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Mango – India’s Cultural Icon

Mango is the national fruit of India. It is crowned the king of fruits in Indian culture. A water-filled pot with mango leaves topped with coconut is called a Purna Kumbh. Mango leaves in this religious article symbolizes prosperity and life in Hindu rituals. No wonder, mango has become an integral part of Indian lifestyle and culture!

Mango trees are found all across the Indian subcontinent. Organized mango cultivation started in India some 4000 years ago, way before the rest of the world came to know about this divine fruit!

Some parts of India, especially UP, Bihar, Maharashtra, etc. have colossal mango orchids for the past 300 years. Over the centuries, Indian have developed more than 100 different species of mango. Some of the most well known varieties of mango are Malda, Langda, Dussehri, Chauca, Fujly, Totapuri, Mohanbhog, Badami, Kesar, Baiganapalli et cetera.

Major Mango producing states in India are UP, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra Karnataka, Tamilnadu, and Gujarat. India is the largest producer of mango across the world. In 2018-19 alone, India produced 43063.7 MT fresh export mangoes, apart from other mango products like sliced dried mangoes(1035.95 MT) and mango pulp(72187.96 MT).

We can conclude that mango is an integral part of not only Indian culture but also traditional Indian medicine – Ayurveda. The extent to which mango is used in Indian food and medicine justifies mango is the king of all fruits!

Marvelous Mango

The method of cultivation based on the process of cultivation mangoes classifies into two categories – Kalmi (mango trees grown through grafting) and, Kan/Beeju (mango trees grown using the seeds).

Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicine, provides an elaborate description of the medicinal properties and uses of mango in the treatment of diseases. Description of mango is available or in all the ancient text of Ayurveda, some of which date back to more than 5000 years!

According to Charaka Samhita, raw mango causes hemorrhagic disorders. It vitiates Pitta Dosha in the body. However, naturally ripened mango helps to balance vata dosha and promotes the development of muscles, increases potency and stamina in the body.

Another classical ayurvedic text that describes mango in detail is Bhavprakash Nigantu. It is one of the most commonly applied materia-medica of Ayurveda.

Bhavprakash describes qualities of not only the raw and ripe mango fruit but also those of mango flower, leaves, seeds, classical mango preparations like amrakhand, mango shake, amavat etcetera.

Here are some of the qualities described in Bhavprakash – 

Mango flower

Mango flower is cooling in temperament. It is an excellent appetizer. It can cause an imbalance of vata dosha in the body. However, it is a perfect remedy for diarrhea, diabetes, and all kinds of blood disorders.

Raw mango

Raw mango is astringent and sour. It is a tasty appetizer. Improper consumption of raw mango can vitiate vata and pitta dosha. Raw mango can cause dryness and blood disorders in the body.

Pickle made of raw mangoes is different in qualities as compared to the raw mango. Raw mango pickle contains oils and several other herbs that help to combat the negative effect of raw mango.

Dried mango

Dried raw mango powder is called “amchoor.” It is one of the essential ingredients in Indian kitchens. Dried raw mango powder is sour and astringent in taste. It is an excellent appetizer. It is a mild laxative and helps to relieve constipation. Amachoor also helps to balance kapha and pitta dosha in the body.

Naturally ripened mango

Organically ripened mango is sweet in temperament. It helps to increase potency, moisture, and strength in the body. It is heavy nature and helps to balance vata Dosha in the body. Ripe mango is considered to be very healthy for the heart. It has a unique quality to enhance the complexion. It helps to balance pitta dosha in the body and helps to increase digestive capacity as well.

According to Ayurveda, the qualities of mangoes ripened in different conditions are also different.

Mango ripened on the trees

Such mango is heavy, sweet and helps to balance vata dosa and is suitable for pitta dosha as well.

Artificially ripened mango(mango plant from the trees and ripened naturally without chemicals) helps to balance pitta dosha in the body.

Mango Seed

Mango seed is astringent and sour-sweet in taste. It is used traditionally in the treatment of vomiting, diarrhea, and cardiac inflammation.

Mango leaves

Young mango leaves are excellent appetizers. They help to pacify vata and pitta dosha in the body.

The way you eat the food also makes a massive difference in the qualities that the food can confer to the mind and the body.

According to Ayurveda, sucking is the best way to consume a mango. The sucking reflex stimulates satisfaction similar to that of breastfeeding in a baby. Mango consumed through sucking, is an excellent appetizer, tonic, light, and cooling in nature. It is effortless to digest and absorb. It helps to balance vata and pitta dosha in the body. It is an excellent laxative and also helps to increase the potency.

Mango juice

Mango juice is heavy and balances vata dosha. It is a natural laxative. It is also an excellent tonic and increases strength in the body. Mango juice creates an immediate sense of satisfaction through rapid sugar supply. However, it is said to be harmful to people with cardiac disorders. Mango juice usually is without natural fibers present in the mango. Therefore, it is considered heavy to digest.

It is better to eat the whole mango as compared to drinking mango juice.

Amrakhand

Amrakhand exam preparation made from mango juice and sugar. Some digestive herbs like cardamom et cetera are added to enhance its nutrition. 

Amrakhand is a great appetizer. It naturally increases weight, stamina, and body strength. Amrakhand helps to balance vata dosha in the body. However, it is considered heavy and takes a long time to get digested properly.

Mango shake or any mango preparation with milk

Mango shake helps to balance vata and pitta dosha in the body. It is a great appetizer and helps to increase body strength. Mango shake also promotes potency. It is sweet, heavy, and cooling in temperament. It is supposed to have a complexion-enhancing property.

It is vital to use only ripe mangoes with the milk. Green mango and milk together are considered to be a bad Ayurvedic combination.

Amavat is one of the traditional mango preparations in India.

Amavata is prepared by drying the mango juice in sunlight.

Amavat is a natural laxative and appetizer. It gets gradually cooked under the sunlight; therefore, it is very light to digest. Amavat helps to balance vata and pitta dosha in the body. It helps to soothe thirst and vomiting.

Ayurvedic Mango Detox

Mango is the base of traditional summer Detox in India according to Ayurveda. This mango summer Detox is called Amrakalp. In this Detox, a person is supposed to consume mangoes exclusively, for 30 to 45 days for complete detoxification of the entire metabolic system.

This mango Detox is supposed to eliminate vata dosha from the body that can get vitiated during the next season rains and create multiple problems in the body like body pain joint pain, aggravation of autoimmune diseases, skin blood and hair related problems.

Raw mango – precautions

Excessive use of raw mango leads to anorexia, fever, blood disorders, constipation, and eye disorders. One should refrain from excessive and regular consumption of raw mangoes.

Excessive consumption of ripened mango doesn’t cause any harmful effects. Ripe mango is sweet and very good for eyes, apart from other health benefits as mentioned earlier.

We can conclude that mango is an integral part of not only Indian culture but also traditional Indian medicine – Ayurveda. The extent to which mango is used in Indian food and medicine justifies mango is the king of all fruits!

Kanika V
Follow Kanika Verma:

Ayurvedic Physician

I am an Ayurveda Physician(BAMS, MMS, PGDHHM) with a focus on preventive Ayurveda. I specialize in Ritucharya(Preventive Seasonal Ayurvedic Regimen) and Ayurvedic psychotherapy “Satvavjaya” consultation. I am currently practicing at Mumbai, India. I love blogging about Ayurveda and Meditation.With Ayurvedic preventive knowledge, let us live invincible a hundred autumns!
Kanika V
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What a fantastic article highlighting the benefits of mango. It’s great insight for those interested in learning more about why mango tourism is such a big thing in India!