Powerful medicinal values of the Water Chestnut

The humble water chestnut is actually a powerhouse of medicinal benefits. Not only is it known to kill bacteria, which makes the milky juice good for women suffering from UTI, it is also good for jaundice, tonsils and other ailments.

Water chestnut or water caltrop has the Sanskrit name of 'ksheruks', commonly called 'kaseru'. It is also called 'singhara' in the North. It has many health benefits that most of us are not aware of.

Removes toxins for faster recovery in jaundice patients

Water chestnut has often traditionally been eaten raw or juiced for patients suffering from jaundice. The aquatic vegetable may have antioxidant properties because of the presence of flavonoid antioxidants like epicatechin and catechin. These two flavonoids are also found in green tea, red wine and dark chocolate, foods that are considered very healthy. These flavonoids are associated with lowering bilirubin levels and curing jaundice.

Tonsil Cure

Water chestnut is rich in iodine. This makes it an effective ingredient for home remedies for tonsils. You can either consume the whole aquatic vegetable or make a powder out of it for use.

To make a powder, the chestnuts can be washed, peeled and dried. The dried aquatic vegetable can then be ground to make powder, as you would make water chestnut flour. This powder can be taken to help ease the pain of inflamed tonsils. Iodine helps to detoxify inflamed tonsils and reduce swelling to an extent.

Offers relief from abdominal pain and inflammation

In China, where water chestnuts are commonly eaten cooked in vegetables, the juice of water chestnuts is used as a herbal remedy against abdominal pain. Some studies have shown that water chestnut can actually prevent many kinds of inflammation and has the ability to reduce pain. It is not surprising then that Chinese folk medicine has been using water chestnuts to treat inflammation and pain for centuries.

Benefits against leucorrhoea

Leucorrhoea is a disease that afflicts women. It causes women to suffer from a persistent, foul-smelling, yellowish white vaginal discharge. While there are many possible herbal treatments for leucorrhoea, water chestnuts are known to be an effective cure as well. Water chestnut eaten raw with or without peel is one way of slowly curing the symptoms of the condition.

But make sure to thoroughly wash water chestnuts before eating raw. Water plants have a tendency to attract parasites like lung flukes that can be removed by washing the raw corm well, under running water. It is best to peel water chestnuts for this reason.

Another, safer, way of enjoying the medicinal benefits of the aquatic vegetable is to juice the water chestnuts and take it with milk daily. The juice can also be taken on its own. To make juice, the aquatic vegetable is typically boiled in water for an hour and served with palm candy syrup or a little sugar. Note that the juice is slightly astringent, but works as a coolant in summer.

Water chestnuts have been found to kill certain bacteria and stop the growth of E. Coli and certain other bacteria. An active compound known as 'puchin' may be responsible for its bacteria-killing properties. It is a powerful antibiotic. This may be the compound that makes water chestnuts so effective against urinary tract infections.

Benefits against toothaches and sore throats

Just as water chestnut juice may alleviate abdominal pain, drinking water chestnut juice when you have a sore throat may offer some relief from the discomfort. In Indian Ayurvedic medicine, water chestnut is also used to treat a toothache. Eating the raw corm or drinking its juice can be beneficial.

Relief from eczema

The dried and powdered skin of the water chestnut, when made into a paste, is used as a remedy for eczema. The paste can be applied on the affected skin area and left to dry. There is no need of washing it off. It can be applied and left overnight.

Water chestnuts are a powerhouse of nutrition

Water chestnuts are packed with goodness. A hundred grams of the corm provides approximately 10 percent of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of nutrients such as riboflavin (B2), pyridoxine (B6), copper, potassium and manganese. There are healthy amounts of other minerals and vitamins also present in the water chestnut. They contain a copious amount of starch and hence are a rich source of carbohydrates. They are also rich in fibre, both of the soluble and insoluble variety, plus they have zero cholesterol, this makes them good for the arteries and the heart.

A Hundred grams of this crunchy corm has just 97 calories making it a good weight loss food. It can be eaten raw or cooked and served as a meal.

Water chestnut is also used as remedies for bad breath, dehydration, blood disorders, heartburn, nausea, fatigue, dyspepsia and dysentery. It is also a natural antimicrobial and can heal wounds when it is crushed and applied directly to the wound.

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

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