Jaggery or Gur:
Jaggery or ‘Gur’ is a traditional natural sweetener of golden brown or dark brown color. It is made by sugarcane and the date palm tree. In the ancient time, it is made by boiling raw sugarcane juice or palm sap in large shallow vessels by heating on 200 Celsius. The sugar made from the sap of the date palm is comparatively costly and less available outside of the regions where it is made. Gur is used in almost every Indian kitchen either alone or mixing with other ingredients like peanuts, condensed milk or coconut.
Gur is used as an ingredient in sweet dishes across India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka as well as in Afghanistan and Iran. Maharashtra state is the largest producer of gur in India.
Jaggery or gur is one of the richest source of iron and good in vitamins and minerals. It relaxes muscles, veins and blood vessels because it is a good source of magnesium. It also has calcium, phosphorus, zinc and anti-oxidants like selenium to the some extent.
Daily requirement or dosage of jaggery depends on the age and it is quite necessary to eat it within limit. However, a normal person can take 5-10 gm gur everyday.
Health Benefits of Jaggery or Gur:
1. Jaggery for Anemia:
Jaggery is rich in iron, therefore it helps to improve hemoglobin naturally. If you are anemic, eat a reasonable amount of gur daily after meal. And if your hemoglobin is normal, maintain it by eating jaggery and roasted gram (Gur and chana) at least once a week regularly; gram and ‘gur’ both are richest source of iron and folic acid and very good natural supplement of iron especially for women.
2. Good for Indigestion:
Jaggery improves digestion by helping in digesting food; simply take a small piece (dali) of gur daily after meal. It also helps to remove toxins from the body and improve your appetite.
3. Jaggery for Acidity:
Jaggery is also helpful in mild acidity. To control acidity or burning in chest, take a small piece of gur (also read- ‘Remedies for Acidity‘).
If you are feeling sour belching (khatti Dakar) due to acidity, mix black salt in some jaggery and lick it. It will control sour belching within few minutes.
4. Jaggery for Constipation:
5. Controls Joint Pain:
Eating jaggery with a piece of ginger in winter controls joint pain. Gur is rich in calcium therefore also helps to strengthen bones. So it is better to use it regularly to control bone related problem especially for ladies after menopause.
6. Menstrual Disorders:
‘Gur’ is very good to cure common problems of women, related to menstruation like- stomach-ache, weakness and cramps etc.
7. Sore throat:
Jaggery also gives relief in sore throat. To cure sore throat, grate a small piece of ginger, heat it in a pan with some gur. Eat it lukewarm; it gives relief in itching and burning in throat and also clears voice.
8. Jaggery for Asthma:
Jaggery (gur) is beneficial for the patients of asthma because it has anti-allergic properties. Therefore, asthmatics should eat some gur daily. They should eat it with black sesame seeds in winter season.
- At first, take equal quantity of black sesame seeds (Kale til) and gur.
- Roast black sesame seeds in a pan over flame and crush them.
- Crush the jaggery too and mix with black sesame seeds thoroughly.
- Then make ‘Laddo’ of this mixture and eat in winter.
9. Cures Breathing problem:
If you have breathing problem, take 5 gm gur and 5 gm mustard oil (sarson ka tel). Mix them thoroughly and consume. It is very simple but quite effective natural remedy of curing breathing problem.
10. Jaggery for Jaundice:
Jaggery helps to cure jaundice (Piliya)- a liver disease too. Mix 5 gm dry ginger (sonth) powder in 10 gm gur and give it to the patient of jaundice twice a day. Use it regularly for few days to treat jaundice completely.
11. Hoarseness of Voice :
If you are suffering from the problem of hoarseness of voice, eat cooked rice with gur. It helps to treat throat hoarseness and voice.
12. Gur for skin:
Jaggery is also good for skin. It removes toxins from blood and improves blood circulation. Therefore, eat it daily to make your skin healthy and glowing.
13. Controls Ear pain:
If you have ear pain, eat a small amount of jaggery mixing with equal amount of ghee; you will get relief in ear pain without painkiller.
14. Jaggery as Energy Booster:
Jaggery is a good energy booster; it digests easily and gets absorbed in blood instantly. If you are feeling too much fatigue and weakness after an exhausting routine, eat a small piece of gur. It will boost your energy level within minutes. For better results, eat it with roasted grams (chana).
15. Controls Gastric Problem:
Jaggery is good in potassium which helps to control excess gas formation and acid level in stomach. Therefore, take a little amount of jaggery mixing with a glass of water daily; it gives relief in gastric problem.
In fact, if you chew a small piece of gur daily on an empty stomach, you can get rid of gastric problem for ever.
16. Controls Blood Pressure:
High potassium and low sodium of jaggery is good to control blood pressure also. Therefore, eat a small piece of gur daily to regulate blood pressure naturally.
17. Jaggery for Hair:
Being good source of iron, vitamins and minerals, Jaggery is also good to make hair thick and black. Simply make paste of gur, curd (dahi) and Multani mitti and apply on your scalp twice in a month before shampooing.
18. Jaggery for Weight Gain:
Jaggery with yogurt (dahi) is a great solution to gain weight. It is a natural sweetener and rich source of iron; it contains sugar in the form of sucrose. Similarly, yogurt is a good source of protein, minerals and essential vitamins. If you consume gur with curd regularly (twice a day), you can put on weight within few days.
19. Increase Sperm Production:
Conception problem is very common among the couples nowadays. It may be due to low sperm count or poor sperm motility. Jaggery acts as a great energy booster for our body. It also helps to increase the production of sperms and their quality. If you are facing such type of problem, consume jaggery (5-10 gm) and basil seeds with a glass of cow’s milk regularly for 4 months. It is believed to help by giving the necessary nutrients, minerals and vitamins to the body.
Moreover, by eating gur with amla (Indian gooseberry) powder regularly, sperm count or sperm motility can be increased. Take 10 gm gur with 1 tsp of amla powder on regular basis.
20. Helps in Weight Loss:
Jaggery is very high in potassium that helps to reduce water retention in the body. Its high potassium also improves metabolism and manages body weight. (1) Therefore, by eating jaggery in a limited quantity regularly, you can manage your weight too.
21. Good for Urinary Problems:
If someone has urine retention problem, jaggery can help to stimulate urination. Because, it is made from the sugar cane (ganna) and sugar cane works as a natural diuretic. By drinking hot milk with gur, you can improve urine flow.
22. Hiccups Treatment:
Problem of the hiccups (hichki) can be cured by eating jaggery. To control hiccups, mix 5 gm gur with 1 gm of dry ginger (sonth) powder and consume with a glass of warm water.
23. Jaggery for Headache:
Jaggery is an excellent home remedy to cure migraine and other type of headache. Its properties- iron, magnesium, and potassium- help to reduce the intensity and frequency of headache. Whenever you have headache or migraine, just have gur with pure ghee. It helps to constrict blood vessels and control pain without medicine. (For detailed remedy, refer to ‘Remedies for Migraine‘).
24. Purifies Blood:
Jaggery has ability to purify blood naturally. Therefore, include it in your daily diet and eat some gur after meal.
Jaggery or Gur is considered hot in nature; therefore pregnant ladies should not eat it. Excess use of gur may result in weight gain. Excessive use of it may also cause intestinal worms. Diabetes and ulcerative colitis patients should not eat it because regular consumption of it may increase the blood sugar level.