Mango and Ayurveda

Mango Health as per Ayurveda
Mango-The King of Fruits!

Mango- The King of Fruits

The “king of fruits” has been around for at least 6,000 years. Native to India and Burma, this sweet fruit was described in the ancient Sanskrit literature — for example, in Valmiki’s Ramayana. The mango was also the fruit of the kings in ancient India, where princes used to pride themselves on the possession of large mango gardens.

Mango-Myriad Medicinal Uses

Ever since the Vedic period, mangoes have been highly appreciated in ayurvedic healing and cooking. Mango trees belong to the same family as cashews and pistachios, and can grow to the height of 50 feet in India. All parts of the tree are used for different purposes. The bark, leaf, flowers, fruit and seed offer a variety of medicinal purposes. There are also over a thousand varieties of mangoes that vary in shape from round to pear-shaped to narrow and oval, and can weigh as much as four pounds each.

Bark, leaves, flowers, seed, raw and ripe fruits of mango have myriad medicinal uses. Texts of ayurveda mention various herbal preparations using different parts of mango tree. These preparations are used to normalize a variety of health conditions.

The Mango Leaves, Bark, Flower, and seed kennel are astringent and cause dryness of body tissues. Ripe mango fruit is sweet to taste and increases sliminess and mucous secretion.

Mango- Cleansing Laxative

The stringy texture of the mango is a sign of insoluble fiber. High fiber, combined with sour & sweet taste makes mango a great laxative. The smooth, fleshy feel of mango (a sign of demulcent quality) soothes inflamed tissues and prevents dry type constipation. Mangoes diuretic qualities can be used to cleanse the kidney while beta carotene’s stimulating qualities purify the blood and liver. In pitta individuals with an exhausted liver, mango might overstimulate the liver and make you feel overstimulated. They are high in iron, helpful for anemia.

Mangoes-Nutritional Value

Mangoes are rich in antioxidants, such as beta carotene and vitamin C. Antioxidants have been shown to play an important role in the prevention of cancer and heart disease.

They also contain bioflavonoids, the compounds that help plants capture energy from the sun, and when eaten they aid our immune system. Mangoes also supply potassium and fiber and are low in calories. The insoluble fiber, abundant in mangoes, aids the elimination of waste from the colon and helps prevent constipation.

As per Ayurveda

Ayurveda considers ripe mango sweet and heating. It balances all the three doshas and acts as an energizer. Ripe mango normalizes vata and pitta. It helps to relieve constipation and normalize digestion. Consumption of ripe mango increases hemoglobin in blood and is very useful in treating anaemia. Ayurvedic texts eulogize the uses of ripe mango as an aphrodisiac. It is known to rejuvenate male reproductive system and increase quality and quantity of semen. It also increases sexual energy (as it nourishes rakta dhatu) and stamina. Thus it helps in erectile dysfunction and low libido. Ripe mango strengthens the body, increases body bulk and increases glow of skin.

Raw Mango as per Ayurveda

Raw Mango is sour in taste and vitiates all three doshas. The ayurvedic qualities of green mango are sour, astringent and cooling. They should not be eaten alone or in large quantities because they can aggravate the doshas, especially Pitta dosha. However, prepared ayurvedically, in combination with spices (for example, in a chutney), they help digestion and improve the flavor of food. Green Mango can be added to dal (pulses) and vegetables, or made into chutneys and pickles.

Raw Mango when consumed in form of Aam Panha works as good digestive drink. Panha is a recipe prepared by cooking raw mangoes, and then pulp is extracted & cooked with jaggery, cardamom, black salt, cumin powder; this syrup is mixed with cold water to make Panha – is a good rejuvenating summer drink, quenches thirst, it pacifies pitta and also also works as good digestive drink.

Mangoes support all the seven dhatus (body tissues) and provide a very satisfying snack or dessert. An ayurvedic mango lassi provides a great refreshing drink for any summer meal. A milk-mango shake cools the physiology and helps weight gain. Mango Chutney makes a delicious and spicy accompaniment to any dish. Mangoes can also be added to puddings, salads or fruit desserts. Try to use fresh mango instead of canned mango purée, which is void of the nutritional benefits of fresh fruit and may contain added sugar.

Can Diabetes patients eat Mango?:

Research scholars from Australia have found that mango is very useful in diabetes patients. But this fact has yet to be evaluated. Persons suffering from diabetes can eat this fruit in limited quantities as it is high in glycemic index. One suitable option for diabetic patients to enjoy mangoes is to reduce portion of carbohydrates (rice, wheat, ragi, jowar) in diet and add mango in its place. Keep checking blood sugar level daily when you consume mango.

Healthy way to eat mangoes:

  • Do not forget to add / sprinkle a pinch of dry ginger powder or 1 teaspoon of ginger juice to a glass of mango smoothie or mango fruit slices. This nullifies the imbalances which happen during digestion of mango.
  • Mangoes are heavy to digest and slightly hot in potency, and so should be consumed in appropriate proportion. Avoid overeating despite its tempting taste, or it can cause indigestion.
  • Avoid drinking water after eating mango or mango juice, this can lead to indigestion and pain in abdomen.
  • Make sure you have good amount of ghee, pinch of pepper powder, cardamom powder when you have mangoes or mango preparations like juice, aamras, pulp. These ingredients surely enhance the flavor and prevents indigestion.
  • Last but not the least – always soak mangoes in cold water for about an hour before you eat them, these neutralizes the hot potency of mango and makes them more juicier. Now enjoy the Mango season….
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