Background: Dhokora khar (solid alkali), derived from water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)
is used by the people of Assam as a traditional food additive and as an antacid. It is usually
prepared from the aqueous extract of water hyacinth ash. It is very popular in lower Assam particularly
in the district of Barpeta and nearby areas. Apart from its use as a food additive in preparing
palatable dishes, it is also used for the cure of ailments arising from stomach acidity and indigestion.
In rural Assam, this khar finds applications as a natural fertilizer as well as a cleansing agent.
Methods: Standard chemical and spectral procedures have been used to confirm the presence of acid
and basic radicals. SEM-EDX, Atomic Absorption Spectrometry and Flame Photometry were used
for information on chemical constituents.
Results: Chemical information has established that dhokhora khar consists of a mixture of carbonates,
chlorides, sulfates and phosphates of various metals such as K, Mg, Ca, Na, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu,
etc. It is highly rich in potassium.
Conclusion: The investigation suggests that dokhora khar consists of a mixture of carbonates, chlorides,
sulfates and phosphates of various metals such as K, Mg, Ca, Na, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, etc. Some of
these metals such as Fe, Co, Mn, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cr, etc., are essential nutrients. Hence the results establish
that the consumption of this traditional food additive by the natives of Assam provides health