Grapes And Raisins – Uses, Research

Grape is the one of the must-have fruits for everyone. Ayurveda says “Drakshaa Phalottamaa” – of all the fruits grape is the best.  When we go to the fruit market, we can not get the sweet grapes always.  We may get more-sweet-little-sour variety or more-sour-little sweet variety etc. Each of those varieties have their own effect on Tridosha and our health as a whole. Let us explore the Ayurvedic health benefits of grapes varieties -dry and fresh,  unripe, semi ripe, full ripened etc.

grapes AyurvedaBotanical name – Vitis vinifera Linn
Family- Vitaceae
Vernacular names
Hindi name- Angoor, Dakh, Munakka, Angoor
English name- Grapes
Telugu name- Drākṣa ద్రాక్ష
Kannada name – Drakshi, Ona Drakshi
Tamil name – Tirāṭcai  திராட்சை
Marathi name – Drākṣē द्राक्षे
Malayalam name – മുന്തിരി [muntiri] മുന്തിരിപ്പഴം [muntirippaḻaṁ]
Spanish name – Uvas
Gujarati name – Darakh

Sanskrit Synonyms of grapes: 
Mrudvika – soft in nature. Usually raisins are called by this name
Gostani – resembles cow udder
Swaduphala, Madhurasa, Madhuyoni – sweet in nature
Bruhmani – nourishing
Rasaala – juicy
Guda – sweet as jaggery
Vrushya – aphrodisiac
Krushna – black in nature
Priyala, Tapasapriya, Charuphala – fruit with good looks
Harahura, Kashmeerika, Karamardika

Vitis vinifera

Vitis vinifera chemical composition:
Fruits-(+) Catechin, Epicatechin, B- Sitosterol, Ergosterol, Jasmonic acid
Resveratrol – a type of phenol, found in grapes has some evidence against heart diseases, cancer.

General medicinal qualities of grapes:
Guna (qualities) – Snigdha – unctuous, oily, Guru (heaviness),
Rasa (taste) – Madhura – sweet
Vipaka- Madhura – sweet taste conversion after digestion
Veerya – Sheeta – Coolant
Effect on Tridosha – Balances Vata and Pitta 

Classical categorization:

Kanthya – Voice improving and throat soothening group of herbs, |
Virechanopaga – Purgation aiding group of herbs
Kasahara – Cough relieving group of herbs
Shramahara – Tiredness relieving group of herbs
Kaiyadeva Nighantu –
Oshadhi Varga – Group of medicinal herbs and substances
Madyavarga – group of herbs from which wine can be prepared
Triphala Bheda – another set of herbs called Triphala –
द्राक्षापरुषकार्श्मयफलैः क्वापि फलोत्तमा ||३||
Grapes, Parushaka and Gambhari fruit (Gmelina arborea)

Dhanvantari Nighantu has named
Swadu Triphala – Grapes, dates and Kashmari fruit (Gmelina abrorea)
Second type of Swadi Triphala – Grapes, dates and pomegranate
This book also classifies Grapes as Santarpana foods – nutrition rich foods

Susruta and Vagbhata – Parushakadi gana
Bhavaprakasha – Amradi Phala varga (group of fruits such a mango). This book has classified it as – Svabhavataha hitkara dravya – one of the naturally healthy substances that is good for all.  

Grapes benefits:
Unripe grapes:
Unripe grapes are hot and pungent in nature, can cause Pitta imbalance, leading to skin and blood vitiation.

Semi ripened grapes:
Semi ripened grapes are more sour than sweet. It improves appetite, improves taste.

More sweet less sour ripened grapes:
Ripened grapes relieve thirst, useful in bleeding disorders, calms Pitta, it is soothing.

Dry Grapes  or Raisin benefits:
Helps in easy bowel movement
Natural coolant
Very good for eyes
In most of the Ayurvedic preparations, where grapes are mentioned as ingredient, dry grapes are used.
Dry grapes / raisin is useful in the treatment of excessive thirst, fever, respiratory problems, vomiting, gout, liver disorders, excessive burning sensation, dryness, emaciation.
Raisin calms the mind. Hence, it is a good idea to have some grapes when you feel tired, burnt out or confused.
Raisins are also used in the treatment of intestinal disorders.
Raisin is especially used in treating the hang over due to excessive alcohol intake. and to reduce the effect of alcohol on body.
Hence it is advisable for regular alcoholics to have dry grapes often.

For students, to avoid tiredness, it is advised to soak 5 raisins over night. next day morning, throw away the water and eat the soaked raisin. (Source: Divine Park)

तृष्णादाह ज्वरश्वास रक्तपित्त क्षतक्षयान्|
वातपित्तमुदावर्तं स्वरभेदं मदात्ययम्||१२५||
तिक्तास्यतामास्यशोषं कासं चाशु व्यपोहति|
मृद्वीका बृंहणी वृष्या मधुरा स्निग्धशीतला||१२६||
tṛṣṇādāha jvaraśvāsa raktapitta kṣatakṣayān|
vātapittamudāvartaṃ svarabhedaṃ madātyayam||125||
tiktāsyatāmāsyaśoṣaṃ kāsaṃ cāśu vyapohati|
mṛdvīkā bṛṃhaṇī vṛṣyā madhurā snigdhaśītalā||126|| – Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana 27

Raisin provides immediate cure for
Trishna – excessive thirst,
Daha – Burning sensation
Jwara – fever
Shwasa – asthma, respiratory disorders involving difficulty in breathing
Raktapitta – bleeding disorders like nasal bleeding and menorrhagia
Kshata – chest injury
Kshaya – tuberculosis, chronic respiratory diseases wasting of muscles
Vata Pitta disorders
Udavarta – bloating
Swarabheda – hoarse voice
Madatyaya – alcoholism
Tiktasyata – bitter taste in tongue
Asya Shosha – mouth dryness
Kasa – cold, cough
Raisins are
Bruhmani – improves nourishment
Vrushya – aphrodisiac
Madhura – sweet
Snigdha – unctuous, oily
Sheetala – coolant
Mootradosha – urinary tract infection

For gastritis, acidity, oral thrush, mouth blisters – Soak five almonds and raisins in water at night. Next morning, eat the raisin and almonds on empty stomach. Make sure that raisins are sweet in taste. 

Grapes benefits
Grapes qualities based on stages and type:

Based on taste, grapes can be classified as sweet and sweet-sour.
The sweet variety balances Vata and Pitta Dosha.
Sour grapes increase Kapha and Pitta dosha.
Unripe grape has similar qualities of sour ones. It is Guru – heavy to digest, and may worsen bleeding disorders.

Sour grapes:
Ushna – Hot
Sara – induces mobility, causes diarrhea, purgation, relieves constipation
Guru (heaviness)
Vataghna – useful in treating disorders of Vata Dosha imbalance  such as neuralgia, paralysis, constipation, bloating, etc
Kaphapittada – Increases Kapha and Pitta

Ripe grapes:
Snigdha – unctuous, oily
Sara – induces mobility, causes diarrhea, purgation, relieves constipation
Swarya – improves voice tone and quality
Madhura Vipaka (taste conversion after digestion)
Hima – coolant
Hrudya – acts as cardiac tonic, congenial for heart
Vrushya – aphrodisiac, improves vigor
Chakshushya – improves vision, good for eyes, useful in eye disorders
Srushta mutra vit – increases volume of urine and feces

Tuvara – astringent variety:
Koshtamaruta krut – it may increase Vata in the gut
Vrushya – aphrodisiac
Pushtida – nutrition rich

Sweet Grapes are generally indicated in –
Raktapitta –Bleeding disorders such as nasal bleeding, heavy periods, etc
Tiktasya – tongue with bitter taste
Kshata – injury, bleeding
Kshaya – depletion of body tissues, weight loss, tuberculosis
Jwara – fever
Shwasa – asthma and chronic respiratory disorders
Trushna – excessive thirst
Daha –  burning sensation, as in gastritis, neuropathy, burning sensation in eyes etc
Madatyaya – alcoholism
Kamala – Jaundice, Liver diseases
Moha – delusion, dizziness

Gostani variety of drakshaelongated, bigger variety resembling cow udder possess similar qualities. It has better aphrodisiac qualities.
Guru – heavy to digest
Kaphapittahrut – Balances Kapha and Pitta dosha
Of all the fruits used to prepare wine, grapes are the best.

grapes uses

Abeeja – seedless grapes:
Seedless variety – has lesser qualities than those of Gostani variety

As per Ashtanga Hrudayam Sutrasthana 6/115-116
Draksa (grapes) is best among fruits, is aphrodisiac, good for the eyes, helps elimination of urine and faeces, sweet in taste and the end of digestion, unctous, slightly astringent, cold potency, hard to digest, cures diseases of vata, pitta and rakta; better taste in the mouth, intoxication, thirst, cough, fever, respiratory conditions, hoarseness, injury to the lungs and chronic respiratory diseases. 115-116 ½

grapes with milk is best avoided. Because Ayurveda advises to avoid sour fruits processing with milk.

If grapes or raisins are not available, the fruits of Gambhari – (Kashmari phala – Gmelina arborea) are traditionally used as substitute. – Bhava Prakasha.

Home remedy:
Raisin, Amla, Ginger, honey remedy for cough and asthma

Dry grapes home remedy for gastritis

Ayurvedic medicines with raisin as ingredient:
useful in cold, cough, asthma, colon cleansing.
Drakshasava – useful in intestinal worms, injuries, wounds
Drakshadi Kashayam –
useful in hangover treatment, tiredness, dizziness etc.
Manasamitra vatakam – used in treating depression, loss of memory, psychiatric conditions.
Drakshadi Vati – tablet, used in anorexia,heart burn, dizziness, indigestion

Grapes to improve health of artery (blood pipes) –
French National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA) and the French National Institute Of Health and Medical Research (NSERM) conducted a clinical research study with double blind, randomized controlled crossover trial with 48 women. They concluded that consuming grapefruit juice, rich in flavanone may improve arterial function, compared to a flavanone-free drink. It is especially useful in arterial stiffness.  – Source

Evaulation of anti candida activity


Grapes or raisin – which is better?
द्राक्षाबिल्वशिवादीनां फलं शुष्कं गुणाधिकम् ||५१|| – Bhavaprakasha.
drākṣābilvaśivādīnāṃ phalaṃ śuṣkaṃ guṇādhikam ||51||
In case of grapes, bael fruit and Haritaki (Harad fruit), – the dried fruits are better than the fresh.

Grape-seed oil for xerostomia – dry mouth: 

  • It is a good and effective remedy to eliminate symptoms of dry mouth. It has a moisturizing property which coats your mouth and keeps it moist for a longer period of time. It is high in Vitamin E and thus can heal mouth sores
  • Rub some oil on your tongue and inside your cheeks with your fingers. Leave it overnight.
  • Next morning, rinse your mouth with warm water and then brush your teeth
  • Repeat daily before going to bed
Dr JV Hebbar B.A.M.S, MD (Ayu), is an Ayurveda Doctor. Click here to consult Dr Hebbar
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  1. Should we avoid dried grapes (raisins) with milk too? Isn’t it common to add raisins in payasam (or kheer) which is usually milk-based?

  2. the water in which raisins are soaked has nutritional value. Then why throw instead of drinking?

    • Well, yes. That can also be done, but I do not think it will be so nutritious to consider drinking. All the water soluble active principles of the raisin will be still intact within the swollen raisins, rather than getting transferred to water just over the period of 10 hours.

  3. Grapes improve metabolism and have diuretic, anti inflammation, light laxative and inducing perspiration effect.The fruit provides instant energy. The fruit is good to consume in conditions like gout, rheumatism, constipation and disorders of skin and liver.

  4. Nice information. Thanks. Can you please provide information on the difference between kishmish (without seed) and Munakka (with seed). I think both are prepared from the grapes. The benefits both offer etc and way to consume them.

  5. Rajalakshmi Gopalan says:

    An enlightening article ! A simple and less expensive home remedy easily available. It is also said taking 10 gm of raisins everyday will strengthen bones.

  6. Thank you sir for the wonderful information. Its very useful.

  7. Write your opinion/ doubts about the article below. Please do not post your personal health complaints here. If you wish to seek advice from Dr Hebbar, click here

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