Spiritual leaders in India used to stress the importance of including white pumpkin in our diet regularly as it is considered Saatvik (meaning ethical, pure & vital) conducive for practicing yoga & meditation. Food plays an important role in meditation because each food generates different effects on different parts of the brain. Saatvik food is recommended to calm the mind and to experience deep meditation.
Also white pumpkin (ash gourd, vellai poosanikai, thadiyangai, or parangikai) attains a special status in Hinduism because it is believed to attract positive energy & to repel negative energy. So white pumpkin is usually hung outside the newly built house, or establishment to ward off negative energy such as dhrishti (evil eye), etc.
Ayurvedic properties of white pumpkin:
- Taste (Rasa): Sweet (mathura)
- Qualities (Guna): Light to digest (laghu)
- Potency (Veerya): Cold (Sheeta), so it should be avoided during monsoon or winter.
- Action (Karma): Balances pitta & vata and increases kapha.
- Benefits: Improves intelligence (medhya), vitality and immunity (balya).
White pumpkin juice is beneficial to children who are particularly dull & tiresome to make them active and to improve the sharpness of brain. Now lets prepare vellai poosanikai juice:
- Extract white pumpkin juice using juice extractor.
- Pour through a sieve.
- Add freshly ground peppercorns & rock salt.
- Stir until salt is dissolved.
- Serve immediately.
- You may use honey instead of rock salt.
- You may add buttermilk or lemon juice to enhance the flavor.
- You can sprinkle cumin powder, or chaat masala before serving.