The body is the most fundamental aspect of a human being. It is crucial for survival on this earth. It is a complex creation by God, capable of performing various intricate functions with ease helping and supporting individuals to navigate this world. Nourishment is necessary for a human being's survival. Food is converted into energy by the body, which functions efficiently. An ideal human does not require any external help to sustain their body's functions, such as making the heartbeat or blood flow in a particular direction -everything is taken care of, just like magic!
The body is required to function at a certain level to lead a happy, healthy and peaceful life. Our ancestors (of Bharat) always knew how the body functioned. They studied the human body in detail. They knew how a simple headache/ stomach ache can ruin one's day. Yoga and Ayurveda deal with the science of maintaining an optimal body.
Ayurveda gives us an idea of how different foods can help our bodies stay healthy. Food is the fuel that keeps a body going. Food provides the necessary energy for carrying out various functions. Our ancestors knew about the right food combinations to consume as well. One of the most common food combinations that exists in Bharat is the Dahi-Cheeni.
What is Dahi - Cheeni
The mention of the word "Dahi-Cheeni" takes one down the nostalgic memory lane. Grandmothers and mothers of India have always (and still) used this simple yet potent food combination to feed it to their loved ones just before they stepped out of doors. They insisted that eating curd along with Cheeni brought good luck.
Dahi-Cheeni is a simple mixture of Curd and sugar. Eating this mixture is an age-old tradition in Bharat. In the olden days, Jaggery/ Gur was used. Nowadays, it has been substituted with white sugar.
BENEFITS OF EATING DAHI-CHEENI
Curd or Dahi is considered a superfood in Bharat. Curd is an excellent source of probiotics. It helps in maintaining a healthy and happy gut. Curd helps in balancing the good and bad bacteria and helps in reducing the bloating, calms indigestion and relieves constipation. It also helps in enhancing the immunity as it contains lactic acid bacteria. Curd is rich in calcium, vitamin C and potassium. Curd also is known for its calming effects and can reduce stress levels.
Jaggery is a wholesome sweetener of Bharat. It is recommended in Ayurveda (combined with other ingredients for consumption). Jaggery is power-packed with complex carbohydrates and boosts energy levels in the body. Jaggery is rich in iron and folate and hence, can help prevent anaemia by increasing the haemoglobin count. It removes toxins from the body and acts as a blood cleaner. Jaggery is also anti-inflammatory and prevents joint pain and stiffness.
Eating curd along with sugar has many benefits as well. Curd enhances the glucose levels in the body, increasing the energy levels and also keeps one hydrated throughout the day. This mixture also aids in soothing the bladder. People with severe constipation issues are advised to consume this food. The mixture of Curd and Jaggery is beneficial to the stomach ( with aches and cramps), as it helps to lessen the irritation. It also prevents acidity.
MENTIONING ABOUT DAHI - CHEENI
Maharishi Charaka wrote the Charaka Samhita. This book is one of the oldest and most authentic books on Ayurveda. There is a mention of the combination of Curd with Jaggery in this book. The Charaka Samhita ( under chapter Sutrasthana, Verse 278) says: Curd mixed with Gur / Jaggery is unctuous, refreshing and alleviates the Vata qualities.
The Indian Epic, Valmiki Ramayan, Book 2 - Ayodhya Kanda ( Chapter 91) describes Sage Bharadwaja offering food to Bharata ( Son of Kaikeyi) and his army. Verse 73 talks about the offering (by the sage) of fresh curds mixed with sugar and spices to Bharata and his army.
Recently, the Honorable President of India, Mrs. Murmu, offered this traditional Dahi-Cheeni to the Finance Minister of India - Mrs. Nirmala Sitaraman, before the budget presentation for 2024.
Thus, this tradition of eating curd mixed with Sugar / Jaggery is a delightful custom. It is heartening to see people still follow this tradition. One can only hope that people understand the science behind this custom and that they recognise the value behind the practices passed on by our ancestors. Hopefully, people comprehend that this tradition not only brings luck but also helps them to be attentive with replenished energy for a long time.
Vaishnavi Gurusankar is a passionate educator, a wife and a mother. She has over a decade of experience as an educator and has been closely working with teachers and children of all ages. She is also an active parenting blogger and founder of Magical Unicorn, an exclusive parenting blog founded on Indian ethos, values and stories at its core. She has also authored the book "Bharatyam : Science behind Hindu Practices & Way of Life"
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