Almond gum is one of the few edible gums in the world secreted by the sweet almond tree. This gum is consumed for its medicinal properties and is a component of many healthy dishes, drinks, ice-creams and shakes.
Almond gum has numerous health benefits, aids in weight loss, decreases body heat and acts as a natural body coolant which is why it is widely used in summers.
It is especially famous in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and is used for making the popular jigarthanda drink. Almond gum also effectively treats stomach issues like diarrhoea, acidity, bloating, ulcers, spasms, pain etc.
What is almond gum?
Extracted from the bark of the sweet almond tree or Prunus Dulcis, almond gum is also a natural jelly. It is a common misconception that Almond gum comes from the Indian Badam tree but it is not true. The botanical name of the Indian Badam tree is Terminalia Catappa and it does not produce any type of edible resin or gum.
Almond gum looks like a small, hard rock when obtained from the tree, but when soaked in water, it swells and turns into a thick and chewy jelly. It is sometimes colourless or translucent, pale yellow or light brown. This gum is completely natural and does not contain any artificial flavours, preservatives or colours.
The sweet almond tree is found in India, Pakistan and is indigenous to Iran and Southwestern Asia. It is a pleasant sweet-smelling tree that grows 13 feet to 33 feet in height and about 30 to 32 cm in diameter. The leaves are green and long, measuring about 3 to 5 inches.
Common Names of Almond Gum
Its botanical name is Prunus Amygdalus while it is commonly called Almond Gum in English or Badam Gum. It is known as Badam Pisin in Tamil, Badam Gonth in Malayalam and simply referred to as Gonth in Hindi.
How is Almond Gum or Badam Pisin collected?
Almond Gum resembles small pearls or drops which are removed from the branches and bark with a sharp knife. It can be scraped by using hands as well but only before it hardens. It has a jelly-like consistency when it is released but with exposure to air, it hardens into a rock.
It can be obtained only during the autumn months from the old sweet almond trees. This is because, after the extraction of gum, the tree produces fewer leaves and flowers.
What are the nutrients found in Almond Gum?
Almond Gum has many health benefits and is highly nutritious as well. It is an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals. It comprises 92.3% of carbohydrates, 0.8% fats, 2.4% nutrients and minerals such as
calcium, potassium, iron, sodium, and magnesium.
Health benefits of Almond Gum
Amazing body coolant
Badam Pisin is an effective and also delicious coolant that maintains body temperature and keeps you cool during the hot summer season. It should be consumed by those who have a lot of body heat and experience red eyes, redness, rashes or burning sensation in the body. This natural resin has soothing properties that get rid of all discomfort and keep you cool and healthy.
Aids in weight loss and also weight gain
Badam Pisin is rich in vital nutrients and helps to gain or lose weight by altering the body’s metabolic processes. Nonetheless, it should be included in the diet as it is rich in antioxidants and has many other amazing benefits as well.
If somebody wants to lose weight, they can add badam Pisin or almond gum to a glass of skimmed milk and drink it regularly. It keeps you full for a long time so you don’t feel hungry frequently and hence it helps to reduce your calorie consumption. Thus it aids in weight loss while supplying you with all the required nutrients. For gaining weight, it can be consumed with calorie-rich ingredients like full-cream milk, eggs, bread, shakes etc.
Gets rid of acidity, stomach burns, ulcers, diarrhoea
Almond resin has soothing properties and it is an age-old traditional remedy to deal with stomach problems, particularly acidity, gas, burns, ulcers and even bloating.
To treat stomach issues, take some almond resin and soak it in water so it becomes like jelly. Now mix it in coconut milk, add some jaggery to sweeten it and drink this milk. It will provide instant relief from acidity and even stomach pain. Also, coconut milk is very effective for treating digestive issues. Badam Pisin also helps to treat diarrhoea.
Treats skin conditions
Almond Gum or Badam Gum has antibacterial qualities and it also heals wounds quickly. It is effective for treating skin conditions like rashes, inflammation, infections, pimples etc. It can be found as an ingredient in many natural creams, and summer face packs. Research has shown that almond gum gives off a cooling sensation when applied to the skin and so it is commonly used for treating heat boils.
Rich in antioxidants
Almond Gum is abundant in antioxidants that fight damage-causing free radicals which lead to premature ageing. It has many minerals and also proteins that make it a great substitute for artificially flavoured jellies. It is healthier, cheaper and free from chemicals. It should be added to the diet of children as it aids in holistic growth.
Good for Pregnant Women
Pregnant Women are advised to consume small quantities of Badam Pisin with milk or in the laddoos as they are very nutritious and help in the development of the baby. It is one of the most recommended foods for lactating mothers as well. Its addition to the diet ensures the health and well-being of both the mother and the baby.
Badam Pisin or Badam Gonth helps to decrease the levels of LDL cholesterol in the body and also regulates the insulin levels in the blood. Regular consumption of Badam Pisin can help to maintain and keep a check on the cholesterol and blood levels in the body. It indirectly keeps your heart healthy and prevents cardiovascular diseases.
Improves male vitality, stamina and regulates body temperature
Almond gum is a source of many proteins and vitamin complexes that increase vitality among men and boosts stamina. It fulfils the body’s nutrient requirements and does away with any deficiencies.
Apart from summers, some people also like to consume almond gum in winters as it helps to maintain and regulate body temperature. It is also effective for treating common colds, cough, congestion etc.
Boosts Immunity, memory and concentration
Almond Gum should be given to growing children either with warm milk or mixed with dry fruits in the form of a laddoo or jelly. It helps in their overall growth and also sharpens their mind, boosts memory, concentration, attention and also relieves mental stress. It also improves immunity and if someone has a weak nervous system then almond gonth is the best home remedy for it.
Almond Gum is widely used in South India, particularly in Tamil Nadu and most Indian families give it to small children and the elderly of the family. It has no significant side effects, unlike allopathic medicines. It can be consumed throughout the year, in summers and also in winters.
It also makes muscles strong, increases the body’s endurance capacity, helps to gain muscle mass and also treats piles which is common among old aged people. It is also very effective for treating back pain and body aches.
Other Uses and Benefits Of Badam Gum
Almond Gum has many other uses apart from its health benefits. It increases the life of tomatoes and prevents them from rotting easily. Coating tomatoes with badam gum preserves their firmness, ascorbic acid content, colour, smell and freshness for a long time.
Secondly, Almond Gum is coated on banana chips when they are kept for drying to prevent cell destruction and for keeping them fresh and crisp. It also prevents banana slices from turning brown easily.
Badam Pisin or almond gum has antibacterial and antimicrobial qualities and it is also used for preserving meat especially beef in south India. This is due to the presence of Oligosaccharides in the gum. They are also used in the pharmaceutical industry as a binder and release retardant in tablets.
Popular Badam Pisin recipes
Almond Gum has become a part of many popular sherbets, shakes, drinks, ice-creams etc. It has been incorporated quite well into Indian cuisine. Let us see some of the popular recipes that use Almond Gum.
The much-loved jigarthanda ( cold liver) drink is popular in Tamil Nadu and is sold in stalls and restaurants during summers. It contains milk, almond gum, sarsaparilla root syrup and sugar.
To make Jigarthanda at home, take some overnight soaked Badam Pisin and add it to milk. Then boil the milk until it reduces and attains a slightly creamy texture. Add sugar and allow it to refrigerate. Now after it is chilled, add some Nannari sherbet in the glass, pour milk and top it up with your favourite ice cream.
Badam Pisin Ladoo
Badam Pisin or almond gum can be used for making healthy laddoos. These are given to pregnant women and lactating mothers as they are very nutritious, help in the milk production and development of babies in the womb. Men can also consume them as they help to increase sperm count and stamina. They also help to gain weight and boost memory.
For making these laddoos, just add badam Pisin powder with two cups of flour. After that, add powdered sugar or jaggery to this mixture. Then add two tablespoons of ghee and some water to make it into a ladoo.
Almond Gum with Rose milk
Soak a piece of Badam Pisin in water overnight. Boil about 150 ml of milk and then add this badam pisin into it along with two tablespoons of sugar and two to three drops of rose essence. Now you can drink it hot but it tastes best when chilled. Refrigerate it for some time and drink when cold. You can also use honey instead of sugar.
Almond Gum with Nannari
A refreshing summer drink can be made using almond gum. All you need to do is take chilled water and squeeze half a lemon in it. Then add some Nannari sherbet and top it with Almond gum jelly. It keeps you cool and refreshed.
Lemon and Honey with Almond Gum
If you are on a weight loss diet then almond, honey and Badam Pisin drink is something that should be a part of your diet. Take some water and squeeze a lemon into it and also add a few drops of honey. Then add badam Pisin jelly and enjoy. This drink will keep you full for a long time and also detoxify the body.
Almond Gum is used as a topping on ice-creams as it is jelly-like. It can also be added to shakes. Take a scoop of vanilla or any ice cream of your choice and a cup of milk. Add it to a blender and mix well to make a thick shake. Pour it into a glass and top it with Badam Pisin jelly.
Precautions/Side effects of Amond Gum
Badam Pisin should not be eaten in excess as it can cause stomach problems, shortness of breath, choking, nerve disorders. It contains hydrocyanic acid that could increase toxicity in the body if consumed in large quantities. It should not be consumed regularly by pregnant women.
How to store Badam Pisin
Badam Pisin can last for a month and even more than that if it is stored in airtight containers, away from moisture. It should not be kept in a cool place. It can be bought from local supermarkets or even online.
Badam Pisin is highly nutritious and has many health benefits. It should be consumed in small quantities to treat stomach problems, boost immunity, memory etc.