Common Grape Vine (Vitis Vinifera) is known as Draksha in Ayurveda. This is widely grown in western parts of India, Punjab, Kashmir, central Europe, Turkey, Morocco and Portugal.
The grape vine has long, woody stems rooted to ground. Stems are covered with flaky bark. The grapevine usually grows up to 35 meters. It has alternative, broad, palmate leaves. The unripe fruit is usually green and ripe fruit is dark purple in color. Ripe fruits are covered with light grey wax coat.
Grape vine has acquired numerous names by virtue of its shape and medicinal properties. These names have been coined by Ayurveda acharyas. It is known as “Draksha” as it is liked by one and all. Due to its medicinal properties it increases the moistness of our body tissues and softens the dried ones. Hence the name “Mrudweeka”. Grapes get the name “Gosthani” as the shape of fruits resemble mammary glands (udder) of cow.
Chemical Composition of Grapes Grapes contain 70 to 80% water and numerous organic and inorganic compounds. These are sugars, organic acids, phenolic compounds, nitrogenous compounds, aroma compounds, minerals, pectic substances. They are also good source of bioflavonoids.
Ayurveda Medicinal Properties of Grapes
Grapes are sweet to taste and act as body coolants. They are soft, heavy to digest and increase the moistness of body tissues. By virtue of these properties this fruit alleviates vata and pitta. Hence these berries are used in diseases which arise due to vitiation of vata and pitta.
Usefulness of grape berries on different organ systems are given below.
Nervous system: Due to their property of alleviating vata the use of grapes is recommended as nervine. It boosts memory power and acts as a brain tonic.
Digestive system: Vata and pitta regulate functions of digestive system. Since grapes alleviate vata and pitta, they are widely used in digestive disorders like constipation, jaundice and thirst.
Circulatory System: These berries act as cardiac tonic. They strengthen the muscles of heart and increase the nutrient components (hemoglobin) of blood. Grapes are very useful in diseases which arise due to vitiation of rakta (blood) and pitta. Therefore the use of this fruit is recommended in Gout and allergies.
Respiratory System: Draksha or grapes help to strengthen lungs. Expectoration of kapha or Phlegm can be very easily achieved with the help of this fruit. Thus grapes are used as main ingredients in ayurvedic preparations which are administered in respiratory conditions like Tuberculosis, cough, bronchitis etc.
Urinary System: Grapes act as diuretics and increase frequency and volume of urine. It soothes the inner layers of bladder. For this reason grapes are recommended in burning micturition and cystitis.
Reproductive system: Grapes help to increase fertility of Men and women. It increases quality and quantity of semen, sperm count and sperm motility. It also helps to strengthen the female reproductive system. These berries are known as “Vrishya”, which means they help in erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.
Effect on skin: Grapes help to reduce burning sensation of skin and skin allergies. It boosts the immunity of skin and help to prevent various skin diseases.
General health: Grapes facilitate a good supply of nutrients for recuperating patients. This fruit is of immense help to persons who want to increase their body bulk.
~ Dr. Savitha Suri, Chief Consultant Physician at Chaitanya Integrated Medical Centre, Udayagiri, Mysore