Many of us like to enjoy a paan — with supari, gulkand, saunf, elaichi — after a hearty meal. But, did you know that gulkand, a viscous jam or marmalade made from rose petals and sugar that is an essential component of ‘meetha paan‘, comes packed with numerous health benefits? This is why, when consumed in moderate amounts daily, gulkand — known to be a natural coolant and a powerful antioxidant — can positively impact health. “Paan was initiated to be consumed due to its digestive properties, as betel leaves are packed with many nutrients. But, eating it with gulkand only increases its quality of being an excellent remedy for digestion. It can also facilitate better absorption of nutrients and is iron-rich,” Reema Kinjalkar, nutritionist, Urban Platter, told indianexpress.com.
Listing these and the many other benefits of consuming gulkand, dietitian Manpreet took to Instagram, and wrote: “Gulkand is an ayurvedic preparation that is made with fresh rose petals and sugar. A natural coolant, gulkand is quite refreshing and aids in digestion during summer; but it is much more than just a refreshing drink.”
Echoing similar views, Dr Dixa Bhavsar, an Ayurveda expert, too, had taken to social media to share a post, writing: “Gulkand, an Ayurvedic tonic, is undoubtedly the most delicious Ayurvedic preparation known to mankind. It is also naturally rich in calcium and has antioxidant activity. It can be used year-round by persons of all constitutions, especially pitta.”
Here are some of the benefits of adding gulkand to your diet
Gut health: According to Reema Kinjalkar, gulkand has a natural cooling effect and is rich in probiotic bacteria which not only enhances your gut flora but also reduces acidity/heat in the tummy, treats intestinal ulcers and swelling, and strengthens the liver. It improves appetite and digestion, too. Kids and adults can consume it for constipation problems, as it is a mild laxative. It also fixes bloating problems and makes your stomach look flatter and thinner. “Also, it helps in the smooth elimination of stools,” added Manpreet.
Skin health: Gulkand also works great as a blood purifier and detoxifier making the skin clean and clear. “It can help prevent skin problems like boils, blisters, and acne. Also, it has a powerful antioxidant profile that acts against free radicals and reduces the inflammation caused due to stress and pollution,” explained Reema.
Reproductive health: The nutritionist further added that many scientific researches backed gulkand for being a proven reliever during heavy painful menstrual bleeding, white discharge, and other menstrual disorders. “It also relaxes the muscles of the reproductive organs. Also, men can have it to increase sperm count and its mobility,” she said.
Boosts energy: Gulkand spikes the levels of haemoglobin in our blood, transporting more oxygen, and energy to all body cells, listed Manpreet.
If you think something with so many benefits will be difficult to prepare, you are in for a treat! Gulkand is extremely easy to prepare at home; try this recipe shared by Manpreet.
*1 cup – Rose petals
*1/2 cup – Jaggery/honey
*Take fresh rose petals, wash and dry them on a piece of cloth.
*Put the petals into the mixer and grind them. You can also cut the petals into small pieces.
*Mix the chopped/grounded petals with honey or jaggery and keep it in a glass jar.
*Close the jar with a lid and keep it in sunlight for 7-8 days.
*Store in an airtight container and refrigerate it.
*You can store it for a year or more.
How to consume gulkand?
Consume a teaspoon gulkand in 150 ml of milk and add a pinch of turmeric and pepper and jaggery, as per taste, suggested Manpreet. “Have it daily after dinner,” she added.
Adding, Reema said, “If you are someone who has sugar cravings way too often, have a tsp of gulkand first on an empty stomach every day. Those who have acidity problems or any gut-related issues can consume it by mixing it with water and sipping this water daily.”