Bengal gram is one of the most widely used lentil. It is available as whole, split or as a powder. Whole Bengal gram are reddish brown in color with a thick skin. They need to be soaked overnight due to the hard thick skin. Split Bengal gram is yellow in color because of the yellowish inner core. Powdered Bengal gram is known as Besan. Also known as chickpea = chick-pea = garbanzo bean = garbanzo pea = garbanzo bean = white chickpea = ceci bean = cici bean = Egyptian pea = Kabuli channa = kabuli channa = kabli chana = kabli channa = pois chiches = chole.
Bengal gram is one of the most important pulses in India . It is consumed in the form of whole dried seeds and in the form of dhal, prepared by splitting the seeds in a mill and separating the husk. Seeds are angular with pointed beak and small hilum. All parts of the plant are covered with glandular hairs.
Bengal gram has many medicinal properties. Soaked i water overnight and chewed in the morning with honey, the whole gram seed acts as a general tonic. The liquid, obtained by soaking the seeds and then macerating them, also serves as tonic. Sprouted Bengal gram supply plenty of B-complex and vitamins. Cooked germinated gram is a wholesome food for children and invalids. However excessive use of Bengal gram causes indigestion and may precipitate urinary calcium due to high concentration of oxalic acid and form urinary stone of calculi.
Diabetes :- Experiments have shown that the intake of water extract of Bengal gram enhances the utilization of glucose in both the diabetic and the normal persons. Tests were conducted a CFTRI Laboratories in Mysore, on a chronic diabetic patient whose insulin requirement was of the order of 40 units a day When kept on a diet which included liberal supplements of Bengal gram extract. the condition of the patient improve considerably and his insulin requirement was reduced to about 20 units per day. Diabetic patients who are on a prescribed die! which dot's not severely restrict the intake of carbohydrates. but includes liberal amounts of Bengal gram extract, have shown considerable improvement in their fasting blood sugar levels, glucose tolerance, urinary excretion of sugar and general condition.
Anemia :- Fresh juice of Bengal gram leaves is a very rich source of iron. It is, therefore. highly beneficial in the treatment of irondeficiency anemia. A tablespoonful of fresh juice mixed with honey should be taken in this condition.
Digestive System Disorder :- An acid liquid is obtained by collecting the dew drops from the leaves by spreading a thin white cloth over the crop at night or by any other means. This acid liquid contains about 94 per cent malic acid and 6 per cent oxalic acid and is used medicinally. It is a valuable astringent for use in dyspepsia,vomiting, indigestion, costiveness,diarrheaand dysentery.
Painful Menstruation:- A bath prepared by putting the entire Bengal gram plant in hot water is highly beneficial in painful menstruation. It may be taken in the form of a sitting steam bath.
Skin and Hair Disease:- Flour of the un roasted Bengal gram is a very effective cleansing agent and its regular use as a cosmetic bleaches the skin. In allergic skin diseases likeeczema, contact dermatitis,scabies, washing the skin with this flour will be highly beneficial. The Bengal gram flour can be beneficially used in the treatment of pimples. The flour should be mixed with curd to make a paste. This paste should be applied to the face. It should be washed off after some time. Washing the hair with Bengal gram flour, keeps them clean, soft and free from hair diseases.
Sexual Dysfunction:- Flour of the puffed Bengal gram is a very nutritive food, and an effective remedy for impotency and premature ejaculation. For better results, two tablespoonful of this flour should be mixed with sugar, powdered dates and skimmed milk powder. It can be packed in airtight tins and used when required.