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Matki: Uses, Benefits, Side effects and More By Dr. Smita Barode

By Dr Smita Barode +2 more


Misal pav, a famous spicy Maharashtrian recipe is prepared using moth beans. Moth bean, also known as Matki, math, mat bean, moth, dew bean or Turkish gram, is an annual herbaceous legume (plant or seed/fruit belonging to the family Fabaceae). Moth beans or Vigna aconitifolia are legumes belonging to the family Fabaceae. They are greenish or yellow to brown in colour and oblong in shape. Moth beans originated in India and are widely cultivated in China, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, and north-western desert areas of South Asia and the South-Western states of the United States. These seeds or pulses are grown at the end of the rainy season but are available throughout the year. Moth beans are used to prepare a variety of dishes. Apart from their culinary use, they’re highly nutritious. Let us find out more about the health benefits moth beans offer.1 

Nutritional Value of Matki: 

Matki is rich in carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins (ascorbic acid and niacin) and minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, etc., and phenolic compounds like cinnamic acid, caffeic acid, ferulic acid, etc.  The nutrients in Matki are mentioned in the table below.  

matki benefits

Nutritional components Value per 100 g 
Energy 343 kCal 
Protein 26 g 
Potassium 1.1 g 
Phosphorus 489 mg 
Magnesium 381 mg 
Calcium 150 mg 
Sodium 30 mg 
Iron 10.8 mg 
Zinc 1.92 mg 
Manganese 1.82 mg 
Copper 0.68 mg 
Vitamin C 4 mg 
Vitamin B3 2.8 mg 
Vitamin B5 1.54 mg 
Vitamin B1 0.56 mg 
Vitamin B2 0.09 mg 

Table 1: Nutritional value of matki2 

I suggest that Matki may help you in your weight loss journey. Makti is known for its ability to lower cholesterol levels in the blood. I recently read a study that stated Matki may have anti-obesity activity due to its antioxidant and anti-hypercholesterolemic actions.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Properties of Matki: 

Scientifically proven properties of Matki include: 

  • It may have antioxidant properties.3 
  • It may be able to manage inflammation.3 
  • It may lower blood glucose.4 
  • It may have the ability to halt the abnormal growth of cells.4 
  • It may have the potential to lower blood pressure.4 
  • It may have the potential to manage bacterial infections.2 

Potential Uses of Matki for Overall Health: 

Some of the potential benefits of Matki are described as under:  

Potential uses of Matki in diabetes 

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by increased blood glucose levels. Glucosidase enzymes help in the digestion of carbohydrates and starch and cause an increase in blood glucose. Inhibition of this enzyme reduces blood glucose. This mechanism is used by the alpha-glucosidase inhibitor class of drugs, which are used to manage diabetes. Bhagyawant et al. conducted a review in 2019 showing polyphenols in Matki bind to the alpha-glucosidase enzyme and prevent the rise in blood glucose. This indicates that consuming Matki may help manage diabetes. However, we need more studies to support these claims.4 

Potential uses of Matki for the immune system 

The immune system acts as a defense against foreign bodies and microorganisms like bacteria, viruses and fungi. An elevated body temperature or fever triggers the immune system to fight against the microorganisms entering the body. Matki or Moth beans are rich in copper and may protect the cells from damage due to free radicals and keep the immune system healthy. Additionally, in rural areas, moth beans are used for fever. This indicates that the consumption of Matki can have a positive impact on the immune system and may also help in managing fevers. However, no studies have been conducted yet to ascertain these claims, and we need more scientific evidence to support these results.2, 4 

Potential uses of Matki in inflammation 

Inflammation is a protective reaction of our body against dangerous stimuli like tissue injuries, allergies, etc. Anti-inflammatory agents are used to control inflammation, as seen in cardiovascular diseases, cancers, etc. Roy et al. 2010 conducted a study stating Matki contains phenolic compounds which have an anti-inflammatory effect in cardiac diseases and cancers. This suggests that consuming Matki may help manage inflammation. However, we need more clinical studies to support these claims.3 

Potential uses of Matki in malnutrition 

Malnutrition, which includes protein and micronutrient-related deficiency, is a leading cause of stunted growth in children. A literature review by Ayilara et al. in 2022 stated that Matki, although an underutilized legume, is highly nutritious due to the goodness of proteins, vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants. This nutritional goldmine may help in managing malnutrition in children, but scientific evidence supporting it is limited, and we need more clinical studies to support these claims.5 

Potential uses of Matki for vision 

Matki is rich in antioxidants like carotenoids, flavonoids and phenols, which may positively impact vision. Antioxidants can lower the risk of eye-related disorders like age-related macular degeneration and age-related loss of vision along with improving normal vision. This indicates that Matki may have the potential to reduce the risk of eye disorders and improve vision. However, studies are yet to be done to ascertain these claims, and we need more scientific evidence to support these potential benefits.4 

Other potential uses of Matki: 

  • The presence of phosphorus in moth beans may have a beneficial effect on bones and teeth.  
  • Being a good source of iron, moth beans may aid red blood cell formation and help manage anaemia.4 
  • The presence of folate and antioxidants like carotenoids in moth beans may positively impact neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.4 
  • The high fibre content in Matki may aid bowel movements and may provide relief from constipation.4 
  • Matki inhibits the growth of bacteria and thus, may help in managing bacterial infections.2 
  • Matki may also help in managing irregular menstruation.2 
  • The consumption of Matki can have a positive impact on blood pressure, by relaxing blood vessels.6 

Though there are studies that show the benefits of Matki in various conditions, these are insufficient and there is a need for further studies to establish the true extent of the benefits of sweet potatoes on human health.  

Not just for humans, Matki is useful for livestock as well. I recently read an article that says Matki may offer animals pleasant, exceptional drought-resistant pasture and hay during the hot season.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

How to Use Matki? 

  • Matki or moth bean sprouts are consumed as a curry or vegetable. 
  • Matki seeds are ground into flour, which is then used to prepare Indian cuisines like bhujia, papad, vada, rabri, etc. 
  • The whole seeds of Matki are also added to soups.2 

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking any herbal supplements. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.   

Side Effects of Matki: 

A few side effects related to the consumption of Matki include: 

  • Bhadkaria et al. conducted a study in 2021 which showed that Matki, because of its potential to reduce blood pressure can result in side effects like light-headedness, cough, dizziness, etc. 
  • When consumed in excess, Matki can cause stomach discomforts like bloating, stomach pain and flatulence among others due to the presence of high content of fibre and proteins.4, 6, 7 

However, if you experience any adverse reactions to Matki, it is advised to discontinue its intake and immediately contact a doctor or your Ayurvedic physician who has prescribed it. They will be able to guide you appropriately for your symptoms. 

Precautions to take with Matki: 

Eating Matki is okay if taken in moderate amounts. However, general precautions must be followed in the following conditions: 

  • In addition to the nutritional components, Matki also contains anti-nutritional elements like phytic acid, tannins, saponins, etc. which may interfere with the absorption of nutrients if Matki is consumed raw. Cooking methods like boiling and soaking help in inactivating these antinutrients, therefore it is advised to either boil or soak Matki overnight before use.2 
  • As the safety data relating to the use of Matki by women during pregnancy and lactation is limited, it is advised to consult your doctor for proper advice.  

Also Read: Are Beans Keto? Understanding the Role of Legumes in a Ketogenic Diet

Interactions with Other Drugs: 

  • As Matki has the potential to reduce blood pressure, if consumed in excess along with your blood-pressure medications, it may cause your blood pressure to fall too low.  

Therefore, you must always seek the advice of your Ayurvedic physician about the possible interaction of Matki with other drugs and follow the prescription thoroughly, as they will know your health condition and other medications you are taking.6 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

1) What is the scientific name of Matki? 

The scientific name of Matki is Vigna aconitifolia. It is also known as math, mat bean, moth, dew bean, or Turkish gram locally.1 

2) What are the health benefits of Matki for vision? 

Yes, Matki is rich in antioxidants like carotenoids, flavonoids, and phenols, which may positively impact vision. However, to ascertain these claims, more studies should be conducted.4 

3) Can Matki help manage anaemia?  

Yes, being a good source of iron, moth beans may aid red blood cell formation and help manage anaemia. However, more studies are needed to support these claims. Therefore, it is advised to consult a doctor for proper treatment in case you have anaemia.4 

4) Can Matki help manage constipation? 

Yes, the fibre content in Matki may aid bowel movements and may provide relief from constipation. However, scientific evidence supporting this is limited and we need more studies to support these claims. It is recommended to consult a doctor for proper treatment in case you have constipation.4

5) What are the side effects of Matki?

Bhadkaria et al. conducted a study in 2021 which showed that Matki, because of its potential to reduce blood pressure can result in side effects like light-headedness, cough, dizziness, etc. Additionally, its excess consumption can result in stomach pain, bloating and flatulence due to high content of fibre and protein.6, 7 


  1. Heuzé V., Tran G., Lebas F., 2020. Moth bean (Vigna aconitifolia). Feedipedia, a programme by INRAE, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO.  Available at: https://www.feedipedia.org/node/237 Last updated on October 27, 2020, 14:38 
  1. Bhadkaria, A., Narvekar, D.T., Gupta, N. et al. Moth bean (Vigna aconitifolia (Jacq.) Marechal) seeds: A review on nutritional properties and health benefits. Discov Food 2, 18 (2022). Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s44187-022-00019-3 
  1. Sushmita Singh, Imtiyaz Ansari. A pharmacognostic and pharmacological review on <em>Vigna aconitifolia </em>(Moth bean). Pharma Innovation 2018;7(10):491-495. Available at: https://www.thepharmajournal.com/archives/2018/vol7issue10/PartI/7-9-81-151.pdf 
  1. Sawe, D.A. (2021) #wellnesswednesday know your ‘matki sprouts’?!, Rejoice Wellness. Available at: https://rejoicewellness.in/wellnesswednesday-know-your-matki-sprouts/ (Accessed: December 15, 2022).  
  1. Ayilara MS, Abberton M, Oyatomi OA, Odeyemi O and Babalola OO (2022) Potentials of underutilized legumes in food security. Front. Soil Sci. 2:1020193. doi: 10.3389/fsoil.2022.1020193. Available at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fsoil.2022.1020193/full 
  1. Amita Bhadkaria, Nidhi Srivastava, Sameer Suresh Bhagyawant, A prospective of underutilized legume moth bean (Vigna aconitifolia (Jacq.) Marechàl): Phytochemical profiling, bioactive compounds and in vitro pharmacological studies,Food Bioscience, Volume 42,2021,101088,ISSN 2212-4292. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fbio.2021.101088. 
  1. Delimaris, Ioannis. “Adverse Effects Associated with Protein Intake above the Recommended Dietary Allowance for Adults.” ISRN nutrition vol. 2013 126929. 18 Jul. 2013, doi:10.5402/2013/126929. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4045293/ 

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