Fox nut or makhana is used in conditions like erectile dysfunction, PCOS, low sperm count (oligospermia) and low sperm motility, IBS . It helps in weight loss, hair growth and skin glow
The plant fox nut belongs to the family Nymphaeaceae. It is popularly known as “Makhana” or phool makhana in India. It grows in water and is found in India, Korea, Japan and Russia.
Read this article in Hindi मखाना के आयुर्वेदिक स्वास्थ्य लाभ Health Benefits of Makhana in hindi
Table of Content
Fox nut in Ayurveda
Fox nut is known by different names in ayurveda and other Indian languages.
- Sanskrit – makahana (It is used in yaga and yajna), padmabeejabha (looks like padma beeja), paaneeyaphala (It grows in water),
- English – Fox nut
- Hindi – Makhana
- Punjabi – Jaivar
- Telugu – Melluni padmamu
- Bengali – Makhana
- Marathi – Mane
- Gujarati – Makhana
- Urdu – Kanta Padm
- Manipuri – Thangjing
- Japanee – Onibas, Onibasu
- Nikori – Assamese
Fox nut plant does not have stem. It has large round leaves and produces bright purple flowers. The whole plant is covered with small thorns (kantaka in ayurveda) .The leaves of fox nut plant have green upper surface and purple shaded lower surface. This plant produces fruits which are about the size of a small orange. Each fruit contains 8-10 seeds which are of pea size.
Ayurveda Health Benefits and Uses of Makhana or fox nut
Texts of ayurveda explain health benefits, medicinal properties and uses of makhana as follows.
These seeds have sweet (madhura rasa ), astringent (kashaya rasa) and bitter (tikta rasa) tastes. But retains only sweet taste after digestion. , Heavy to digest (guru), increases moistness of tissues (snigdha) and has cold potency (sheeta veerya). It balances vata dosha and pitta dosha.
“Vrushya” – Fox nut in Erectile Dysfunction and Low Sperm Count
Ayurveda acharyas praise these seeds as “vrushya” or aphrodisiac. These seeds are recommended to improve men health. They help in male health conditions like erectile dysfunction, low sexual energy and infertility. Makhanna increases stickiness of secretions by increasing moisture level in body. Hence it increases quality and quantity of semen and useful in impotence. It strengthens and improves health of shukra dhatu. Makhana prevents premature ejaculation (Ayurvedic Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction and Premature Ejaculation) and increases libido (Ayurvedic Treatment to Increase Male Libido) .
It is an important ingredient of herbal preparations used for erectile dysfunction. It strengthens body and increases energy level. Because of its aphrodisiac properties it is grouped under vrishyadi varga. The herbs under this group are used in vajikarana therapy (Ayurveda Vajikarana Therapy)
Fox nut for Weight Loss
These seeds are low in calories, hence this can be chosen as an excellent snacks by persons who want to lose weight. They also have good amount of protein which help to prevent food cravings and over eating. Saturated fats are in very negligible amount in fox nut seeds and they are also low in glycemic index. These facts make makhanas a very good weight loss (Five Effective Ayurvedic Tea Recipes for Weight Loss) snack for persons who suffer from obesity (Ayurvedic Herbs, Medicine and Treatment for Obesity) and want to lose weight. These are also very good for women who want to lose weight after pregnancy (Ayurvedic Tips for Weight Loss After Delivery).
Fox nut for Diabetes
As told earlier makhanas contain both proteins and carbohydrates in good proportion and are low in glycemic index, hence they help in management of blood sugar level if consumed properly. Presence of high magnesium low sodium and fibre in these seeds help diabetic patients to manage blood sugar level. Diabetic patients can use dry roasted fox nut in salads and soups to reap the benefits. But never use sweets prepared with makhana. It is also useful for men who suffer from erectile dysfunction due to diabetes as it acts as aphrodisiac and also control blood sugar level.
Fox nut “Garbha samsthapaka” – Helps in PCOS and Safe Pregnancy
These seeds are eulogised as garbha samsthapaka which means they help in continuation of pregnancy without any troubles. Women who face habitual abortion or threatened abortion can use these seeds.
Apart from this they also help in weight loss and control blood sugar well. Makhana can be used by women who have PCOS or PCOD (Ayurvedic Treatment for PCOS or PCOD at Home). They make a best snack in PCOS ayurvedic diet
“Balya” – Boosts strength and immunity
Makhana or fox nut helps to increase body energy and boost immunity (Boost Immunity Through Ayurveda – Foods and Herbs). It reduces burning sensation and quenches thirst. This is very useful in cystitis and uti (Cystitis and UTI in Ayurveda) .
“Vishtambhi” – Can cause constipation
These seeds can cause constipation (Natural Ayurvedic Remedies for Constipation) when used in excess. Constipation can cause erectile dysfunction. Pregnant women should be very careful while eating this as it may cause constipation. Consuming ghee and milk along with phool makhana helps to overcome this problem.
Uses of Fox nut or makhana in alternative medicine systems
According to principles of traditional Chinese medicine fox nut or Makhana is used to strengthen spleen and kidneys. It is indicated in conditions like spermatorrhea, premature ejaculation, neuralgia, incontinence, cystitis, chronic diarrhea etc. According to herbalists it is helpful in preventing early discharge of semen and restores sexual vigor in older men.( Because of this property the fox nut is categorized under Vajikarana dravyas in texts of ayurveda.) Makhana helps in conditions like arthritis (Ayurvedic Remedy and Tips for Rheumatoid Arthritis (amavata)), erectile dysfunction and premature ageing. This herb has antioxidant properties and helps in digestion, rejuvenates respiratory system and prevents frequent urination.
Nutrition value of Fox nut or makhana
These seeds contain carbohydrate, protein, very low fat, dietary fiber, calcium, potassium and iron. It is very low in glycemic index.
Makhana with milk a sweet pudding:
Roast 1 cup of makhana in 3 tea spoon of ghee (Ayurveda Health Benefits and Uses of Ghee) in a thick bottomed vessel. Powder roasted makhanas coarsely. Boil 2 cups of milk (Magnificent Milk – An Ayurveda View) add powdered makhana to it. Add 3/4 cup sugar and stir well. Allow it to boil for few minutes. If needed more of hot milk can be added to get required consistency. Take it off from fire, add powdered cardamom (Ayurveda Health Benefits of Cardamom in Weight Loss and PCOS), chopped almonds (Ayurveda Health Benefits of Almonds), raisins (Raisins or Dry Grapes Health Benefits According to Ayurveda) and cashew nuts.
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Author : Dr. Savitha Suri Consultant Ayurvedic Physician
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