Health Benefits Of Value Addition In Jaggery

by Dr.Jaggery Team on January 20, 2021

The advent of the 21st century has brought with itself the blight of sedentary lifestyles. Stress, urgency, lack of physical exercise, and the overall hullabaloo has reduced the concept of eating to a mere perfunctory activity. We have started neglecting what we consume and how we consume, but this negligence comes with a heavy price. Unchecked consumption of modern day products, such as refined sugar, comes with its own host of problems, some of which may be as serious and chronic as diabetes.

To say that jaggery serves only as a tastemaker would be an understatement, for there is a lot more to this sweet delight than meets the eye. Our ancient system of medicine, the Ayurveda, specifically prescribes jaggery and other sugarcane derivatives-like mishri, khand and sugarcane juice- because of their unique medicinal properties. Our Puranas make mention of jaggery in a number of places too, as constituents of various medicinal recipes. Numerous Indian Scripts describe the nutritional and medicinal values of jaggery, positing that it helps in blood purification and curing rheumatic and bile related disorders. The Sushruta Samhita, arguably the greatest piece of medical literature every written, also makes a detailed mention of jaggery’s properties, correctly maintaining that it has a huge scope for application in a gamut of products. The following are some of the products in combination with which jaggery can have immense health benefits:

Cardamom: Cardamom contains phytochemicals and bioactive compounds. Both cardamom and jaggery are antioxidants, detoxifiers, and diuretics. Adding a piece of cardamom and jaggery each to your daily cup of tea will make it anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, help with digestive problems, treat bad breath, and cure other infections.

Dry Ginger or Sonth: Dry ginger contains bioactive components and jaggery contains a host of good elements, such as essential amino acids, minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and iron, and a number of vitamins. In addition to these minerals, jaggery is also great source of iron, which can help in treating anaemia. Jaggery can also prevent asthma and various other allergic conditions, and help with joint pain and stiffness. These positive effects are proven to be enhanced when jaggery is used with dried ginger powder. The combination of dry ginger and sonth can be used when making til laddoos, halwa, and chutney. This combination soothes the stomach and gives relief from inflammation. It is also the perfect aid for common cold. One can also mix ginger powder, clove powder, and jaggery and consume it twice a day for its profound anti-inflammatory effects.

Trifla (Haritaki , Aonla and Bahera) : Jaggery is a known health-friendly nutritive sweetener. It is considered a medicinal sugar, thus a healthier alternative to refined sugar. On the other hand, trifla contains phytochemicals and flavonoids that have powerful health benefits. The two, when taken together, have anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, antibacterial, and digestive properties, which also help in treating infections.In the summer season, taking jaggery mixed with Trifla & Ghrit (clarified butter) can treat almost all diseases.

Fennel: Jaggery is a cardiotonic, according to ayurvedic science, so it is advisable to be used by people who have weakness in the heart. Jaggery is also a blood purifier, so people with blood or skin disorders can replace refined sugar use with jaggery. Fennel contains antioxidants which are anti-inflammatory, detoxifier, antibacterial, helps with digestive problems, and treats bad breath & infections. Fennel and jaggery may be used as a mouth freshener for various digestive problems including heartburn, intestinal gas, bloating, loss of appetite, etc

Turmeric & Black Pepper: This combination is a must-have if one is suffering from common cold. Jaggery, when taken with turmeric and black pepper, produces the same effect to cure common cold as conventional medicines do. Jaggery reduces throat irritation due to a soothing effect on the soft tissues of the throat. It produces warmth in the lungs and dilates the respiratory tract, which can help in treating chronic cough, asthma, and other breathing problems. It is for this reason that these three products are recommended to those who suffer from respiratory problems. Turmeric and black pepper contain bioactive components, polyphenols, phytochemicals, flavonoids, and various other unique chemicals. The chemical piperine in black pepper enhances the absorption of turmeric curcumin by the body, and combining these spices with jaggery reduces inflammation in the stomach and improves digestion. One may consume this combination with milk, latte, and decoction (Kadha).

Tulsi: Also called the Holy Basil, Tulsi is loaded with useful antioxidants, antiseptics, and antivirals. On the other hand, Jaggery contains minerals such as zinc and selenium, which are known antioxidants. A combination of these two serves as the perfect solution to viral infections (like the common cold) and indigestion. This preparation boosts our immunity, helps with recovery, and betters our cardiovascular health.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon has various medicinal properties and is loaded with antioxidants and useful chemicals. One such chemical- cinnamaldehyde- is known to have antibacterial and antifungal properties and gives cinnamon its characteristic strong smell and taste. A combination of cinnamon and jaggery, which is a known cardiotonic and blood purifier, can help fight viral infections such as the cold and the flu, and can also help treat indigestion. In addition to its innumerable medicinal properties, this combination can also help enhance the taste of sweet dishes like cake, halwa, pudding, cookies.

Giloy: Giloy is an ancient herb that is packed with a wide range of health benefits. It literally means Amrita- the Elixir of life, and has been an essential part of the Indian Medicine System since time immemorial. It is popular for its immunity boosting properties and can help fight pathogens in the body. On the other hand, jaggery is full of micronutrients such as zinc, selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron, which make it an effective immunity booster, just like Giloy. A combination of these two products gives meaning to the phrase “the more the merrier”, as the benefits of these products are not only added but also enhanced. It not only satiates our craving for sugar, but also helps in retaining the electrolytic balance of our body with the help of its micronutrients. It acts as a useful tool for the weight-conscious, and literally makes us happy by triggering the release of endorphins- the ‘Happy Hormones’. Ayruveda posits that consuming this combination can help us overcome most diseases and increase our lifespans.

Written By:  Dr Priyanka Singh
Scientist, UPCSR,Shahjahanpur

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