Kodo Millet: Nutrition, Benefits, Ayurvedic Uses, Side Effects & More

Reviewed By Experts

kodo millet

Recently, there has been a growing interest in rediscovering ancient grains for their nutritional value and health benefits. Kodo millet, scientifically known as “Paspalum scrobiculatum,” is an ancient grain that has gained attention for its exceptional nutritional content, balanced nature, various health benefits, and traditional uses in Ayurveda. [1] Acharya Sushruta has mentioned Koradusha in managing Prameha as a Pathya Ahara. [3] This article delves into the nutrition profile, benefits, Ayurvedic applications, potential side effects, and more aspects of Cow grass or Kodo millet in English.

Nutrition Profile of Kodo Millet

Kodo millet is a cereal crop that belongs to the Poaceae family. It has been cultivated for centuries in various parts of the world, especially in India, in Africa, and Southeast Asia. Other counterparts of Kodo millet are Foxtail millet, Finger millet, etc. But these counterparts are relatively more popular in comparison to Kodo millet.

Kodo millet is gluten-free, provides 353 Kcal energy per 100 gm of grain, and is rich in a range of essential nutrients, making it a valuable addition to a balanced diet. Some key kodo millet nutrition components include:

  • Vitamin B3
  • Vitamin B6 
  • Folic acid 
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium 
  • Zinc
  • Protein 8.3 % 
  • Crude fiber 9%
  • Carbohydrate 66.6%  
  • Minerals 2.4%    
  • Fat 1.4%  
  • Ash 2%   
  • Iron ranges from 25.86 ppm to 39.60 ppm [1]

The following table elaborates on the nutrient content in Kodo millet per 100 gram of grain. 

NutrientQuantity (100 gm) 
Moisture11.6 gm 
Protein 10.6 gm 
Fat4.2 gm
Fiber10.2 gm
Ash2.95 gm
Calorific value 346 kcal 
Carbohydrate59.2 gm
Minerals4.4 gm
Calcium27 mg
Phosphorus188 mg
Iron0.5 mg
Riboflavin0.09 mg
Niacin2.0 mg

Health Benefits of Kodo Millet

Diabetes Management: 

The complex carbohydrates in Kodo millet are digested slowly, leading to a gradual and slow rise in blood sugar levels, which is beneficial for individuals with diabetes. It also decreases the likelihood of cataract diseases caused by diabetes. [1] According to Ayurveda Kodava, or kodo millet in Hindi contain Madhura Kashaya rasa, Katu vipaka, Sheeta virya, Lekhana, Shoshana properties which further lead to Kleda shoshana or the absorption of kleda and controls Madhumeha or Diabetes. [3]

Heart Health: 

improves heart health

The presence of antioxidants and, thus, a higher amount of free radical scavenging activity adds to the Kodo millet benefits as it can keep your heart healthy by minimizing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. [1]

Gluten-Free Diet: 

Kodo millet is a nutritious alternative for those who are sensitive to gluten or are suffering from celiac disease, providing essential nutrients without triggering adverse reactions. [1] 


Yet another of the several kodo millet health benefits include its property of having abundant sources of phenolic acids, tannins, and phytates, which are considered to have properties as anti-nutrients that in turn are associated with a reduction in the risk of colon and breast cancer. Within millets, certain phenolic compounds have demonstrated efficacy in preventing the onset of cancerous growth and stopping the in vitro proliferation of cancer cells. [1]

Ayurvedic Uses of Kodo millet

The Guru and Ruksha gunas of Kodo millet accord it a variety of therapeutic uses that deal with:

Obesity, Raktapitta, Pittaj kasa,Visha, Urustambha, Trishna, Jalodara, Kustha Stanyadosa, Jalodar. [2]

Kodo millet or Kodrav, scientifically known as Paspalum scrobiculatum, possesses several noteworthy characteristics that make it beneficial for various purposes.

Here’s a reframed statement highlighting its properties:

Kodrav, also known as Kodo millet, is a versatile grain with unique qualities. It is described as Grahi, promoting absorption of nutrients in the body, and it exhibits Sheetal properties, imparting a cooling effect.

In terms of taste, it is characterized by Madura tikta, a sweet and pungent flavor. Kodrav is considered Guru, meaning it is heavy to digest, and it has Vayukarak properties, which can increase the Vata dosha.

It is also known for its Pitta-kaphapaha qualities, meaning it can reduce the Pitta and Kapha doshas in the body. Notably, it is Vraninam pathyakarak, making it beneficial for wound healing. Therefore, Kodrav is a valuable choice for those seeking wound healing and balance in their body’s doshas. [4]

Side Effects and Precautions

While Kodo millet offers numerous health benefits, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  • Consumption of contaminated kodo millets can lead to kodo poisoning, which is characterized by elevated liver enzymes and liver toxicity.  [5]
  • Apart from nutritional components, kodo millets contain anti-nutrients like phytic acid and polyphenols, which diminish nutrient availability. Soaking kodo millets before use is advised for reducing anti-nutrient levels. [6]
  • Seeking guidance from an Ayurvedic physician regarding potential interactions between kodo millets and other drugs is crucial. Adhering to their prescription is essential, considering your health status and concurrent medication use. 


• Is it important to soak Kodo millets before using them?

Yes, kodo millets harbor anti-nutrients such as phytic acid, polyphenols, and similar compounds that diminish the accessibility of essential nutrients. Employing techniques like soaking aids in diminishing the presence of these anti-nutrients. Thus, it is recommended to soak Kodo millet before use.

• Can Kodo millets be used for weight loss/management?

Yes, it is low in fat content and high in protein and fibers; it increases satiety and reduces overeating, and thus can help in weight loss.

• Can Varagu or Kodo millets in Tamil be consumed daily?

Incorporating millet into your daily diet can offer numerous health advantages. It aids postmenopausal women in combating heart conditions, and it may contribute to regulating elevated blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Individuals dealing with gallstones might find it beneficial due to its fiber content.


Kodo millet is a nutritionally rich ancient grain that has many health benefits and has been valued for its traditional uses in Ayurveda. With its high fiber content, essential nutrients, and potential to support various aspects of health, Kodo millet presents itself as a valuable addition to a balanced diet. 


This article is written from a health and wellness perspective and is not medical advice. Kindly seek the help of a certified medical practitioner before initiating any treatment.


  1. Nutritional, Functional Role of Kodo Millet and its Processing: A Review
  2. Millets: The Indigenous Food Grains
  3. Appraisal of Anti Hyperglycemic effect of Kodo millet (Paspalum scrobiculatum) – A Review
  4. Use of Trina Dhanya according to Aahara Vidhi Visheshayatna w.s.r to Prakruti and Kala
  5. ‘Kodo poisoning’: cause, science and management
  6. Key Anti-nutrients of Millet and their Reduction Strategies: An Overview


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