The green gram is one of the most wholesome among pulses in India. It is free from the heaviness and tendency to flatulence, which is associated with other pulses. This plant is a native of India and since ancient times it has been in cultivation. It is not found in a wild state. It was introduced early into Southern China, Indo-China and Java. It has been introduced in comparatively recent times into East and Central Africa, the West Indies and the United States.
The green gram forms a very nutritious article of diet. It is consumed in the form of whole dried seeds and in the form of dal prepared by splitting the seeds in a mill. The sprouted Mung beans are a highly nutritious food. The beans are soaked overnight, drained and placed in containers in a dark room. They are sprinkled with water every few hours and the sprouts are ready in about three days. One pound of dry beans gives six to eight pounds of sprouts. There is an amazing increase in nutrients in sprouted beans when compared to their dried embryo. The dried beans are boiled and are eaten whole or after splitting into dhal. They are parched and ground into flour after removal of the testa or the seed-coat. This flour is used in various Indian and Chinese dishes. The green pods are eaten as a vegetable. In China and the United States it is used for bean sprouts.
Cooked dal of green gram is a very digestive food for invalid and sick persons. Its regular use during childhood, pregnancy and lactation helps one to get the required nutrition and promote health. It is an aperient i.e. a laxative. When given in large quantities. The soup made from it is the best article of diet after recovery from acute illness. Applied in the form of powder. It is said to be useful in relieving the heat or burning of the eyes. A poultice of this powder is useful for checking secretion of milk and reducing distention of the mammary glands. It is an excellent medicine during cholera, measles, chicken-pox, small-pox, typhoid and all types of fevers. It can be given in a small quantity even during acute phase of appendicitis.