Makhana is cultivated in lakes, ponds, tanks, and diverse aquatic bodies. It is a medicinal and nutritional herb that is extensively used in Ayurveda and Chinese medicine. In India, Makhana is also used as a food supplement and as an active ingredient in several dishes.
In English, Makhana is known as Fox nut or Gorgon nut. Makhana seeds are also referred to as “black diamonds.”
When it comes to religious fasting, Makhana is consumed. Popped Makhana is used to prepare a wide range of delicious, rich sweet dishes, puddings, and milk-based sweets. Besides these, Makhana benefits include being used for medicinal purposes, both in India as well as China, as documented in ancient literature.
The Makhana seed has analgesic and aphrodisiac properties; hence, it is used to prepare a wide range of Ayurvedic medicines.
Chemical Composition of Makhana
Makhana is low in fat content but has a high content of carbohydrates, protein, and minerals. The calorific value is 362 kcal/100 g for raw seeds and 328 kcal/100 g for puffed seeds. Its chemical constituents include calcium, phosphorus and iron. The seed’s amino acid index is higher in comparison with staple foods, signifying its unique food quality and leading to makhana benefits.
Antidiabetic and Antihyperlipidemic Property
The seed extract protects beta-cells against ROS-mediated destruction, through the improvisation in the levels of antioxidant enzymes and minimisation of hyperglycaemia, which may be due to the release of insulin from remnant as well as recovered beta-cells in the pancreas of STZ-induced diabetic rats as confirmed through ultrastructural and histopathological studies. The research indicates that ethanolic extract E. Ferox Salisb can be used as a vital source of natural antioxidants, with antidiabetic and antihyperlipidemic potential. Moreover, this extract can also be used as a potential food additive or a functional food in the future.
Benefits of Makhanas
- Makhana seeds contain a vast number of vitamins. Hence, it can be used to treat beriberi, which is a disease that is caused by the deficiency of vitamin B1.
- Consumption of Makhana stimulates humeral immunity and indicates its application in invalids and in mothers post-delivery.
- One of the benefits of makhana is alleviating Vata and Pitta Doshas because of Madhura Rasa, Madhura Vipak, and Sheeta Virya. It fortifies the heart and is useful in treating anemia.
- The seeds are known to increase the quantity and quality of semen, prevent premature ejaculation, increase libido, and help in female infertility.
- It strengthens the body and boosts energy levels.
- It helps in reducing a burning sensation in the body and helps in mitigating thirst.
- The seed is also used to prepare tonics for treating leucorrhoea and serves as an excellent immunostimulant.
- Fox nuts or Makhana seeds are a blend of both sweet and sour. They contain starch as well as protein, making them excellent in the management of diabetes.
- Makhana benefits also include anti-aging properties, as well, because of their high content of antioxidants that work as an age-lock system. They help in making one appear younger for a much longer period. Makhana is extremely effective for those with a high risk of premature aging, premature greying, the development of wrinkles, and other aging signs.
- The benefits of makhana for the heart, kidneys, and spleen are immense.
- The seed has calming properties, thus alleviating palpitations, restlessness, and insomnia.
- They are also a useful source of calcium.
- It helps in regulating blood pressure, relieving numbness and aches near the waist and knees.
- It is quite suitable for arthritis and extremely beneficial for women during pregnancy as well as post-pregnancy.
- It also has favorable effects on the respiratory, digestive, and venous systems.
- Because of its high-fiber content, it helps in digestion and preventing constipation.
Makhana Side Effects:
The Makhana seeds are extremely light on the stomach and rarely causes side effects. However, like any ingredient, if you consume too much, it can lead to side effects of makhana like indigestion and a bloating sensation.
On a Final Note:
Makhana seeds or Fox nuts are essentially a herb that is used as a nutritional food as well as an active ingredient in many Ayurvedic formulations.