Mouth-freshener. A natural coolant. A digestive stimulant. A superfood that’s in essence, a sweet preserve of rose petals (pun intended). There’s no denying that Gulkand’s benefits are as diverse as its Ayurvedic and healing properties.
Worldwide, it is referred to as a rose petal jam, whereas us desis know it as Gulkand. You must have heard its name when you were devouring paan (betel nut leaf) post meals. Literally translated, its name means sweet (Qand/Kand) flower (Gul).
Having originated around 900 B.C., Gulkand/Gulqand was used extensively in ancient Indo-Persia. Back home in India, it is mostly manufactured in Ajmer and Pushkar in Rajasthan. This makes sense as it is used in a variety of lip-smacking desserts there to cool off the body from the burning heat during the summers.
Gulkand’s Gainful Uses That Makes It A Superfood
Perhaps the best part about this superfood is that it offers a host of health benefits such as:
- Enhances eyesight and boosts memory.
- Alleviates feelings of lethargy.
- Rids the body of toxins and purifies the blood.
- Aids in easy digestion and relieves heartburn.
- Treats acidity, constipation, peptic ulcer, mouth ulcer, and gastritis.
- Relieves symptoms of skin problems like redness, rash, inflammation, and itching.
- Treats blood disorders such as a nose bleed.
- Helps in cases of excessive sweating and hot flashes during periods.
- Removes foul smell and reduce yellow discharge due to vaginal infections in women.
Gulkand’s Gifted Benefits: At A Glance
Gulkand acts as a potent therapeutic superfood primarily due to the use of rose petals. It is extremely beneficial in treating diseases that emerge due to excess heat in the body or simply, that occur due to excess Pitta in the body. Here’s a low-down of its powerful benefits:
Gulkand for Dengue
Famed nutritionist, Rujuta Diwekar recommends 1 teaspoon of Gulkand on an empty stomach, early in the morning to combat issues of nausea, acidity, and bodily weakness – the first indicators of dengue. It also accelerates recovery for dengue patients.
Gulkand’s Benefits for Weight Loss
If you’re looking to lose weight, Gulkand should be your go-to choice. Take 1 teaspoon of Gulkand along with a glass of warm water, twice a day every day.
Tip: Gulkand made from pure, organic jaggery (and not sugar) is preferred in this case.
Gulkand For Piles
Engaging in a low-fibre diet and experiencing chronic constipation often form the foundation of piles. Being a mild laxative, it allows for easy flow of stools and is particularly helpful for treating bleeding piles. The recommended dose is as follows: Take 2 teaspoons of Gulkand after 2 hours post eating. Ideally, it is best to take it twice a day with milk/water.
Gulkand for Skin
Since Gulkand excels in cooling the body down, it comes in handy for a host of skin issues such as sunburn, nose bleed, etc. Plus, its natural blood purifying properties help in removing toxins such as blackheads, acne, whiteheads etc. It also helps to enhance one’s complexion. Children can safely consume it. Simply take 1 teaspoon of Gulkand, twice a day.
Gulkand For PCOS & Menstruation
Gulkand helps in cases of PCOS and relieves menstrual pain as well as treats abdominal cramps. Ideally, you should consume 1 teaspoon Gulkand for a period of 3 months twice a day to see any real benefits.
Gulkand For Ulcer
Gulkand doubles up as a cooling herbal gel and alleviates painful symptoms that people experience during moth ulcers such as burning sensations, pain in the mouth, etc.
Gulkand For Cough
Gulkand offers throat-relieving properties as it helps to get rid of phlegm in the throat and helps to reduce inflammation in the body. You can take 1 teaspoon of Gulkand twice a day for getting rid of that incessant cough!
Gulkand’s Benefits For Acne
Due to its anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, it helps to treat acne and marks while ensuring that your gut stays happy and healthy! Consume 1/2 teaspoon of Gulkand post meals, twice a day for best results.
Gulkand’s Benefits For Sleep
If you’re someone who suffers from poor or no sleep, start consuming Gulkand with milk at bedtime. Since the body needs to cool down to ensure a night of peaceful sleep, both milk and Gulkand act as the perfect coolants.
Gulkand’s Benefits During Pregnancy
Owing to its anti-oxidant and rejuvenating benefits, Gulkand helps maintain healthy energy levels during pregnancy, treats muscle pain, and eases mental stress. Another common issue that women face during pregnancy – a.k.a constipation – can be treated by consuming Gulkand as it helps to loosen the stool. You can take 1 teaspoon of Gulkand as post meals.
Gulkand For Conceiving
Gulkand acts as an effective aphrodisiac and offers nourishing and strengthening properties. Plus, it helps to bring about a healthy sexual wellness routine. You can consume 1 glass of warm milk along with 1 teaspoon of Gulkand before sleeping.
Gulkand’s Benefits For Hair
Gulkand indirectly aids in reducing hair loss by reducing the body’s stress levels and enhancing the body’s blood circulation. Plus, it helps to strengthen your hair roots and improves hair growth, making your hair super-strong and super shiny.
Gulkand For Conjunctivitis
For treating conjunctivitis, take Mukta Pishti (125 mg), Parval Pishti (500 mg), Yashad Bhasma (125 mg), Gandhak Rasayan (500 mg), and 1 teaspoon of Gulkand. Mix all these ingredients with milk and consume for relief from burning, itching, etc.
How to Make Gulkand at Home?
A majority of health experts suggest you make Gulkand at home as it is super-easy to make and only requires readily-available everyday ingredients. Plus, the process of making sun-cooked Gulkand delivers a far more superior flavour as opposed to using supermarket variants that are cooked on the gas-stove which, ultimately strips it of its nutrients. So let’s look at the process of making home-made Gulkand:
Step 1: Take 200gms of Damask rose petals (or any other type of rose petals available and wash it. However, note that the Damask rose petals taste much better. Dry the petals with a towel and crush into smaller pieces.
Step 2: Then, take 100-200 gm of powdered sugar and the crushed rose petals and add alternate layers of these two ingredients in a glass jar and close with a lid. Keep this mixture exposed in sunlight for 6 hours every day and stir occasionally.
Step 3: Keep repeating this every day for 30 days till you notice a thick, sugary concentrate. Let the mixture cool down and transfer to another jar. Voila, your Gulkand is all good to go!
Handy tip: You can use jaggery/honey instead of sugar to make the gulkand. Plus, adding cooling agents such as a silver foil, cardamom seeds, coral calcium, or powdered pearl can further enhance its health benefits.
Gulkand’s Nutritional Values for a 10-gm Rose Petal Jam
- Calories: 12-15
- Carbohydrates: 4.13-5.3 gm
- Dietary Fiber: 0.85-1.7 gm
- Sugar: 3.33 gm
- water: 4.3-5.8 gm
Important: The above-mentioned measurements are not an absolute value, they are assumptions based on the nutrients used.
- Infants: 500 mg -1 gm
- Children: 2-3 gm
- Adult: 5-20 gm
- Pregnant women: 2-5 gm
- Old age: 5 gm
Important: The maximum possible dosage for Gulkand is 20 gm per day (in divided doses). Plus, you can consume Gulkand twice a day with warm water (in case of gastric problems) and with milk (n case of constipation).
Recipe Corner: How to Eat Gulkand & Use It In Cooking?
Gulkand’s use in cooking imparts a rich-rosy and delicately sweet flavour. Here are some tasty and nutrient-dense recipes you can try:
Gulkand with milk is a match made in heaven. Acting as a powerful summer coolant, you can use this combination in a variety of forms such as:
Gulkand Milkshake that Keeps You Cool Inside Out!
- Gulkand: 2 tbsps
- Milk: 500 ml, boiled and chilled
- Rose syrup: 1 tbsp
- Ice cream: 1 scoop (optional)
- Blend the chilled milk, rose syrup, and Gulkand using a blender until it is smooth and frothy.
- Add ice cream for added flavour (optional).
- Pour into glasses, add ice cubes (if required), and serve.
Health tip: You can add a teaspoon of sabja or sweet basil seeds which is a star ingredient that’s highly recommended by lifestyle coach, Luke Coutinho. These seeds aid in reducing body heat and in controlling blood sugar levels.
Gulkand Ice Cream, that’s Perfect for those Scorching Summers!
- Heavy whipping cream, chilled: 2 cups
- Full cream milk, boiled and cooled: 1/2 cup
- Condensed milk: 1/2 cup
- Gulkand: 5-6 tbsp
- Rose essence (optional): 4-5 drops
- Place a large bowl in the freezer and let it chill for 1-2 hours.
- Reserve 2 tbsp of Gulkand. Use the rest by mixing it with full cream milk to make a smooth puree.
- Pour the heavy whipping cream to the chilled bowl and whisk until it forms soft peaks.
- Add condensed milk, rose essence, ground gulkand puree, and the reserved gulkand to the whipped cream. Make sure to fold it gently so that the mixture is uniform. Taste the mixture and add more condensed milk if needed.
- Pour it into a freezer-safe box and let it refrigerate overnight until it is set.
- Scoop and serve!
Dry Fruit Gulkand Barfi That’s Perfect For Diwali!
- Chopped dried figs: One-and-a-half cups
- Dates: 1 cup
- Almond: 1/3 cup
- cashew nuts: 1/3 cup
- Walnuts: 1/3 cup
- Pistachios: 1/3 cup
- Raisins: 1/3 cup
- Gulkand: 2 tablespoons
- Nutmeg powder: 1/4 teaspoon
- Ghee: 1 tablespoon
- Edible silver foil/leaf (Optional)
- Soak the chopped dried figs in warm water for 15 minutes, strain the water, and pat dry.
- Grind the figs along with the dates and raisins to a smooth paste. Don’t add the water and keep aside.
- Finely chop the almonds, cashew nuts, walnut, and pistachios.
- Heat ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan, add the anjeer(fig) paste and saute for a minute.
- Next, put in the chopped date and nut mixture, nutmeg powder, gulkand mixture, and mix well.
- Cook for a couple of minutes till the mixture starts leaving the pan. Then, turn off the heat.
- Finally, grease a tray with ghee and pour the burfi mixture into the tray. Allow it to cool completely so that it self-sets into a barfi.
- Add the silver varq and keep the barfi in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Cut it into desired shapes and serve!
Gulkand’s Side-Effects & Precautionary Measures
Gulkand is safe to consume during pregnancy and lactation. It does not pose any side-effects. That said, it contains sugar and hence, cannot be consumed by diabetic patients. Another point to keep in mind is that it should not be consumed continuously for over a period of six months.