Panagam (Jaggery Syrup) – Equivalent to Glucose in Ayurvedic Medicine
The jaggery syrup, termed as ‘Panagam’ in ayurvedic is simple and at the same time superb. It is known by different names such as Panagam, Panagaram and Panakkaram. This is a common drink in villages. This potable drink is prepared and given to the participants in the village and temple rituals conducted regularly such as carrying milk pots, kavadi and such other ceremonial acts including for those who fully trek to the temples. Not to exaggerate, this liquid not only gives them energy but also enthusiasm and interest to complete their tasks successfully.
Panagam – the panacea:-
This drink contains both sweetness and sour and the taste is unique, especially for those who undertake such arduous ceremonial tasks. It immediately relieves them of the exhaustion and de-hydration and hence it is a preferred drink during such festivals and rituals. Barring these specific instances, we tend to forget its importance otherwise.
The ayurvedic experts state that this is not a mere drink to quench one’s thirst; further, it does serve innumerable purposes medically. They compare this jaggery juice to that of ‘glucose’ in allopathy. Dr.R.Balamurugan, the ayurvedic expert explains the value of this drink as under.
Panagam is a combination of sweet and sour taste put together and on the whole, the sourness is little less for the taste buds. It has medicinal value of significance in ayurvedic form. It is called ‘Panaga kalpana’ wherein the word, ‘kalpana’ refers to the methodology of preparation. Broadly speaking, in Ayurveda, the nature of medicine is of two types : a) certain remedies will act immediately and cause relief; b) certain remedies will first get digested in the system; gradually mix with the blood and cause increase in the metabolism to provide complete relief. Obviously the latter would take more time. This Panagam belongs to the first category as it gives immediate relief and hence it is rightly compared to ‘glucose’ in allopathy.
This panagam is an instant solution for de-hydration caused to the public involved in religious processions as well as those who carry out their ritualistic responsibilities in village temples or public places of worship etc. In ayurvedic medicine, this mixture is being made of lime or tamarind or pineapple or pomegranate. However, the one that is made of lime and tamarind mixture is rather common in use.
In general, the fruit essence and juice are only used to prepare the panagam. But while using tamarind and dates, these two alone should be soaked for a while and warmed up before mixing so that the taste will be more delicious.
Lime juice – 1 No.
Jaggery - 1 measure
Water - 16 measures
Cardamom – 1 Pinch
Dry ginger - 1 Pinch
Pepper Powder – 1 Pinch
Grind the jaggery to become powder
Mix well the above with the lime juice and water
After jaggery gets dissolved, filter the same to get the essence
Add and mix with cardamom powder, ginger powder and pepper powder
Keep the same in an earthen pot for sometime
The Jambeera Panagam is ready for tasting.
Lack of appetite, exhaustion and sore throat will be cured.
Tamarind - 100 gm
Water - 400 ml.
Jaggery - 200 gm
Salt - Needed quantity
Ginger powder – 1 Pinch
Pepper powder - 1 Pinch
Soak the tamarind in water on the previous night
Mix it with jaggery substance
Filter it properly
Add salt, pepper and ginger powder together
Can be preserved in an earthen pot for some time before use
Jinja Panagam is ready for serve.
Anemia is treated
Nausea is addressed
De-hydration is treated
Takes care of excess heat and fatigue caused by hot summer
The same formula can be tried with pure sandal powder instead of tamarind which will lessen the heat and cure prickly heat problem also.
Thus Panagam is a perennial potential not to be neglected.
(This article originally written in Tamil by Lakshmanan is reproduced in English by P S Ramamurthy)