Palm sugar or Kallaakkaaram plays an important role in the Siddha medicine. It is derived from palm water or a processed form of it called, pathaneer. It is used as an alternative to white sugar. It is rich in calcium, iron, vitamins and minerals. It is a natural gift to the diabetics as it contains about 24 kinds of nutrients. But it is essential to use at the minimum level. It is naturally sweet and it reduces blood pressure too.
Sugar is present in all the food items we eat and drink from morning till night, like coffee, tea or juices, biscuits, chocolates and other eatables, without any exception. The reason for many of us gripped with various diseases and eventual suffering is due to the sugar present in the food items we consume. So it is better to use palm sugar in the place of white sugar though its cost is high comparatively, in order to get us relieved of those diseases. At the same time, we can also use palm jaggery and country jaggery. Our ancestors used to have milk mixed with palm sugar. Professional singers used to have palm sugar as it supports throat parts. It also helps in relieving urinary irritation and body heat at the time of fever. It provides adequate energy as it is rich in glucose, therefore helps in improving the starved and emaciated physical conditions, especially among children.
Therefore, it is very important for the mothers to provide their children with milk mixed with palm sugar. It is good at the time of fever and also at the time of pox infections, helping to reduce body temperature, without any side effects. It is recommended to use palm sugar on daily basis so that body gets adequate energy and nutrition and at the same time cooling the body. It satiates thirst and there is no need to worry about getting cold due to its cooling effect.
Pregnant women usually suffer from problems related to urination. They get relieved of it by drinking palm sugar mixed in warm water. It cures cough if consumed along with dry ginger, pepper and long pepper. It facilitates good voice and therefore professionals who use their voice like singers, news readers, event managers and who comperes. Vocal musicians used to consume milk mixed with palm sugar.
Milk with palm sugar is very popular in southern parts of Tamilnadu, including Madurai. It is consumed along with pepper and milk. Garlic and turmeric powder added to it as a paste is called garlic milk. Handful of garlic, 50 ml of milk and equal volume of water boiled together and then turmeric powder and pepper powder are added to it at the end of boiling. It helps getting relieved from cold, cough and also from constipation. Breastfeeding mothers can have it as it provides nutrition to them.
There will be relief for those who suffer from indigestion, anorexia, to have palm sugar boiled with dry ginger powder, pepper powder, cardamom, long pepper and omam (Ajwain). This drink relieves body pain and also problems related to gastro intestinal tract. Those who suffer from asthma can have concoction of palm sugar along with omam, adathoda (Adananthera pawoniana) leaf powder, and kasa kasa (poppy seeds).
Further, palm sugar cures health problems related to vata, pitta and kafa, thereby strengthening one’s physique. It cures chest phlegm, sore throat and throat pain if taken along with boiled milk. It subsides the effect of typhoid and other conditions of high fever.
The calcium present in the palm sugar strengthens teeth and also prevents gingivitis. It removes staining of the teeth, making them white and shining. It also proves useful for dermatitis and other problems related to eyes, cold, and also those who suffer from tuberculosis.
Sweet Payasam using palm sugar
Consuming payasam made of palm sugar also proves healthy. Powder the seeds of almond using mixer, after soaking the seeds to soften them. Then mix the almond powder with boiling milk. Add to it cashew and dry grapes fried in ghee and then mixing them with palm sugar in the milk. After thorough mixing, palm sugar payasam is ready to consume. It is highly nutritive. It can also be prepared using coarse wheat, green gram boiled with coconut scrapes and then adding with it cardamom, cashew, dry grapes, ghee and palm sugar.
Tender coconut drink
The tender coconut water collected from young coconuts can be added with cardamom and mixed using mixer, will provide a wonderful health drink. It is highly nutritive and also satiates one’s thirst fully.
(This article written in Tamil by M Maria Belsin has been transcreated by V Amalan Stanley)