Kodo Millets: Uses, Benefits, Side effects and More

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 19/02/2024

Whenever health and nutrition are discussed, millets are often underestimated and ignored despite the fact that they possess high nutritional value. Millets have been revered for centuries in Ayurveda and traditional diets. They contain immense amounts of nutrients and are cold, making them a great choice to beat the summer heat!

From jowar and ragi to foxtail and kodo, all of them have an impressive nutritional profile. If you are a fan of healthy foods, this article is for you. Include this powerhouse of benefits-Kodo millet, to your diet and see your health chart going up.

In this blog, we shall discuss Kodo millet health benefits and side effects, its uses, and more!

About Kodo Millet

The scientific name for Kodo millet is Paspalum scrobiculatum, and is an important crop grown in Nepal, India, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, and West Africa. It has plenty of essentials packed inside, which are beneficial for a healthy body.

Kodo millet benefits those with gluten intolerance as it is gluten-free and a boon for those who want a wholesome diet free from rice and wheat. This food item has gained momentum in the world of healthy diets as it is packed with antioxidants, fibre, and fats. The incredible properties of this millet will leave you impressed and you will want to reap the benefits for better health.

Let us see the nutritional content of Kodo millet in the table below.

Kodo Millet Nutritional Value

Nutritional Content  in Kodo Millet  Amount per 100 Grams
Protein 9
Fibre 10
Carbohydrates 66.6
Energy 353 KCal
Fat  3.6
Iron 0.5mg
Calcium  27mg
Sodium 3.48mg
Vitamin B3 2mg
Phosphorus 188mg
Zinc 1.58mg
Vitamin B5 0.28 mg
Vitamin B1 0.18 mg

Now that the nutritional values are evident, here are some interesting facts about this millet

Facts about Kodo Millet

It was originated in West Africa

Grown as a significant food crop in the Deccan Plateau, India

It is drought tolerant and grows with minimal water and without an irrigation system

Known as Arikelu in Telugu, Varagu in Tamil, and Varak in Malayalam

It is eaten as famine food in West Africa

Its Indian history originates from 3000 years

Cow grass, rice grass, ditch millet, Indian crown grass, etc are some other names for Kodo millet.

They are rich in an antioxidant compound called polyphenols

An ideal temperature for its growth is 25-27 degrees Celsius

Kodo millet has a rich nutritional composition, which is highly beneficial for health. Here are some benefits of this millet.

Kodo Millet Health Benefits

Aids in chronic ailments- Since kodo millets are rich in antioxidants and fibre, they are great at reducing LDL or bad cholesterol and preventing plaque buildup in the arteries.

It also contains magnesium, potassium, and prebiotic fibre, which protect the heart and enhance its functioning. When these millets are a part of your diet, they also protect you against high blood pressure and other chronic diseases.

Helps to manage weight- The high fibre content in Kodo millet makes it a very beneficial ingredient in weight management. Kodo millet benefits include its efficiency in keeping you full for longer and helping you to lose the extra weight.

All those hoping on a weight loss journey and looking for an alternative to rice and wheat must include Kodo millet in their diet. It is known to trigger metabolic activity and help in shedding stubborn weight.

Controls diabetes- Diabetes is a condition which leads to a spike in blood glucose. Kodo millet benefits people with diabetes as it has a low sugar content. Besides, it is low in glycemic index, which means it reduces blood sugar levels in a controlled manner. Thus, it is an excellent option for those suffering from diabetes.

Enhances digestive health- The high fibre content of kodo millets makes it an excellent food for those with digestive issues. It helps to eliminate various gut issues like constipation, gas bloating, and cramps.

Good for kidneys- Kodo millets are a perfect combination of low potassium and high fibre, which makes it a great choice for those with kidney problems. These millets reduce the uric acid in the body and help with kidney disorders.

Additionally, these millets also contain antioxidants and flavonoids, which purify the blood and prevent the formation of gallbladder and kidney stones.

Reduces the risk of cancer- Among the many Kodo millet health benefits is its ability to prevent cancer. The millets have phenolic acids, phytic acids, and tannins, which behave as anti-nutrients and decrease the risk of colon and breast cancer. The antioxidants in Kodo millet fight the free radicals which are harmful and damage the cells and tissues. In this manner, the millet may help to prevent cancers.

Fastens the healing process- Kodo millet can also be beneficial in healing wounds and reducing pains. The presence of antioxidants and polyphenols gives it healing properties and enables it to fight free radicals. Applying kodo millet paste to cuts and wounds allows it to heal faster.

Improves the energy and provides nourishment- The rich carb content of Kodo millet makes it an excellent way to have sustained energy. Besides, its rich composition of minerals and vitamins helps to nourish the body.

Good for bone health- Those who are looking to improve their bone health can benefit from Kodo millet as it is rich in calcium. It contributes to enhanced bone density and overall skeletal health.

Healthy Hair- Iron and zinc in Kodo millet can be beneficial in improving hair health. Iron enables oxygen to reach the hair follicles, which strengthens them, promotes hair growth, and prevents hair loss. Zinc is known to repair hair tissues and accelerate hair growth.

Apart from possessing health benefits, kodo millets have been revered immensely in Ayurveda for their therapeutic properties and for culinary uses, too. Here is detailed information about the uses of this millet.

Kodo Millet Uses

Uses of Kodo Millet in Ayurveda

In Ayurvedic traditions, food items are classified based on their taste (rasa),post-digestive effect(vipaka), and energy (virya). Kodo millet is recognised for its sweet taste, heat energy, and sweet post-digestive effect.

This millet is known as langhana in Ayurveda, meaning bringing lightness to the body. It is a versatile grain included in Trina Dhanya Varga category, which means grains produced by grass-like plants. Kodo millet has unique abilities to balance different doshas(elements that make up a person's psychological, mental, and emotional health).

Kodo millet benefits people with different doshas by providing them warmth and nourishment and also giving them its sweet and cooling properties. Here are some kodo millet uses in Ayurveda.

Therapeutic uses

Kodo millet is used as a beneficial diet in managing diabetes.

It is used in raktpitta or bleeding disorders.

It is used in the treatment of diseases which are caused by incorrect oleation therapy.

Kodo Millet Uses for Culinary Purposes

Kodo millet can be used to prepare various food items which are tasty and highly nutritious.

Kodo millet halwa- It is prepared by mixing the millet and wheat flour in a 2:1 ratio, roasting them with ghee and adding them to boiling milk.

Papad-You can prepare papad by mixing kodo millet and Bengal gram flour. Spices like cumin seeds, salt, and sodium bicarbonate are added along and kneaded into a dough. This dough is then divided into smaller portions, rolled, and fried.

Kolukatti- Kodo millet flour can be mixed with water to form a paste and seasoned with chopped onions, coriander leaves, green chillies, mustard seeds, asafoetida, and black gram dal. You can then boil this mixture to form a thick consistency. Once done, small oval-shaped balls are made and steamed until cooked.

How to use Kodo Millet Correctly?

It is essential to use the millet correctly to receive the complete benefits of Kodo millet. Most of the time, people misuse this millet, which leads to a loss of nutritional value. Kodo millet consists of water-soluble minerals which get dissolved in water when soaked, turning the water red or muddy.

Also, by soaking the millet and washing it many times, the minerals and antioxidants go down the drain. Here is the right way to clean and soak the millet.

Firstly, it is recommended to rinse the millet in plain water so all the dirt can separate.

Secondly, you must soak the millet in drinkable water for 6-8 hours.

Once the millet is soaked, you must use the same water to cook it to ensure that all its nutrients are intact and you can benefit from them.

Kodo Millet Side Effects

  • Consuming Kodo millets is highly beneficial for several reasons. However, overconsumption of any food item can cause side effects. Hence, it is advisable to be watchful with its consumption. Watch out for any signs, and consult a doctor in such circumstances.

  • Consuming infested kodo millet can lead to food poisoning. Fungal species like Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus tamarii release a toxic substance which can lead to severe diarrhoea, unconsciousness, and nausea.

  • Kodo millets must also be avoided if you have constipation, as it can increase the severity of the problem.

  • Those with kidney stones or potassium sensitivity must avoid Kodo millet as they are rich in potassium and can cause side effects.

  • Similar to little millet side effects, Kodo millet can affect the thyroid glands. If you are on anti-diabetic drugs or thyroid treatment, Kodo millet can interfere with its effectiveness and safety. Thus, it is recommended to consult your doctor before you include this millet in your diet.

Why is a Health Insurance Plan Important?

Consuming a balanced diet with highly nutritious foods like Kodo millet, fruits, and vegetables is an excellent way to stay in the pink of your health. Another important aspect of taking care of your health and well-being is having a medical insurance plan. It is one of the most efficient ways to deal with the escalation in medical costs and ensure you receive the best treatment in case of any health issue.

Opting for medical insurance for yourself and your loved ones keeps you assured that even in case of severe disease, you will receive the best possible treatment and financial support. Purchasing a health insurance plan from a reputed insurance provider like Tata AIG is very important. You can easily compare health insurance, weigh the benefits visavis the premium and opt for the one best suited as per your needs.


Kodo millet is packed with plenty of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that are required to keep your body functioning smoothly. Kodo millet also has beneficial properties that make it advantageous to prevent and fight many health conditions like heart disease, stomach disorders, obesity, chronic ailments, diabetes, etc.

Incorporating it into your diet in the adequate amount can help you reap its benefits and maintain optimum health. However, it is essential to remember that every coin has two sides. Kodo millet, if consumed excessively, can cause side effects, too. Hence, it is best to stay cautious and watch the consumption.


Who should avoid Kodo millet?

Those with constipation issues must avoid Kodo millet. Also, people on medication for diabetes or thyroid must avoid this millet.

What are the benefits of Kodo millet?

Kodo millet provides many health benefits like weight reduction, improving heart health, controlling diabetes, improving hair health, providing energy and nourishment and so on.

How much Kodo millet can you take per day?

The recommended quantity of Kodo millet daily is between 90-100 grams. Overconsumption can have detrimental effects.

Disclaimer: This is a general guide on Kodo Millets: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. It is advisable to consult a qualified health professional for treatment in severe cases.

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