Pandanus odoratissimus is a flowering plant, belonging to genus pandanus and family Pandanaceae.
The beautiful flowers of Pandanus harvested early in the morning, because they lose their fragrance quickly after opening of calyx. After picking, they are subjected to hydro-distillation in one of the countless small distilleries, which mainly consist of a row of earthen pots that are filled with flowers and water, and a second, parallel row of water basins used too cool the distillate, which is collected in copper pots immersed into that water.
The process of distillation is takes place in a closed apparatus without any control of temperature or pressure, the steam flowing from the heated earthen pot to the cooled copper pot in bamboo pipes that are sealed with mud. The distillations yield several grades of essences: Addition of sandalwood results in a product called attar kewda, the pure, rather costly essential oil is known as rooh kewda while Kewda water is a cheap by product of hydro-distillation suited for culinary use.
Physicochemical characteristics of Kewda water:
Appearance: It is thin viscosity and is a clear liquid
Colour: Vary from Colour-less to pale yellow
Odour: Strong and characteristics
Relative density at 27°C: 0.97
Refractive index at 27°C: 1.495
Optical rotation: +2.3
Hydroxyl value: 2.5
Methoxyl value: 18.3
Solubility in aqueous alcohol: Completely soluble
Skin disorder: This water consists of traces of tannin, glycosides and alkaloids, which makes it diuretic and is effectively used for curing various wounds and skin diseases like leprosy and smallpox.
Pain reliever: This water is known for its therapeutic property in relieving various kinds of pains like, earache, chest pain, neck pain, and headache and stomach spasms.
This water is known for its laxative property, that's why, it is being used as a cure for the treatment of constipation in children.
Pandanus water is commonly used as constituent in many perfumes, cosmetics and also in ayurvedic medicines.
This water is frequently used in the preparation of various organic and synthetic soaps, cosmetics, sprays, ointments, inhalers and shampoos.
This water is also used in the preparation of various dishes, flavouring syrups and incense sticks.