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Ayurvedic View By
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Jaggery

Jaggery
Jaggery is popularly known as “Guda” and is used as a healthy sweetener. Jaggery is a pure, wholesome, unrefined sugar which contains the natural goodness of minerals and vitamins produced from sugarcane. It is available in solid, liquid and powder form.
Jaggery is known to produce heat and provides instant energy to the human body. It prevents constipation due to its laxative property and activates digestive enzymes. As per Ayurveda, eating Jaggery daily after meals improves digestion due to its Ushna (hot) property.
Eating Jaggery might also help in weight loss by preventing retention of water in the body due to the presence of potassium in it.
It is advisable to avoid excessive consumption of Jaggery as it may upset the stomach[2][3].

What are the synonyms of Jaggery?

Saccharum officinarum, Guda, Bella, Sarkara, Vellam, Bellam[1].

What is the source of Jaggery?

Plant Based

Benefits of Jaggery

1. Indigestion
Indigestion occurs due to incomplete process of digestion of the ingested food. The main reason for indigestion is Agnimandya (weak digestive fire). Jaggery helps enhance the Agni (digestive fire) and improve digestion due to its Ushna (hot) property.

Tip to use Jaggery to get relief from Indigestion-
a. Take a piece of Jaggery, around 2-3 inches.
b. Consume it daily after meals to help fasten and improve digestion.

2. Loss of appetite
In Ayurveda, Loss of appetite is correlated with Agnimandya (weak digestion). Loss of appetite is caused by an aggravation of Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas, as well as certain psychological factors. This leads to incomplete digestion of food and causes insufficient secretion of gastric juice in the stomach, which results in appetite loss. Jaggery helps enhance the Agni (digestive fire) and improves appetite due to its Ushna (hot) property. It is also considered to be a good digestive stimulant and appetizer according to Ayurveda.

3. Anemia
Deficiency of hemoglobin in the blood is known as Anemia, wherein oxygen carrying capacity of blood gets reduced. Anaemia, called Pandu in Ayurveda, is a condition that occurs due to an imbalanced Pitta dosha and leads to certain symptoms like weakness. Old Jaggery helps in reducing the symptoms of Anemia due to its Pitta balancing property. It also helps in maintaining the overall health of a person due to its Rasayana (rejuvenation) property.

Tip to use Jaggery to help manage Anemia-
a. Take a small piece of Jaggery, around 10-15 grams.
b. Consume it daily in any form with food.
c. Consume it daily to recover haemoglobin in the blood and also prevent its loss, thereby managing the symptoms of Anemia.

4. Obesity
Obesity is a condition that occurs due to weak or poor digestion. It leads to the formation and accumulation of toxins in the form of fat and Ama (toxic remains in the body due to improper digestion) in the body. Jaggery helps manage Obesity due to its Ushna (hot) property which helps improve digestion and prevents the formation of toxins. Jaggery also possesses Snigdha (oily) property which helps in normal passage of stool, leading to the release of toxins from the body, thereby maintaining normal body weight.

Tip to use Jaggery to manage Obesity-
Jaggery can be consumed in any form for help promote weight loss.
1. You can prepare tea normally and replace sugar with Jaggery.
2. This helps improve body metabolism and promote weight loss.

Precautions when using Jaggery

Patients with diabetes
scientific
Modern Science View
Jaggery contains high amount of sucrose and might raise the blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. So, it is generally advisable for diabetic patients to avoid or consult a physician before taking Jaggery[6].
Pregnancy
scientific
Modern Science View
Enough scientific information is not available about the use of Jaggery in pregnancy. So, it is advisable to avoid or consult a physician before taking Jaggery during pregnancy[7].

Recommended Dosage of Jaggery

  • Jaggery Powder - 5-30 g of Jaggery (or as directed by a physician) a day[6].

How to use Jaggery

Jaggery Chapati
a. Take ½ a cup of milk and then add 3 cups of Jaggery (in a grated form) to it.
b. Mix both on low heat.
c. Cool and then mix in some salt (as per requirement), ghee and a cup of milk.
d. Make a dough by adding milk.
e. Roll the dough to make chapatis.

Frequently asked questions

Q. How can you tell if Jaggery is pure?

scientific
Modern Science View
Good quality Jaggery should have the right flavor, colour and hardness. The presence of crystals in the Jaggery means that it has been processed with some other techniques to make it sweeter. The colour also plays an important role during purity identification of Jaggery; preferably the colour should be dark brown.

Q. Can we add Jaggery to milk?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Jaggery can be added to milk. You can grate Jaggery or use Jaggery powder to add to milk in place of sugar.

Q. How many types of Jaggery are there?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Although Jaggery is not classified into different types, but according to Ayurveda it is segregated according to time intervals such as Naveen Guda (new Jaggery), Purana Guda (1 year old Jaggery) and Prapurana Guda (3 years old Jaggery). The older the Jaggery is, the more beneficial it is for health. However, if Jaggery is older than 4 years, then it starts losing its potency and might cause some problems like cough and dyspnea.

Q. How is Jaggery prepared?

scientific
Modern Science View
Jaggery is prepared from the sugar that is unrefined. This is obtained by boiling the juice of raw sugar cane until it gets solidified.

Q. Is it good to eat Jaggery every day?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Jaggery is recommended to be eaten after meals daily as it prevents constipation and helps in digestion by activating the digestive enzymes in our body.

Q. Is too much Jaggery bad?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, eating too much sugar is not considered to be a good option. Despite having various medicinal benefits, Jaggery is still a sugar. So, the excessive consumption of sweeteners should be avoided as it might deplete the immune system[13].

Q. Which is better between Jaggery or sugar?

scientific
Modern Science View
The difference between Jaggery and sugar is their composition. Sugar is the simple form of sucrose which gets digested faster and energy is released immediately whereas Jaggery is made up of longer chains of mineral salts, sucrose, and fiber.
Since, Jaggery is prepared in iron vessels, it is rich in iron. Jaggery consumption is recommended over sugar in cases of patients with iron deficiency. It also acts as a cleansing agent as it helps clean the lungs and respiratory tract. So, it is advisable to substitute sugar with Jaggery[2][3].

Q. Does Jaggery help in weight loss?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Jaggery might help in weight reduction due to the presence of potassium. High Potassium content in Jaggery prevents retention of water in the body and results in weight loss[2].

Q. How does Jaggery prevent anemia?

scientific
Modern Science View
Anemia is a condition in which the red blood cells or the hemoglobin is less than normal. Jaggery prevents anemia due to the presence of high iron content in it. Iron helps in blood production, thereby providing healthy red blood cells or haemoglobin. This helps transfer sufficient oxygen in the blood from the lungs to various body tissues[3][5].

Q. Which is better for diabetic patients - Jaggery or sugar?

scientific
Modern Science View
Both Jaggery as well as sugar are made up of sucrose. So to choose one over the other might not be a good option for diabetic patients. The difference between the two is that sugar is made up of simple sucrose and gets instantly absorbed into the blood which results in a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. Jaggery, on the other hand, has long chains of sucrose and takes time to breakdown and get absorbed. It does not cause a rapid rise in blood glucose levels as compared to sugar. So, Jaggery might be a better option for diabetic patients than sugar[2].

Q. Is Jaggery good for acidity?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Jaggery might help manage acidity due to the presence of potassium. It helps manage the level of acidity by reducing the accumulation of acids in the stomach[4].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Acidity is a condition that occurs due to weak or poor digestion. In spite of being Ushan (hot) in nature, Jaggery helps manage acidity by improving digestion. Its Ushna (hot) nature helps improve the Agni (digestive fire) which further improves digestion, thereby providing relief from acidity.

Q. Is Jaggery good for asthma?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Jaggery might help in asthma due to its cleansing action. It cleans the lungs and respiratory tract which helps ease breathing. People who come in contact with dust and dirt on a daily basis can take Jaggery regularly to keep their air passages healthy[2].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Asthma is a condition which occurs due to an imbalance of Vata and Kapha dosha and leads to symptoms such as shortness of breath. Jaggery might help reduce the symptoms of asthma due to its Vata and Kapha balancing properties. Consuming old Jaggery also helps maintain the overall health of a person due to its Rasayana (rejuvenation) property.

Q. Is Jaggery good for arthritis?

scientific
Modern Science View
Enough scientific evidence is not available for role of Jaggery in arthritis.
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Arthritis is a condition that occurs due to an imbalance of Vata dosha and leads to certain symptoms like pain and swelling. Jaggery might help reduce the symptoms, like pain, due to its Vata balancing property and provide relief.

Q. Can Jaggery help in digestion?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Jaggery might help in digestion due to the presence of potassium. It helps manage the level of acidity by reducing the accumulation of acids in the stomach[4].

Q. Is Jaggery good for bodybuilding?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Jaggery is considered to be good for bodybuilding due to the presence of high potassium content that helps in improving the body's metabolism[2].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Jaggery might be beneficial in bodybuilding due to its Balya (strength provider) property. It provides strength to the bones and muscles of an individual which helps to improve the overall health or build up a healthy body.

Q. Is Jaggery good for blood pressure?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Jaggery might be good for blood pressure due to the presence of potassium and low sodium amount. It helps lower blood pressure levels by counteracting the negative effects of salt[8].

Q. Does Jaggery help reduce bloating?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Jaggery might help reduce bloating because of the presence of high potassium and low sodium content in it. This helps to maintain the acid balance in the body cells, thereby providing relief from bloating[2][8].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Bloating is a condition that occurs due to weak or poor digestion. Jaggery helps helps to enhance the Agni (digestive fire) and improve digestion due to its Ushna (hot) nature, thereby reducing bloating.

Q. Does Jaggery help manage the nervous system?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Jaggery might help manage the nervous system due to the presence of magnesium. Magnesium strengthens the human nervous system and helps to relax the muscles. It also acts as an antioxidant to prevent the nerve cell damage and keep the blood vessels healthy[3].

Q. How to make Jaggery chapati?

scientific
Modern Science View
Jaggery chapati can be made by the following method:

1. Take ½ cup of Jaggery powder and add 2 tablespoon of water to it.
2. Keep it aside for 10 minutes until the Jaggery completely dissolves in water.
3. In another bowl, take about 1-1.5 cup of wheat flour and add few fennel seeds and ghee to it.
4. Use the Jaggery water paste to knead the flour. You can also add some more water if required.
5. Apply some ghee on the rolling board and make a small ball of dough.
6. Use a rolling pin, roll the dough ball into a circular chapati.
7. Heat a pan and put this chapati on it.
8. Flip it and wait for the other side to get brown.
9. Apply ghee on it and flip again to cook properly.
10. Jaggery chapati is ready to serve.
Eating Jaggery chapati might help in detoxification of the body.

Q. Is Jaggery good for cough and cold?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Jaggery might help manage cough and cold as it acts as a natural cleansing agent of the lungs. It helps to clean the respiratory passages and helps ease breathing[2].

Q. Is Jaggery good for cholesterol?

scientific
Modern Science View
Enough scientific evidence is not available for role of Jaggery in cholesterol.
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Cholesterol occurs due to weak or poor digestion that leads to the formation and accumulation of toxins in the form of Ama. Jaggery helps manage cholesterol by improving digestion and preventing the formation of toxins due to its Ushna (hot) property. Jaggery also possesses Snigdha (oily) property which helps in the normal passage of stool and further leads to the release of toxins from the body, thereby maintaining normal cholesterol levels.

Q. Is Jaggery good for eyes?

scientific
Modern Science View
Not enough scientific information is available to support the role Jaggery in eyes.

Q. Is Jaggery good for fertility?

scientific
Modern Science View
Not enough scientific information is available to support the role Jaggery in fertility.

Q. Is Jaggery good for GERD?

scientific
Modern Science View
Enough scientific evidence is not available for the role of Jaggery in gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). However, the presence of magnesium in Jaggery might help in digestion and reduce stomach acidity[8].

Q. Is Jaggery good for pcos?

scientific
Modern Science View
Not enough scientific information is available to support the role Jaggery in pcos.

Q. Is Jaggery good for the heart?

scientific
Modern Science View
Enough scientific evidence is not available for the role of Jaggery for the heart. However, it might help manage heart functioning due to its antioxidant property[9].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Jaggery is also beneficial for the heart due to its Hrdya (heart tonic) property. It helps strengthen the heart muscles and improves heart functioning.

Q. Is Jaggery good for piles?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Piles is a condition that generally occurs due to constipation. Jaggery helps manage piles due to its Snigdha (oily) property. It helps reduce the dryness of the intestines and provide oiliness leading to easy passage of stool which helps prevent piles.

Q. Does jaggery cause gas?

scientific
Modern Science View
Enough scientific evidence is not available for the role of Jaggery in causing gas.

Q. Does Jaggery cause diarrhea?

scientific
Modern Science View
No, Jaggery does not cause diarrhea. In fact, when Jaggery is mixed with bael fruit and taken 3 times a day, it might prevent diarrhea[10].

Q. Does Jaggery cause weight gain?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Jaggery might cause lead to weight gain due to its Medovriddhi (increase in adipose tissue) property. It leads to an aggravated Kapha dosha which results in an increase in the formation of adipose tissue (fat) in the body, causing weight gain.

References

  1. The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia Of India.Part 1 Volume 1.
  2. Shrivastav P, Verma AK, Walia R, et al.Jaggery: A revolution in the field of natural sweetners.EJPMR. 2016;3(3):198-202.External Link
  3. Rajesh CK, Shajahan MA, Shahul Hameed A.Ayurvedic review on Guda (Jaggery) .Ayurpharm Int J Ayur Alli Sci.2016;5(5):68-76.
  4. Ravisankar P,Koushik OS,Reddy AA, et al.A detailed analysis on acidity and ulcers in esophagus, gastric and duodenal ulcers and management.IOSR.2016;15(1):94-114.External Link
  5. Resmi S, Latheef F, Vijayaraghavan R.Effectiveness of Herbal Extract in Enhancing the Level of HB among Adolescent Girls with Iron Deficiency Anemia at Selected Higher Secondary Schools at Bangalore.IJHSR.2016;6(10):2016.External Link
  6. Chhajer B.Tips for Diabetes Patients.Fusion Books.2016. External Link
  7. National Institute of Nutrition, Dietary Guidelines for Indians, A Manual, 2nd Edition 2010;14-16, 32-34.External Link
  8. Deotale S, Bhotmange MG, Halde P, et al. Study of traditional Indian sweetener ‘Jaggery’ and its storage behavior. International Journal of Chemical Studies 2019; 7(3): 410-416. External Link
  9. Johari H. Ayurvedic healing cuisine.Inner Traditions / Bear & Co, 2000.External Link
  10. Ullikashi KY, Kammar MR, Lokapure SR. Development of Value added products from Bael fruit (Aegle marmelos). Int. J. Curr. Microbiol. App. 2017;6(7):2652-2659. External Link
  11. Monks at Kauai’s Hindu Monastery. Monk’s Cookbook. Himalayan Academy Publications, 2005.External Link
Disclaimer
The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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