The Many Uses and Health Benefits of Sugarcane and Sugarcane Juice
Latin Name: Saccharum officinarum
In India, it is called Ganna and Eekh.
About Sugarcane And Sugarcane Juice
Sugarcane belongs to the genus Saccharum which has numerous species that are grown to obtain sugarcane which is used to manufacture sugar. Saccharum officinarum is the plant that is used to produce about 70% of the total sugar produced worldwide.
Sugarcane is a perennial plant that grows in the tropical and subtropical regions, loves a lot of sun and water but does not like its roots to be waterlogged. It is native to South Asia.
Sugarcane has jointed and stout stalks that are rich in sugar. It is the most grown crop in the world.
Primarily used for sugar production, with about 70 - 80% of the sugar being produced from it and most of the rest being produced from sugar beets.
Sugar making from sugarcane developed in India about 5000 years ago. It spread to Europe in the 1400s. It is propagated by cutting the stems and planting them this being the most common method of growing sugarcane.
The stalk of sugarcane can be chewed and sucked for its juice or the juice can be extracted by a mechanical or manual juicer. It is widely available in India with roadside vendors or kiosks. Ginger, lemon juice, mint and rock salt are added to enhance its flavour and taste.
Sugarcane juice is a great summertime drink that refreshes, cools and invigorates. In India, ganne ke ras ki kheer or rice pudding prepared with sugarcane juice is prepared and it is one dish which is prepared during the Lohri festival in North India.
Ganne ke Ras ki Kheer (Sugarcane Juice and Rice Pudding)
Uses Of Sugarcane
- When sugarcane is processed it produces cane sugar along with molasses, bagasse and filter cake.
Molasses is of 2 types :
- The edible syrup which is used for blending with maple syrup, corn syrup etc, and,
- The blackstrap molasses which is inedible and is used in animal feeds and for the production of ethanol, yeast, citric acid and rum.
Bagasse is used as a biofuel in boilers, as well as to produce biogas. It is also used in the manufacture of paper, paper board products and as an agricultural mulch.
The filter cake is also used in animal feeds, as a fertilizer and to produce sugar wax.
Some other products that are made from sugarcane are :
- Gur or Jaggery - a natural unrefined sugar.
- Falernum and Carchaca - alcoholic drinks.
- Panela - solid pieces of sucrose and fructose.
- Rapadura - the traditional sugar made in Brazil.
- Rock Candy - crystallized sugarcane juice.
Sugarcane And Sugarcane Nutrition Facts
Sugarcane contains various essential minerals like calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium and potassium.
Sugarcane juice is rich in flavonoid and phenolic compounds which are powerful antioxidants that prevent cell damage by free radicals and reduce risk of cancer and heart disease.
It has a low glycemic index between 30-40, about half that of refined sugar.which has a GI of 64. It has no simple sugars. The sugar is in raw form.
Sugarcane juice is easily digestible, provides instant energy and hydrates the body.
Sugarcane juice is alkaline, contains soluble fibre, proteins and vitamins A, C and B complex.
How Sugarcane Juice is Extracted by Roadside Vendors
Sugarcane Nutrition Facts
1 Ounce Sugarcane Juice
Calories From Carbohydrates
Calories From Fats
Calories From Proteins
Health Benefits of Sugarcane and Sugarcane Juice
According to Ayurveda, sugarcane and its juice pacify vata and pitta.
Sugarcane juice does not spike sugar levels as it has no simple sugars. Hence it can be consumed by diabetics.
Sugarcane juice with the addition of lime juice and coconut water relieves burning sensation in the urinary tract, promotes urine flow, flushes the kidneys, removes kidney stones and benefits in inflammations of the prostate gland and gonorrhea.
It relieves constipation, acidity, gastritis, ulcers, aids digestion and strengthens the stomach.
A glass of sugarcane juice mixed with lemon or lime juice aids in speedy recovery from jaundice and strengthens the liver.
It lowers cholesterol and triglycerides.
Sugarcane juice relieves hiccups, strengthens the eyes, brain and sex organs.
It cures cold, cough and fever.
Sugarcane juice treats anemia, gives strength and removes debility.
It quenches thirst, provides instant energy, replaces lost minerals during periods of extreme heat.
Sugarcane juice gives strength and increases body weight in thin persons.
To stay healthy drink sugarcane juice everyday.
Health Benefits Of Sugarcane And Sugarcane Juice - Some Natural Remedies
- Whooping Cough
Add 60 ml radish juice to a glass of sugarcane juice and drink twice a day.
- Dry Cough
Drink sugarcane twice a day. It also relieves uneasiness.
To 1/2 cup of sugarcane juice add 1/2 cup of pomegranate juice. Drink this 2 times daily.
- Kidney Stones
Either chew a sugarcane stalk and suck the juice or drink sugarcane juice everyday. It helps to break the stones and removes them.
- Low Fever
Drink sugarcane juice twice daily.
- Blood Abnormalities
Drink 1 glass of sugarcane juice after meals. It cleanses the blood.
- Vomiting Due To Heat
Add 2 tsp honey to a glass of sugarcane juice and drink.
Eat some roasted barley and then drink 1 glass of sugarcane juice. Continue for a week. Also suck on a sugarcane stalk in the morning. It cures jaundice.
The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies, supplements or starting a new health regime.
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The Proper Way To Eat Sugar Cane
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2013 Rajan Singh Jolly