What is mahua alcohol in India?

India has lost a lot of its traditions and treasures due to British colonization. Mahua liquor is one such mistreated indigenous drink of the Indian rural community. Mahua is a tree that can be found in the eastern, western, and central plains of India. These trees are famous for their medicinal compounds, vegetable butter, syrups, purees, and liquor. Read along to know more about what is mahua famous for? mahua liquor brands, and mahua drink side effects. 

What is mahua famous for?

Though mahua has medicinal values, it is very famous for its sweet liquor. Mahua is a primary source of income to Indian tribes such as Santhal, Gond, Munda, and Oran. Every part of mahua including its bark and branches is not only used for daily essentials but also as barter products to get money in return to shop for other essentials such as spices and grains. The distilled mahua liquor is prepared using the mahua flowers. The hand-picked mahua flowers are dried in the sun until they turn brown and are fermented in yeast water for 3 to 5 days. The fermented petals are then mixed with jaggery, water, and any jamun or fruit to enhance its sweetness and left for another 8 days to ferment. Then the fermented water is boiled in a wood stove for around four hours. 

Why India’s mahua liquor was banned during British rule? 

The decision to outlaw Mahua liquor by British authorities was made for a number of reasons. Initially, Mahua liquor drinking was viewed by the British as a threat to society and public health. They thought that the alcohol was extremely intoxicating and might result in moral and societal degradation. 

Second, the British identified a threat to their ability to collect taxes in the manufacture and consumption of Mahua liquor. The production and consumption of Mahua liquor was viewed as a possible financial loss by the British because they imposed heavy taxes on the manufacture and sale of imported alcoholic beverages like rum and whiskey.  

The British wished to stop the extensive cutting down of these trees for the making of mahua liquor since they recognized them as a significant source of timber. In order to protect their own interests in taxation, public health, and the preservation of natural resources, the British typically banned Mahua liquor.

Mahua drink side effects

Though almost every part of a mahua tree has various health benefits such as curing bronchitis, heart diseases,  diabetes, bleeding, rheumatism, tonsillitis, polyuria, leucorrhea, and menorrhagia, it still has some disadvantages and causes side effects. Mahua when consumed in excess amounts can cause infertility and reproductive issues. Mahua has natural properties to reduce blood sugar levels, so it is not recommended for people with low blood sugar levels. Mahua seeds are also immunosuppressive in nature. So people with weaker immune systems are advised not to consume mahua in any form. 

Other health benefits of mahua

  • Ancient Indians used mahua leaves to increase lactation in nursing mothers.
  • Mahua flowers are used to boost sperm count and also deal with premature ejaculation. 
  • Fresh juice of mahua flowers helps in reducing cough and hypertension.