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The Many Uses and Health Benefits of Sugarcane and Sugarcane Juice

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

Latin Name: Saccharum officinarum

In India, it is called Ganna and Eekh.

About Sugarcane And Sugarcane Juice

Sugarcane belongs to the genus Saccharum which has numerous species that are grown to obtain sugarcane which is used to manufacture sugar. Saccharum officinarum is the plant that is used to produce about 70% of the total sugar produced worldwide.

Sugarcane is a perennial plant that grows in the tropical and subtropical regions, loves a lot of sun and water but does not like its roots to be waterlogged. It is native to South Asia.

Sugarcane has jointed and stout stalks that are rich in sugar. It is the most grown crop in the world.

Primarily used for sugar production, with about 70 - 80% of the sugar being produced from it and most of the rest being produced from sugar beets.

Sugar making from sugarcane developed in India about 5000 years ago. It spread to Europe in the 1400s. It is propagated by cutting the stems and planting them this being the most common method of growing sugarcane.

The stalk of sugarcane can be chewed and sucked for its juice or the juice can be extracted by a mechanical or manual juicer. It is widely available in India with roadside vendors or kiosks. Ginger, lemon juice, mint and rock salt are added to enhance its flavour and taste.

Sugarcane juice is a great summertime drink that refreshes, cools and invigorates. In India, ganne ke ras ki kheer or rice pudding prepared with sugarcane juice is prepared and it is one dish which is prepared during the Lohri festival in North India.

Ganne ke Ras ki Kheer (Sugarcane Juice and Rice Pudding)

Uses Of Sugarcane

  • When sugarcane is processed it produces cane sugar along with molasses, bagasse and filter cake.

Molasses is of 2 types :

  • The edible syrup which is used for blending with maple syrup, corn syrup etc, and,
  • The blackstrap molasses which is inedible and is used in animal feeds and for the production of ethanol, yeast, citric acid and rum.

Bagasse is used as a biofuel in boilers, as well as to produce biogas. It is also used in the manufacture of paper, paper board products and as an agricultural mulch.

The filter cake is also used in animal feeds, as a fertilizer and to produce sugar wax.

Some other products that are made from sugarcane are :

  • Gur or Jaggery - a natural unrefined sugar.
  • Falernum and Carchaca - alcoholic drinks.
  • Panela - solid pieces of sucrose and fructose.
  • Rapadura - the traditional sugar made in Brazil.
  • Rock Candy - crystallized sugarcane juice.

Sugarcane And Sugarcane Nutrition Facts

Sugarcane contains various essential minerals like calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium and potassium.

Sugarcane juice is rich in flavonoid and phenolic compounds which are powerful antioxidants that prevent cell damage by free radicals and reduce risk of cancer and heart disease.

It has a low glycemic index between 30-40, about half that of refined sugar.which has a GI of 64. It has no simple sugars. The sugar is in raw form.

Sugarcane juice is easily digestible, provides instant energy and hydrates the body.

Sugarcane juice is alkaline, contains soluble fibre, proteins and vitamins A, C and B complex.

How Sugarcane Juice is Extracted by Roadside Vendors

Sugarcane Nutrition Facts

Source ; http://nutrition.indobase.com/articles/sugarcane-juice-nutrition.php

NutrientsAmount

Amount

1 Ounce Sugarcane Juice

Proteins

0.20 g

Water

0.19 g

Ash

0.66 g

Fat

0.09 g

 

 

Calories

 

Total Calories

111. 43

Calories From Carbohydrates

 

Calories From Fats

0.03

Calories From Proteins

 

 

 

Carbohydrates

 

Total Carbohydrates

27.40 g

Sugar

25.71 g

 

 

Vitamins

 

Riboflavin

0.16 mg

Niacin

0.20 mg

Pantothenic Acid

0.09 mg

 

 

Minerals

 

Calcium

32.57 mg

Iron

0.57 mg

Magnesium

2.49 mg

Phosphorus

0.01 mg

Potassium

162.86 mg

Copper

0.09 mg

Manganese

0.09 mg

 

 

Health Benefits of Sugarcane and Sugarcane Juice

According to Ayurveda, sugarcane and its juice pacify vata and pitta.

Sugarcane juice does not spike sugar levels as it has no simple sugars. Hence it can be consumed by diabetics.

Sugarcane juice with the addition of lime juice and coconut water relieves burning sensation in the urinary tract, promotes urine flow, flushes the kidneys, removes kidney stones and benefits in inflammations of the prostate gland and gonorrhea.

It relieves constipation, acidity, gastritis, ulcers, aids digestion and strengthens the stomach.

A glass of sugarcane juice mixed with lemon or lime juice aids in speedy recovery from jaundice and strengthens the liver.

It lowers cholesterol and triglycerides.

Sugarcane juice relieves hiccups, strengthens the eyes, brain and sex organs.

It cures cold, cough and fever.

Sugarcane juice treats anemia, gives strength and removes debility.

It quenches thirst, provides instant energy, replaces lost minerals during periods of extreme heat.

Sugarcane juice gives strength and increases body weight in thin persons.

To stay healthy drink sugarcane juice everyday.

Health Benefits Of Sugarcane And Sugarcane Juice - Some Natural Remedies

  • Whooping Cough

Add 60 ml radish juice to a glass of sugarcane juice and drink twice a day.

  • Dry Cough

Drink sugarcane twice a day. It also relieves uneasiness.

  • Dysentery

To 1/2 cup of sugarcane juice add 1/2 cup of pomegranate juice. Drink this 2 times daily.

  • Kidney Stones

Either chew a sugarcane stalk and suck the juice or drink sugarcane juice everyday. It helps to break the stones and removes them.

  • Low Fever

Drink sugarcane juice twice daily.

  • Blood Abnormalities

Drink 1 glass of sugarcane juice after meals. It cleanses the blood.

  • Vomiting Due To Heat

Add 2 tsp honey to a glass of sugarcane juice and drink.

  • Jaundice

Eat some roasted barley and then drink 1 glass of sugarcane juice. Continue for a week. Also suck on a sugarcane stalk in the morning. It cures jaundice.

Referenced Sources

http://enchantingkerala.org/ayurveda/ayurvedic-medicinal-plants/karimbu.php
http://www.processedfreeamerica.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=535:raw-sugar
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugarcane
http://nutrition.indobase.com/articles/sugarcane-juice-nutrition.php

Disclaimer

The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies, supplements or starting a new health regime.

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The Proper Way To Eat Sugar Cane

Jaggery Making

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2013 Rajan Singh Jolly

Comments

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 10, 2020:

Yes, Jorge, but unfortunately the old world raw sugar gave way to the present day lethal sugar. Thank you for reading the article.

Jorge from Canada on March 09, 2020:

Hi Rajan,

A good piece of writing.

India was the first place where sugar was produced from the cane juice, more than 3,000 years ago... sugar changed history and transformed the World after that

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on August 04, 2013:

Yes, Marlene; those are wonderful memories. I wonder if children today chew sugarcane at all?

Marlene Bertrand from USA on August 03, 2013:

When I was a little kid my dad use to buy sugar canes. I have memories of me and my siblings sitting on the porch chewing on sugar canes. It was fun. Little did I know about all the benefits of sugar canes.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 28, 2013:

@ Paul - When I was young we had those manually operated juicing machines. It was very enchanting watching the sugarcane being juiced. Now of course, all machines have been motorized. I hope you enjoy planting sugarcane. Thanks for the vote and all the sharing.

@ georgescifo - Yes, I also drank a couple of glasses of sugarcane juice when I had jaundice. This is a standard practice here. Thanks for reading.

georgescifo from India on March 28, 2013:

Once I was affected by severe jaundice and I was advised to drink 2-3 glass of sugarcane juice daily. But it paid it results, as I was able to recover from jaundice in a quicker frame of time.

Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on March 28, 2013:

Hi rajan,

This is another awesome hub which has very useful information. When I saw the picture of the sugarcane juicing machine, it brought back memories to the first time I had sugarcane juice in Taiwan in the 1970s. I also remember chewing on the stalks. I had my original teeth then, and haven't tried to do it now. In Thailand, a lot of sugar cane is grown in the Northeastern part of the country. My wife and I bought about 4-5 acres of land there a few years ago, and we are seriously considering planting some cane this year instead of rice. Voted up and sharing. Pinning and also Tweeting.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 28, 2013:

Good to know you get fresh sugarcane juice in Peru. Thanks for your input. Appreciate your visit.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on February 28, 2013:

This Hub especially caught my eye because we can buy sugarcane juice from street side kiosks. I've often wondered about its health benefits, and now I know! I'm also glad to know that diabetics can drink it as it contains no simple sugars. We often use it to sweeten passion fruit juice or lemonade. Thanks!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 27, 2013:

Patricia, I'm glad you know about how healthy sugarcane is. You must have enjoyed chewing on the stem.

Thanks for taking time to read and comment.

God bless.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on February 27, 2013:

Hi rajan jolly

Sugar cane is a lot more important for our diet that I knew. I did know you could chew it and have done so. That's kind of cool.

I sat next to an elderly man once who introduced me to this interesting plant. He was explaining to me about chewing it and that was my first time of having it.

Thanks for sharing this.

Sending Angels your way :) ps

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 26, 2013:

@ Sangeeta - this is useful information for readers. Thanks for sharing your personal experience. Thanks for reading.

@ Rasma - thanks for stopping by. Glad you liked the info.

@ Devika - thanks for your visit and comments.

@ Ruchira - thanks for stopping by.

@ Vicki - this reminds me too that as children we used to really enjoy chewing on a sugarcane stalk. It was great fun. Thanks for the visit.

@ moonlake - thanks for stopping by.

@ Girish - I make it a point to see that the equipment is clean at the place I drink sugarcane juice. Thanks for the read.

Girish puri from NCR , INDIA on February 26, 2013:

Very useful and good information on sugarcane. The only hitch i have is the unhygienic procedures in India. voted up.

moonlake from America on February 26, 2013:

I love molasses. We do eat a blackstrap molasses here and use it in baking. Your hub was very interesting voted up.

Vickiw on February 26, 2013:

Hi Rajan, I am so with you on this one! I grew up among the sugar cane farms in my area of South Africa. I vividly remember the joys of extracting the juice with my teeth as a child, and the sheer cooling pleasure of it. In Canada our sugar is beet sugar, and so different! For a treat I buy some in the US when we visit there. This brought back such memories for me!

Ruchira from United States on February 26, 2013:

This is one thing not available here and I love it.

The juice is so refreshing and you highlighted those benefits, which made me even more miss it.

Well researched hub!

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on February 26, 2013:

Sugar cane and sugarcane juice so interesting to have learned more here, I used to enjoy sugarcane when I was much younger, brings memories and you have taught me more on the topic .

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on February 26, 2013:

Voted up and interesting. Thanks for this informative hub. Didn't know about sugar cane juice. Great job as always. Passing this on.

sangeeta verma from Ludhiana India on February 25, 2013:

Again an informative hub from you. It is very energetic and rich in iron, so help in combating annemia too. Since it is cheaper than other fruits and veg so it is great benefit for poor ppl too.

Even I use to dring a glass of sugercane daily during my pregnency that help me quickly to gian my Haemoglobuin count.

Voted up!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 25, 2013:

@ Carol - I wonder if sugarcane is available there? Thanks for taking time to read.

@ sid - thank you.

@ iamvijay - glad you like the info. Thanks for reading.

@ Kathryn - I hope you get a chance to taste sugarcane juice. It is heavenly. Processed sugar not only is a zero nutrient food, it has added chemicals dangerous to health. Thanks for coming by to read.

@ Bill - thanks for the appreciation and support.

@ Melovy - I'm glad you changed over to the natural sugar. We also use jaggery at home. Really appreciate your visit and comments. Thanks.

@ Jo - Wow and thanks for sharing this bit of news. I remember when I was a child and we had a big patch of land where we grew some sugarcane too. We broke off a stalk for chewing whenever we fancied.

Thanks for stopping by.

@ wetnosedogs - Glad to provide you with this info. Appreciate your stopping by.

wetnosedogs from Alabama on February 25, 2013:

Fascinating. There was so much here I didn't know about the sugarcane.

Jo Alexis-Hagues from Lincolnshire, U.K on February 25, 2013:

My grand mother used to grow her own, tasty stuff and just as a bonus it also does you good. Another informative article, well done.

Yvonne Spence from UK on February 25, 2013:

Rajan, this is a very interesting and detailed hub. Since reading hubs by you and Ishwaryaa with information about jaggery and rapadura, I have found rapadura locally and now my kids use that instead of refined sugar when they bake. I was just glad to get the kids off refined sugar and didn't know that sugar cane had so many benefits - so now I feel even better about them using rapadura.

Thanks for the information.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 25, 2013:

Impeccable research as always. Thank you for being my own personal encyclopedia of knowledge about foods. Well done!

Kathryn from Windsor, Connecticut on February 25, 2013:

That is another thing I can't imagine growing around me! I have never had sugar cane juice, or chewed on the stalk. I didn't even realize their was nutrition in it. I'm used to the fully processed sugar.

Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us!

vijaya kumar from Chennai, India on February 25, 2013:

wow awesome voted up!Benefits Of Sugarcane is well explained with video and pictures thanks for sharing the information.

sid76 on February 25, 2013:

Very good and informative post Rajan. Voted up+share!

carol stanley from Arizona on February 25, 2013:

I just thought all sugar was bad. Now to find some sugar cane. It does look good. Thanks for the comprehensive view about sugarcane. Lots of good information as always. Voting UP and sharing.