Eating neem and jaggery on Ugadi festival is not just a tradition. Neem and jaggery contains a lot of health benefits. Our elders have made it a religious ritual or tradition on the day of Ugadi festival to consume neem which is rich in medicinal properties along with jaggery to prevent diseases that may occur with the onset of summer.
Ugadi festival is celebrated in many parts of India as the new year and a symbol of prosperity. With the onset of spring in this season we see newness in nature. The vibs is full of newness – new spring, fresh air, sweet song of cuckoo and bright sunbeam. Ugadi festival is celebrated on the day of spring season, Chaitra month, Shuklapaksha. It is believed that Lord Brahma created the world on this day and the beginning of the Kali Yuga begis on the day of Ugadi festival.
Neem consumption is common, though traditions differ:
This New Year festival is celebrated differently in different states. In Karnataka, after waking up in the morning on the day of the festival, we usually do darshan of the Mars. After the abhyanjana bath ritual, pooja ritual will be completed and neem and jaggery mix will be consumed. Then special dishes will be eaten with everyone and panchanga shravan will be done in the evening. Neem decoction is consumed on this day in Maharashtra. In Andhra Pradesh, a mixture of neem, tamarind, jaggery, savory, salt and mango is consumed on Ugadi.
Consumption of neem is common, although traditions differ. Symbolically jaggery symbolizes happiness or joy. Neem is a symbol of many complications and sorrows in the path of life. This means that both happiness and sadness are integral parts of life and both should be accepted equally. But this ritual also contains a lot of health benifits.
Eating neem and jaggery on Ugadi
The spring season starts from the day of Ugadi festival. As the brightness of the sun increases during this time, the atmosphere becomes drier, sunnier and warmer. And due to its influence, the content of bile in the body also increases. Due to this, people may suffer stomach disorders, mouth ulcers, vomiting, dysentery, heartburn, excessive sweating, many skin diseases like itching, hives and sweating.
Neem has many medicinal properties:
Since water pollution is common in summer, we are prone to many infectious diseases such as typhoid, malaria, and many types of fever. Therefore, neem is traditionally consumed on the festival day to prevent such diseases, reduce excessive bile content, and increase immunity.
- Neem is rich in medicinal properties, grows abundantly in nature with the onset of spring, is readily available and purifies the atmosphere.
- Neem is bitter and rich in juice, when taken with jaggery , reduces the content of bile in the body and cools the body.
- Consuming neem juice on an empty stomach prevents gastric, worms, parasites and infectious diseases and relieves stomach ulcers, flatulence and constipation.
- Neem is a panacea for skin diseases – Consuming neem relieves inflammation, itching and purifies the blood, softens the skin and gives a glow to the skin. Eliminates fungal infections especially in summer.
- Restores damaged skin cells due to excessive vitamin E. It prevents the harmful effects that can be caused to the cells by unnecessary elements in the body and increases the immunity by removing the toxins from the body.
- Also, it prevents the negative energy of this time and postpones aging.
So as a good medicine for several diseases that may occur with the onset of summer, our elders have made it a religious practice or tradition on the day of Ugadi festival to consume neem with jaggery which is full of medicinal properties to prevent diseases.
Dr. Mahesh Sharma M
Sri Dharamsthal Manjunatheshwar Ayurvedic Hospital
Anchepalya, Mysore Road, Bengaluru