Kodo Millet or paspalum scrobiculatum as it is known scientifically, has been grown in India since 3000 years. It is a minor grain crop in India and most important in the Deccan plateau. This Indigenous cereal of India is grown in Uttar Pradesh in the north and Kerala and Tamilnadu in the south. Other indian states include Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Bihar. It has many medicinal properties which is helpful in diabetes and rheumatism. A study done currently proves that the aqueous and ethanolic extracts of this grain produced a dose-dependent fall in fasting blood glucose (FBG) and a significant increase in serum insulin level. This research has been able to identify five anti-diabetic compounds — quercetin (the major one), ferulic acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, vanillic acid and syringic acid — from Kodo Millet and one chemical (quercetin) that prevents obesity. Apart from this the presence of phospholipids, fibre contents and low oil content makes this grain a true nutraceutical. Kodo Millet which is extremely drought and salt resistant and can be grown in gravelly and rocky soils should be encouraged for cultivation.
If we go by the Nutrition chart of Kodo Millet then per 100g of Kodo Millet will have 8.3g Protein, 3.6g Fat, 9g Fiber, 2.6g Minerals, 0.5g Iron, 27g Calcium and 309kcal of Calorie. The fiber content is much higher as compared to both Rice (0.2g) and Wheat (1.2g). It is known to have high amounts of polyphenols, an antioxidant compound. From medicinal perspective the grains, leaves, roots, stem juice, Rhizomes of Kodo Millet is used and is highly effective in curing various ailments like Diabetes, wounds, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Rheumatism, etc.
Kodo millet is known as Kodra/Koden in Hindi, Harka in Kannada, Varugu Arisi in Tamil, Koovaragu in Malayalam & Arikelu in Telugu. Many who think of rice and wheat when the word grains come to their mind are not aware of this grain called Millet and the different types with their different names to such people sound like as if coming from some alien land. As some say ‘Seeing is Believing’ take a look at the following picture. This picture which seems like the usual pictures of dosa and idli is actually made not of rice but of Kodo Millets. These are, you can safely say, ten times better than the routine rice dosa and idli we consume in our regular meals. The texture of the idli is uniformly soft and spongy and the dosa equally crispy and its hard to tell the difference just by looking. Go to your nearest Millet store and try out Kodo Millet and feel the difference.