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Pigeon Pea - Natural Benefits and Curative Properties

Botanical Name :: Cajanus cajan

Other English Name :: Red gram

Indian Name :: Arhar


The pigeon pea is one of the important pulses in India. It is a woody, short-lived perennial shrub, 1 to 4 metres tall. It is sometimes grown as an annual herb It has a pronounced deep tap-root, angled and hairy stems, and spirally arranged leaves. The fruit is a flattened pod. Seeds vary in size, shape and color, usually round or oval, white or greyish, red, brown purplish or speckled, with a small white hillium.

Origin and Distribution of Green Gram

Pigeon pea is probably a native of tropical Africa, where it is sometimes found wild or naturalized. Seeds have been found in Egyptian tombs and it was cultivated there before 2000 BC. Pigeon peas were cultivated in Madagascar from very early times, and this region now constitutes a centre of diversity with the greatest number of varieties. The crop was taken to the New World in early post-columbian days, but it did not reach the Pacific until 1772. Pigeon peas are now widely spread throughout the tropics and subtropics. Its areas of cultivation include India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, The Caribbean, East and West Africa.

Food Value of Green Gram

The fresh leaves are a vegetable. The immature pods are also cooked. Dried seeds are added to soups and stews. The ripe dry seeds are boiled and eaten as a pulse. In India these are split into dhal. The dried husks, seeds and broken dhal are used as cattle feed in India.

Green Gram (Whole dried Seeds)*

Food Value
Minerals and Vitamins
Moisture - 13.4% Calcium - 73 mg
Protein - 22.3% Phosphorus - 304 mg
Fat - 1.7% Iron - 5.8mg
Fibre - 1.5% Small amount of Vitamin B Complex
Minerals - 3.5% * Values per 100 gm's edible portion
Carbohydrates - 57.6% Calorific Value - 335

Natural Benefits and Curative Properties of Green Gram.

The pigeon pea is easily digested and therefore suitable for invalids. It has many medicinal properties. It relieves inflammation of internal organs. However, excessive use of pigeon pea causes hyper acidity and wind in the intestines. Therefore, it is forbidden in gastric ulcer and heart disease
  • Baldness :- A fine paste made of this pulse is highly useful in bald patches. It should be applied regularly.
  • Jaundice :- The expressed juice of the leaves given, with a little salt, is highly beneficial in the treatment of jaundice. 60ml of this juice should be taken daily in this condition.
  • Checking Breast Milk Secretion :- The pulse and leaves ground into a paste, warmed and applied over the mamma, has the effect of checking the secretion of breast milk.
  • Inflammation :- The leaves of the plant are effective in all inflammatory conditions. A poultice made with the seeds will also reduce swelling.
  • Piles :- Paste of the leaves, mixed with a teaspoonful of paste of neem leaves, is highly beneficial in the treatment of piles and itching in the anus. It should be taken once daily for a week.

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