My Friend And Life Saver, Aqua Ptychotis

My parents are here and they’ve brought along my best friend with them – a bottle of Aqua Ptychotis…This friend is an elusive one and it’s been quite a while since I’ve seen her…In fact, she’s so elusive that I couldn’t find even one picture of hers on the net…If you have no idea what I’m talking about, chances are you’re not a Bengali or from Kolkata…So, here’s the lowdown…

Aqua Ptychotis (Ajwain Arak) is an orange coloured stomach healer that all Bengalis swear by…It’s literally a life saver for us foodies (all Bengalis are foodies) and therefore, more valuable than gold…After a good meal, you are supposed to pour a teaspoon of this foul tasting stuff in a cup of water and gulp it down whilst holding your breath…Sounds like fun, right? Like a true Bengali, I swear by it and given a chance, I bet I could make you swear by it too…This stuff is so potent that if Bengal Chemicals, the makers of Aqua Ptychotis, had not been a Bengali company, we would have seen bottles of this digestive on grocery store shelves all over the world…It would have been India’s major dollar earner and we Bengalis would have been called ‘Aquas’ instead of ‘Bongs’…

So,here’s my advice for you if you like food…The next time you are in Kolkata, don’t forget to buy a bottle of Aqua Ptychotis…I’ll bet you a hundred dollars that you’ll become a believer after just one try…

P.S. Did I forget to mention that this herbal extract has a huge level of alcohol content in it?

38 thoughts on “My Friend And Life Saver, Aqua Ptychotis

  1. LOL, Bones! I had no idea! And I grew up among Bengalis 🙂

    I have a feeling that my husband will really be happy to get his hands on this 🙂 The alcohol content must be handy to get people down it 🙂


  2. wow! Whenever I visit Calcutta which has been on my radar for quite some time… My mom studied there and she keeps on making me jealous of not making it to the city even once, every time!

    Me: Now you have to go – Aqua P. beckons!


  3. Hey, I don’t know what this is. How come? I am sure it will work like a miracle for me. What name does it sell by in the local market there???

    Me: You haven’t heard of Aqua Ptychotis? What kind of Bengali are you? 🙂 Have you heard of Carmozyme? The thing with Aqua P. is that since it is produced by a Calcutta based firm run by Bengalis, the supply is erratic…It’s usually available at chemists and only in Cal…

    Because of the erratic supply, I was surprised and ecstatic when my mom produced not one but two bottles of the stuff…


    • Though i am a malayali aqua tychotis has been a staple of our family medicine chest since childhood. On my last trip to Calcutta- top on my shopping list was this magic potion as it is not available in Delhi.
      So i bought 3 bottles of it.


  4. Wow.. interesting bones… but I don’t know whether I will visit Kolkatta…. but I wish to go to Eden Gardens one day… then I will try 🙂 🙂

    /*Did I forget to mention that this herbal extract has a huge level of alcohol content in it?*/

    yes, you are 😆 😆

    Me: Eden Gardens is worth a visit…It’s like no place in India…The grass is lush and the atmosphere is electric…


  5. Didn’t know you were so much more Bong within than without! Haha

    Me: Listen, as far as Aqua Ptychotis is concerned, I’m a full fledged Bong…As for the rest of the stuff…


  6. I had this nachos & cheesy dip yeste and ever since, my entire system is in a state of repair!!!! I think I would’ve benefitted from the mysterious and magical Aqua P certainly. Funny my neighbours for nearly 20 yrs were Bongs and I never knew.


  7. interesting:D
    will pick it up and test in on some guinea pig in family :mrgreen:

    on another note a family member swears by Canthridine ..thats also by the same Bengal Chemicals right?

    Me: Cantharidine – yes! I used to use that oil when I was kid…I don’t think it’s available now…


  8. Ajwain is a favourite elsewhere too. My mom recommends taking a little less than a fistful straight with water. And it works! I think your ‘Aqua’ has a clear edge – alcohol! Must have been a favourite with women who could otherwise not drink!

    I think one should get it CR Park, Delhi;s own Bengal.

    Me: I too swear by ajwain – it really works…I guess it should be available in CR Park…


  9. Bones, LOL you should put the stuff u wrote in ‘P.s.” in bold and underline it 4 times in different colours!

    When I read it first, I thought it was some disorder caused by water! Ha ha!

    I think I spot a potential business idea here. 😀


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  11. Ajwain crushed on the palm and swallowed with water is what I have seen being tried… chopped ginger with lime juice is another popular remedy. I am going to recommend Aqua Ptychotis to the next person who says they have eaten too much 😉

    Isn’t it available all over India?

    Me: It may be now…There was some problem with the production because of the unavailability of an ingredient, but I think things are on track now…


  12. ha ha!! Did you know I searched all over Ranchi for this – they said ‘jowan er arok’ aar pava jai na. Then of course I found it in good ol` Kolkata!!! :):)


  13. WHERE WHERE did they pick it up from!!! i landed in this city after 7 years.. n searched for it after my first Bedwin-Roll-Session .. but alas was offered PAND n Pudin hara types.. aah the mere thought of its smell makes me go tizzy…. high alcohol content u see 😉

    Me: 🙂 My parents picked it up for me but yes, the supply is sporadic…


  14. yes it works really well. i have been thru this indigestion problem for long. Aqua Ptychotis is probably the only solution. I have been using it fot 2 yrs now. Its a miracle water. Have a spoon full with half glass of water after food and you see how you feel after 30 minutes. also handy is unienzhyme from Organon India Ltd and Triphala from Himalayas. Blleive me it works like that.


  15. Ah Joaner Arak… !!! Khao Khao ar Joaner Arak kheye completey Sustho thako.
    Aqua ptycho has not been promoted because of the conspiracy of the Doctors who would lose all the Commissions they earn from big Pharma. recmmending huge amount of expensive medicines. I think the present w.b. govt should revittalise BENGL CHEMICAL.
    Sorry folks…..I am not a professional Typist.


  16. The person posting this blog has achieved something that Bengal Chemical could not: bringing ‘Jowaner Aarok’ (Aqua Ptychotis) out of the Bong medicine chest into the big wide world. Many thanks to you for revealing this Bong secret. Go forth into the world enjoying and digesting all the goodies of this world, riding high on Aqua Ptychotis! Good luck!


  17. I googled Aqua Ptychotis to look for images to illustrate my own Aqua P. post with and yours was the first result that popped up 😀

    There should be an Aqua Ptychotis fan club:D I LOVE the taste though, and you call it foul?? Hmph!

    Long live Bengal Chemicals (for Neem and Margo too!)!


    • Go forth and see the mail laid out before you with confidence and attack it with gusto when you have Aqua P in your ammo. As long your ammo is dry and safe, you can take on the gastronomic world on your terms!

      Share the secret with those who do not know thereby bringing glory to Aqua P and to Bengal Chemical!


  18. Go forth and see the meal laid out before you with confidence and attack it with gusto when you have Aqua P in your ammo. As long your ammo is dry and safe, you can take on the gastronomic world on your terms!
    Share the secret with those who do not know thereby bringing glory to Aqua P and to Bengal Chemical!


  19. A very nice piece of information about my favorite Aqu- ptychotis, or else known as jowaner arok in Kolkata. The author sure has generated a lot of attention with the ‘alcohol’ punchline. Sure the contents in a bottle would mention a 35-40 % alcohol, that is similar to some strong alcohoilc beverages we know, yet the taste is completely different. Like alcohol, aqua-ptychotis needs to have an acquired taste. As you get bolder you can try it with less and less water and feel the rest.

    After a good/heavy meal if you feel a heartburn coming, close your eyes, make a solution of this and gulp it down. Immediate relief. I agree with the author if we had been better with marketing this would have been the number one pharmaceutical product.

    Thanks for posting this and letting people know about this thing.


  20. A really nice post!
    Its a shame that this could not be marketed and popularized to its full potential. Had it been recommended by the doctors today, most of the useless pharma companies would have suffered financially. Its really funny how Bengalis are content on destroying their own creations.
    I do hope that the product gets marketed by some private entrepreneur so that it remains on the shelves. Bengal Chemicals are registering heavy loses, and its very probable that the production will be stopped soon. Lets hope and pray for the best though 🙂


  21. I am a hardcore bong from Cal living in Del. Never believed in gelusil or antacids. Took any tummy issues in my stride but did not take meds. And boy bam I a foodie. But if rarely I fall back on anything! It is AP. Brought a bottleto delhi. My delhi friends (two of them were really suffering after a bout of cake-gone-wrong incident). Try this. I said. No way they said. 5 minutes later after one teaspoon each. They were partying. Bong or nor Bong just get your hands on one 🙂


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