Masoor Dal or otherwise known as Lentil, comes in the family of legumes. The plant bears seeds in the shape of a lens that grows annually in a pod. Over the years, Masoor Dal has become an important part of the diet in many parts of the world. It is a part of a balanced diet and a major source of protein in it. The lentil plant is one of the oldest grain crops known to man.
Masoor Dal is an antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It is rich in nutrients and minerals, which makes it good for health. All these properties together make Masoor Dal good for skin, wounds, and marks. It helps to manage the health of the heart, cholesterol, and blood pressure. It helps in getting rid of diarrhea and also gives immunity to improve the health condition. Masoor dal gives the right amount of calories to the body to make it healthy and get rid of malnourishment.
Lentil is beneficial for continuous vomiting, piles, herpes, blisters, and PCOD.
There are a few side effects and allergic reactions when overdosed with the same. This article describes all the things you need to know about masoor dal while using it as Ayurvedic medicine.
How Did The Word “Masoor Dal” Originate?
The word Dal arrives from a Sanskrit word, "dal," which means to split. The pod of the masoor dal is split into two to get two pieces of dal.
Historical Use of Masoor Dal
There is mention of Masoor Dal in the book "Indian Food: A Historic Companion" in the category of pulses. It is also mentioned in the Yajurveda, which dates back to 1200 BCE or even before.
Lentil, as said, is one of the oldest grains. Traces of lentils have been found in Greece in caves that are estimated to be of 11000 BC. It is said that they were first planted in the eastern Mediterranean region. Being of low rain and water requirements, these crops were widespread.
The Bible also gives the description of masoor dal or lentil in an important way. Esau exchanges his properties for a dish of lentil with his brother, Jacob showing how important it is as a food grain.
Egyptians considered lentils to be scared. It used to be offered to god Horus. The Egyptians also stored lentils in the tombs and pyramids for the afterlife journey of the dead. The lentils were also fed as soup to the slaves who used to assist in building the pyramid.
With this, it is clear why masoor dal is said to be so important for health and has been used for ages for the same.
Benefits of Using Masoor Dal in Ayurvedic Treatment
There have been a few studies to show the benefits of masoor dal. The studies have been on animals; however, our ancestors have used masoor dal to successfully cure a few diseases that cannot be ignored.
Masoor dal is highly nutritious. One cup of the dal has 14 grams of proteins, 8 grams of fiber, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 6 milligrams of iron. It is also a good source of potassium, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B2, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, and zinc.
All of the above contribute to the dal being effective against so many diseases and problems. It is good for the skin, heart, immunity, and digestive system. Further, you can find a detailed description of the same with Scientific and Ayurvedic reasoning.
Ayurvedic Properties of Masoor Dal
Masoor Dal is “madhura” or sweet in rasa or taste. It is a good “grahi” or absorbent. It has a shita virya or cold potent that helps in cooling up the stomach. Masoor dal is “laghu” or light to digest and is “ruksha” or dry on the stomach.
Having a "varnya" nature, it is good for the skin and complexion. It gives "balya" or strength and boosts immunity. Excessive intake of masoor dal can cause aadmanakara or bloat of stomach forming gas.
Treating Diseases and Health Problems Using Masoor Dal
1. Masoor Dal for Diarrhea
Diarrhea is caused due to consumption of contaminated food or water and even improper diet. Masoor dal acts as an anti-inflammatory. It reduces inflammation in the digestive tract. Being rich in antioxidants, it helps in excreting out the unwanted toxins out of the body, thus, helping in curing diarrhea.
Diarrhea or Atisar is caused as a result of aggravated Vata Dosha. The body lets toxic fluids stay in the body and take the form of loose stools. Masoor Dal helps in reducing the Vata Dosha and thus also balancing it in the body. It acts as a Grahi or absorbent to take out the excess fluid in the body, thus, curing diarrhea.
2. Masoor Dal for Malnourishment
Masoor dal is rich in fiber and nutrients, and minerals. This helps give the necessary carbs and fat to the body and helps build up the muscles and strength in the body. Thus, it manages weight and cures malnourishment.
Masoor dal provides Balya or strength to the body and makes a wholesome part of the balanced diet. It thus helps in curing malnourishment and adds up to the health of the body.
3. Masoor Dal For Wound Healing
Masoor dal is an antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties. If you apply a paste of masoor dal, it can help heal wounds and remove wound marks.
Bleeding in the parts of the body aggravates the Tri-Dosha. Masoor Dal helps in balancing the Tri-Dosha by increasing Pitta and reducing Vata and Kapha Dosha. It helps in the formation of blood clots and faster healing of the affected area.
Forms of Masoor Dal in Ayurveda with Recommended Dosage
Masoor dal is available in the market as packs of masoor dal. It can be used to make a paste, soup, and dal water as per your requirement. The masoor dal is available in packets and also sold in loose kgs. You can buy either of them from your nearest supermarket. A family of 4 consumes around 100 grams of masoor dal. It means that a single person's requirement might not be more than 20 to 25 grams of dal or 1 medium-sized bowl of cooked masoor dal.
Ayurvedic Care Using Masoor Dal
1. Masoor Dal Soup
- Wash some lentil and let them dry for a while.
- Boil the dry seeds with 2 to 4 cups of water, adding salt to taste.
- Let the water boil till it changes color to red or brown.
- Once the soup is ready, leave it at room temperature for some time and let it sit.
- Enjoy the soup along with some whole wheat bread when it is drinkable lukewarm.
2. Masoor Dal Face Packs and Masks
- Grind half a cup of fresh red lentil to get a powder consistency.
- Let it sit to dry at room temperature spreading it throughout the tray or sheet.
- To make a pack, take 1 spoon of masoor dal powder and add some milk or rosewater to it.
- Mix the mixture to make a paste out of it.
- You can apply it evenly on the face and let it dry for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Wash the face off the pack and put on some moisturizer.
- You can repeat the process 2 to 4 times a week.
3. Masoor Dal Paste
- Take some masoor dal powder, say 1 teaspoon, and add some honey to it to make a paste.
- Apply it over the affected area.
- This paste helps in reducing the swelling and inflammation.
- It can also help in curing redness caused by swelling.
- You can apply the paste over a wound or pimple.
Side Effects of Eating Masoor Dal
Anything in excess is not good for your health. Even masoor dal with so many benefits is not good when overdosed with. It can cause gas formation along with several other problems. They can include stomach upset, and stomach ache. It can also cause adverse effects on the kidneys and can also cause kidney stones leading to urinary tract infections.
Masoor dal has a good amount of calories and carbs as well. Excessive consumption can cause fat to increase in the body and also result in obesity.
It is better to stay safe than to say a "sorry" to your body. Consume masoor dal in normal quantity, as in, in the recommended dosage.
Precautionary Guide While Using Masoor Dal
1. Masoor Dal while Pregnant
There is not enough evidence on the effect of masoor dal while a person is pregnant. It is better to avoid using or consuming masoor dal in any form while pregnant. You must consult your gynecologist before making a final decision.
2. Masoor Dal while Breastfeeding
There is not enough evidence on the consumption of masoor dal while breastfeeding. It is in the best interest to avoid lentils' consumption while you have been feeding your child. You can consult your doctor or gynecologist before consuming masoor dal while breastfeeding.
3. Masoor Dal with kidney stones
It is advised to avoid consumption of masoor dal or lentils while you are suffering from kidney stones. It can reduce the formation of urine that makes it even worse for the body with the problem. Hence, you must not consume masoor dal if you are suffering from kidney stones.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Should I soak masoor dal before cooking it?
- Masoor dal is soft in nature. You can cook it after washing it thoroughly. If you want a more thorough cleaning process, you can soak it in water for not more than 20 minutes before cooking it.
2. Is masoor dal good for the heart?
- Masoor dal contains dietary fibers that help in managing the cholesterol level in the body. It also helps in lowering blood pressure. Masoor dal contains folate that is good for the heart. Being rich in antioxidants, it flushes off the toxins from the body. Thus, in the totality of all these, masoor dal helps manage the health of the heart and prevent heart diseases and problems.
3. Is masoor dal good for diabetes?
- Masoor dal has antioxidants that help remove toxins from the body and prevent any damage to the pancreatic cells. It increases the glucose level of the blood and stabilizes it. Thus, it helps in managing diabetes.
4. Does masoor dal improve digestion?
- Yes, masoor dal improves the digestion process. It has antioxidants that throw out any toxins from the body. The antimicrobial and antibacterial properties do not let the bacteria grow in the digestive tract. The anti-inflammatory properties help in reducing any inflammation in the tract. It releases the toxins from the body and manages the digestive tract. It calms the system and improves digestion.
5. Is masoor dal good for the skin?
- Masoor dal is rich in Vitamin B and Vitamin C. These are good for the skin. A masoor dal pack helps in rejuvenating the skin tissues. It exfoliates and removes the dead skin and leaves the skin glowing. Being anti-inflammatory helps in reducing any swelling or inflammation on the skin. It also helps in curing the wound by promoting blood clots. Masoor dal helps to dry up the pimple and remove the pimple marks. Thus, masoor dal is good for the skin.
6. Is masoor dal good for the eyesight?
- Yes, masoor dal contains iron and Vitamin E. This helps in strengthening the eye muscle and to prevent any strain caused to the eye. Thus, masoor dal helps improve the eyesight and prevent any damage to the eye and retina.
7. Does masoor dal remove facial and body hair?
- Masoor dal, when ground and beaten into a paste, forms a good exfoliation agent. Exfoliating with the masoor dal paste is soft and lets the hair follicle roots loosen up. This leaves the hair unsupported and can be easily removed during exfoliation. Be patient as this can take a while to remove hair. Do not over scrub or rub your skin a lot. It can cause rashes and scratches on the skin.
8. Which masoor dal is the best?
- There is a whole masoor dal available in the market. It is known as "sabut masoor dal." The sabut masoor dal is rich in fiber, even richer than the regular masoor dal, and is high in proteins and vitamins.
9. Can I consume masoor dal at night?
- It is not recommended to consume masoor dal at night. You can easily consume it during the day when you can burn out the intake of the calories. At night, you must consume something light as you have to go to bed full stomach. It is best to take light meals at night and consume masoor dal, and as a matter of fact any dal, in the day time itself.
10. Is masoor dal rich in fiber?
- Yes, masoor dal is rich in fiber. In one cup or about 200 grams of masoor dal, there are 1.1 grams of fat.
11. What kinds of masoor dals are available in India?
- Indian households basically use two types of masoor dal in the kitchen. They use sabut masoor dal or whole masoor dal and orange masoor dal. These are the healthiest varieties and make a good part of the balanced diet.