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Tragacanth gum is the sap of the thorny shrub tragacanth, which is a thorny and low-growing shrub. It is mostly found in the mountainous regions of the Middle East. Iran is the highest producer of this tree gum, which is also called Gond Katira in Hindi.
This gum is odorless, tasteless, and a water-soluble mixture obtained from the sap of the plant and then dried. Tragacanth gum has varied uses, which is not limited to consumption and includes uses in several other industries. It is also an important part of Ayurvedic treatment due to its medicinal properties.
How is the gum obtained?
The gum is derived from the roots and the stem of the plant by making an incision. The incision is generally made 5 cm below the ground level. The sap is then collected and dried as flakes or crystals.
Health Benefits of Gond Katira
Several health benefits are associated with Tragacanth gum. The best part, however, is that this sap cools the body during summer and in winters, it heats up the body. Tragacanth gum is beneficial for:
Treating heat stroke as the gum acts as a cooling agent. During summers, a drink can be prepared by soaking the gum in water and then making a drink out of it after it has become fluffy.
It is effective for treating constipation due to its purgative properties.
Tragacanth gum is effective in increasing libido and also for treating sexual inadequacy or weakness in men
This sap has anti-aging properties, which is beneficial for your skin as it delays the development of wrinkles and fine lines.
This gum is a part of herbal treatment for women who have small breast and wish to increase its size.
Tragacanth gum is great for new mothers who become weak after delivery. It is said to be beneficial for both the mother and the baby.
How to Consume Tragacanth gum
Tragacanth gum can be a part of several food items that we consume on a daily basis. It includes:
Dressings for salads, in sauces, mayonnaise as well as the base of condiments
As a thickener for ice cream
Used for making puddings as well as laddoos, especially during the winters
As cake decoration flowers
Other Uses: Apart from consumption, Tragacanth gum is also used in several other industries. Some of the other uses include:
Polish for leather goods or for leather dressing
In textile print paste for silks and crepes
For hardening calico
In ointments and creams as thickener or lubricants, in lotions for hair or hand as it increases the shelf life
In toothpaste as it acts as a suspending agent
As adhesive in the cigar to secure it
Though Tragacanth gum is good for health, you must be cautious about its side effects and also restrict the consumption amount. Some of the precautions include:
Consuming sufficient water to prevent choking or blockage in the intestine
Checking for sensitivity for natural gums or quillaia bark, which can cause breathing problem