Grapes are the best among all the fruits and the most wholesome according to Ayurveda.*
The sweet taste (rasa) and post-digestive effect (vipaka) nourish the physiology with strength - whether it be building tissues and energy for the emaciated and depleted, a juicy aphrodisiac or providing mental strength to brush off negativity and mistaken intellect and rise above anxiety or depression.
I like to use Draksadi Kashayam formula - a decoction with grapes + other herbs to boost mental strength in clients.
Grapes are like white plasma (rasa). Thus, according to Ayurveda’s principle of “like increases like,” grapes tonify and nourish rasa dhatu (plasma, extracellular fluid and lymph + more tissue substances that can't be translated into western medical terms).
Grapes cool you down, thus great for pitta, heated conditions, fever, jaundice, eye health (eyes are a site of metabolism/Pitta), bleeding diseases, burning sensations and is fantastic to quench thirst.
Anti-oxidant - The rich phytochemical anthocyanin gives (especially red) grapes the ability to eradicate harmful free radicals from cells that can cause oxidative stress, leading to all kinds of chronic illnesses.
This makes it a great blood cleanser and blood builder (balances rakta dhatu).
The antioxidant polyphenolic generates anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-cancer activities.
Anti-inflammatory - Messaging molecules (such as interleukin) and pro-inflammatory enzymes (like cyclo-oxygenase) that advance inflammation can be defused by grape intake.
It’s unctuousness (snigdha) and liquidity (dravam) helps the elimination of urine and faeces and has a laxative action.
Being tantalisingly sweet and unctuous, it also pacifies vata but not necessarily in the alimentary tract, as it can put out the agni (digestive fire) and is a little hard to digest being so sweet (heaviest taste) and cooling.
It’s secondary taste being bitter also helps respiratory issues like dyspnoea, hoarse voice, chest injury, tuberculosis and can help mitigate the effects from intoxication and delusion (coma).
Unripe fruits are sour so become harder to digest and actually aggravate pitta and rakta (the blood).
Seedless grapes (Abija draksa) or grapes with very small seeds are harder to digest and possibly are genetically modified, however they mitigate kapha.
Dried grapes (raisins, sultanas) have a similar effect, are easier to digest but have a higher sugar level so caution with people with high blood sugar. They contain a concentrated source of iron and is an important fruit for anaemic people along with figs, dates, papaya, kiwi and pomegranate.
Additional Health Profile & Benefits
- Grapes are rich in micronutrient minerals like copper and manganese, an essential co-factor of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase.
- Grapes contain the essential hormone and antioxidant melatonin.
- Grapes contains about 191 mg of the electrolyte potassium per 100 grams.
- Grapes actually have a low glycemic index and help balance blood sugar.
For you pitta people, consider fasting on FRESH grape OR pomegranate juice, one day a week, fortnight or month regularly (on the same day cyclically).
* Astanga Samgraha of Vaghbhata and Bhavaprakasa