Sugarcane is a perennial plant belonging to grass family. It is native to India and known as Ikshu in Sanskrit. Sugarcane is grown all across India for processing sugar. Gur or Jaggery is also produced from the juice. The other preparations are Phanita (decoction of juice), Misri or khand, fermented liquor etc.
Sugarcane can be eaten raw by chewing. This makes teeth and jaw strong. Its juice is obtained by crushing or pressing between rollers. This juice is very nutritious and good for health. It is sweet, cheap and natural health drink. The pH of sugarcane juice is about 5-5.5.
Sugarcane juice is composed of water (70-75%), sucrose (11-16 %), reducing sugar (0.4-2%), organic non-sugar (0.5-1%), minerals (0.5-1%) and fibre (10-16%). It is rich in protein, fat, minerals, carbohydrates, calcium, phosphorous and iron. This nutritious sugarcane juice or Ganne ka ras offers numerous health benefits. Traditionally it is taken orally for metabolising alcohol rapidly.
Sugarcane juice has the following properties
- Demulcent (forms a soothing, protective film on mucous membrane)
- Antiseptic (discourages growth off microorganism)
- Cooling (decreases body heat)
- Laxative (increase bowel movements)
- Diuretic (increases passing of urine)
- Alkalises body
Botanical/scientific name: Saccharum officinarum L, Family: Gramineae, Vernacular Names
Sanskrit: Ikshu, Rasalah, English: Sugar-cane, French: Canne a Sucre, German: AchtesZuckerrohr
Hindi: Ganna, Sindhi: Kamand, Bengali: Uukh, /Celan, Gujarati: Sherdi, Telgu: Cheruku, Tamil: Karumbu, Malayalam: Karimbu
Sugarcane juice or Ganne ka ras offers many health benefits
- It is useful in curing excessive thirst during the summer.
- It increases urine production. Sugarcane is diuretic. It also gives relief in scanty urination, burning micturition due to high acidity, gonorrhea cystis etc.
- It gives relief in fever. Drinking sugarcane juice in fever gives energy and supplies body sugar, protein and electrolytes.
- It has the ability to dissolve phlegm.
- It is nourishes body and gives energy.
- Sugarcane juice with small amount of Sonth/dry ginger, is useful in curing hiccups.
- It is useful in increasing body fat due to richness in sugar.
- It is beneficial to drink the juice in jaundice. In such condition it helps in quicker recovery.
- It helps to alkalise body and reduces the harmful effects of excessive acidity inside the body.
- It gives energy and strength to the body organs such as stomach, kidneys, heart, eyes, brain.
- It is good for the digestive system and is a rich source of calcium and iron.
- It replenishes the lost electrolytes and energy quickly.
- It is good remedy to prevent and heal cold, cough, and respiratory illness.