“Falsa” and its Surprising Health Benefits
The time of year has returned when the markets are once again filled with carts and wagons laden with one of Pakistan’s favorite berries, “Falsa”. Falsas (Phalsas) are a product of the Grewia Asiatica tree and are native to the Sub-continent. Sweet, tangy and refreshing, they are a staple on every juice-maker’s counter in the sweltering summer months. Everything about the Falsa crop is beneficial. The leaves are instrumental in treating dermatologic inflammatory pathologies, while an infusion of the bark is therapeutic for rheumatism, diarrhea and vaginal burning. But the greatest medicinal potential lies in the fruit itself. Let’s sneak a peek into the amazing health benefits of Falsa and how you can prepare the heavenly elixir from this summer special fruit.
- Falsa is astringent and stomachic. The unripe berries are instrumental in alleviating inflammation. Hence, it is administered in respiratory, cardiac and hematologic inflammatory conditions as well in feverish states.
- Taking its role in respiratory disorders a level further, Falsa is often advised for patients who suffer from asthma, bronchitis, colds, coughs and sore throats. It is rich in a plethora of nutrients and minerals, including, but not limited to, magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, carbohydrates and vitamins A and C.
- It is also an invaluable source of antioxidants, which plays a vital role in combating senescence and ageing. Anti-oxidants are scientifically proven to play a role in preventing cancer. It makes for a great low fat, low sodium snack.
- Falsas contain 5.53g of dietary fiber per 100g. This makes them great digestives, going as far as to relieve stomach aches. Studies show that consumption of Falsas normalizes, and even maintains heart rate and blood pressure. This simple violet berry seems to have a host of therapeutic benefits on every system in the body. It is a major player in maintaining homeostasis with respect to body fluids.
- Falsa juice is recommended in cases of oliguria (i.e., low urine output) as it stimulates the passage of urine. Physicians advise it as a safe and organic option to treat burning micturition (a burning sensation experienced while passing urine) and acidic urine (which could give rise to stone formation).
- One wouldn’t expect the seeds to be as useful, but studies show that the nutrients in the seed can be used to treat gonorrhea and other fertility related problems. Falsas have also been used for generations to treat anemia in patients.
- Falsa is a powerful cooling agent in the body as well. The juice (made by grinding and diluting the fruit) is traditionally used to kill thirst and eliminate the symptoms of nausea, vomiting and GI (Gastric Intestinal) unease associated with heat stroke. It’s a go-to beverage for heat stroke victims.
How to Make Falsa Juice
The best is yet to come! As a testimony of appreciation, we’ve decided to include a special treat for all of you! We’ve talked about the phenomenal benefits of falsas and falsa juice, now let’s talk about how YOU can put together this heavenly elixir. You’ll need:
- About 250 grams of Falsas
- Approximately 3 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 cup of crushed ice
Begin by washing the falsas thoroughly in clean water (skipping this crucial step might land you a sore throat the next morning, and nobody enjoys that). Proceed to grind the berries in a grinder, straining the pulp when you’re finished. Add 3 glasses of chilled water and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Stir thoroughly. Squeeze one lemon’s worth of juice into the mix and add the crushed ice. This quantity should be sufficient to serve 5 people. Some would recommend adding a pinch of salt and ‘Laal Mirch’ for an extra kick. But that’s really up to your taste buds. It’s a delectable, refreshing and therapeutic beverage for the whole family to enjoy!