Pathimugham: The Herbal Drinking Water With Multiple Benefits

Pathimugham, a popular drink in Kerala, is made from the sappanwood tree's bark and has its own unique flavour. This refreshing beverage has a long history of use in traditional medicine, and it is highly prized for both that and its eye-catching scarlet colour. The drink is an essential part of the splendour of the Onam celebration. It’s refreshing qualities complement the sumptuous Sadhya, creating a sense of harmony. Its cooling attributes go well with the indulgent Sadhya, forging a balance. Beyond taste, Pathimugham embodies Kerala's profound link to nature, enhancing sensory experiences. Amidst festivities, it's a nod to custom and health, merging on the vibrant banana leaf. 

Here are the health benefits of including Pathimugham in your diet: 

Cooling Properties: Pathimugham is known for its cooling effect on the body, making it an excellent choice to combat heat-related discomfort during summers. 

Detoxification: This drink possesses detoxifying properties, aiding in the removal of toxins from the body and supporting overall well-being. 

Digestive Aid: Pathimugham is believed to enhance digestion, promoting a balanced gut and assisting in the absorption of nutrients. 

Blood Purification: Ayurveda suggests that Pathimugham helps purify the blood, contributing to healthier circulation and potentially improving skin health. 

Balancing Pitta Dosha: Ayurveda emphasizes maintaining a balance of doshas (bioenergies). Pathimugham is believed to pacify excess Pitta dosha, helping manage issues related to heat and acidity. 



1 piece of dried Sappanwood (Pathimugham) 

4 cups of water 

2-3 tablespoons of jaggery or honey (optional, for sweetness)

A pinch of cardamom powder (optional, for flavor)

Method: Start by breaking the dried Sappanwood into smaller pieces. You can use a mortar and pestle to crush it into smaller bits. In a pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the crushed Sappanwood to the boiling water. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let the Sappanwood simmer in the water for about 15-20 minutes. This will allow the water to extract the beneficial compounds from the bark. Once the water turns a reddish-brown color and you notice the aroma of the Sappanwood, remove the pot from the heat. Strain the liquid to remove the pieces of Sappanwood. You'll be left with the infused Pathimugham drink. If you prefer a touch of sweetness, you can add jaggery or honey to the drink while it's still warm. Stir until it dissolves. For extra flavor, you can also add a pinch of cardamom powder. Let the drink cool down, and then transfer it to a pitcher or glass bottles for storage. Refrigerate the Pathimugham drink until it's chilled and ready to be enjoyed.