Exploring Rhododendron (Buransh) Flowers: Splendor and Squash Secrets

In Uttarakhand, especially in the Garhwal region, Rhododendron squash, often referred to as Buransh squash or Rhododendron juice, is a traditional beverage that is loved and heartily consumed by all. It's extracted from the blossoms of the Buransh tree, a type of Rhododendron that grows naturally in the Himalayas. The Buransh tree (Rhododendron arboreum), which blooms in the spring, is well-known for its vivid red blossoms. The acidic and cooling Buransh squash is made with these blooms. To extract the essence, flavor, and color of the blossoms, Rhododendron flowers are normally picked, washed, and then cooked in order to make the squash. The flavor of buransh squash is special and distinctive, flowery and slightly citrusy. It is a well-liked beverage during the sweltering summer months since it is frequently characterized as having a refreshing, mood boosting and cooling effect. The squash's striking red color enhances its aesthetic appeal.

The small, evergreen Rhododendron tree, which is found all over the world and is famed for its magnificent blossoms, has deep red or pale pink petals. The plant, which has been named the national flower of Nepal and the state flower of Himachal Pradesh, is widely employed as an ornamental plant for gardens, plantations in the streets, or boats due to its aesthetic value in addition to its enormous horticultural significance. It is used as a traditional treatment for a variety of ailments because of its diverse phytochemical properties. Moreover, a very recent study by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mandi and the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) has identified the presence of phytochemicals in the petals of Buransh, which can potentially be used to treat Covid-19 infection. The locals from mountainous areas have traditionally used the flowers of this plant to create pickles, juice, jam, syrup, honey, squash, etc. and to treat a variety of illnesses like diarrhea, headaches, inflammation, bacterial infections, and fungal infections. For women in particular, it is a vital source of income for they also use plant’s wood to manufacture khukri handles, gift boxes, and other items, and it has great value in traditional medicine.

Buransh squash is renowned for its flavor as well as for its potential health advantages. It is thought to be high in vitamins, especially vitamin C, and antioxidants. It is utilized in traditional medicine for its alleged therapeutic effects, which include enhancing digestion, fostering liver health, and bolstering the immune system. It is also claimed to have anti-inflammatory characteristics. Typically served cold, buransh squash is a revitalizing beverage that can be consumed on its own or combined with water, soda, or lemonade. It is frequently found at neighborhood markets and is a preferred libation during festivals and other events in Uttarakhand.

Buransh squash is a popular traditional drink among the locals, but it's vital to get it from reliable vendors to guarantee its high quality and security. At My Pahadi Dukan we ensure that our squash is made from carefully selected flowers, by the local population who have the technical know-how and years of experience in identifying and selecting the best flowers. We ensure that no artificial coloring or flavors are added to the squash.

Buransh Squash Nutritional Profile:

  1. Calories: Buransh squash normally has a modest calorie count, ranging from 50 to 70 per 100 ml when consumed unsweetened or with natural sweeteners.
  1. Carbs: Buransh consists in major parts of natural sugars and is a source of carbs. Depending on the sweetness and dilution, the amount of carbohydrates in 100 ml might be anywhere from 12 and 18 g.
  1. Vitamin C: Buransh squash is a well-known good source of vitamin C, an antioxidant and important nutrient. The amount of vitamin C per 100 ml may be between 10 and 30 mg.
  1. Water: The high water content of buransh squash contributes to its hydrating properties.
  1. Antioxidants: Buransh squash contains a number of antioxidants, including flavonoids and phenolic compounds, which assist the body in fending off oxidative stress and free radical damage..
  1. Minerals: Although the precise mineral composition may vary, it is believed that buransh squash contains potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium. Which help relieve stress, maintain fluid balance, strengthen bones and prevent or alleviate anemia

Health Benefits of Rhododendron Squash:

  1. Rich Source of antioxidants: Buransh squash is thought to have antioxidant chemicals that can assist the body fight off dangerous free radicals, lowering oxidative stress and cellular damage.

Antioxidant density of Buransh squash is as follows: 

  •  Polyphenols: Flavonoids, flavonols, and anthocyanins are just a few of the polyphenolic substances that are present in buransh squash. These substances' antioxidant abilities can aid in scavenging free radicals and lowering oxidative stress in the body.
  • Ascorbic acid, known as vitamin C, is present in abundance in buransh squash. Strong antioxidants like vitamin C are essential for preventing oxidative cell damage and boosting the immune system.
  • Carotenoids: Rhododendron juice is a rich source of carotenoid substances such as lutein, lycopene, and beta-carotene. These substances function as antioxidants and are advantageous for overall health as well as eye health.
  • Phenolic Acids: The phenolic acids gallic acid, caffeic acid, and protocatechuic acid present in buransh squash have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
  • Quercetin is a flavonoid that is found in Rhododendron species. It is renowned for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
  1. Immunity Booster: Buransh squash is well-known for being high in vitamin C, a potent antioxidant and necessary ingredient for collagen synthesis, immunological function, and general skin health. Concentrate made from rhododendron flowers slows down the aging process and restores skin radiance. Because of its potent antioxidant properties, it helps to protect skin cells from oxidative stress caused by pollution and sunshine. 

In order to cure rashes, acne, eczema, and other forms of skin irritation, it provides anti-inflammatory and antibacterial characteristics to the skin. The best approach to experience its skin-benefiting properties is to drink the flower juice. Your skin can experience a reduction in wrinkles, itching, and other skin issues by consuming rhododendron juice regularly.

  1. Cooling and refreshing: The beverage has a cooling effect, which makes it a popular option in hot weather or as a thirst quencher after physical exertion. In high heat months in India, Buransh acts as a wonderful coolant for the body which prevents dehydration and boosts productivity despite the unbearable heat. Due to its high water content, buransh squash is a fantastic source of hydration and is a cooling choice to replace bodily fluids.
  1. Digestion: According to traditional wisdom, buransh squash helps with digestion by increasing hunger, easing stomach discomfort, and encouraging regular bowel movements. Rhododendrons are utilized to promote digestion in traditional medical systems like Ayurveda. They possess qualities that encourage hunger, stimulate digestion, and ease discomfort related to the digestive system. Various Rhododendron species include enzymes that can help break down proteins and carbs during digestion. These enzymes might boost nutrition absorption and the entire digestive process by enhancing gut flora.

It is well known that Rhododendrons contain substances that have anti-inflammatory effects. Digestion-related problems and discomfort can be exacerbated by inflammation in the digestive tract. Rhododendron's anti-inflammatory properties aid in reducing inflammation and supporting a healthy digestive system. A healthy balance of gut flora is necessary for effective digestion and general digestive health, and these qualities assist preserve that equilibrium.

  1. Liver Detox: Buransh squash is thought to have detoxifying characteristics that aid in the body's ability to rid itself of toxins and promote general detoxification procedures. When it comes to cleansing the body of toxins and waste products, the liver is essential. The antioxidants and phytochemicals in buransh promote the liver's natural detoxification processes.
  2. Anti-inflammatory Benefits: Buransh squash is believed to have anti-inflammatory benefits that could help lessen bodily inflammation and possibly ease the symptoms of inflammatory disorders. Chronic inflammation can result in oxidative stress, which is an imbalance between the body's antioxidant defenses and the reactive oxygen species. Antioxidants in Buransh have the ability to counteract ROS and lessen oxidative stress, which reduces inflammation.
  3. Antimicrobial Activity: According to ancient, traditional wisdom, buransh squash possesses antimicrobial characteristics that could help fight off specific diseases and strengthen the immune system.
  4. Cardiovascular Health: Buransh squash improves cardiovascular health by enhancing blood circulation, assisting in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, and lowering the risk of heart disease. It aids in decreasing bad cholesterol and blood pressure. The antioxidant properties of several phytochemicals in floral juice help to protect the heart from oxidative stress and minimize the risk of stroke and other heart diseases. Two flavonoids present in Buransh—quercetin and rutin—have great advantages for the heart. Rutin aids in preventing blood clots that increase the risk of heart attacks.

Locals consume rhododendron flowers because it keeps them from becoming sick during seasonal change, prevents allergies, asthma, hives, or hay fever. 

  1. Support for the Respiratory System: Buransh squash supports the respiratory system and provides immediate relief from cough, cold, congestion, and other respiratory symptoms.
  2.  Iron Deficiency: Buransh squash is thought to be rich in minerals including iron, calcium, and potassium, which are crucial for a number of biological processes like the generation of red blood cells, bone health, and electrolyte balance. It is effective against symptoms of anemia.
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Buransh Squash for Weight Loss

The following are some ways that rhododendron squash aids in weight loss:

  1. Low-Calorie: Rhododendron squash normally contains few calories, which is advantageous when trying to reduce calories in order to lose weight. Rhododendron squash can help you lose weight by reducing your overall calorie consumption and taking the place of high-calorie beverages.
  1. Hydration: It's critical to maintain hydration for both weight management and general wellness. Rhododendron squash is a calorie-free hydrating beverage that can help you quench your thirst. Rhododendron squash and other fluids should be consumed in sufficient amounts to support the body's activities of metabolism, digestion, and general health.
  1. Healthier than Soda: Rhododendron squash is a tasty option to soda, fruit juice, and energy drinks. These drinks contribute to excessive calorie intake because they frequently have additional sweeteners. You can cut back on sugar and perhaps even on total calories by selecting Rhododendron squash.
  1. Nutrient Density: Rhododendron squash provides healthy nutrients like vitamin C and antioxidants. These nutrients boost general health and wellbeing even if they are not specifically linked to weight loss. Rhododendron squash is one nutrient-rich vegetable that you can eat to help make sure you're getting all the nutrients you need while keeping your weight under control.
  1. Satiety and Portion Control: Rhododendron squash can assist to encourage a sensation of fullness and contentment, which aids portion control. You may lessen the temptation to overeat or snack on calorie-dense foods by incorporating it into a meal or eating it in between meals.

 How to Consume Buransh (Rhododendron Squash): 

  • In 250-300ml water, mix a spoonful of squash, stir well, add your favorite spices and toppings like chia seeds and enjoy the healthy goodness!
  • The squash can also be added to other juices and smoothies for a kick of citrusy taste
  • It can also be added to desserts, jams, chutneys and other culinary preparations

Why You Should Buy Buransh/ Rhododendron Squash from My Pahadi Dukan:

  • Locally Sourced: Our Buransh is sourced from locals engaged in the generational practice of cultivating Rhododendron Flowers for their myriad benefits. All the parts of the flower are carefully separated and put to their particular uses. This not only ensures the purity of the squash but also ensures that only the highly nutritious, best quality rhododendrons make it to the fruit concentrate. Local pahadi village residents, especially women, perform every step of the process by hand, including gathering the flowers, meticulously selecting the petals, extracting the juice, and creating the concentrate.
  • Nutrient Density: Rhododendron Squash at My Pahadi Dukan is extremely nutrient dense because our flowers are carefully cultivated in organic farms and processed utmost  carefully to achieve the best consistency and taste.
  • Organic Farming: The local network of My Pahadi Dukan allows us to source our Rhododendron squash directly from local cultivators which ensures that our Buransh is organic, toxin free, cultivated correctly without the use of any farming malpractice and is free of added flavor, sugar or colors.
  • Doorstep Delivery: When you order Buransh online from my Pahadi Dukan, we monitor the entire process from packaging to delivery and ensure that the finest quality product makes it to your doorstep in time!
  • Generate Income: Everytime you choose to buy Rhododendron squash from My Pahadi Dukan, not only do you invest in your health but also aid the local population of Uttarakhand generate profit for themselves in exchange for local produce that is beneficial and tastes good.