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MSc (Clinical Embryology), M.Tech (Biotechnology)
Ayurvedic View By
BAMS
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MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
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20 Aug 2019 | 03:40 PM (IST)
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Urad dal

Urad Dal
Urad dal is also known as Black gram in English and Masha in Ayurveda. It is used for various medicinal purposes in Ayurvedic system of medicine. It is a rich source of nutrition and helps boost energy.
Urad dal is rich in fibers which help improves digestion. It may also help manage constipation by promoting bowel movements due to its laxative property. Regular consumption of Urad dal improves sexual desire in men which in turn helps manage sexual dysfunction due to its aphrodisiac property. Urad dal is also considered to be good for diabetes as it improves insulin secretion and sensitivity.
According to Ayurveda, adding Urad dal to your daily diet helps in weight gain due to its Guru (heavy) and Balya nature.
Applying the paste of Urad dal along with rose water and honey on the face helps promote skin whitening as it reduces melanin production and promotes skin health. Urad dal hair mask can be applied on the hair scalp to help strengthen and lengthen hair as well as manage dandruff.
Avoid eating Urad dal in excess at night as it takes a longer time to get digested properly. It is also advisable for pregnant women with constipation to avoid Urad dal and dishes made of Urad dal so as to prevent stomach problems[2][3][4][7][8].

What are the synonyms of Urad dal?

Vigna mungo, Maash, Kalamug, Urada, Udu, Uddu, Chiringo, Adad, Arad, Ulundu, Uttul, Minumulu, Mash kalaya, Mash, Mei, Muji, Maga, Udid, Uzhunn, Masha, Mash-e-hindi, Banu-siyah[1].

What is the source of Urad dal?

Plant Based

Benefits of Urad dal

1. Male Sexual Dysfunction
Sexual Dysfunction in men can be in the form of loss of libido i.e., having no inclination towards a sexual act. There can also be a low erection time or semen expelled soon after a sexual activity. This is also referred to as ‘early discharge or premature ejaculation. Taking Urad dal in the diet helps to correct male sexual dysfunction and also improve stamina. This is due to its Vajikarana (aphrodisiac) property.
Tips:
a. Take 1-2 teaspoon of Urad dal.
b. Wash and put in 1-2 glass of milk.
c. Heat until the dal absorbs milk.
d. Add honey as per your taste.
e. Have it in the breakfast to improve sexual health.

2. Constipation
Constipation is caused due to an aggravated Vata Dosha. This can be due to the frequent consumption of junk food, excess intake of coffee or tea, sleeping late at night, stress and depression. All these factors aggravate Vata in the large intestine and cause constipation. Urad dal is Rechana (laxative) in nature. Taking Urad dal helps to add bulk to stool and its high fiber content improves the bowel movement. Together, it helps control constipation.
Tips:
a. Take 1-2 teaspoon Urad dal.
b. Make a powder and take it with warm water.
c. Repeat once or twice a day to control constipation.

3. Malnutrition
Malnutrition can be correlated to Karshya disease in Ayurveda. This is due to lack of nutrients and improper digestion. Regular use of Urad dal helps to manage malnutrition. This is due to its Kapha increasing property which gives strength to the body. Urad dal provides instant energy and fulfills the calorie requirement of the body.
Tips:
a. Take 1-2 teaspoon of Urad dal.
b. Wash and put in a 1-2 glass of milk.
c. Heat until the dal absorbs milk.
d. Add honey as per your taste.
e. Have it in the breakfast to manage malnutrition.

How to use Urad dal

1. Urad dal
A. Cooked Urad dal
i. Soak about 200g of whole Urad dal (Black) for 3-4 hours and drain the water.
ii. Pressure cook in 2-3 cups of water in a pressure cooker for 3-4 whistles.
iii. Switch off the gas and keep it aside.
iv. Add 1 tablespoon desi ghee in a pan and let it heat for some time.
v. Put some ghee in a separate pan, add cumin seeds, red chillies, garlic, ginger, onion, chilli powder and salt. When it is cooked a bit, add it to the Urad dal and cook for some time.
vi. Garnish with coriander leaves.

B. Urad dal flour
i. Wash and soak ½-1 cup of Urad dal in water for 2-3 hours.
ii. Drain the water and grind Urad dal with chana dal with little water to make a smooth paste.
iii. Add coriander, green chilli, ginger and chopped dry coconut to the batter. Mix it very well.
iv. Add 2-3 cups of rice flour and a pinch of hing to the batter.
v. Heat oil in a pan and add make a few lemon-sized balls of the batter with a hole in the middle in your palms.
vi. Put the batter in the oil and let it fry.
vii. Cook on both sides till they become golden brown in color.
viii. Have it with coconut chutney in breakfast.

Benefits of Urad dal

1. Anti-wrinkle
Wrinkles are due to aging, dry skin and lack of moisture. According to Ayurveda, it is due to an aggravated Vata. Urad dal helps in controlling wrinkles and increases moisture content in the skin because of its Snigdha (oily) nature. Urad dal also removes black spot on the skin when used with honey.
Tips:
a. Take 1-2 teaspoon of whole white Urad dal powder.
b. Make a paste with milk or honey.
c. Apply on the affected area.
d. Wait for 20-30 minutes.
e. Wash it with cold water.

2. Joint Pain
Urad dal helps to reduce bone and joint pain when massaged on the affected area. According to Ayurveda, the bones and joints are considered a site of Vata in the body. Pain in the joints is mainly due to Vata imbalance. A massage with Urad dal helps to reduce joint pain due to its Vata balancing property.
Tips:
a. Take boiled Urad dal and mash it well.
b. Place it in a cotton cloth (Potali).
c. Apply Sesame oil on the affected area and massage using the Urad dal potali.
d. Repeat this to get rid of joint pain in arthritis.

3. Hair loss
Urad dal helps to control hair fall and promote hair growth when applied to the scalp. This is because hair fall is mainly due to an aggravated Vata dosha in the body. Urad dal acts on hair fall by balancing Vata dosha. It also promotes new hair growth and removes excessive dryness. This is due to its Snigdha (oily) and Ropan (healing) properties.
Tips:
a. Take boil and mashed Urad dal.
b. Mix it with coconut oil.
c. Apply to the scalp and hair.
d. Wait for 1-2 hours and wash with a herbal shampoo.
e. Repeat this to manage excessive dryness and control hair fall.

How to use Urad dal

1. Urad dal face mask
a. Soak ½ cup of Urad dal overnight and make a paste in the morning.
b. Add 2 tablespoons of rose water to it.
c. Add 1 tablespoon of glycerin to the paste.
d. Add 2 tablespoons of almond oil to the mixture and make a smooth paste.
e. Apply the paste on your face and leave it to dry for about 15-20 minutes.
f. Wash it off with cold water.

2. Urad dal hair mask
a. Soak 2-3 tablespoons of Urad dal and 1 tablespoon of methi (fenugreek) seeds in water overnight.
b. Add Urad dal, methi seeds, 5-6 hibiscus flowers and seeds and some water in a grinder to make a smooth paste.
c. Add amla, shikakai powder, 1 whole egg and juice of ½ a lemon to this paste.
d. Apply this mixture on your hair and scalp.
e. Leave it for at least 1 hour.
f. Wash it off with shampoo and conditioner.

Frequently asked questions

Q. Is Urad dal rich in protein?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Urad dal is rich in protein. About 25g of protein is present in 100g of Urad dal.

Q. How long should you soak Urad dal?

scientific
Modern Science View
The soaking time of Urad dal depends on the type of Urad dal used. Whole black Urad dal needs to be soaked overnight. The split black and white Urad dal needs to be soaked for 15-30 minutes.

Q. Is Urad dal good for osteoarthritis?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Urad dal is good to manage the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis involves degeneration of the cartilage. It results in pain, inflammation and stiffness of joints. This leads to restricted movement of joints. Urad dal slows down the degeneration of cartilage. It has antioxidant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities. It further improves the strength and movement of the joints[2].

Q. Is Urad dal good for diabetes?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Urad dal is good for diabetics. It has a low glycemic index which prevents the rapid increase in the blood glucose level. It promotes glucose uptake by the cells and improves insulin sensitivity[6].

Q. Is Urad dal good for piles?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Urad dal helps to remove constipation and helps to control piles but due to its Guru(heavy) nature it should take in small quantity because it takes time to digest.

Q. Is Urad dal good for constipation?

scientific
Modern Science View
Although enough scientific evidence is not available, Urad dal may be useful in managing constipation due to its laxative property[4].

Q. Is Urad dal good for indigestion?

scientific
Modern Science View
Enough scientific evidence is not available for the role of Urad dal in indigestion.
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Urad dal can be used in case of indigestion. This is because it helps to improve digestive fire due to its Ushna (hot) nature. But due to its Guru (heavy) nature, it should be taken in small quantity as it takes time to digest.

Q. Is Urad dal good for managing bloating/gas?

scientific
Modern Science View
Although enough scientific evidence is not available, Urad dal may be useful in managing bloating/gas due to its laxative property[4].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Urad dal improves digestive fire due to its Ushna (hot) potency and corrects constipation, gas and bloating. This is because of its Rechana (laxative) property. But due to its Guru (heavy), nature, it should be taken in small quantity as it takes time to digest and can cause gas.

Q. Does Urad dal cause acidity?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Urad dal helps to improve the digestive fire due to its Ushna (hot) nature and corrects indigestion. But due to its Guru (heavy) nature, it can cause acidity as it takes time to digest.

Q. Is Urad dal good during pregnancy?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Urad dal can be eaten during pregnancy as it does not have any adverse side effects. But it is generally advisable to avoid Urad dal and dishes made of Urad dal during constipation in pregnant ladies to prevent stomach problems[7].

Q. What are the benefits of Urad dal for skin and hair?

scientific
Modern Science View
Urad dal has a beneficial role in skin whitening and hair growth. It inhibits the enzyme tyrosinase and reduces melanin production. This reduces skin hyperpigmentation and promotes skin whitening. Urad dal also promotes the strengthening and lengthening to hair. It keeps hair black and also helps manage dandruff[4][8].

Q. Does Urad dal help lower pain and inflammation?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Urad dal helps lower pain and inflammation due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Massaging with herbal oil processed with urad dal helps to reduce pain and inflammation[7].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Urad dal is an effective remedy to manage pain and inflammation both when taken internally as well as applied externally. Massage with Urad dal based oil on affected area reduces pain and inflammation because of its Vata balancing and Ropan (healing) properties.

Q. Does Urad dal help prevent kidney stones?

scientific
Modern Science View
Enough scientific evidence is not available for the role of Urad dal in preventing kidney stones.

Q. Does Urad dal help boost bone mineral density?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Urad dal improves bone mineral density due to the presence of various minerals such as iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Including a high amount of minerals in your diet helps maintain bone health[7].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
The regular consumption of Urad dal helps to fulfill the necessary nutritional requirements of the body. Appropriate nutritional fulfilment along with Balya (strength provider) property of Urad dal helps maintain bone density.

Q. Does urad dal increase weight?

scientific
Modern Science View
Enough scientific evidence is not available to support the role of Urad dal in weight gain.
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Incorporating Urad dal in your daily diet helps in weight gain as it fulfills the necessary nutritional requirements of the body due to its Guru (heavy) and Balya (strength provider) properties.

References

  1. Balkrishnan A.Urad Dal.Ayurved Jadi Buti Rehsya. Danik Bhaskar.2017.
  2. Patel DV, Sawant MG, Kaur G. Evaluation of anti-osteoarthritic activity of Vigna mungo in papain induced osteoarthritis model.Indian J Pharmacol.2015;47(1):59-64.
  3. Shaheen S, Harun N, Khan F et al.Comparative nutritional analysis between Vigna radiata and Vigna mungo of Pakistan.African Journal of Biotechnology.2012;11(25):6694-6702.
  4. Zia-Ul-Haq M, Ahmad S, Bukhari SA et al.Compositional studies and biological activities of some mash bean (Vigna mungo (L.) Hepper) cultivars commonly consumed in Pakistan.Biol Res.2014;47(23):1-14.
  5. Shaheen S, Harun N, Khan F et al.Comparative nutritional analysis between Vigna radiata and Vigna mungo of Pakistan.African Journal of Biotechnology.2012;11(25):6694-6702.
  6. Kaur G, Somaiya R, Patel S. Preventive and curative potential of Vigna mungo against metabolic syndrome in acute and chronic rat models. Journal of Biological Sciences.2015;15:85-91.
  7. Arya J.Food is your medicine. Arya publications. 2014.
  8. Bakhru HK. A Handbook of natural beauty. Jaico publishing house.1995.
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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