- Jaggery in Asava and Arishta
Asava and Arishta are the fermented Ayurvedic products. They contain natural self generated alcohol, ranging from 5 – 12 %. Dasamoolarishtam andAshokarishta – are two good examples of Arishta and
Kumaryasava is an example for Asava.
In these Asava and Arishta preparation, jaggery is used as a source of sugar. With the help of natural yeast, sugar in the jaggery is converted into alcohol with the help of natural yeast (present in some herbs, used in the medicines). During the process of this conversion, the water soluble and alcohol soluble active principles get dissolved into the liquid medium, and thus the medicine gets prepared in about 1 – 2 months of time.
In these asava and arishta preparations, jaggery was made into a paste with lime powder, applied over a long strip of cloth. This was used to seal the cap of vessels. This was useful to prevent entry of air inside the arishta vessel, helping in anaerobic fermentation.
Jaggery is used as a the sugar base in some syrups. Example: Raktansoo syrup
- Herbal jams – Lehyam:
Jaggery is used as the sugar base to prepare some herbal jams, like Kalyanaka Guda and Shatavari gulam
- In some herbal water decoctions, the decotion is traditionally advised to be taken along with jaggery. Example: Pathyaksha Dhatryadi kashayam
- Guda varti is ancient equivalent to modern rectal suppositories. They are administered through rectal route to relieve constipation and for other therapeutic effects. For Varti, usually jaggery is used as the base. Jaggery starts melting in a little above room temperature. Rectal temperature is quite sufficient to melt the jaggery. So, while it melts, it releases the other herbs in the Varti into the rectal area, thereby, it acts as a carrier for other herbal powders.