Jaggery has been around for centuries, long before its crystalline substitute, sugar, made it to the kitchen grocery list. Sugar may hold more appeal in terms of looks and usage, but when it comes to a natural and healthier sweetening agent, jaggery is the head turner.
Typically, jaggery in its raw form is amorphous with a deep yellow color and a gooey appearance. It is made by heating sugarcane juice till thick crystals are formed. Jaggery contains sugar in sucrose form making it a natural sweetening agent. It also has many skin and health benefits as there are specific plant phytochemicals and minerals preserved in it. You will be surprised by how you can use jaggery to improve your skin and health when you look at the list below:
Jaggery can be included in beauty treatments owing to its natural properties which ensure that the skin stays healthy. Some benefits of jaggery to the skin are:
Prevents acne and pimples: Regular use of jaggery in face packs will help deal with many skin problems like acne and pimples. It delays wrinkles. You can try a mixture of sesame seeds and jaggery for application on the face to keep your skin acne and blemish free.
Provides nourishment: Since jaggery is full of essential minerals and vitamins, using it in skin treatments will provide proper nourishment keeping it healthy and glowing. Hair can also look beautiful when jaggery is used. Just mix fuller’s earth, curd and jaggery and apply the mixture to get black, thick, lustrous hair.
Jaggery has a host of healthy benefits. Right from being a blood purifier to aiding digestion and curing many diseases, jaggery does an amazing job of health maintenance. Picks from its umpteen number of health benefits would be:
Purifies blood: Jaggery cleanses the body by purifying blood. It thereby helps in keeping away diseases that arise due to impure blood. It is an effective cleansing agent and helps in flushing out harmful particles from several parts of the body like lungs, liver, food pipe and intestines. As a result, it keeps you fit and healthy.
Deals with anemia: Jaggery is rich in iron. Hence regular consumption will increase the production of red blood cells which in turn raises hemoglobin levels.
Reduces menstrual pain and counters PMS: Daily intake of jaggery will relieve abdominal pain during menstruation and also deals with mood swings that usually occur before it.
Tackles indigestion: Jaggery increases the production of enzymes that are essential for a healthy gastrointestinal system. It helps the alimentary canal carry out its function with ease and consequently helps rid constipation.
Good for bones and muscles: For muscular strength and sturdy bones, jaggery is a good source of nourishment. Drinking grated jaggery in a glass of warm milk is recommended for improving muscular strength. Consuming a mixture of grated jaggery and grated ginger is a wonderful way to ease joint pain.
For treatment of cold, cough and headaches: Owing to its anti-allergic nature, jaggery is a natural remedy for cold and cough. You can add jaggery to tea for relief from cold and even for migraines and headaches.
Helps in proper functioning of the urinary system: Jaggery is a common cure for urinary malfunctions. A mix of jaggery, gooseberry powder and clarified butter is usually recommended for dealing with any discomforts arising out of urinary issues.
Boosts energy: As jaggery is free from chemicals and contains carbohydrates it can provide an instant boost to your energy without any adverse effects when you are feeling exhausted. Since it does not raise blood sugar levels, jaggery is also safe for diabetics when used in moderate quantities.
Increases immunity: The minerals and antioxidants in jaggery arrest free radicals and fight against infections, thus building a strong immune system.
Good for deworming: From ancient times, jaggery has been used for expelling intestinal worms. A mixture of jaggery, fennel seeds and banyan tree root is used as a solution for deworming.
Assists weight loss: The presence of nutrients and minerals like potassium makes jaggery ideal for losing weight. The nutrients help in regulating the metabolism and maintaining electrolyte balance. The potassium controls water retention in the body thus leading to loss of weight.
Gets rid of hiccups: The properties of jaggery help in easing hiccups. Take jaggery in its raw form or with grated ginger followed by a glass of warm water to get instant relief from hiccups.
Helps to regulate blood pressure: The sodium and potassium present in jaggery help to normalize blood pressure. For people with complaints of low blood pressure, drinking water with jaggery every day for 15 days, giving a gap of 15 days and then repeating again for a period of three months is recommended.
I remember my grandfather’s friend who would visit us frequently. When offered water, he would insist on having it with a few pieces of jaggery. He lived cheerfully till his late nineties and that too in the pink of health! This is but one reason that beckons us to make the switch to jaggery right from today.