Jaggery is unrefined natural sugar that is produced without adding any chemicals. More than 70% of the total world jaggery production is done in India. Jaggery is popularly known as the “medicinal sugar” and is nutritionally comparable with honey. It has been used as a sweetener in Ayurvedic Medicine for 3000 years. Indian Ayurvedic medicine considers jaggery to be beneficial in treating throat and lung infections. While refined sugar mainly consists of glucose and fructose, jaggery contains glucose and sucrose. But jaggery also has minerals and vitamins which lacks in the refined sugar. The mineral content of jaggery includes calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and iron and traces of zinc and copper. The vitamin content includes folic acid and B-complex vitamins. Thus, other than that it is a good source of energy, it also prevents rheumatic afflictions; prevents disorders of bile; helps in relieving fatigue, relaxation of muscles, nerves and blood vessels; maintains blood pressure and reduces water retention; increases hemoglobin level and prevents anemia.
This is the most traditional type of jaggery in India. One block weighs around 1 kilogram. Having been in the market in this form since the beginning, demand for block has been constant.
Since the benefits of jaggery are becoming more widely known and many prefer jaggery over table sugar, a powder version of jaggery has been produced to make jaggery use more convenient.