Dolichos biflorus L. (Fabaceae)
Syn : Dolichos uniflorus Lam., Glycine uniflora Dalz.
English name: Horsegram.
Sanskrit name: Kulattha.
Vernacular names: Ben: Kurti-kalai; Hin and Mar: Kutthi; Kan : Hurali; Mal: Muthiva; Man: Nagakrijon; Mun : Kurthi; Orn : Anrsga; Sad: Kurthi; San: Horec; Tam: Kollu; Tel: Ulavalu.
Traditional use: SANTAL : (i) plant: dysuria, sores, tumours; (ii) leaf: in burns; (iii) seed: in adenitis, fistula ani, intercostal neuralgia, pleurisy, pneumonia, prolapsus ani; MUNOA : aqueous extract of seed: to women after childbirth; IRULA, KOTA, TOOA (Nilgiri) : seed: in menstrual complaints; RURAL FOLKS: Aqueous extract of seed: in urinary troubles and kidney stone.
CHARAKA SAMHITA : seed: useful in piles, hiccup, abdominal lump, bronchial asthma, in causing and regulating perspiration; SUSHRUTA SAMHITA . seed powder: useful in stopping excessive perspiration; BAGBHATTA: seed: useful in spermatocalcali (Shukrashman); CHAKRADATTA : decoction of seed: beneficial in urticaria; RAJANIGHANTU : beneficial in piles, colic, epistasis, flatulence, ophthalmia, ulcer.
AYURVEDA : decoction of seed: useful in leucorrhoea, menstrual troubles, bleeding during pregnancy, colic caused by wind, piles, rheumatism, heamorrhagic disease, intestinal worms; seed powder: antidiaphoretic; seed (in combination with milk): work as anthelmintic, soup prepared from seeds is beneficial in enlarged liver and spleen.
SIDDHA : seed: used in preparing a medicine named Kollu.
Modern use: Plant extract: radiolabel reagent in ABa blood grouping of human hair; EtOH (50%) extract of Seed: spasmolytic.
Phytography : Annual herb, trailing or suberect, branched; leaves alternate, stipulate, trifoliate, leaflets membranous, ovate, ±2.5-5.0 cm long, young ones finely pilose; flowers axillary, may be more than one together but without a common peduncle, papilionaceous, usually yellow - may be white, ±1.25-1.8 cm long; pods ±3.7-5.0 cm by 0.6-0.8 cm, recurved, tipped with a persistent style; seeds 5-6 per pod, ellipsoid, flattened.
Phenology: Flowering: August-November; Fruiting: September-December.
Distribution: Widely distributed in India, ascending up to 1000 m in Sikkim; cultivated mainly in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka.
Ecology and cultivation: Mesophyte; wild and cultivated.
Chemical contents: Stem and Leaf: coumesterol, a lectin-like glycoproticin, psoraliding; Leaf (bacteria treated): dolichin A and dolichin B; Seed : β-sitosterol, coumesterol, delbergiodin, genistein, 2-hydroxy-genistein, isoferreirin, keivitone, phaseollidin, pyranoside.
Adulterant: Cassia abrus L. is sometimes confused with this plant.
Remarks: Santals use the plant in treatment of rinderpest of domestic animals. Seeds are often consumed as pulse. Santals consider eating this pulse is good for patients of dysentery and leprosy, but they prohibit eating this by the patients of measles and small pox.