Call it Raisins or Kishmish, dry grapes that are a common kitchen ingredient in Indian house are imbued with a wealth of nutrients. Coming from a family of dry fruits, you might have mostly cherished these shrivelled raisins as a topping on various Indian desserts like kheer, payasam or phirni. But did you know, raisins are full of natural sugar and hence they are one of the healthier alternatives to sweets and sugared candies? Well, enriched in nutrients like iron, potassium and calcium, they have innumerable benefits towards health and wellness. With more and more people driven towards ayurvedic and natural products, one such ayurvedic formulation that has literally created a stir due to it’s amazing pharmacological properties is Draksharishta, a raisin-based ayurvedic medication.
What Is Draksharishta?
Draksharishta or Draksharishtam is a classical, liquid ayurvedic formulation with dry grapes or raisins as the main ingredient. It chiefly contains 5-10% of self-generated alcohol that helps transport water and alcohol-soluble herbs to the body. Right from improving digestion, treating constipation, boosting immunity, remedying respiratory anomalies like cough, cold, asthma, promoting cardiac functions and uplifting women’s health, draksharishta does it all. Being a general tonic and nutritional supplement, it is also used in the treatment of phthisis, physical weakness, anorexia nervosa, loss of appetite, insomnia, vertigo associated with weakness, and headache.
How To Prepare Draksharishta?
Draksha (Grapes) – Vitis vinifera
Sandhana Dravya (fermentation agents)
Jaggery (Guda/Gur) – Saccharum officinarum
Water for decoction
Prakshepa Dravyas (Herbal additives)
Elaichi (Cardamom) – Elettaria cardamomum
Dalchini (Cinnamon) – Cinnamomum zeylanicum
Tejpata (Indian Bay Leaf) – Cinnamomum tamala
Kali Mirch (Black pepper) – Piper nigrum
Pippali (Long Pepper) – Piper longum
Vaividanga (False Black Pepper) – Embelia ribes
Nagkesar – Mesua ferrea
Priyangu – Callicarpa macrophylla
Dhataki flowers – Woodfordia fruticosa
Herbal ingredients of the decoction are washed and sun-dried.
The herbs are then powdered and sieved to remove impurities and solid particles.
Separately, the aromatic herbs are cleaned, dried, powdered and sieved and kept aside.
The grounded draksha is then immersed in a specific quantity of water and allowed to soak overnight.
In the morning, the decoction is then boiled and reduced to ¼ quantity and passed through a muslin cloth to eliminate impurities.
Add jaggery to the clear decoction, stir it properly and filter to remove solid particles.
Now, pour the decoction in a wide-mouthed vessel, add the powdered aromatic herbs to the filtrate and seal the opening of the container.
Keep it aside in the fermentation room and allow it to ferment.
Keep a check on the fermentation process for a month or more.
Once the fermentation is done, filter the fermented liquid through a muslin cloth to eliminate solid particles.
The concoction is then poured in air-tight containers, stored in a cool, dry place and kept for maturation.
Incredible Benefits Of Draksharishta
This powerful formulation holds high value in improving the general stamina and energy level of the body. The active ingredient draksha and other herbs used in this formulation reduces weakness and fatigue and improves the vitality of the body. Being a potent aphrodisiac, it also uplifts the function of the adrenal glands which in turn helps in reducing the stress levels.
Draksharishta characterizes excellent digestive qualities. The anti-flatulent quality of the formulation reduces the formation of gas in the alimentary canal, thus alleviating bloating, flatulence, and abdominal distension. The abundance of laxative property in the aqueous solution makes this a powerful remedy for constipation and other digestive issues as well. The antacid property of the herbs prevents the formation of excessive acids in the stomach thereby treating indigestion, ulcer, gastritis and promoting better absorption of nutrients within the body.
Also Read: 5 Herbs For A Healthy Digestive System
Remedies Respiratory Anomalies
Draksharishta offers a one-shot herbal remedy for all sorts of Kapha aggravating disorders. The bulk of active constituents in this herbal concoction provides relief from respiratory disorders like asthma, bronchitis, COPD, cough and cold symptoms. It also helps in removing phlegm deposits from the respiratory tract, provides relief from sore throat, cough and congestion and eases breathing.
This magical raisin-based formulation possesses strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which help in relaxing the throbbing blood vessels in the head. Being an antidepressant, it also cultivates the mood of an individual and provides relief from stress-related headache and chronic migraine.
Enhances Cardiac Functioning
Famed as a natural cardio-protective formulation, Draksharishta is extremely beneficial in treating a host of heart ailments. Owing to its strong antioxidative nature, it strengthens the heart muscles, prevents lipid build up in them, and hence reduces the risk of heart attacks, heart blocks, blood clots, etc. It also plays a pivotal role in lowering the levels of cholesterol in the blood.
Also Read: Top 10 Superfoods For A Healthy Heart
The effective therapeutic dosage of Draksharishta may vary from person to person depending upon the age, body strength, effects on appetite, severity, and condition of the patient. It is firmly recommended to consult an ayurvedic doctor or practitioner as he or she would evaluate the patient’s indications, past medical conditions and prescribe an effective dose for a specific period.
Adults: 10 - 20 ml, along with equal quantity of water, immediately after meals or as suggested by the health care provider.
Although the dry grape formulation is extremely beneficial in treating umpteen health conditions, it is still necessary to consume the formulation in the prescribed amount as suggested by the ayurvedic practitioner or doctor. An excess of it may cause some gastric irritation or mouth ulcers. It is also suggested that people diagnosed with diabetes melittus should completely avoid this, as presence of jaggery may spike blood sugar levels. Even patients with gastric anomalies should consult a doctor before consuming this medicine as the hot and deep penetrative qualities of alcohol may increase irritation in the stomach. Pregnant women and lactating mothers should also consult a doctor before consuming draksharishta.