RoohAfza – The Healthy Indian “Mocktail”

by Karuna Warrier
June 11, 2017

Summers arrive and cool frappés begin to substitute hot chocolates. But there is one more way to keep yourself cool during the summer months – the sweet rose syrup RoohAfza, the one drink that binds the Indian subcontinent. The distinct image of a tall bottle with a yellow cap, wrapped with a label with a beautiful picture of a bouquet of fruits, vegetables and herbs, always finds room in every kitchen.

Indian Grocery Store - Rooh Afza - Singal's

Any gathering on a hot day begins with a glass of refreshing herbal drink called sharbat, prepared by diluting RoohAfza in water, and culminates with Indian desserts like Kulfi and Falooda dressed on top with a few drops of again the rose-scented syrup.

Indian Grocery Store - Kulfi - Singal's

It was Hakim Hafeez Abdul Majeed, a physician specializing in Ayurvedic medicine, who is the mastermind behind the creation of RoohAfza, in a small clinic in 1906 in Delhi, in British India. The syrup was discovered as a result of a unique cocktail of spinach, watermelon, endive, khas-khas grass, coriander seed and the distillate of damask rose.

Indian Grocery Store - Rooh Afza founder - Singal's

Despite the separation of Hakim Majeed’s family during the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, his two sons did not let the magic concoction simply die away. Each son set up his own laboratory in his respective country – Hamdard (Waqf) Laboratories in Pakistan, and Hamdard (Wakf) Laboratories in India, cooling away the Indian subcontinent against the sizzling summer winds called loo.

Indian Grocery Store - Indian Pakistan Separation - Singal's

The rejuvenating cocktail of herbs, fruits and vegetables helps preventing dehydration, improving cardiovascular health and haemoglobin, among its many other medicinal values. The main reason that abetted the age-old rose syrup stand tall and strong against the fierce competition offered by other summer drinks and juices is the absence of artificial colours and preservatives.

Indian Grocery Store - Rooh Afza - SIngal's

The unique Ayurvedic formula has survived the test of time and competition. An old advertisement poster celebrated the patrimonial importance of RoohAfza with the tagline “When the motor-car was on its way in and the horse-buggy on its way out, Sharbat RoohAfza was there”. The healthy formula, the quality and the appearance of RoohAfza, all untouched, have flourished even when tardy electronic mails have been replaced by instant online sharing!

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