What is Jaggery?

Jaggery, or ‘gur’ in Hindi, is one of the most popular forms of unrefined sugar. Known as a healthy replacement for white sugar, jaggery is extracted from sugarcane juice or palm trees. 

Authentic Indian cooking uses jaggery as a core ingredient for preparing a range of sweet and savory dishes.

Loaded with exceptional nutritional and health benefits, jaggery is suitable for people of all age groups. Through this article let’s try to learn everything about jaggery and ways of incorporating it into the diet. 

How is Jaggery Made

Processing of jaggery is done in three simple steps- 

  • Extraction- This is the first step. In this, a presser is used to extract juice from canes or palms. 


  • Clarification This is the second step in which the collected extract is thoroughly cleansed. Generally, the juice or sap extract is collected in a large container so that the sediments of impurities and dirt settle at the bottom. The juice is then strained using a special sieve to achieve a clear liquid. 

  • Concentration- The clear juice or liquid is vigorously boiled at a high temperature for about 2-3 hours to attain a semi-fluid, dough-like consistency. This paste is then transferred to rectangular moulds or shape boxes, where it is allowed to cool and solidify.
Boiling Jaggery at high temperature in large barrel

types of jaggery

There are various varieties of jaggery available in the market, some of which are as follows-  

1. Date Palm Jaggery (Khajoor Gur) 

Palm Jaggery is extracted from the sap of the date palm tree. It has a taste similar to chocolate. Even after going through multiple rounds of processing, palm jaggery remains loaded with vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorous. In India, date palm jaggery is most popularly used in West Bengal to prepare delicious and healthy sweets. 

2. Coconut Jaggery

This is another popular variety of dates, extracted from unfermented coconut sap that has been drained, heated, crystallized, and placed into various moulds. Nutrition Experts recommend coconut jaggery for its excellent body-cleansing properties. Coconut jaggery is most popular in the Southern part of India, where it is used in food to reduce its spiciness. 

3. Sugarcane Jaggery

The most common and popular jaggery is Sugarcane Jaggery. Extracted from sugarcane juice, sugarcane jaggery is sweet to taste and it also has a tint of salt, depending upon the juice it’s been extracted. Due to its rich flavor and color, Sugarcane jaggery is used in a variety of Indian dishes and desserts.  

Whole cane and Melting Jaggery piece

4. Toddy Palm Jaggery or Myanmar Jaggery

This is one of the most popular varieties of jaggery from Myanmar. Loaded with exceptional nutritional properties, toddy palm jaggery is extracted by boiling the sap of toddy palm. The rich aroma and golden brown color of toddy palm jaggery are what sets it apart from all other varieties of jaggery. 

5. Palmyra Jaggery 

This is a famous variety of jaggery in the regions of West Bengal. Palmyra jaggery looks like a coconut and has a creamy white or yellow color. Extracted from the sap of the palmyra palm tree, this jaggery is extremely rich in dietary fiber, and digestive enzymes making it a must-have for a healthy gut and strong digestion.  

6. Marayoor Jaggery

Known as the sweetest jaggery available in India, Marayoor Sarkar or Marayoor Jaggery comes from Marayoor town in Kerala’s Idukki district. 100% organically grown sugarcanes, fertile soil and climate contribute to the exceptional richness of Marayoor jaggery. Though available globally, In India, Marayoor jaggery is largely consumed in the Southern Part of India. 

top 5 health benefits of jaggery

1. Jaggery for constipation and healthy digestion

Naturopaths and Fitness Experts recommend jaggery post meals for better digestion. This is because Gur or Jaggery is naturally loaded with digestive stimulant properties.  Jaggery activates digestive enzymes in the gut and stimulates bowel movement. This is extremely beneficial for those dealing with constipation or irregular bowel movements. 

2. jaggery for body detox

If you are looking for the best natural body detoxifier, jaggery is what you need to trust. This is clearly because jaggery is rich in powerful antioxidants like selenium that help to eliminate free radicals and toxin build-up from the body, particularly the liver and kidneys. 

Nutrition Experts recommend intake of 10g of jaggery early morning on an empty stomach followed by a glass of lukewarm water for effective body cleansing. 

3. jaggery for menstrual cramps

Jaggery is loaded with minerals, and vitamins and is a healthy source of instant energy. During menstrual days, women tend to face fatigue, mood swings, abdominal cramps, and loss of energy. However, intake of jaggery can ease these. This is because jaggery is loaded with multi-nutrients, plus jaggery can release endorphins in the body that helps to deal with Pre-menstrual symptoms. 

4. Jaggery for Low blood count( Anaemia)

Jaggery is enormously rich in plant-based iron and folate that boosts the formation of red blood cells (hemoglobin). This reduces the risk of blood disorders like a low blood count or anemia.

5. Jaggery for high blood pressure

Jaggery is rich in potassium, which tends to nullify the effect of sodium build-up, resulting in high blood pressure in the body. Plus, potassium can naturally dilate blood vessels resulting in better blood flow. This tends to reduce tension in blood vessels or arteries. Thereby, controlling high blood pressure and related coronary complaints. 

Interesting Facts About Jaggery

  • Due to its high nutritive and therapeutic properties, Ayurveda suggests Jaggery as a medicinal sugar.
  • For decades, In many rural parts of India, jaggery has been used as an effective toothpaste.
  • Raw, organic jaggery doesn’t come with an expiry date. When stored properly, Its shelf life is as long as you would want it to keep. 
  • Jaggery is best used to get rid of excess water retention in the body. 
  • Fresh and preservative-free jaggery is brown or golden brown in color. If there’s more of a yellow tinge, then know that the jaggery has gone through chemical filtration.
  • To check the presence of chalk adulteration in Jaggery,  all you need is to dip jaggery cubes in a bowl of water. After a few minutes, If you find powdery elements deposited in the water, then be sure that the jaggery is adulterated.


1. what are the ways of consuming jaggery?

Jaggery can be consumed raw or cooked. Experts recommend jaggery on an empty stomach or post-meals for therapeutic benefits. However, you can have jaggery in the form of jaggery rice, jaggery roti, jaggery kheer, jaggery tea, etc.

2. can jaggery boosts immunity?

Definitely Yes. Jaggery is known as an immunity booster as it is loaded with zinc, antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals that help to build and boost immunity naturally. 

3. Can I consume jaggery in the winter season for relieving cough and cold?

Jaggery can be eaten raw or mixed with warm water or tea for relieving cough and cold. Ayurveda suggests the intake of jaggery throughout the winter season, this is because jaggery naturally dilates the respiratory tract and produces warmth in the lungs. This helps get rid of the common cold, cough, congestion, and inflammation in the nasal passage. 

4. Can I take jaggery for weight loss benefits? 

Yes. Jaggery can be taken for reducing weight. This is because jaggery aids digestion cleanses the blood, melts away stubborn fat, boosts metabolism, reduces water retention,  suppresses appetite, and curbs sweet cravings. All of which help to reduce weight. 

5. Is Jaggery healthier than regular sugar?

Jaggery is unrefined natural sugar, loaded with nutrients. While white sugar is wholly refined sugar, consisting almost entirely of sucrose (empty calories). This clearly means that jaggery is a healthier alternative to regular table sugar. 

6. Can I consume as much jaggery as I want every day? 

No! Jaggery is a healthy sugar. But it’s still sugar. Replacing white sugar with jaggery is a wise choice. But this doesn’t mean you can have as much jaggery as you want. Experts recommend avoiding the excess intake of jaggery to be able to reap the benefits jaggery has to offer us. 

Summing up

Jaggery is a superfood and definitely a healthy alternative to refined white sugar. When taken in concise amounts, It is suitable for people of all age groups including diabetics. Both sugar and jaggery are generally extracted from sugarcane juice. The industrial processing of white sugar results in washing off all nutrients while the processing of jaggery is a traditional time-tested method that keeps the nutrients intact. Various varieties of jaggery are available in the Indian market. Hence, choosing jaggery over refined white sugar as a healthy alternative helps to cleanse the blood, boost immunity, and promote overall health!