Sri Lankan Traditional Breakfast – Kola Kanda (Herbal gruel) and its medicinal value
Kola kanda is a traditional Sri Lankan food made up of green leaves which is used as nutritious wholesome morning meal and remedy for some diseases. This food preparation is not mentioned in Ayurveda texts, hence it is indigenous to Sri Lanka. In ancient Sri Lanka it was the special food taken in empty stomach before solid foods taken for the breakfast.
It is a kind of gruel (herbal soup or porridge) prepared by raw rice and coconut milk as the liquid with fresh juice of medicinally valued leaves.
Commonly used plants for preparation of kola kanda are:
Polpala – Avera lantana
Gotukola – Centalla asiatica
Karapincha – Murraya koenigi
Hatawariya – Asparagus racemosus
Wepenela – Cordiospermum halicacabum
Mukunuwenna – Altenanthera sessilis
Iramusu – Hemidesmus indicus
Kathurumurunga – Sesbania grandiflora
Ranawara – Cassia auriculata
Normally it is prepared by grinding the scarped coconut and fresh leaves and squeezing to make juice. Then rice is cooked and juice is added to it and the gruel mixture boiled.
Kola kanda helps mankind to keep healthy and to gain long life. In this preparation, plant materials are covered by indigestible cellulose cover, which contains fibers. When these plant materials are grind and squeeze and mixed with coconut milk, the fat soluble and water soluble vitamins are converted into easily absorbed form in the body. Fresh dark green leaves enrich in Caronene, Ascorbic acid, Riboflavin, Alphalinolic acid, Vitamin K and Folic acid. Calcium, Ferrous irons and Lysine protein are also included. Usually Red Rice supply Vitamin B and Carbohydrates. Therefore Kola Kanda is a wholesome food.
The plants used for preparation of Kola Kanda contain many therapeutic values in Ayurveda and Traditional medicine. It is believed that this food is useful to prevent some diseases such as constipation, high blood cholesterol levels (Hypercholesterolemia), Diabetes mellitus and urinary calculi.
Information gathered from research article published by J M Dahanayake, RHSK de Silva, NDN Jayawardhane of Institute of Indigenous Medicine, University of Colombo in 2010.
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