What is Navadhanyam? What are its benefits? | Kerala Ayurveda

Get to know about the spiritual and religious importance. Intake of Navadhanyam bestows excellent health benefits according to Ayurveda.

Ayurveda is an intricate science that is used for the general wellbeing of individuals. The ancient practice is built on the foundation that ailments and deficiencies can be managed using natural techniques. These techniques like Navadhanya make use of ingredients like herbs, spices, and medicinal plants to come up with concoctions that are useful in treatments. Ayurveda first diagnoses the way the Doshas -- Vata, Pitta, Kapha -- are optimized and then uses effective herbal remedies to ensure the organs and the entire system is in working order.  

Ayurveda has its foundations laid by the ancient Hindu philosophical teachings, named Vaisheshika school of thought and the Nyaya school of logic. These schools helped in understanding the inherent basic qualities of Dravya, or matter which formed the fundamental principles of pharmacology in Ayurveda. Ayurveda thus being closely related to Hinduism, combines both science and spirituality, which holds food and lifestyle as supporting healing factors along with medicines.

Worshipping Gods and Goddesses with offerings is a common ritual in Hinduism, as food is considered as Bramham, or supreme. One such inevitable part of Hindu pujas and rituals, Navadhanyam (nine sacred grains) is offered to the nine grahas or planets on auspicious occasions like Navarathri and griha pravesham (house warming), is also important in Ayurveda as a potent health mix.

 

Constituents of Navadhanyam and its cultural importance

The basis of Navadhanya is from the ancient scripture -- the Vedas. It is said that the configuration of the nine planets or nava grahas in our solar system have an effect on the world and every individual. There is a belief that worshipping these planets can ward off any misfortune that can arise from past karmas. Moving to the physical health benefits of Navadhanya, the nine pulses used in the practice (offered to the nine planets) have varied health benefits and can be used to bring balance to the Doshas. 

Here’s the Navadhanya list of cosmic influences:

  1. Wheat: Offered to Sun
  2. Rice: Offered to Moon
  3. Toor dal: Offered to Mars
  4. Chickpeas: Offered to Jupiter
  5. Moong beans: Offered to Mercury
  6. White beans: Offered to Venus
  7. Black sesame: Offered to Saturn

Two satellite planets (Upagrahas)

  1. Indian black lentil: Offered to Rahu
  2. Horse gram: Offered to Kethu

 

Ayurvedic importance and properties of Navadhanyam

Navadhanya doesn’t have just spiritual and religious importance, there are plenty of effective and proven health benefits that Navadhanya can have on the human body. Navadhanya has a healthy mix of cereals, lentils, oilseeds that are all rich in vitamins. Apart from vitamins, Navadhanya is also a good source of minerals, protein, fats, and carbohydrates, all that enhance the digestion process and improve immunity. 
We will now take a closer look at what the ingredients in Navadhanya are and how they help with various functions of the body. Apart from regulating bodily functions, the ingredients in Navadhanya are also beneficial in the treatment of various ailments and deficiencies. 

Apart from the spiritual and religious importance, intake of Navadhanyam bestows excellent health benefits according to Ayurveda. A unique blend of cereals, lentils, and oilseeds, Navadhanyam is a rich source of Vitamins, minerals, protein, fats, and carbohydrates that support healthy digestion and enhances immunity.

Wheat: 

Known as Godhuma, it is alleviator of vitiated Vata dosha, is sweet, cold in potency, invigorating, aphrodisiac, unctuous, bestows strength and stability, laxative, unites fractures and heavy. (Ch. Su. 27/21)

Whole wheat grain has complex carbohydrates that keep one full longer and thus aids in weight loss. Rich in magnesium and insoluble fiber it improves metabolism, helps in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and gallstones.

Rice:

Rice is mentioned in Ayurveda literature as sweet with astringent after taste, unctuous and aphrodisiac, nourishing, light, and diuretic. (As. hri. 6/1)

Rice is a good source of Vitamin B, fiber and iron. Rice has antioxidant activity and controls blood pressure as it is low in sodium.

Toor dal:

Pigeon pea or Toor dal is dry, light to digest, improves complexion and increases Vata dosha.

Toor dal is an excellent source of protein and fiber while being low in calories. Regular intake of it reduces the risk of developing type2 diabetes and helps manage weight.

Chickpeas: 

Described as chanaka, chickpeas are light, sweet with astringent after taste, cold in potency and unctuous.

Chickpeas are low in fat, a good source of antioxidants, and proteins.

Moong beans:

Moong bean is described as mudga in Ayurveda and is light, cold in potency and alleviator of Kapha and Pitta dosha. It bestows a clear vision and provides nourishment to tissues.  (As.hri 6/17)

Moong bean is one of the best sources of plant-based proteins and essential amino acids. It is high in fiber content and low in glycaemic index. The carbohydrates present in moong beans are easily digestible, which causes less flatulence as compared to other legumes.

White beans:

White beans increase Vata dosha, breastmilk and are heavy, laxative and destroys toxins.

White beans are rich in folates, iron, magnesium, potassium and vitamin B.

Black sesame:

Black sesame, mentioned as Til and is hot, good for skin, is a hair tonic, and strength promoting. It improves memory retention, increases digestive power, Kapha and Pitta dosha.

Black sesame is a good source of energy and healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids. It is rich in fiber, iron, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Indian black lentil:

Black lentil is known as masha in Ayurveda is an aphrodisiac, alleviates vitiated Vata dosha, hot in potency, sweet, heavy and promotes strength. (Ch. Su.27/25)

Black lentil is rich in protein, fat and Vitamin B and aids in digestion because of high fiber content. It improves skin health and improves circulation due to its high potassium levels.  

Horse gram:

Horse gram or Kulattha is hot in potency, astringent in taste, and alleviates vitiated Kapha and Vata dosha. It is beneficial in cough, hiccup, dyspnoea, piles, calculi, and rhinitis. (As. Hri. 6/18)

Horse gram is a known diuretic and antioxidant-rich legume, which is also rich in proteins and Vitamins. It is low in calories, high in fiber and thus aids in weight loss and better digestion.

 

Kerala Ayurveda Organic Navadhanyam

Kerala Ayurveda Organic Navadhanyam is made with selected organic produce, which is free from any chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Suitable for all ages, flavourful, low in calories, high in proteins, Vitamin, and minerals, Kerala Ayurveda Organic Navadhanyam will give you an amalgamation of great taste with healthy goodness!

 

Recipe Using Navadhanyam

(Navadhanyam Protein Tabbouleh Salad)

 

Ingredients:

 

Procedure:

  1. Soak the lentils and beans together well covered in water overnight.
  2. Drain and rinse well.
  3. Place it in a pressure cooker along with salt, and adequate water.
  4. Cook for 15 minutes in the pressure cooker. The lentils should be soft but not mushy. Set aside.
  5. While lentils are cooking, chop parsley, mint, rosemary, scallions, tomatoes, cucumbers, and avocado. Place into a bowl and in the cooked and strained lentils. Squeeze fresh lemon juice to taste, share, and enjoy.

 


FAQ's

 

1. What are the nine grains? What are the names of grains?

Navadhanyam refers to nine grains. These grains have various health benefits. The Navadhanyam benefits and information about the grains are given below:

  1. Wheat: It helps improve digestion. Known as Godhuma, it is offered to the Sun.

  2. Rice: Rice has excellent helpful fibre content and has iron. Brown rice helps in controlling blood sugar due to its high fibre content, which is why it is one of the staple foods.

  3. Toor dal: Pigeon pea is high in protein. It is the main source of proteins for vegetarians who use dal for preparing food. It can help manage weight.

  4. Chickpeas: This is low in fat. It has proteins and is an antioxidant in nature.

  5. Moong beans: Moong beans are rich in proteins and fiber. It has a low glycemic index and helps reduce blood sugar.

  6. White beans: These beans are laxative in property and can help in constipation. They are rich in iron, potassium, and vitamin B.

  7. Black sesame: This is offered to Saturn to ward of its malefic influence. It is rich in energy and has high iron, calcium, and phosphorous content.

  8. Black lentil: It has aphrodisiac property. It is helpful in improving skin health. It also improves digestion.

  9. Horse gram: It is rich in antioxidants and has high levels of proteins and vitamins. It helps aid weight loss.

 

2. What are the 2 types of grains?

The two main types of grains among the Navadhanyam are legumes and cereals. Legumes are rich in protein and have carbohydrate and fat content. Some of the common legumes are beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, pigeon peas, and soybean. They are low in fat and help to regulate cholesterol. This is why they are used widely in Indian cooking. Cereals are one of the most common food grains. They are high in carbohydrates and help provide energy for the body. Rice, wheat, maize, sorghum, and oats are the common cereals that are consumed across the country. The use of cereals and legumes in Indian cooking along with spices helps in improving health.

 

3. Which is the best grain to eat?

The two most commonly used grains are rice and wheat. Generally, rice is consumed more in the South and East while wheat is consumed in the North of Asia, especially India. Of the two grains, wheat provides more health benefits and can be considered the best and helpful grain to eat. Wheat offers many health benefits. They can help improve immunity as they help boost digestion and help strengthen Ojas. It is important to eat whole wheat and not processed wheat. Whole wheat helps in weight loss. Studies have shown that consuming whole grains helps in reducing the risk of early death due to diseases.

 

4. What is the most popular grain?

Both wheat and rice are the most popular grains among the Navadhanyam to be consumed. Rice helps improve digestion and colon health. It helps support bone health and helps provide the energy that is needed to do work. 

 


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