associated with lentil (Lens Culinaris L.) seeds of Pakistan.Pak J Bot.2010;42(6):4345-4352.External Link
  20. The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia Of India. Part 1. Volume 1.
  21. Devi GC.The Power of Ancient Ayurveda: Ancient Ayurvedic Cookbook.Partridge Publishing.2018.External Link
  22. Butu M ,Rodino S, Butu A, et.al.Screening of bioflavonoid and antioxidant activity of Lens Culinaris Medikus.Dig J Nanometer Bios.2014;9(2):519-529.External Link
  23. Choi HK, Atkinson K, Karlson EW, et.al.Purine-rich foods, dairy and protein intake, and the risk of gout in men.N Engl J Med.2004;350(11):1093-1103.External Link
  24. Harvard TH Chan. The nutrition source. Lentils.External Link
  25. Gupta RK, Gangoliya SS, Singh NK. Reduction of phytic acid and enhancement of bioavailable micronutrients in food grains. J Food Sci Technol. 2015 Feb; 52(2): 676–684.External Link
Disclaimer
The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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