Sharkara – traditional ayurvedic sugar

Sharkara sugar by Classic AyurvedaThe art of producing sugar is some 2000 years old. The modern industrial methods for producing refined white sugar have brought a bad name to the initial, naturally produced sugar.

That is why ayurvedic sugar, "Sharkara®" which still maintains its handcrafted quality, offers a good alternative to ordinary sugar.

Traditional ayurvedic writings describe eight different types of sugar. The ayurveda scholar, Dr. Kirit Pandya, states "sugar can be made from dates, honey, turnips, grapes and other fruits but Sharkara®, made from sugarcane, has very special qualities and is the most highly regarded by ayurveda".

In cases of unbalanced pitta doshas (hyperacidity), ayurvedic vaidyas (healers) often recommend "light coloured sugar". This has caused confusion in the past as white sugar increases pitta (thus acidity).

By saying "white sugar" the vaidyas actually mean the special ayurvedic sugar made from sugarcane. This type of sugar is also named Sharkara or "rock sugar" and is produced by a special production method. What is different?

During the production of Sharkara the sugarcane is initially cooked, at which time impurities and acid-forming ingredients are slowly separated and removed. The volume of the plant sap thereby reduces down to two thirds. Once cooked, the remaining sugarcane sap gets poured onto bar grates, where the sugar solution grows into large, irregularly shaped crystals. Those crystals then slowly dry in the Indian summer heat, creating their beneficial ayurvedic properties. Finally the crystals are reduced to small pieces and finely ground. This is how we produce sugar without refining and without any chemical additives.

Ayurvedic royal sugar

This royal sugar is produced exclusively for AMLA Natur in small factories involving intense labour and according to ayurvedic requirements. Acid-forming components, mainly found in the nodes and roots of the sugarcane, are reduced by Sharkara’s® special production method. After crystallisation of the sugarcane sap into irregular, slightly greyish-yellow crystals, Sharkara® dries in the heat of the Indian summer and “matures” to create its special ayurvedic qualities.

The new Sharkara also contains ayurvedic herbs, which slightly influences the flavour and increases the ayurvedic quality without limiting its use as household sugar. This new Sharkara is registered with the Indian government as an ayurvedic product.

Usually at the end of refining processes, sugar in India gets bleached with sulphuric acid. That makes it more acid and reduces the ayurvedic qualities of the sugar. The slightly greyish-yellow colour proves that the real classic ayurveda Sharkara® does not get bleached with sulphuric acid.

Ayurvedic experts report the balancing effect of this sugar on the human body. Compared to other types of sugar it has a mild quality and is therefore described as mild alkaline by some vaidyas. It has a calming effect on the vata and pitta doshas. Its effective impact is cooling and heavy. Ayurvedic literature describes it as benefitting vitality.

It has to be the real one!

Sharkara sugar crystalUnfortunately the real ayurvedic cane sugar is rarely produced in India anymore. Not infrequently western industrial sugar from sugar beets is used as the raw material. Industrial production in general requires a large number of chemical processes, especially the use of bleaching agents.

The traditional ayurvedic production methods are a manual procedure, in accordance with the original approach.

Sharkara® - original from AMLA Natur GmbH

To guarantee the full ayurvedic effect and the necessary compliance with the ayurvedic directives, AMLA Natur GmbH has its Sharkara manufactured in India according to traditional methods, in small family-run facilities, supervised by ayurvedic experts.

This special sugar is sold under the distributer's private registered trademark “Sharkara”. The registered trademark is to guarantee that products with the name Sharakra really only ever contain original ayurvedic cane sugar.

Vaidya Dr. Pandya: "We watch every single production step and guarantee that Sharkara is a pure ayurvedic product, free of chemical additives. If you use Sharkara for about one year instead of other sweeteners, it will be a Rasayana and aphrodisiac to you."

Many consumers by now have confirmed the otherness of Sharkara. People suffering especially from food intolerances, skin problems and tendencies for acidification have left us enthusiastic feedback. Can notice a big difference between this sugar and all other types of sugar they had used before.

However, as with everything in ayurveda, Sharkara should be consumed consciously and sparingly always bearing in mind “the rule of right measure”. The maximum daily allowance is 2-3 tea spoons. Many recipes work well with only half of the indicated quantity of sugar. And even better, the natural taste of e.g. fruits, for example, can be emphasised by using less sugar.

Sharkara is an ayurvedic gourmet speciality, which, like other high quality foods, creates a unique aroma.

Usually this sugar is sold as whole crystals only but to guarantee easy handling in European households, AMLA Natur offers the granulated form of Sharkara sugar. This sugar is also especially suitable for baking.

View Classic Ayurveda Sharkara now >>