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Monday, May 23, 2011

WHAT IS GOND KATIRA? TRAGACANTH GUM: BENEFITS AND USES OF TRAGACANTH GUM: HOW TO MAKE GOND KATIRA DRINK


TRAGACANTH GUM, GOND KATIRA, ASTRALAGUS GUMMIFER LABILL
Tragacanth gum comes from a thorny shrub which is native to western Asia, Iraq, Iran and the Middle East. It is a tree gum like myrrh, frankincense and balm of Gilead, and can be used, along with the stems of the plant as incense. It comes from a number of Astragalus species, but the one which produces the best quality gum is Astragalus gummifer or gummifera. The gum exudes naturally from the roots of the plant and from incisions made in the stem. This is collected and when dried forms crystals of flakes or may be formed into blocks. The plant is a member of the pea family of plants, Fabaceae, and produces pods like other members of the Leguminoseae family such as carob trees.
  The shrub is pollinated by bees and butterflies and is a useful nitrogen-fixing plant. You may think you have never eaten gum Tragacanth, but the odds are that you have as it is a food additive known in the food industry as E 413. It is used as a thickening agent in sauces, ice cream and confectionary, and is also used in the cosmetics industry. It helps bind other ingredients together.
  It is also used in the textile industry to thicken dyes for fabric, to make glue, for water colours and to produce the gloss in ink, among other uses including the manufacture of paper.
  Externally the gum has been used in traditional medicine for dressing burns, and it is now believed that it might have anti-tumour properties, and could stimulate the immune system.
  Here in Pakistan it is sold for use in cooling drinks, in crystal form, so to me it looks like mastica, another tree product. It is also said to help if you are constipated.
  You have to soak a very small piece of the gum in a glass of water and it will swell and turn to a jelly-like substance which is transparent, so that the glass looks as though it is full of chunks of ice. Leave it to soak until it is very swollen (a couple of hours seems to do the trick) and then drink it with water, ice and lemon juice. This drink is as good as those which include tukh malanga (basil seeds) or sugar cane juice for cooling the body temperature in the heat of summer.
 
 
Gond Katira Drink
1 small piece of gond katira, or Tragacanth gum, soaked in water overnight
1 tbsp juice of fresh lemon, optional
1 glass water
1 tbsp sugar
ice
 
Method
When the crystals have swollen and turned gelatinous take one or two small fragments and mix in cold water with the sugar and lemon juice if using and add ice.
Drink while cool.
This has Taste and is a Treat.

32 comments:

  1. gr8 information thanks

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  2. Thanks for sharing...very informative

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  3. Enjoyed reading your post. I do have a cooking tip to share. When cooking meat of any kind if one prepares a meat masala with onion ginger garlic and spices at the start then holding the tomatoes (whether whole or pureed) back instead of adding them after the spices allows the meat to cook to a more tender consistency. Simply add the tomatoes when the meat has been nearly cooked.

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  4. Is Gond Katira weight and fat increasing herb because now a days I am taking foods weight reducing, thanks

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  5. If you drink it in milk, then this will be added calories and yes, you might put on weight. However if you take it in lemon juice, then obviously this will mean less calorie consumption.

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  6. Thanks for sharing that.Why not re-post this comment on our tomatoes post? We can't move comments.

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  7. Glad you all liked this article.Thank you for your feedback.

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  8. is it good for pregnant women?

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    Replies
    1. "No significant toxic or teratogenic effects were produced by oral administration of Tragacanth Gum to pregnant mice." This is the final report on the safety of gum Tragacanth. However there is little evidence to support its use in pregnancy. use it in moderation and you should be OK.

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  9. Can it swell in sugary water?

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  10. Yes, and you can use it in milk or fruit juice, as it will take on the flavour of the liquid. However as it is a gum and has some impurities, we recommend soaking it in water first and then removing the "dust" and then putting it into another liquid to continue swelling.

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  11. So for how much time i soak it in water to remove impurities nd then in desised liquid?

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  12. Half an hour is enough for the removal of impurities and then put it in another liquid and whisk it in and drink it. If you want to you can soak it in the other liquid for 5-10 minutes.
    Crush it into smaller pieces before the initial soaking.

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  13. Very very useful information

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  14. its good for liver to i hard

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  15. can i mix this gum with sugar and corn syrup to make a pliable dough which can be used to decorate cakes?

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    Replies
    1. We don't think this would work as you would have a sticky mess on the cake.

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  16. is this good for backache?

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  17. does it help in breast development of females?

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  18. Probably not. Try exercises.

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  19. does it help with fertility problems!

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  20. No why would ıt? It ıs used as a food addıtıve.

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  21. is this the same katira that can be used as a hair gel?

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  22. also good for healing skin infection ...apply the gelatinous form on the infected area and cover with cotton overnight, everyday for one week.

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  23. Kond katira is very good to take in hot summer days. Best is to grind it with hand and souk this poweder in water overnight. When you want to suse it, you can add sugar and milk and can add any syrup such as ROh Afza or Jame Shireen. it is best drink for thirsty throats.

    Sarfraz, Rawalpindi

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  24. Is gond katira helpful in piles and constipation

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  25. will you Please tell is gond katria is gud for men ?
    i mean if we are suffering in any type of sexual weakness deises ?

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  26. Thanks for the information. My mother used to give us when we were children 50 years ago. Today I brought it for my child. I will be trying first time so looked in google to find out how to use it. Tuk Malanga is another thing I wanted but could not get it anywhere near my house in Delhi.

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  27. Please advise as to how it is good for body- in what sense apart from tasty drinks.Does it have any side effects?
    s k mittal

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  28. Is it true that katira causes impotency, because asaram sevadar blame on him

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  29. It can cause impotency in Male..

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