So what exactly is jaggery? You can find it used frequently in Ayurvedic cooking and is the key ingredient to many Ayurvedic herbal formulations like Aristams and Asavas (fermented liquids).
Jaggery is a type of unrefined sugar made of sugar cane or date juice. Jaggery is prepared through a three step process. 1. Extraction (harvesting the juice), 2. Clarification (a standing process to allow the juice to settle and sediment to fall to the bottom) and 3. Concentration (a boiling process of the juice for hours until the jaggery is formed). Like all things Ayurvedic, the science advocates keeping anything we consume as a whole, preferably minimally treated, in order to maintain maximum benefit for the body. Jaggery tastes delicious and I would strongly encourage that you use this beautiful product as a replacement to your sugar. Unlike conventional white and brown sugars, jaggery also contains many health benefits and high nutrient value which is a real plus.
Aged and properly prepared jaggery cleanses the blood, supports cardiac function, promotes digestive strength, cleanses the bowel and urinary system, relieves excess heat and pacifies fatigue and depletion.
It’s generally an easy to access product but do be warned - there are a lot of over processed, poorly made jaggery out there so make sure you by a whole and natural form. You can ask your shop assistant at your local Indian supermarket for guidance. Always read the labels to confirm.
Just like anything, take jaggery in moderation and in accordance to your dosha needs.
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