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Scientific View By
MSc (Biotechnology), BSc
Ayurvedic View By
BAMS
Reviewed By
MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
Last updated:
09 Aug 2019 | 01:07 PM (IST)
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Ragi

Ragi
Ragi or Finger Millet is a highly nutritious grain. It is rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals and calcium. Due to its high nutrient value and fiber content it is considered good for the babies.
Ragi helps in managing blood glucose levels making it good for diabetics. It also helps promote bone health due to the presence of calcium and minerals.
According to Ayurveda, Ragi is good for cholesterol management due to its Ama (toxin) reducing activity. Eating Ragi flakes for breakfast and Ragi flour chapatis is considered good for weight management due to its high fiber content.
Applying Ragi flour paste with milk on the face helps to get rid of wrinkles. It has collagen and antioxidants which prevent the signs of aging[2][3].

What are the synonyms of Ragi?

Eleusine coracana, Madhuli, Markatahastatrna, Marua, Finger Millet, Naagali-Baavato, Manduaa, Makaraa, Raagi, Muttari, Naachnee, Kodra, Madua, Koda, Tagidelu, Raagulu[1].

What is the source of Ragi?

Plant Based

Benefits of Ragi

1. Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a progressive bone disease that is characterized by a decrease in bone density. In Ayurveda, this depletion of the bone tissue is called Asthikshaya. This is due to nutrient deficiency because of malnutrition and imbalance of Vata dosha. Ragi is a good source of natural calcium. It helps in strengthening bones and also helps to balance Vata. This reduces the risk of Osteoporosis.
Tips:
a. Take 3-4 teaspoons of Ragi flour.
b. Add some water to make a dough.
c. Make small chapatis with the help of a roller.
d. Cook them properly and have hot chapatis with any side dish.

2. Diabetes
Diabetes also known as Madhumeha is due to impaired digestion. Impaired digestion leads to the accumulation of Ama (toxic remains in the body due to improper digestion) in the pancreatic cells which reduces the function of insulin. Ragi helps to correct impaired digestion and remove Ama due to its Laghu (light to digest) nature. This helps control high blood sugar level.
Tips:
a. Take 3-4 teaspoons of Ragi flour.
b. Add some water to make a dough.
c. Make small chapatis with the help of a roller.
d. Cook them properly and have hot chapatis with any side dish.

3. High Cholesterol
High cholesterol is due to an imbalance of Pachak Agni (digestive fire). Impaired digestion at the tissue level produces excess waste products or Ama (toxic remains in the body due to improper digestion). This causes accumulation of bad cholesterol and blockage in the blood vessels. Ragi helps in controlling high cholesterol because of its Ama reducing property. It also helps to remove blockage from the blood vessels by eliminating toxins.
Tips:
a. Take 3-4 teaspoons of Ragi flour.
b. Add some water to make a dough.
c. Make small chapatis with the help of roller.
d. Cook them properly and have hot chapatis with any side dish.

Precautions when using Ragi

How to use Ragi

1. Ragi flour chapati
a. Take 3-4 teaspoons of Ragi flour.
b. Add some water to make a dough.
c. Make small chapatis with the help of a roller.
d. Cook them properly and have it with any side dish.

2. Ragi flakes
a. Take 3-4 teaspoons of Ragi flakes.
b. Add ½ cup of water to it.
c. Also add honey to it.

Benefits of Ragi

1. Anti-Wrinkle
Wrinkles are due to aging, dry skin and lack of moisture. According to Ayurveda, it appears due to an aggravated Vata. Ragi helps in controlling wrinkles due to its Vata balancing property. Ragi also helps in removing dead skin and adds a glow due to its Rasayana (rejuvenating) nature.
Tips:
a. Take 1-2 teaspoon of Ragi flour.
b. Add milk to it and make a paste.
c. Apply this paste on face and neck.
d. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes.
e. Wash thoroughly with tap water to get glowing wrinkle free skin.
f. Repeat it once or twice a week.

2. Anti-dandruff
As per Ayurveda, dandruff is a condition marked by flakes of dry skin on the scalp which may be attributed to an aggravated Vata and Pitta dosha. Ragi has properties of balancing Vata and Pitta dosha and helps to control dandruff.
Tips:
a. Take 1-2 teaspoon of Ragi flour.
b. Add coconut oil to it and make a paste.
c. Apply this paste on the scalp.
d. Let it sit for 1-2 hours.
e. Wash thoroughly with tap water.
f. Repeat it once or twice a week to get rid of dandruff.

Precautions when using Ragi

Allergy
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Applying Ragi on the skin gives a cooling effect and reduces inflammation. This is due to its Sita (cold) potency. But Ragi might cause allergy if you have hypersensitive skin.

How to use Ragi

1. Ragi Flour
A. For skin
i. Take 1-2 teaspoon of Ragi flour.
ii. Add rose water to it.
iii. Gently massage on the face and neck.
iv. Let it sit for 5-7 minutes.
v. Wash thoroughly with tap water.
vi. Use this remedy to get rid of wrinkles and blemishes.

B. For Hair
i. Take 1-2 teaspoon of Ragi flour.
ii. Add coconut oil to it and make a paste.
iii. Apply this paste on scalp.
iv. Let it sit for 1-2 hours.
v. Wash thoroughly with tap water.
vi. Repeat it once or twice a week to get rid of dandruff.

Frequently asked questions

Q. Is Ragi cold in nature?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Eating Ragi reduces burning sensation in the stomach. This is because it gives a cooling effect due to its Sita (cold) nature.

Q. Is Ragi easy to digest?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Ragi is easy to digest. This is because of its Laghu (light to digest) property. So Ragi is a good choice if you have a weak digestion.

Q. Is Ragi bad for your eyes?

scientific
Modern Science View
No Ragi is good for your eyes. Presence of polyphenols in the seed coat of Ragi has potent anti cataract activity. Regular consumption of Ragi can reduce the risk of cataract[2].

Q. Does Ragi cause weight gain?

scientific
Modern Science View
No Ragi does not cause weight gain. Ragi is rich in fiber and thus helps in maintaining weight[2].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
An impaired digestion leads to an accumulation of Ama (toxic remains in the body due to improper digestion) which is one of the leading causes of increase in weight. Ragi helps to correct impaired digestion and reduce Ama and thus helps to control weight gain.

Q. Is Ragi good for diabetes?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Ragi may be useful in managing diabetes. It contains fibre and polyphenols that plays a role in lowering blood glucose levels and regulating insulin levels. It may be useful in managing diabetes as well as the complications associated with the disease[4][5].

Q. Is Ragi good for kidney disorder patients?

scientific
Modern Science View
Although enough scientific evidence is not available, Ragi may be good for kidney disorder patients due to its nephroprotective property[4][7].

Q. Is Ragi good for cholesterol?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Ragi may be useful in managing cholesterol levels. Ragi contains fibre and polyphenols that have hypocholesterolemic effect[4][6].

Q. Can we eat Ragi at night?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, you can eat Ragi at night. Tryptophan an essential amino acid present in Ragi helps to manage insomnia, depression and anxiety and is therefore good for sound sleep[6].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Insomnia or disturbed sleep is a condition which occurs due to an imbalanced Vata dosha. Vata gets aggravated resulting in an increased level of stress which leads to disturbance in sleep, depression or even anxiety. Consuming Ragi at night helps to improve these conditions by reducing the stress level due to its Vata balancing property.

Q. Can I eat Ragi during pregnancy?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Ragi can be eaten during pregnancy as it is a great source of essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin D and calcium. Daily consumption of Ragi during or after pregnancy can be beneficial for the mother as well as the baby[7].

Q. What is the use of Ragi flour?

scientific
Modern Science View
Ragi is a functional food and can be eaten in many ways for e.g. as porridge.

Ragi is a great source of nutrients and dietary fiber which helps to maintain bone health, sugar level, and cholesterol level. It helps in weight loss, reduces the risk of infections due to its antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. It also helps reduce the risk of cancer[3][8].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Ragi flour is beneficial in many ways:
1. It is used to manage problems like osteoporosis which occurs due to an imbalanced Vata dosha.

2. It helps manage diabetes or high cholesterol, which occurs due to an imbalanced Vata and Kapha dosha as well as accumulation of Ama.

3. It is very good for indigestion due to its Vata balancing, Ama digesting and Laghu (light) properties.

4. Lastly, it is helpful in managing some external problems like wrinkles and dandruff which occurs due to an imbalance of Vata and Pitta dosha. This is due to its Vata - Pitta balancing and Rasayana (rejuvenating) properties.

Q. What are the benefits of Ragi for babies?

scientific
Modern Science View
Ragi is very beneficial for babies. It is a functional food due to the presence of essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, calcium, iron, and magnesium. It is also a great source of dietary fiber. Therefore Ragi can serve as a beneficial food ingredient in diets designed for babies[8].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Ragi might be useful for babies to fight against internal or external infections and maintain a good immune system due to its Rasayana (rejuvenating) property.

Q. Is Ragi good for the skin?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Ragi may be good for the skin. Ragi contains certain essential amino acids that may keep the skin healthy. It may also slow down aging by inhibiting the formation of collagen cross-linking. Ragi may also keep the skin moisturized and prevent acne formation[8][9].
Tips:
1. Take 1-2 teaspoon of Ragi flour.
2. Add milk to it and make a paste.
3. Apply this paste on face and neck.
4. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes.
5. Wash thoroughly with tap water.
6. Repeat it once or twice a week.

Q. Is Ragi good for hair?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Ragi may be good for hair. it contains certain essential amino acids and fatty acids that keep hair healthy. It also keeps the hair moisturized and reduce hair loss[9].
Tips:
1. Take 1-2 teaspoon of Ragi flour.
2. Add coconut oil to it and make a paste.
3. Apply this paste on the scalp.
4. Let it sit for 1-2 hours.
5. Wash thoroughly with tap water.

References

  1. The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia Of India.Part 1 Volume 1.
  2. Oseghale I, Imieje V, Erharuyi O, et al. A Review of the Phytochemistry and Pharmacology of Eleusine coracana Linn (Poaceae): A Popular Nigerian Edible Grain. TJNPR.2017;1(6):227-235.
  3. Devi PB, Vijayabharathi R, Sathyabama S, et al.Health benefits of finger millet (Eleusine coracana L.) polyphenols and dietary fiber: a review.J Food Sci Technol. 2014;51(6):1021–1040.
  4. Shobana S, Harsha MR, Platel K et al.Amelioration of hyperglycaemia and its associated complications by finger millet (Eleusine coracana L.) seed coat matter in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.Br J Nutr.2010;104:1787–1795.
  5. Chandra D, Chandra S, Pallavi et al.Review of finger millet (Eleusine coracana (L.) Gaertn): a power house of health benefiting nutrients.Food Science and Human Wellness.2016;5(3):149-155.
  6. Devi NV, Sinthiya R.Development of value added product from finger millet (Eleusine coracana). International Journal of Research –Granthaalayah.2018;6(2):109-119.
  7. Puranik S, Kam J, Sahu PP, et al.Harnessing finger millet to combat calcium deficiency in humans: Challenges and prospects.Front Plant Sci.2017;8:1311.
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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