Amid the flavourful dishes puttu-kadala curry, Thalassery biryani and Malabar parotta, lies an ancient traditional drink called pathimugham water that holds a special place in the Ayurvedic practice. With pinkish hue infused from Sappan wood, it can be commonly found in the local households of Kerala. This herb comes from a small tree which is native to Indo - Malaysian region. Sappan wood easily grows in the climatic conditions of Kerala and is also known to act as a nature's fence to protect against wild animals.
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A Solution To Your Digestive Problems "The bark of Biancaea sappan is rich in anti-microbial properties",
Dr. Bhavna Manoj, Chief Physician-Agadyati Ayurveda says while elaborating on the nutritional profile of pathimugham. "The wood itself has methanol which inhibits methicillin resistant Staphylococcus, food poisoning and infections. It is extremely good for digestion, detoxification and cools your body, especially in hot summers", she further adds.

The goodness of Pathimugham extends beyond the gut. As per DR. Bhavna, "This has anti cancerous properties especially against colorectal and oesophageal cancers and the gastro protective actions of Pathimugham has been a very helpful remedy in treating ulcers." In Ayurveda, it is said to be beneficial for preventing neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson's disease and Alzhemer's Disease. It is also good for diabetic conditions and improves blood circulation too.

Dr. Bhavna also recommends women to consume this pink drink as "It helps in conditions like painful menstruation and low menstrual flow." This is not the end, "Pathimugham water acts as a blood purifier, cures skin conditions and ensures heart health" adds Dr Bhavna Manoj- Agadyati Ayurveda.

Talking about its importance in the Kerala households, renowned chef and restauranteur Regi Mathew says, " It is because of the the climate pathimugham water became common in Kerala. In the rainy season, water usually gets contaminated so, usually people boil it before drinking. But as boiling tends to make water bland, sappan wood which is very prominent in Kerala became a healthy way to give a subtle taste to the regular water."

"Mainly because the trees are grown commonly here and Keralites have a tradition of drinking herbal water instead of plain water, pathimugham drink is common in the state," says Archana, a blogger who goes by the name @mylittlethoughtslane. It is traditionally offered as a welcome drink in Keralite households as well.

The Right Way To Prepare Pathimugham So, how is this wonderful beverage prepared? Chef Regi Mathew emphasises on the importance of using natural wood over pre-made powders to avoid adulteration. He suggests, "Boiling the water and then adding the wood while it cools to ensure optimal extraction of beneficial properties without altering its flavour profile."

Pathimugham is not just a regular drink, it showcases Kerala's deep connection with nature and its longstanding Ayurvedic practices. So, incorporate pathimugham water in your daily routine and keep yourself safe from digestive issues and several chronic diseases.

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