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Munakka: Benefits, Side Effects, Precautions and More!

By Dr Ashok Pal +2 more

Introduction

Munakka, also called black grape raisins in English, is a fruit with immense value due to its several potential benefits. The leaves, seed, skin of Munakka and the whole fruit contain helpful properties. Munakka is effective in balancing Vata and pitta doshas in the body. Dry grapes or Munakka are packed with nutrients and calories. Munakka (raisins) are initially green in color and darken as they are dried, resulting in a dried, dark-colored fruit having small seeds. 1 

A bowl of munakkas on table

Did you know?

  • The antioxidants in munakka may help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. source: cancer.gov
  • Regular consumption of munakka has been associated with improved bone health. source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  • Munakka consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and improved cardiovascular health. source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Nutritional Value of Munakka: 

I came across a study that shows some awesome anti-ageing wonders of munakka. Compounds called polyphenolics found in foods like munakka might help reverse the effects of ageing on the brain and behaviour. These compounds are like superheroes with antioxidant powers, protecting the organs and tissues from damage caused by oxidative stress. However, studies on humans are needed to validate these claims.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Munakka is rich in sugars (glucose and fructose), vitamins (ascorbic acid, riboflavin, thiamin, pyridoxine), dietary fibers, and minerals (zinc, phosphorous, iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium). Munakka also contains different types of phytochemicals (plant-derived compounds) like flavonoids, resveratrol, epicatechins, phytoestrogens, and hydrocinnamic acids. 2 In 100 grams, the below are the nutrients found in munakka: 3

Total Fat 0.3g 0 % 
Saturated Fat 0.1g 0 % 
Sodium 26mg 1 % 
Total Carbohydrate 79g 29 % 
Dietary Fiber 4.5g 16 % 
Sugar 65g  
Protein 3.3g 7 % 
Vitamin D 0mcg 0 % 
Calcium 62mg 5 % 
Iron 1.8mg 10 % 
Potassium 744mg 16 % 

Properties of Munakka: 

Munakka may show a variety of properties such as: 4 

  • It may have anti-oxidant properties 
  • It may demonstrate laxative properties 
  • It may have antibacterial properties 
  • It may have appetite regulating property 
  • It may possess anti-inflammatory properties 

Potential Uses of Munakka

I would recommend munakka for proper digestion and colon health. It was observed that eating raisins may have some positive effects on our digestion and colon health. It might make digested food move through the intestines faster. What’s even cooler is that the levels of bile acids in the faeces, which may be a sign of colon cancer risk, reduced.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Due to its beneficial properties munakka may have potential use in several health conditions such as:

Ptential uses of Munakka for Gastrointestinal health: 

Munakka contains dietary fiber which helps absorb natural fluids in the body. This adds volume to the food moving down the intestinal tract this may result in regular bowel movements and relief from constipation. The fibers may also help in eliminating harmful toxins from the body. 

Munakka might also be beneficial in improving colon function. Munakka might also have some effect on reducing the risk of colorectal cancer. 3 However, there is a need for further research on humans to suggest the potential uses of Munakka that might benefit in these conditions.

Potential uses of Munakka for Anemia: 

Due to its iron content, munakka could help in anemia. Munakka might also contain vitamin B complex which is required for producing red blood cells.5 This information is insufficient; hence more research is required to study the effects of Munakka in managing blood related problems in humans. You must consult your doctor for better advice.

Also Read: 7 Home Remedies for Anaemia

Potential uses of Munakka for Dental Health: 

Munakka contains calcium which might help strengthen and remineralize tooth enamel. They might help decrease dental decay. This is due to certain compounds present in munakka that help inhibit oral pathogens. The anti-oxidant nature of munakka can help in eliminating bacteria that are responsible for dental caries and cavities. Munakka also contains antibacterial properties that help prevent dental caries. 6 Since there are insufficient studies to establish this claim, you must consult a dentist for oral health.

Potential uses of Munakka for Bone Health: 

Calcium is the main constituent of bones and is present in munakka. Boron is also a nutrient that is essential for proper bone formation and enhanced calcium absorption. Munakka also contains potassium which may help enhance bone growth, thus potassium, boron and calcium present in munakka, might be helpful in osteoporosis in women. 5, 7 Consult an Ayurvedic doctor before using ginger and only use it if prescribed.

Potential uses of Munakka for Skin: 

Munakka contains vitamin C and antioxidants that might help to maintain glowing and healthy skin. It also contains antioxidant properties that are helpful in bacterial infections and may also prevent psoriasis and acne.8 A dermatologist will be able to guide you better for skin conditions.

Also Read: 16 Home Remedies for Glowing Skin

Potential uses of Munakka for Hair:  

Having  munakka daily can  help you have a head full of  lustrous, thick hair due to its vitamin C content. Munakka  may also  contains anti-inflammatory properties  that might be effective against dandruff and irritation.  9  You can consider to consult a doctor before using it.

Also Read: 5 Ayurveda Herbs That Are Great for Hair

Potential uses of Munakka for the Heart:  

Munakka  may help lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels resulting in a lower risk of heart disease. The fiber content in  munakka might reduce  low density or bad  cholesterol. Low potassium levels in the body may cause high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease. Munakka is a good source of potassium  and can help improve heart health and prevent these heart conditions.10,  11  However, any heart condition can be serious and must be properly diagnosed and treated by a doctor.

Potential uses of Munakka for Weight Loss:  

Due to its composition,  munakka ensures a better diet quality, and having it before a meal could help regulate appetite in healthy individuals who have an average weight.  Munakka might  modulate hormones influencing satiety resulting in reduced hunger and  dietary intake which can be useful to maintain a healthy body mass.12  However, more research is required to prove such claims. You must contact a nutritionist for advice.

Also Read: 13 Best Dry Fruits That Can Help With Weight Loss

Other Potential uses of Munakka:  

  • Constipation is one of the main causes of piles or hemorrhoids. Munakka contains laxative properties that might be effective in cases of constipation.13  
  • Having Munakka might prevent teeth against dental caries. Munakka contains phytochemicals that help stop bacterial growth that lead to dental caries.15  

Though there are studies that show the potential uses of dhania in various conditions, these are insufficient and there is a need for further studies to establish the true extent of the benefits of dhania on human health.  

How to Use Munakka: 

Munakka is available in three forms: 16 

  • Munakka capsules 
  • Raw Munakka 
  • Munakka decoction (kwath) 

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking any herbal supplements. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.  

Also Read: Shankhpushpi – Benefits, Side Effects & Precautions

Side Effects of Munakka: 

When taken in large amounts, munakka can result in side effects due to its rich nutrient content.  17  

  • Stomach Discomfort: Munakka is a great source of fibers. Excess intake of fiber can lead to digestive problems like cramps, bloating, and gas formation.    
  • Weight Gain: Munakka contains a lot of calories and when taken in large amounts, it might result in excessive  weight gain.    
  • Diarrhea: Munakka has a high fiber content. Having it in excess amounts might result in diarrhea.    
  • Diabetes:  Although Munakka is a healthy snack, having it in excess can result in weight gain and a risk of developing diabetes.    
  • Allergy: Some individuals might experience allergic reactions to Munakka. It is important to visit a doctor when symptoms like wheezing, diarrhea, and breathing difficulties are evident.    

Herbs may react differently with everyone we must exercise caution while using munakka.

Also Read: Manuka Honey: Research-Based Insights into Its Unique Health Benefits

Precautions to be Taken With Munakka: 

  1. Raisins contain natural sugar like any other fruit. They also have a high glycaemic index. Hence, it is best to consume them in moderation to prevent a spike in blood sugar levels. 18 
  1.   Munnaka contains nutrients like potassium, phosphorous, and calcium that are beneficial in supporting fetal growth. However, it is essential to consume them in limited amounts to prevent any complications.16  
  2. General precaution and a discussion with your doctor before consuming minakka is recommended, especially by children, elderly, pregnant women and lactating mothers.

Also Read: Amaltas – Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & More

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Is Munakka and Kishmish the Same? 

Munakka and kishmish contain different nutritional values. Kishmish is yellow in color and Munakka is brown in color. Kishmish does not contain any seeds while Munakka has seeds. 19 

Can Munakka be Used for Acidity? 

A diet low in potassium and magnesium might result in acidity. Munakka is a great source of magnesium and potassium. Hence, adding Munakka to your daily diet might help prevent acidity.  1  However, more research is required to confirm such potential effects of munakka.

Can Munakka be used to boost energy? 

Munakka contains a lot of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals like phosphorous which might help in the uptake of other nutrients in the body. Hence, adding Munakka to your diet could enhance your energy and boost your immunity.  18  More research is needed to validate this fact.

Can Munakka be used for restoring liver function? 

Munakka contains liver protective and regenerative properties. This may be due to its phenolic content.  20  However, more research is required to confirm such potential effects and consult a doctor for better advice.

When can babies start eating Munakka? 

Babies can start having Munakka after 18 months. Munakka and other dried fruits are a choking hazard for babies below 12 months of age.  22  It is best to consult a doctor before introducing anything into children’s diet.

Can Munakka be used for cough? 

Yes, Munakka could help treat cough due to its cough suppressant activity. It might also help relieve any irritation in the throat.  23  However, more research is required to confirm such potential effects of munakka.

Also Read: Sesame Seeds – Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, Precautions & Nutritional Value

References:  

  1. Journal of nutrition and health. A comprehensive review of raisins and raisin components and their relationship to human health. [Internet] Available from: https://www.koreascience.or.kr/article/JAKO201720861241372.page 
  1. National center for biotechnology information. Association of raisin consumption with nutrient intake, diet quality, and health risk factors in US adults: National health and nutrition examination survey 2001-2012 [Internet] Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5642187/#:~:text=Raisins%20are%20low%E2%80%93medium%20energy,0.8%20mg%20iron%20%5B5%5D 
  1. National centre for biotechnology information. Is eating raisins healthy? [Internet] Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7019280/ 
  1. Journal of pharmaceutical research international. Black raisins improved experimentally induced iron deficiency anemia. Biochemical and histological evidence. [Internet] Available from: https://www.journaljpri.com/index.php/JPRI/article/view/31839 
  1. Science direct. Antimicrobial constituents of thompson seedless raisins (vitis vinifera) against selected oral pathogens. [Internet] Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1874390008000542 
  1. National center for biotechnology information. The association of potassium intake with bone mineral density and the prevalence of osteoporosis among older Korean adults. [Internet] Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6997142/ 
  1. National center for biotechnology information. Vitamin C in dermatology. [Internet] Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3673383/ 
  1. Research gate. The role of vitamins and minerals in hair loss: A review. [Internet] Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329628006_The_Role_of_Vitamins_and_Minerals_in_Hair_Loss_A_Review 
  1. National institutes of health. How too little potassium may contribute to cardiovascular disease. [Internet] Available from: https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/how-too-little-potassium-may-contribute-cardiovascular-disease 
  1. American college of Cardiology. Snacking on raisins may offer a heart-healthy way to lower blood pressure. [Internet] Available from: https://www.acc.org/about-acc/press-releases/2012/03/25/15/51/raisins_bp 
  1. 39th World congress of vine and wine. Raisins in human health: a review. [Internet] Available from: https://www.bio-conferences.org/articles/bioconf/pdf/2016/02/bioconf-oiv2016_04005.pdf 
  1. DNGO care. Munakka for piles: Effective home remedy for hemorrhoids. [Internet] Available from: https://dengo.in/munakka-for-piles-effective-home-remedy-for-hemorrhoids/ 
  1. Organic facts. Raisins: Benefits, side effects and how to eat [Internet] Available from: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-raisins.html 
  1. Planet Ayurveda. Grapes (vitis vinifera)- Properties, benefits, uses, dosage. [Internet] Available from: https://www.planetayurveda.com/library/grapes-vitis-vinifera/ 
  1. Prajna Paramita Panda, Dr. Shiva Kumar Harti and Dr. Mangalagowri V. Rao; Analytical study on grapes and its therapeutic uses. European journal of biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences. 2018 5 (4): 150-154 Available from: https://storage.googleapis.com/journal-uploads/ejbps/article_issue/volume_5_april_issue_4/1522484418.pdf 
  1. Pub med. Progressive motility increase caused by L-arginine and polyamines in sperm from patients with idiopathic and diabetic asthenozoospermia. [Internet] Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14515660/ 
  1. Research gate. Raisins: A kitchen cabinet item that can restore the liver function and structure. [Internet] Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/343821161_Raisins_A_kitchen_cabinet_item_can_restores_the_liver_function_and_structure 
  1. The New England Journal of medicine. Beneficial effects of high dietary fiber intake in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. [Internet] Available from: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejm200005113421903 
  1. Centers for disease control and prevention. Choking hazards. [Internet] Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/infantandtoddlernutrition/foods-and-drinks/choking-hazards.html 
  1. Shahnaz Sultana, Andleeb Khan, Mohammed M Safhi And Hassan A.Alhazmi; Cough suppressant herbal drugs: a review. International journal of pharmaceutical science invention. 2016 Aug 5(5): 2319-6718 Available from: http://www.ijpsi.org/Papers/Vol5(5)/D0505015028.pdf 

Also Read: Shikakai – Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & Precautions

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