Jaggery or “Gur” or whole sugar is a pure, wholesome, traditional, unrefined, whole sugar. It contains the natural goodness of minerals and vitamins inherently present in sugarcane juice & this crowns it as one of the most wholesome and healthy sugars in the world. It Mexico & South America, it is also known as panela.
Why is it healthy?
Jaggery, being a wholesome sugar, without doubt is rich in the vitally important mineral salts: 2.8 grams per 100 grams, that is to say 28 grams per kilogram, while only 300 milligrams per kilogram is found in refined sugar.
Magnesium strengthens the nervous system & potassium is vital to conserve the acid balance in the cells and combats acids and acetone. Jaggery is very rich in iron, which, a composite of hemoglobin prevents anemia.
Manufacture of sugar from cane juice employs a potpourri of chemicals as sulphur dioxide, lime, phosphoric acid, bleaching agents & viscosity reducers. Jaggery is processed the natural way & no chemicals are added at any stage of its processing.
Jaggery is often called the ‘medicinal sugar. So much so, you can become an emergency doctor with Jaggery. It is also very useful in health problems like —
Dry Cough, Cough with Sputum , Indigestion, Constipation
Ancient medical scriptures dating back to 2500 years state how it purifies the blood, prevents rheumatic afflictions and disorders of bile and possesses nutritive properties of high order.
(Sushruta Samhita, Chapter 45, sloka 146)
The preventive action of jaggery on smoke-induced lung lesions suggest the potential of jaggery as protective agent for workers in dusty and smoky environments- paper presented by scientists of Industrial Toxicology Research Centre at a Workshop held in Lyon, France.
[Environ Health Perspect, 102(Suppl 6): 211-214 (1994)]
According to an experiment, Turbinado Sugar treated rats showed enhanced translocation of coal particles from lungs to tracheobronchial lymph nodes.
Hence, it fights pollution too! No wonder Jaggery is regularly consumed by thousands of industrial workers / traffic policemen who are exposed to higher levels of pollution. It helps them breathe easier and counter pollution naturally.
Raw sugarcane juice is slowly simmered in pans & the water is progressively evaporated. Clarification is done using natural vegetable clarificants. Scooping the boiling juice from one pan to another until the liquid starts to go hard carries out this process. The complete process is chemical-free。
(*Compiled article )
Updated： Check the quality of the Jaggery here (Aug 2008)