Mahua tree-The Hindu-14-11-2022
CONTEXT: Recently a herd of elephants in Odisha drank fermented water to make mahua and went into a deep sleep.
The flowers of the Mahua tree (Madhuca longifolia) are fermented to produce an alcoholic drink also called Mahua.
Tribal men and women in various parts of India traditionally make this liquor.
It is found in West Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, in parts of northern and central India, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Mahua is considered holy amongst the tribes of India.
It is called the ‘Tree of Life. Not just the flower, each and every part of the tree is used for something or the other.
It is a prominent forest tree in tribal areas of Bastar (Chhattisgarh) and plays an important role in the rural economy.
The mahua flowers are a rich source of sugars and are said to contain vitamins, minerals and calcium.
The flowers are fermented and distilled yielding spirituous liquor also known as ‘country beer’.
An estimated 90% of the annual production of Mahua flower is used in the process of brewing beverages.