When I first visited Kerala, I was excited to taste the local cuisine. I have always liked the pottu, kadala and paratha with chicken roast and fish fry in other cities, but the local flavour had to have some special secret. As one who enjoys local cuisine in the truest sense, I walked into a thatched accomplishment for my lunch, and that is where I met Pathimugam for the first time.
Prunus puddum or Prunus Vera slides are considered to be Padmaka, the tree used to get rose color water in Kerala. However, Caesalpinia sappan is an alternate product on non availability of the former.
Biancaea Sappan/Caesalpinia is a flowering tree and is also called sappanwood, Indian Redwood and is used to make herbal drinking water in Kerala, Karnataka, Some part of Tamil Nadu, Central Java, Southeast Asia and Japan. The wood of this tree contains juglone, Homoisoflavonoids and has many health benefits. Popularly known as Pathimugam in India, people sipping warm pinking water infused with slivers of Pathimugam is a common sight.
The warm rose-dyed, woody tasting water was a discovery in itself. You must have questioned how this water acquires this pinkish color. You must also be wondering if there are any health benefits in that. Today, let us explore the benefits of drinking water infused with East Indian Rosewood.
- Pathimugam helps disinfect the water due to its antibacterial properties. You can drink it either warm or cold.
- The hardwood of the medicinal plant when boiled with water adds a host of medicinal benefits like reducing pain, swelling, especially for external injuries. It is known to be effective in reducing joint pains.
- Washing your face with Pathimugam infused water can help reduce acne and inflammation of the skin around the eyes. I told you, it works wonders on the skin.
- It is rich in antioxidants, believed to help reduce cholesterol and clean the blood. So it is good for the heart, kidneys and your soul!
- Mixed with ginger, cinnamon and cloves, Pathimugam can make an excellent substitute for tea. Added with honey and squeeze of lemon, it makes a good lemonade. It can be your choice of drink minus the acidity challenges.
- Known to help with reducing abdominal pain in women following childbirth, Pathimugam is a favourite go-to herbal drink post-childbirth even today.
Did you know that the reddish dye in the plant is called Brazilin and is used as a dye for fabrics and making red ink?
So next time, you have the pinking-red water, remember the #PlantScience behind it and raise your glass.
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