We love a forest walk inhaling fresh, pungent fragrance of evergreen and crystal tree sap. Tree sap, like our blood, transports nutrition–water, sugars, hormones, minerals, and vital nutrients–from the tree’s roots through the xylem and to the leaves. Sap produces carbon dioxide and maintains water pressure in the tree. Asian cooks and herbal doctors use plant saps for food, medicine and beauty remedies.
An “edible gum” is a sap or other resinous material from certain plants. It is often polysaccharide-based and most frequently associated with woody plants, particularly under the bark or as a seed coating. Frankincense and myrrh both resins come from trees of the genus Boswellia (frankincense) and Commiphora (myrrh), which are common to Somalia and Ethiopia. They are best known as incense in the West, but traditional Chinese medicine uses them internally as detoxifying herbs to stimulate qi circulation, detoxify the body, and reduce tumors in cancer treatments among other uses. Ayurveda uses guggul, a tree gum similar to myrrh, for detoxification. It is added to herbal pills and burned as a fragrant incense to purify the air during prayers. Here are lesser known tree gums.
- INDIA: GONDH, Two Types
In Ayurveda there are gums that are popular in cooking. Based on the plant/shrub that they are extracted from, they differ in their properties. There are 2 types of gums most often used in Ayurveda and family cooking. Tragacanth gum or Gondh katira is the sap of the thorny low-growing shrub mostly found in Middle East, Iraq, and Iran and western Asia. Known in parts of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Punjab, gondh edible gum is water soluble which makes it easy to mix with cooking ingredients. Often the sticky gum is used to hold together sweet fruits, nuts and spices in a “healthy bonbon.”
Gondh, the cooking ingredient, is available at Amazon. There are two forms that are slightly different in character, often used as seasonal foods or for various energy, beauty and sexual issues.
- Gondh, (warming, strengthening)
- Gondh Katira (cooling)
A major difference between gondh and gondh katira is that when soaked, gondh dissolves in the water completely. While gondh katira absorbs the water and forms a transparent gel that looks like crushed ice. Gondh is warm in nature whereas gondh katira has cooling properties.
Six Benefits of gondh katira
- Heat stroke:
Gondh katira has amazing cooling properties and is often used to prepare a drink which helps to cool the body in the summer season. Gondh katira is very useful in controlling nose bleeding that frequently occurs in children in the extreme summer season.
Gondh katira possesses purgative properties and so it is very helpful in treating constipation. Just soak a small piece of gondh katira in water for a couple of hours. Then drink this transparent jelly-like substance with lemon juice and cold water. You may also add a sweetener to it since it is tasteless.
- Urinary incontinence:
Gondh katira is an extremely useful remedy for treating urinary incontinence. It also helps in calming the urinary muscles in case of inflammation of the urinary tract and blockage of urine
- Increase breast size:
Some herbal doctors advise: “Soak a tablespoon of gondh katira in a glass of water overnight. Next morning add the swollen crystals of gondh to a glass of milk along with a teaspoon of sugar and some ice. Drink this tonic every day to enlarge your breasts naturally.”
- Sexual issues:
“Gondh katira is one of the best remedies to increase libido in men. Gondh katira is an effective aphrodisiac and thus it helps to stimulate sexual desire in men, [also useful for] early discharge, involuntary discharge or night discharge, gondh katira helps to treat it all.”
- Beautiful skin mask
You can make an anti-aging mask using gondh katira. Soak some gondh in water overnight and strain it the next morning. Now add 2 tablespoons of egg white, 1 tablespoon milk powder, 2 tablespoons almond powder and 1 tablespoon green vegetable powder to this gondh katira water. Mix well till you have a smooth paste. Apply this mask on your face, neck, and hands. Wash off after 20 minutes.
Two Benefits of Gondh (warming, nourishing, strengthening):
- Post-pregnancy women:
Women become really weak after delivery. Gondh and Gondh katira are helpful in gaining the strength of the body and helps the new mother to cope with the challenges of motherhood. It also helps to control heavy blood flow during periods.
Gondh Katira Ladoos
The practice of eating gondh katira ladoos (a sweet bonbon held together with gondh) is very common in India. They are very beneficial for the mother and her baby.
You can make your own or they are sold on Amazon as “healthy feel good snacks.” They contain “nuts, like almonds, split white cashews, selected pistachios, walnuts, seedless dates, golden raisins, syrupy kesar jaggery, gondh, orange peel , and more,. . . The ladoos are made of gondh (edible gum), ghee (clarified butter), nuts and wheat flour. Many people also add ingredients like ajwain (carom seeds), fenugreek seeds, fennel, black pepper, coconut and sesame to the preparation.
- Lung-related issues. The gum is traditionally been used in remedies to tackle ailments like diarrhea, cough, and congestion.
Gondh is widely used in Ayurvedic preparations and is great for boosting immunity, stamina and health. In India, edible gum is sourced primarily from Babool (keekar) which is a member of the acacia family. Babool is excellent for boosting energy and gondh which is its byproduct is beneficial for people with a weak nervous system, anxiety and depression, piles and low vitamin D level.
Things to keep in mind
Gondh ladoos are extremely calorific and packed with properties that can create extra heat in the body, these must be consumed in moderation. Breastfeeding mothers lose lot of fluid as breast milk – it is therefore imperative for the lactating mother to consume plenty of fluids. Gondh ladoo consumption, in some cases, may trigger constipation; drinking plenty of fluids is therefore a must.
Get in touch with your medical expert or a certified nutritionist before making any changes to your diet plan or including any new item. Learn more about your body and what all ingredients will help you sail through the post-pregnancy phase with ease.
- CHINESE PEACH TREE SAP
TAO JIAO for wrinkle-free skin
Tao Jiao 桃 Peach tree gum, the delicious resin collected from Chinese peach trees, is rich in collagen, galactose, rhamnose, an anti-inflammatory, rejuvenating, skin-beautifying natural sugar, and amino acids. Collagen does far more than make our skin look youthful and taut. It’s a triple-helix protein that makes up a good deal of our body mass, in the form of tendons, bones, muscles and, yes, skin. Collagen is present in our corneas and the space between each vertebrae. It’s a critical part of the human body, and peach resin is used in traditional Chinese medicine to replenish and preserve it.
Description and Two Recipes from a Chinese manufacturer:
Peach tree gum, secreted from the bark of Rosaceae peach or mountain peach, is harvested in summer. Rinse it and soak it in water overnight, wash away impurities, and dry it. When soaked, it expands 8-10 times it size and the dried gum has a long shelf life.
The taste is delicious, sweet and bitter; and its effects are neutral [not heating and is slightly cooling.] This product has irregular lumps, teardrops, etc., with different sizes. The surface is light yellow, yellowish brown, and translucent. The texture is soft, dry and hard, and the drops are shiny. Slightly airy, sticky [gummy] in water. It is traditionally used for chyluria, the urinary excretion of chyle, a lymphatic fluid. [Non-parasitic causes of chyluria include tuberculosis, congenital anomalies, trauma, post-surgery infections and malignancy. The cause of the disease is due to the obstruction and the rupture of the lymphatic system into the urinary system.]
Peach tree gum is also used for diabetes, urinary tract infection, dysentery, stone leaching, blood cleansing. It enters the Large intestine and Bladder meridians. Dosage: Oral administration: decoction, 9-15g, or into pills or powder
- Papaya stewed peach gum
1 papaya, 10 grams of peach gum.
Peach gum is soaked in clean water for more than 12 hours until it becomes soft and the volume can increase more than 10 times. 10 grams of peach gum is enough to eat two meals.
Wash the soft soaked peach gum carefully and repeatedly to remove black impurities and break it into small pieces. Add a little water to the peach gum and steam it for about 30 minutes.
Cut the papaya in half, remove the seeds, pour the water-steamed peach gum into the papaya, sprinkle a little rock sugar, and continue steaming for about 20 minutes.
- Peach gum Tremella syrup
15 grams of peach gum, 1 pear (300 grams), 30 grams of rock sugar, 5 grams of white fungus.
For 5 grams of peach gum, soak in 1000 ml of water. Soak the peach gum in clean water overnight (about 12 hours) until it softens and the volume can increase by about 10 times. Then carefully remove the black impurities on the surface of the soft soaked peach gum, and after repeated washing with water, break it into even, small pieces.
Soak the white fungus in water for 20 minutes to soften, then break it into small flowers by hand.
Peel the Sydney pear and cut into 1cm-sized cubes. Put the peach gum, white fungus, and water in a pot. After it is boiled on high heat, change to low heat and continue to cook for 30 minutes. At this time, the soup begins to become a bit sticky. Add the diced pears and cook for 5 minutes, then add rock sugar and cranberry, and cook for 3 minutes while stirring, until the rock sugar is completely melted and the soup thickens. And here is another recipe.
The Chinese peach tree “tears” resemble lovely golden marbles and are soft and tasty when soaked. There are delicious ways to care for our skin. Which will you try?