Singhara (Water Chestnut): Uses, Benefits, Side Effects

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 15/02/2024

Singhara, also known as Water Chestnut, is unique among aquatic plants. This distinctive plant, native to Asia and Africa, has been venerated for generations for its culinary, medicinal, and cultural value.

From its crisp texture in foods to its potential health advantages, Singhara has a wide range of applications worth exploring. However, like any natural remedy, it is critical to recognise both its benefits and potential disadvantages.

Keep reading to discover Singhara’s health benefits, including its origin, uses, and potential side effects.

What is Singhara?

Singhara, scientifically known as Trapa natans, belongs to the Trapaceae family. It thrives in shallow waters, particularly in marshes, ponds, and slow-moving streams. The plant's most distinctive feature is its fruit, resembling a chestnut in appearance but growing underwater.

This fruit, known as a water chestnut, is the primary edible part of the plant. Singhara has a rich cultural history and is a staple ingredient in various Asian cuisines, especially in countries like India, China, and Thailand.

Uses of Singhara

Here are some of the prominent uses of Singhara:

Culinary Application: Water chestnuts are a versatile ingredient that may be utilised in many different cuisines. They can be eaten fresh, cooked, fried, or dried and ground into flour. Additionally, incorporating singhara powder with milk benefits in numerous ways by enhancing their nutritional profile, offering a rich source of vitamins and minerals.

Medicinal Purpose: Singhara is highly valued for its possible medicinal benefits. Traditional medicine systems like Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believe it has cooling, diuretic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Singhara is used to treat fever, sore throat, urinary infections, and digestive problems.

Cosmetic Uses: Singhara extract is sometimes used in cosmetics for its alleged skin-rejuvenating and moisturising effects. It is used in a variety of skincare products, including creams, lotions, and serums, to improve skin texture and hydration.

Fodder: In agricultural operations, Singhara plants are an important source of food for animals. The leaves and stems are frequently used as fodder, supplying vital nutrients to cattle and other grazing animals.

Singhara Health Benefits

Here are some of the benefits associated with consuming singhara:

Nutritional Support During Pregnancy: Singhara is an excellent source of critical nutrients, including folate. Folate is a B vitamin required for foetal development, particularly the production of the neural tube, which eventually develops into the baby's brain and spinal cord.

This highlights singhara benefits in pregnancy. Adequate folate intake during pregnancy lowers the incidence of neural tube abnormalities, such as spina bifida.

Heart Health: Water chestnuts are rich in potassium, which helps to control blood pressure and heart function. Including potassium-rich foods in your diet, such as Singhara, may help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Regulates Menstrual Cycle: Singhara benefits for females are numerous including regulating hormonal balance. Consuming singhara can help manage irregular menstrual periods and relieve symptoms like cramping and mood swings.

Antioxidant Properties: Singhara includes antioxidants such as flavonoids and polyphenols, which assist to neutralise damaging free radicals in the body. Antioxidants defend cells against oxidative stress and inflammation, lowering the high risk of chronic diseases, including cancer and diabetes.

Singhara Benefits for Skin: As the name implies, water chestnuts are abundant in water, which can help keep the skin hydrated. Regular consumption of Singhara or its topical application can promote skin hydration and elasticity, leaving you with a youthful and radiant complexion.

Weight Management: Singhara, with its low-calorie and high-fibre content, might be an effective addition to weight loss or management diets. Fibre increases satiety, keeping you full for longer periods of time and lowering overall calorie intake.

Improves Digestive Health: Singhara’s benefits for males as well as females are numerous as it is a good source of dietary fibre that aids in digestion, prevents constipation, and supports a healthy gut microbiome. One can benefit from including singhara in their diet to promote regular bowel movements and maintain optimal digestive function.

Diuretic Effect: Singhara has diuretic qualities, which means it increases urine production and aids in the reduction of excess fluids and toxins from the body. This diuretic action may be advantageous to people who have oedema or urinary tract infections.

Singhara Fish Health Benefits: Singhara fish, which are commonly found in settings where water chestnuts thrive, provide a unique source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for maintaining and keeping the heart healthy, decreasing inflammation, and improving cognitive function. Incorporating Singhara fish into your diet can improve your overall health, including cardiovascular and cognitive performance.

Singhara Side Effects and Precautions

While Singhara’s health benefits are plenty, it is essential to be aware of its potential side effects and take necessary precautions when consuming it. Here are some important considerations:

Side Effects

  • Singhara may cause allergic responses in certain people, especially those who are allergic to nuts or seeds. An allergic reaction may cause itching, swelling, hives, trouble breathing, or anaphylaxis. If you have a known nut allergy, you should avoid Singhara or consult a healthcare practitioner before consuming.

  • Large amounts of Singhara, especially raw or unripe fruit, might produce stomach problems such as bloating, gas, or diarrhoea. This is commonly due to the high fibre content. To avoid stomach difficulties, Singhara should be consumed in moderation and cooked or processed appropriately.

  • Singhara contains natural sugars, which can induce a rapid rise in blood sugar levels, particularly in people who have diabetes or insulin resistance. While Singhara can be included in a healthy diet, diabetics should regularly monitor their blood sugar levels and consume it in moderation to avoid glucose spikes.

  • Singhara may interact with some medications, including blood thinners and antiplatelet agents. It contains chemicals with anticoagulant characteristics, which may enhance the risk of bleeding when used with certain drugs. If you are taking any medication, you should check with a professional before adding Singhara to your diet.


  • To reduce the danger of stomach difficulties and allergic reactions, heat or prepare Singhara before eating. Cooking procedures such as boiling, roasting, or steaming can aid in the breakdown of potentially hazardous chemicals, making them easier to digest.

  • Additionally, grinding Singhara into flour or integrating it into cooked foods might increase its nutritious content while lowering the likelihood of unwanted responses.

  • Like any other food, consuming Singhara in moderation is essential for reaping its health benefits while avoiding negative consequences. Avoid excessive consumption, especially if you are trying something new or have known allergies or sensitivities.


Singhara is important in many cultures around the world for a variety of reasons, including culinary and medicinal purposes. Its flexibility in dishes ranging from savoury to sweet makes it an important culinary component, giving texture, flavour, and nutritional value.

Furthermore, Singhara contains a high concentration of vital nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which contribute to its multiple health advantages. Regardless of Singhara benefits for females and males, it is critical to be aware of potential allergic reactions and interactions with certain drugs. In addition, excessive use may cause negative effects such as bloating or allergic reactions in vulnerable individuals.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is singhara cultivation sustainable?

Singhara cultivation is generally considered sustainable as it grows in natural aquatic habitats without the need for synthetic pesticides or fertilisers.

How can one differentiate between fresh and spoiled Singhara?

Fresh Singhara should have a firm texture with no soft spots or mould. The skin should be intact and free from blemishes. Spoiled Singhara may appear shrivelled, mushy, or discoloured. It may also have a foul odour, indicating bacterial or fungal growth.

Can singhara be included in a vegan or vegetarian diet?

Yes, Singhara is suitable for both vegan and vegetarian diets as it is a plant-based food. It can be used as a nutritious ingredient in various vegetarian and vegan dishes, providing essential nutrients without animal products.

Disclaimer: This is a general guide on Singhara (Water Chestnut): Uses, Benefits, Side Effects. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. It is advisable to consult a qualified health professional for treatment in severe cases.

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