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Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha literature attribute important health benefits to almonds

Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India]: Ayurveda is a form of alternative medicine which seeks to treat and integrate body, mind and spirit using a comprehensive holistic approach especially by emphasizing diet, herbal remedies, exercise, meditation, breathing, and physical therapy.

Since this form of medicine is deeply rooted in our culture, as is the tradition of almond consumption, Dr. Padma Venkatasubramanian and Dr. Subrahmanya Kumar of Trans-disciplinary University (TDU) reviewed published Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani texts and documented the usage and health benefits of almonds.

“Almonds have been considered beneficial to health for many years now. It is understood that it stems from a strong belief in the nutritional properties of almonds. However, with the progress made by modern medicine, people tend to move towards lab produced medicines even for simple illnesses or conditions that that may be improved, by natural foods and traditional practices like Ayurveda, Siddha or Unani,” said Dr. Padma Venkatasubramanian, Lead author of the review Trans-Disciplinary University (TDU).

Adding, “For example, according to Siddha, a main function of almonds is to tone up all body tissues, especially the reproductive. According to Siddha practice, almonds are also thought to have a therapeutic effect on lifestyle conditions such as gastric irritation and debility in diabetes patients.”

She further said, “One of the most fascinating discoveries through this review was that according to both Ayurveda and Unani, almond consumption also has a therapeutic effect on male infertility and decreased sexual performance, a condition growing at a fast pace in today’s world.”

Ritika Samaddar, popular Delhi based nutritionist said, “With an increased awareness of lifestyle diseases today, people are more willing to do what it takes to lead a healthier life. I have been recommending daily snacking on a handful of almonds (30 grams/ 23 almonds) to stay energised through the day and for its heart health, weight and diabetes management , benefits that are supported by scientific literature.”

Adding, “However, this review also reminds us that Indian medical traditions have long recommended almonds for multiple benefits in addition to those supported by existing scientific evidence. It is interesting to see these texts speak about almonds’ role in promoting skin and hair health in addition to being an aphrodisiac, an area rarely ever spoken about with regards to almonds.”

Namrata Shirodkar, actor and celebrity said, “I have always believed in natural foods and their goodness. Since I have grown up hearing about the multiple benefits of almonds, I ensure my entire family eats a handful of these nuts every day. This review echoes what I have grown up hearing and believing about almonds. What is most satisfying for me as a mother is that the Ayurveda and Unani texts suggest that consumption of almonds nourishes the brain, nerve tissues and promotes intelligence. This is a big reason I include almonds in my child’s daily diet and would continue to do so”.

The aim of the review was to see how almonds fit into traditional health/medicine practices and belief systems in India by reviewing traditional texts. For the purpose of the review, TDU reviewed texts from the three traditional medical practices, all published texts approved by the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, yoga and Naturopathy, Unani , Siddha and Homoeopathy), Government of India.

Texts from the three traditional medical systems referred to almonds frequently and spoke about the varieties, parts used, functional properties, pharmacological actions, therapeutic indications and usage of almonds. In addition, the texts refer to multiple compound formulations using almonds as an ingredient.

Interestingly, while these traditional Indian medical texts already acknowledge the health benefits supported by modern scientific research, many other benefits of almonds are also mentioned. (ANI)