Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food- Hippocrates
The usage of “Panchamrit” in Hindu rituals is considered as the oldest synbiotic food (a combination of both prebiotic and probiotic) in the history of mankind. It is a concoction of five ingredients – Raw Cow’s Milk, Curd, Honey, Mishri (Sugar candy), and Ghee. Other than these key ingredients, cardamom and basil are also added. These ingredients have immense health benefits when combined in correct proportions.
Curd is a provider of both bacterias (probiotic) as well as the food for the bacterias (prebiotic). Honey carries the enzymes required to break down the food and aid absorption of minerals and vitamins in the body. Mishri helps in keeping the immunity high and aids digestion. Raw cow’s milk carries super efficient antioxidants-Vitamin K and Beta Caroline which counter the free-radicals in the body. Lastly, Ghee carries antioxidant- Vitamin A and E which saves the body from free radical damage. Basil is an anti-inflamatory food which aids in digestion by balancing the acid in the body. Cardamom is quite an all rounder with powerful antioxidants.
In some communities raw banana is also added to the Panchamrit. Raw banana is a great source of good bacterias for the gut (prebiotic).
In a nutshell, a simple sweet concoction is not just super tasty but also prepares our body to consume all sorts of fried food and sweets in large quantities. The free radical damage and disturbed digestion from eating and over-eating heavy, oily and sweet food is countered by the intake of prebiotics, probiotics, antioxidants and enzymes.
Happy festivals and Cheers to Panchamrit!