Jaggery or gur is prepared from unrefined sugar and mainly made by boiling concentrated and raw sugar cane juice for a long time till it solidifies. Jaggery can also be prepared by extracting it from coconut sap and date palm; however, gur made from sugar cane is widely used. In many Indian traditional dishes, jaggery is widely used as healthy sweetening agent as it contains numerous nutrients and not completely refined like common sugar substance.
Ayurveda highly applauds gur as “Guda”. Jiggery not only better than sugar which accumulates empty calories in the body, but also offers many health benefits such as its capability to cleanse the body, contain a reasonable amount of minerals, and aids digestive processes. These are possible, due to its numerous medicinal properties and nutrients. Let’s proceed to look into these properties and their associated benefits.
Medicinal Properties and Health Benefits of Jaggery
Jaggery has been studied and proven to contain many medicinal properties to offer various health benefits, and they are as highlighted below:
- Gur acts as a good cardiac tonic if preserved for a longer period of time, it can promote good health. It boosts the quantity of Kapha to help gain healthy weight, and this has made jaggery more relevant and recommended for people who want weight gain therapy or brimhana therapy
- It is equipped with antioxidants and some essential minerals such as selenium and zinc which are responsible for free radicals prevention that cause early aging. It enhances resistance against diseases in a view to building stronger immunity against infections.
- Jaggery is considered nutrients’ warehouse, and it has been studied to function as a diuretic and ease bowel movements.
- Daily consumption of gur can help women in their fights against PMS symptoms such as abdominal pains, menstrual cramps, and mood swings. Daily consumption of one piece of gur with water on an empty stomach is excellent in helping menstrual problems. (Check Ayurvedic Remedy for PCOD/PCOS)
- Juices and drinks prepared with jaggery as a sweetening agent are studied to be healthy to provide instant energy to the body. It acts as a natural sweetener and it is healthier than factory-made honey or sugar which its nutrients had got ripped off when it was refining.
- Gur is rich in potassium to help control blood pressure in hypertensive patients.
- It contains essential iron content to assist in boosting the level of blood hemoglobin. This property has made gur relevant in pregnancy.
- Jaggery is used to act as a detox to cleanse the liver by rinsing and flushing the body from nasty toxins.
- It has been found helpful in the digestive system by preventing constipation and activating digestive enzymes in the body; hence, enhancing easy food digestion. This has made many people prefer consumption of gur after a meal.
- Jaggery also contains essential vitamins and mineral such as magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, calcium, selenium, and antioxidants.
- It is also used as a remedy for common cold. Consumption of a mixture of 1 teaspoon of jaggery powder and 2 teaspoons of the juices of beetle leaves together with ½ cup of warm water has been shown to treat a common cold.
- Gur helps alleviate migraine headaches. Applying the paste of ½ teaspoon of powdered jaggery, ½ teaspoon of the seeds of sesame, and a few drops of milk on the forehead can achieve this result.
- Two to three black peppers and one teaspoon of powdered gur processed into fine paste, and place on the tongue and chewed slowly helps treat a cough.
Jaggery contains many medicinal properties, and these properties are beneficial to overall body health. However, it is advisable to consume gur in moderation, as it contains little higher calories (about 4 kcal/gram). Especially, diabetic patients, as well as people looking to reduce their weight (Click here TRIMFIT ayurvedic remedy combo for Weight Loss) should watch the level of consuming jaggery. Consuming it in excess can result in weight gain as well as the level of blood sugar fluctuations in the body.