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Makhana: Health Benefits, Uses, Dosage and Side Effects

By NS Desk | Herbs | Posted on :   18-Dec-2020

The Makhana is otherwise known as Euryale Ferox, The Fox Seeds, or Lotus seeds. These are the seeds of the lotus that are used for innumerable purposes. The fox seeds have too many medicinal values and properties, with the help of which one is able to treat numerous diseases. These seeds are used in making savories and sweets. Eating Makhana is healthier than eating any processed food. These are widely used in both the scientific treatment of diseases and in the Ayurvedic treatment of diseases. As Makhana has a high level of magnesium and low sodium level, it can be used by obese people to lose weight. Makhana acts as an anti-aging herb by preventing wrinkles.
Origination of the word “Makhana”
The word “Euryale” is from the mythical Greek Gorgon, which is a mythical creature. The word “Makhana” is a commonly used local name. This is used in certain parts of the world. They grow only on stagnant water. In English, the word “Makhana” means Fox Nut.
Historical uses of Makhana
This medicinal herb has been used in the past for numerous diseases and health problems like people suffering from obesity, heart disease, diarrhea, insomnia, and blood pressure of high levels. Makhana or the fox nut has a low level of sodium and high level of magnesium content that makes the curing of diseases easier.
The Lotus seeds have been and are still being used in the treatment of scientific and Ayurveda. The science experts and the ayurvedic experts still believe that any diseases or health problems can be cured with Makhana's help.
This can be consumed in both raw forms as well in cooked form. Makhana has been used in Chinese medicine for a long time now. This medicinal herb plays an important role in Ayurvedic treatment. In Ayurveda, it is also believed that the Makhana, due to its astringent properties it is good for the kidneys.
Benefits of using Makhana in Ayurvedic Treatment
Many of the experiments conducted and using this medicinal herb in Ayurvedic and scientific treatments have proven that the usage of lotus seeds have a beneficial effect on people. Most importantly, the fox nuts or lotus seeds play a major role in the treatment of diseases in Ayurveda.
These lotus seeds are gluten-free, and thus they are rich in protein and carbohydrates. As these are low in calories, it is beneficial for people trying to lose weight. The usage of Makhana in Ayurvedic treatment is beneficial for people with heart diseases that are caused by a low level of magnesium. As the fox nuts have a high level of magnesium, it prevents one from heart diseases.
Treating Diseases or Health Problems using Makhana
As we understood the benefits of the medicinal herb Makhana,  we will now be dealing with how Makhana is being used in treating diseases from both the ayurvedic point of view and scientific point of view. 
● Male infertility



Male infertility can be caused in many ways. This can be controlled and prevented with the help of Makhana. As it is spermatogenic, it increases the sperm count and prevents any dysfunction in men.

According to Ayurveda, it is believed that the Makhana helps to prevent male infertility due to its aphrodisiac property that is known as Vajikarna in Ayurveda. Thus, the consumption of Makhana prevents infertility in men.

● Diabetes



According to scientific experts, the Makhana has antioxidant and hyperglycemic properties. These properties help reduce blood glucose levels and stimulate the secretion of insulin in the body.

In Ayurveda, the Makhana helps in maintaining the balance of both the Vata and Kapha dosha. This thus helps one from getting affected with diabetes.

● Weight loss



Due to the high fiber content and low level of calories, the medicinal herb, the science experts believe that Makhana can be used to lose weight. This is very beneficial for obese people.

In Ayurveda, Makhana is consumed in order to gain weight. Avoiding the regular intake of Makhana powder can help one from gaining any weight.

● Diarrhea



In scientific treatment, the Makhana is used to treat Diarrhoea as it helps in controlling it. Due to the astringent and absorbent property, Makhana helps in controlling Diarrhoea.

According to Ayurveda, the medicinal herb, Makhana, is believed to have the Grahi property by absorbing the fluids from the gut and hence preventing and controlling Diarrhoea.

● Heart Diseases



According to Science experts, due to the antihyperlipidemic property and antioxidant property present in Makhana, the consumption of this herb prevents any heart disease but strengthens the muscles.

According to Ayurveda, the Makhana helps to maintain proper blood pressure in a person as it has low sodium and high magnesium content.

Forms of Makhana in Ayurveda with the Recommended dosage
The medicinal herb, Makhana, is available in different forms. This makes it effortless for people to consume it. Each kind of form is used for each type of disease or health problem. Each form has to be taken with a limited dosage only. The recommended dosage for each form are as follows:
● Raw Makhana: A handful of Makhana mostly 1-2
● Roasted Makhana: 2-3 handfuls a day ( best suited as snacks)
● Makhana Powder: 2-3 tsp of powder to be taken
If you have consulted a doctor, then you can take medicine as prescribed to you. If not, you may follow the above-recommended dosage.
Types of Ayurvedic Care with Makhana
1. Raw Makhana
Makhana can be consumed in its raw form for great results. It can either be added to any of your light foods, salads, or they can be eaten raw, just like eating peanuts.  It could be taken at any time of the day. But it has to be taken only twice a day.
- Take as much as you want but not too much. 1-2 handful will do good.
- Add it to your snacks and savories or your salads.
2. Roasted Makhana
This form of Makhana is likable by everybody as it is easy, crunchy, and tasty to consume. This Makhana has to be added to hot oil and roasted till they become crunchy to consume. This form of Makhana makes it easier to consume at any time of the day.
- Take 2-3 handful of Makhana.
- Add it to hot oil and roast it nicely.
- Do not consume more than 10 to 20 grams a day. 
- People trying to lose weight may try avoiding this form of Makhana.
3. Makhana Powder
Makhana is also available in the powdered form. It has to be consumed to a limit by each person depending upon their age. For instance, children above 5 years are supposed to eat only 5 to 10 grams a day and not more than that. 
- Take 2-3 tsp of makhana powder 
- Add it with milk, honey, or water
- Eat  it twice at any time of the day
4. Makhana Paste
This form of Makhana helps one by preventing and lightening the wrinkles. It acts as an anti-aging cream. Due to the presence of natural flavonoid kaempferol, it prevents aging as well as inflammation. This has to be used externally only.
- Take a small amount of the Makhana paste
- Apply it to the affected area
- Apply it twice a day for better results
Side effects of Makhana
While there are too many good qualities and healing properties in Makhana, certain side effects can occur if one takes an excessive amount of Makhana. It is not advisable to consume Makhana in any form for more than 30 grams a day. Even though there are not enough scientific experiments explaining the side effects when Makhana is consumed, a few of the side effects that can occur are:
● Bloating
● Constipation
● Bioaccumulation of heavy metals
Both the scientific experts and the ayurvedic experts say that it is better to consume Makhana in any form after consulting with their physician. So, it helps by preventing any side effects from occurring. It is better to take the necessary precautions before consuming Makhana.
Precautionary Guide while using Makhana
Although there are a lot of benefits and medicinal values to Makhana or the fox nuts, there need to be certain precautions to be taken to prevent any side effects. Some of the precautions that have to be taken while using Makhana are as follows.
For Pregnant and Breastfeeding Ladies
- View of Science Experts
Although Makhana is consumed to gain strength and increase breast milk supply, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding need to be more careful. As the Makhana grown on the polluted water can increase the risk of heavy metals' bioaccumulation. This can lead to problems in pregnancy or in producing the required milk. Hence women are advised to take extra care before consuming Makhana.
For babies below the age of 5
- View of Science Experts
Children below the age of 5 years shouldn’t consume Makhana in any form. Only children above 5 years are said to consume Makhana. That too only 5 to 10 grams a day and not more than that. 
For people with Gastritis
- View of Ayurvedic Experts
Excessive consumption of Makhana may lead to bloating and gas formation, as it takes a lot of time to digest. Hence it is not advisable for people suffering from gastritis to consume Makhana without any doctor consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions about Makhana
Is Makhana good for the skin?
Absolutely yes. The application of Makhana paste is good for your skin. As Makhana has antioxidant property and anti-aging property, it helps one in preventing the skin from inflammation and aging. It helps in tightening the skin and preventing wrinkles. So, Makhana is definitely good for the skin.
Can Makhana be consumed as one wishes?
No, Makhana is not supposed to be consumed in any form as one wishes to eat. It has to be consumed only twice a day, and more than that is not good for health. Makhana should not be consumed more than 30 grams a day. So, it must be consumed only to a limited dosage. The excessive consumption of Makhana will cause constipation and bloating.

NS Desk

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