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 achieving deep meditation because each food generates different effects on different parts of the brain. Saatvik food is recommended to calm the mind and to experience meditation.
White pumpkin (ash gourd, vellai poosanikai, thadiyangai, or parangikai) attains a special status in our culture because it is believed to attract positive energy and also 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 keep the children’s brain active & make them attentive particularly for slow learners. Now let’s 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.
- We may use honey instead of rock salt and add buttermilk or lemon juice to enhance the flavor.
- We can sprinkle cumin powder, or chaat masala before serving.