Katlu, a Traditional Functional Food from Gujarat, India
Introduction India has a tremendous food culture with varied regional cuisines. All communities value certain foods for their health and medicinal benefits. There are many regional and community wise dietary practices recommended for pregnant and lactating women. In Gujarat, Katlu is a traditional postpartum polyherbal formulation. Similar preparations are given in other states also. In Gujarat, this formulation is also consumed during winter by persons of all ages. Methods The ingredients for preparation of katlu powder in Gujarat were identified from records dating back to the 19th century maintained by an Ayurvedic practitioner, and from 17 commercial dealers. Information on how Katlu is provided to the mothers was recorded. The possible health benefits of the ingredients were studied from Ayurvedic texts and published scientific evidence. Results and Discussion While the traditional formulation is supposed to contain 32 plant materials, it was observed that none of the commercially available powders contained all 32 plant materials. Majority contained 10 12 of the ingredients. One or two products contained a variety of other plant materials not listed in the original formulation. Katlu is incorporated into a local sweet preparation providing considerable energy and moderate protein. Besides containing herbs with galactagogic properties, Katlu contains plant materials with other health benefits e.g., anti inflammatory. However, there are no studies on this formulation per se. Conclusion Katlu appears to have numerous health benefits and merits scientific investigation. This functional food and its health value should be promoted in the community and among nutrition and public health professionals.
Battrisu, Galactagogue, Katlu, Lactation
Aditi Goyal | Shobha Udipi | Ashish Phadke | Neeta Raval | Varsha Thakker | Rama Vaidya