Botanical Name :: Vicis vinifera
Indian Name :: Munaqqa
The raisins are dried grapes. All grapes are, however, not suitable for making raisins. The grapes, which are very sweet, are only selected for drying. Raisins have high nourishing qualities.
Origin and Distribution
Raisins have been used as food from very ancient times. They had been known to the traders of the Mediterranean Coast even in Greek and Roman ages. Raisins are produced in several pans of the world, but the great bulk of world product comes from Italy, France, Spain, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Baluchistan, California, Australia and South Africa.
The raisins are esteemed for their rare food value. The table below shows raisins are rich in carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. They form a very valuable food when taken with milk. They supplement each other as the milk contains sufficient protein and the raisins, sugar. In same way they can be taken with advantage with nuts such as cashew nut, walnut and groundnut.
Raisins are extensively used in salads. They may be-added to curries. They are also used in the bakery and confectionary and widely used in the preparation of jams, jellies, cakes, puddings and pies
Minerals and Vitamins
|Moisture – 20.2%||Calcium – 87 mg|
|Protein – 1.8%||Phosphorus – 80 mg|
|Fat – 0.3%||Iron – 7.7 mg|
|Minerals – 2.0%||Vitamin C – 1 mg|
|Carbohydrates – 74.6%||Small amount of Vitamin B Complex|
|Fibre – 1.1%|
|* Value per 100 gm’s edible portion||Calorific Value – 308|
Natural Benefits and Curative Properties of Raisins
The high food value of raisins arises chiefly from their sugar content. They contain eight times more sugar than grapes. The sugar contained in the raisins is of superior quality, like that of the grapes, as major portion of this sugar is formed by glucose and fruit sugar, As is well known, glucose produces quick heat and energy in the body. Raisins are thus an excellent food in all cases of debility and wasting diseases. They are also valuable during convalescence.
In Europe, persons suffering from various chronic ailments are taking recourse to an exclusive diet of raisins for some time. This forms a treatment by itself and is known as ‘raisin cure’. It is believed that raisins, taken in this manner, for one month will bring about considerable improvement in health as a result of proper elimination
- Acidosis:- Acidosis is a condition in which the acidity of body fluid is abnormally high. The raisins with their excess of alkalinity, are helpful in maintaining the acid balance of the body. Studies conducted by Saywell in the University of California have shown that the free use of raisins, Say about 1.05 gm. daily, will greatly reduce the acidity of the urine. The urinary ammonia is also reduced. The organic acid of the raisins is completely oxidized. The free use of raisins is valuable in combating chronic acidosis which generally results from the excessive consumption of meat and cereals.
- Constipation:– Raisins are highly beneficial in the treatment of constipation They should be soaked in a glassful of drinking water for 24 to 48 hours This would swell them to the original Size of the grapes. They should be eaten early in the morning, after discarding the stones. The water in which raisins are soaked should also be drunk This plan carried out every morning will bring excellent results in case of chronic constipation.
Raisins can be routinely given even to little infants as an extract in water to help regular bowel action. Six to ten raisins or more, depending on the child’s age, can be soaked in boiling water and set aside for a while. When cool, the raisins should be thoroughly crushed to extract their juice into the water For small children,the liquid could be strained and given so that the skin of the raisins does not upset the stomach.
- Anemia:- As a rich source of easily assimilate iron, raisins enrich blood They are thus useful in anemia.
- Under Weight:- Raisins are a good food for those who wish to gain weight. They may be taken up to I Kg daily, 30 gm. or so at a time, in these cases.
- Febrile Cases:– An extract from raisins acts like a medicine in febrile cases i.e. relating to fever This extract is prepared by soaking raisins in the water and then crushing them in the same water. They are then strained and skin is discarded. The raisin water thus prepared becomes a tonic A little lime juice added to the extract will enhance its taste and usefulness
- Sexual Debility:- In Ayurveda, black raisins are used for restoration of sexual vigor. In such cases, they should be boiled with milk, after washing them thoroughly in tepid lukewarm water This will make them swollen and sweet. Eating of such raisins should be followed by the use of milk. Starting with 30 grams of raisins with 200 ml. of milk, three times daily. The quantity of raisins should be gradually increased to 50 grams each time.