Carrots or Daucus carota – A favourite among salads, used in variety of culinary recipes and popularly known for its opthalmic benefits – Although there are many health benefits, which we are not well aware about. We always hear people suggesting each other, “Oh! she has spectacles, poor thing, give her carrots and green vegetables, it really helps you know.” Its sweet taste and crunchy texture makes it favourite among all age groups. Let us explore the health benefits of carrots.
Carrots come in varied species red, orange, purple, yellow, white…They grow all over the world in cool regions and more better to consume them in cold climates. ‘Grunjan’ or garjar – Sanskrit name for carrot – belongs to umbelliferae family. The roots, seeds and seed oil are usually used for medicinal purposes.
गाजरं मधुरं तीक्ष्णं तिक्तोष्णं दिपनं लघु | संग्राहि रक्तपित्तार्शोग्रहणीकफवातजित् || भा.प्र
रुच्यं च दिपनं ह्रद्यं दुर्गंधम् गुल्मनाशनम् |बीजं चोष्णम् मतं चास्य वृष्यं वै गर्भपातकृत् || रा.नि.
_ The above verses explain properties and uses of carrots as under :
- Carrots are Madhur (sweet) and tikta (slightly bitter) in taste.
- It is Ushna (hot) in potency.
- Laghu (easy to digest).
- Deepan (kindles digestive fire).
- Pacifies Kapha and vata dosha but vitiates Pitta due to hot potency.
- Grahi (absorbing).
- It is good for heart and eye ailments.
- Carrots regulates outflow of sweat and thus prevents body odour.
- Carrot seeds are hot in potency and it induces menstruation and also acts as abortificant.
Uses Of Carrots –
- External application of paste of carrot seeds helps to subside swelling.
- Due to its deepan and vata pacifying qualities alongwith grahi property carrots prove beneficial in conditions like weak digestion, bloating, diarrhoea, haemorrhoids(piles), indigestion,and IBS. The main reason for all these mentioned ailments as per Ayurveda is weak digestive fire.
- Cooked carrots with pomegranate juice is good for piles.
- After an episode of diarrhoea, carrots should be well steamed and consumed with ghee.
- Eating raw carrots strengthens cardiac muscles. It also strengthens uterine muscles, regulates vata dosha and thus regulates painless menstrual bleeding.
- Carrot seeds being hot in potency and its special action on uterus are used to correct scanty menstrual flow.
- The high content of antioxidants and vitamins like A, E along with its hydrating property helps to maintain skin and hair texture and boost immunity.
- Apply warm paste of carrot pulp on newly popped up pimple, leave for 10mins and wipe off, the pimple subsides off.
- Ayurveda explains carrot as vajikar (aphrodisiac), also the modern science explains that high content of antioxidants, vit E,and beta carotenes prevents sperm damage thus leading to increase in sperm count and facilitating sperm motility.
- The Bollywood famous recipe ” Gajar ka Halwa” helps to relieve conditions like nasal bleeding heavy menstrual, rectal bleeding or oral bleeding.The recipe being sweet, and healthy pacifies pitta and vata, and also helps to recover weakness.
- Carrots cooked with sugar cures strengthens and relaxes the nervous system.
- Carrots also work as diuretic and so used in conditions like renal calculi.
- Carrot juice mixed with sugar syrup and pepper powder acts as good cough expectorant, due to its ushna(hot), tikshna and kapha pacifying quality.
- Eating Raw carrot cleanses the oral cavity and strengthens teeth and gums.
- Carrots cooked or raw when consumed daily improves vision due to its high content of vit A and betacarotene. This is a well known and time tasted tip.
- Studies also show that high contents of antioxidants in carrots prevents cancer and detoxifies excess oestrogen.
So cook it, stir it, munch it raw alone or with salads, or make juice out of it, or relish a delicacy like gajar ka halwa, enjoy the way you want to, eat lots of carrots and stay healthy.