Ragi In Ayurveda


Madhumati Tyagi and Sunil Kumar D.

Ragi is an age-old nutrient-dense crop that gained prominent place in the agrarian scenario and food culture in several ancient civilizations. Its therapeutic applications are also of incredible greatness in Ayurveda – the ancient Indian system of medicine in the world. The earliest Ayurvedic scriptures praise the healing potentialities of ragi in successfully curing hypertension or high blood pressure, averting cancer, treating depression and remedying liver disorders.

Traditionally, it has been given to mothers of young toddlers in South India, as it is a nutritious staple food. In fact, many parents give it to infants as their first solid meal. Such are the health benefits of this millet.

Ragi grows in arid regions and known as the poor man’s grain, the ragi crop requires very little water. This makes it ideal for growing in many parts of the world.

Source of Calcium: About 344 mg of calcium per 100 gm of Ragi. Best for aging women and growing Children

Rich in protein:  About 6-8 percent protein content, Best for vegan and vegetarian diet.

Full of iron: A good source of iron for vegetarians and anemic people

Gluten-free: It is safe to consume on regular basis

Good for weight-loss and diabetes: Contains only 1-2 percent fats, Therefore helps regulate blood glucose levels and weight loss.

Easy to digest: High in dietary fiber about 15-20 percent, low in unsaturated fat and free from gluten. This is why it is given to babies as a first meal.

Lowers cholesterol: Ragi also helps lower bad cholesterol levels.

High potassium content: High levels of potassium – 408 mg per 100 gm of ragi.

Various amino acids: It has essential amino acids – isoleucine, leonine, methionine, and phenylalanine

What are the characteristics and effects of Ragi on Dashes?

Ragi, in core, has a Madura rasa (sweet taste) with inherent Laugh and Ruska Guans (light and dry qualities). Ragi possesses Ushant Very (heating potency), balancing the kappa (earth and water) Dashes (elements) while excessively influencing pitta (fire and water) and vat (air and ether) Dashes. Moreover, it fosters the positive and equalizing states of mind namely sativa and rajas, effectively eliminating Tames or a negative mindset.

What are the therapeutic applications of Ragi?

Lowers High Blood Pressure: Being rich in dietary fibers, Ragi flushes out Ama toxins from improperly processed foods and circumvents them from getting clogged in blood vessels namely arteries, veins and capillaries. This process facilitates lowering high blood pressure i.e. hypertension, thus you can have the unobstructed transport of blood and nutrients to and from the heart.

Provides Remedies to Liver Dysfunction: Ragi is loaded with antioxidants, which provide prompt removal of harmful free radicals from the system, especially from the liver and gallbladder. Thereby, a balance between the bodily Tridoshic states is attained, by wiping out of the body all the unwanted fatty accumulations, ensuring healthy liver function.

Ameliorates Depression Symptoms: Ragi comprises neurotransmitter-regulating properties that efficiently boosts the positive state of mind or sattva and suppresses lethargy or Tamas. This creates wonders by uplifting moods, sharpening the intellect and rehabilitating the brain from depression symptoms.

Rejuvenates Skin And Hair: Besides being a remedy for practically every illness bothering the internal organs in the body, ragi flour also enhances the external appearance by revitalizing skin and strengthening hair. This chiefly owes to its amazingly high amino acid content and potent antioxidants. Moreover, the slightly coarse attribute of Ragi flour makes it a wonderful exfoliating agent that completely removes dead cells from the face, body and scalp, apart from providing a refreshing look and radiant glow to skin and hair.

Supplies Anti-Aging Benefits: The seed coat/bran of Ragi grains is composed of phenolic acids and flavonoids – two classes of antioxidants that are excellent free radical terminators with remarkable anti-ageing properties. This promotes new skin cell formation, concealing fine lines and wrinkles. In addition, the huge reserves of amino acids in ragi help boost collagen, maintaining suppleness and smoothness of the skin.

Cures Hyperpigmentation: Applying a Rag flour mask of with some milk and honey or other natural infusions is a superb solution to get rid of suntan, UV rays damage, and irregular skin complexion. The protective and rejuvenating traits of Rag helps the skin-tightening,

Reduces Acne and Boils: Ragi is imbued with tannins, which are plant compounds with anti-inflammatory qualities. Thus, it aids in decreasing acne, pimples, and boils, besides brushing away dark spots and scars.

Prevents Hair Fall: Ragi consists of formative amino acids such as methionine and lysine. Therefore, using a Ragi hair mask as well as including Ragi in the diet enriches hair growth and renews the texture of tresses. Ragi in fact controls hair fall and averts premature greying and balding.

Anti-Dandruff Solution: Ragi possesses innumerable essential amino acids and carotenoids that help hair growth and its anti-microbial characteristics remove dandruff when applied as a herbal paste to dandruff-prone scalp. It soothes the hair roots or follicles, thereby repairing damaged scalp as well as dry and brittle hair, besides guaranteeing relief from incessant itching.

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