Lu Dou (Mung Bean, Green Gram or Moong)

Lu Dou commonly known as Mung Bean, Green Gram, or Moong is the seed of Vigna radiata, which is an annual herb belonging to the family Leguminosae. It is a common ingredient in East Asia and is often used to make Lu Dou Tang (Mung Bean Soup) and Lu Dou Gao (Mung Bean Cake).

Vigna radiata is one of many species moved from the genus Phaseolus to Vigna in the 1970s, which is previously known as Phaseolus radiatus.

This plant has strong adaptability and can grow on sandy soil, thin hillside soil, black soil, and clay. It is native to India and Pakistan. It was widely planted in India about 3500 years ago. At present, cultivated Vigna radiata is widely distributed in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. Its main exporters are China and Myanmar.

This plant is very popular in East Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Some desserts, wines, and beverages contain it. Its seeds are commonly used fillings for Chinese moon cakes.

After autumn, people gather mature seeds of Vigna radiata, remove their impurities, wash them with water, dry them in the sun, use them directly, or grind them into powder, and make them into Chinese herbs.

Lu Dou contains protein, fat, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, tannins, alkaloids, coumarins, phytosterols, anthocyanins, flavonoids, saponins, cardiac glycosides, anthraquinones, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc.

According to <Kaibao Bencao>, the medicinal property of Lu Dou is relatively cold, with a sweet taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the heart and stomach meridians.

In traditional Chinese medicine, Lu Dou is often used to clear heat and remove toxin, remove summer-heat and induce diuresis, treat intractable boils, acne, measles, oral ulcers, polydipsia, edema, oliguria, drug and food poisoning.

There are very few Chinese medicine prescriptions containing Lu Dou. It is often used as a dietary fiber supplement for dietary therapy.

Health benefits of Lu Dou (Mung Bean)

  • Anti-inflammation, anti-oxidation, anti-allergy.
  • Increasing the phagocytic capacity of phagocytes and improving immunity.
  • Lowering serum cholesterol and preventing coronary artery disease.
  • Removing heat toxins, treating sores, and carbuncles caused by heat toxins.
  • Removing summer-heat, treating polydipsia and deep-colored urine caused by summer heat.
  • Alleviating poisoning caused by aconite, croton, arsenic, and organophosphorus pesticide poisoning.
  • Inducing diuresis, treating anuria, dribbling urine, and edema.
  • Inhibiting the growth of leukemia L1210 cells, leukemia K562 cells, and lung cancer cells A549.
  • It is rich in superoxide dismutase, which can scavenge free radicals and delay aging.
  • It contains phytoestrogens, which can promote the growth of the breast, fallopian tubes, uterus, and ovaries.
  • Studies have found that it contains lysozyme, which can inhibit Staphylococcus and Fusarium.

Lu Dou is used with other Chinese herbs

  • It with Da Huang (Radix et Rhizoma Rhei), Bo He (Mentha), and honey can eliminate sores and carbuncles caused by heat toxins.
  • It with Chi Xiao Dou (Adzuki Bean), Hei Dou (Black Soybean), and Gan Cao (Licorice Root) can treat acne and measles.
  • It with Xi Gua Cui Yi (Watermelon Peel), He Ye (Folium Nelumbinis), and Qing Hao (Sweet wormwood) can treat polydipsia and deep-colored urine caused by summer heat.
  • It with Huang Lian (Rhizoma Coptidis), Ge Gen (Kudzu Root), and Gan Cao (Licorice Root) can treat poisoning caused by aconite, croton, and arsenic.
  • It with Chen Pi (Tangerine Peel) and Dong Gua Zi (Winter Melon Seeds) can treat dysuria and edema.

Side effects of Lu Dou (Mung Bean)

Lu Dou is edible with almost no side effects.

Undercooked Lu Dou has a strong beany flavor, and eating it may cause nausea and vomiting.

Precautions of Lu Dou

  • The dosage of Lu Dou should be controlled at 15-30g.
  • It can be made into decoction, powder, or tea.
  • It is not recommended to use iron utensils to boil it.
  • People with deficiency-cold in the spleen and stomach should not take it.
  • People with diarrhea due to intestinal looseness should not take it.