What Is Jaggery and What Are Its Benefits?

Medically Reviewed on 7/1/2022
What Is Jaggery and What Are Its Benefits?
Jaggery is made from unprocessed sugar, which is obtained by steaming raw and concentrated sugarcane juice until it solidifies.

Jaggery is an edible sugar product made from sugarcane juice or the juice from palm trees.

It is a form of unrefined sugar and is widely used throughout Southeast Asia and Africa.

What is jaggery?

Jaggery is a natural sweetener that is a healthy alternative to refined and processed sugar.

Different types of jaggery are available in the market that varies in color, ranging from golden to dark brown.

3 types of jaggery

  1. Sugar jaggery
    • For its rich flavor and color, this form of jaggery is effectively used to reduce the spiciness of any gravy and can be added to several desserts.
  2. Coconut jaggery
    • This form of jaggery is made from unfermented coconut sap and is rich in magnesium and iron.
    • It is effective at reducing the spice in any dish and as a sugar substitute to make desserts.
  3. Palm jaggery
    • This is derived from palm trees and is rich in potassium, which helps reduce water retention in the body and lower blood pressure.
    • It may help promote weight loss and improve gut health.

The nutritional content of jaggery

Table. Nutritional contents of a quarter-cup serving of jaggery
Nutrient Amount
Calories 100
Protein Less than 1 gram
Fats Less than 1 gram
Carbohydrates 26 grams
Fiber Less than 1 gram
Sugar 24 grams

Jaggery also contains magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron.

How is jaggery made?

Jaggery is made from unprocessed sugar, which is obtained by steaming raw and concentrated sugarcane juice until it solidifies.

Jaggery is made using traditional methods of pressing and distilling palm or cane juice.

This three-step process involves:

  1. Extraction: Canes or palms are pressed to extract the juice or sap using a press.
  2. Clarification: The juice is made to stand in large containers so that any sediment sinks to the bottom. The juice is then strained to make a clear liquid.
  3. Concentration: Juice is then boiled in a large pan with a flat bottom.

A yellow, dough-like paste forms after the jaggery is stirred and the impurities are skimmed off the top. When this paste is transferred to molds or containers, it cools into jaggery.

Jaggery is an unprocessed sugar product, which is referred to as “non-centrifugal sugar” because it is not spun during the processing to remove the nutritious molasses.


According to the USDA, there is no difference between a “portion” and a “serving.” See Answer

18 benefits of jaggery

  1. Improves digestive health
    • Jaggery helps with digestion and stimulates bowel movements.
    • It stimulates the release of digestive enzymes and reduces the risk of digestion-related disorders.
  2. Prevents constipation
    • Jaggery helps prevent constipation and flatulence by aiding in digestion.
    • Having jaggery with ghee (clarified butter) right after meals will do wonders for bowel movements.
    • The fiber content of jaggery and fats in the ghee works as a natural laxative easing out the troubles of constipation.
  3. Promotes weight loss
    • Jaggery helps shed extra pounds by:
      • Boosting metabolism: Because it is rich in minerals, it helps in muscle function and electrolyte balance.
      • Reducing water retention: The minerals in jaggery help tackle water retention and thereby, manage body weight.
  4. Boosts immune function
    • Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in jaggery support the immune system and help recover from minor illnesses, such as cold and flu.
  5. Prevents and treats cough and cold
    • It has natural properties that treat cough and cold.
    • When eaten raw or mixed with warm water or tea, it soothes the throat and reduces irritation.
    • It works well for migraines and headaches.
  6. Provides a warming effect
    • When consumed during winters, it provides warmth. Among various jaggeries, date palm jaggery provides maximum warmth to the body.
    • It is a source of instant energy.
  7. Regulates blood pressure
    • Potassium in jaggery helps lower blood pressure.
    • It may help with improved cardiac function and blood circulation.
  8. Combats the risk of respiratory problems
    • It reduces the risk of respiratory diseases, such as bronchitis, although there is limited evidence.
    • Black jaggery helps regulate body temperature and has antiallergic properties.
    • For best results, it is recommended to have jaggery along with pepper, holy basil, dry ginger, or sesame seeds.
  9. Prevents anemia and other blood disorders
    • It is rich in iron and folate that boost the formation of hemoglobin and thus, reduce the risk of anemia.
  10. Reduces the risk of certain diseases
    • Jaggery has various antioxidants that help the nervous system function properly and reduces the risk of nervous disorders.
    • Jaggery use is linked to a lower risk of certain forms of cancer, reduced signs of aging, and a lower risk of dementia.
  11. Improves sperm production and quality
    • According to the Ayurveda, eating jaggery and amla (Indian gooseberry) powder together can improve sperm quality, boost sperm production, and eliminate body weakness in men.
  12. Treats hiccups
    • Consuming it by mixing with dried ginger powder and warm water can help with hiccups.
  13. Tackles joint pain
    • Eating jaggery daily can provide relief from joint pain.
    • Add it to a glass of milk to manage arthritis symptoms and strengthen bones.
  14. Prevents urinary problems
    • It is a natural diuretic, meaning it stimulates urination.
    • It reduces bladder inflammation and other urinary disorders.
  15. Eases menstrual pains
    • It relieves cramps and stomach aches related to the menstrual cycle.
    • It helps alleviate hormone level fluctuations in premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
    • Regular consumption of jaggery may help regulate irregular periods.
  16. Promotes hair growth
    • Jaggery is rich in iron that boosts hair growth by improving the blood circulation in the hair roots.
    • When used in a hair mask, it makes the hair strong, shiny, and lustrous.
  17. Nourishes the skin
    • It is rich in many essential minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that may reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging.
    • Jaggery can make the skin glow and be healthy and prevents acne and dark spots.
  18. A source of energy
    • Because it is unrefined, which ensures that blood sugar levels are not altered immediately and rise slowly, jaggery provides gradual energy that lasts for a longer time.

How much jaggery should you eat every day?

About 10 to 15 grams of jaggery should be enough for daily consumption.

It is a healthier and more nutritious form of sugar, but it is still sugar. So, it is essential not to overconsume it.

4 potential risks associated with jaggery

Although vitamins and minerals in jaggery make it healthier than white sugar, it is still a type of sugar, and overconsumption may harm a person's health adversely.

It can lead to the following side effects:

  1. Increased risk of obesity
  2. Increased blood sugar level
  3. Risk of heart diseases
  4. Discomfort and intestinal problems (if prepared in unhygienic situations and has impurities)

Is jaggery good for diabetes?

People with diabetes are advised to consume foods that have a low glycemic index. Because jaggery has a high glycemic index, overconsumption is not recommended for people with diabetes. It is better to consume other sweeteners, such as stevia, to prevent alterations in blood sugar levels.


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Medically Reviewed on 7/1/2022
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HealthifyMe. Jaggery- Benefits, Nutrition Value & Weight Loss. https://www.healthifyme.com/blog/jaggery/

WebMD. Jaggery: Is It Good For You? https://www.webmd.com/diet/jaggery-is-it-good-for-you