Monday, September 21, 2009

Orange - not named for their color

Scientific Synonym - Citrus

Also known as
- Chinese apple, Sinaasappel in Dutch, Apfelsine in German

Native to
- Originated in Southeast Asia

Rich Source of
- 75% vitamin C

Tastes like
- some are sweet, bitter and even tart

- seedling, budding onto appropriate rootstocks

Interesting Facts
  • Oranges were not named for their color. The word orange comes from the Sanskrit naranga which means "fragrant"
  • An orange seed is called a pip. The white thread-like material attached to the inside of the peel is called pith.
  • Top 10 producers - Brazil,United States,Mexico,India,China,Spain,Italy,Iran,Egypt,Pakistan
  • The orange blossom, which is the state flower of Florida, is highly fragrant and traditionally associated with good fortune. It has long been popular in bridal bouquets and head wreaths for weddings.
  • Orange blossom essence is an important component in the making of perfume.
  • The petals of orange blossom can also be made into a delicately citrus-scented version of rosewater; orange blossom water (aka orange flower water) is a common part of both French and Middle Eastern cuisines, most often as an ingredient in desserts and baked goods.
  • Orange peel is used by gardeners as a slug repellent.
  • Orange leaves can be boiled to make tea.
  • Orange wood sticks (also spelt orangewood) are used as cuticle pushers in manicures and pedicures, and as spudgers for manipulating slender electronic wires
  • Orange blossom honey, or actually citrus honey, is produced by putting beehives in the citrus groves during bloom, which also pollinates seeded citrus varieties. Orange blossom honey is highly prized, and tastes much like orange.
  • Once cut or squeezed, the Vitamin C quickly disappears. After only 8 hours at room temperature (or 24 hours in the refrigerator),approximately 25% of the Vitamin C is lost. Thus, canned or bottled orange juice products tend to have lower Vitamin C content unless they are fortified
  • The skin or the pith of the orange has as much vitamin c as the orange so one must try to eat it. You can add some spices to it, if you think it is not edible.
Availability - all year long, with a peak season during the winter months.

Health Benefits
  • Helps maintain a healthy immune system.
  • They are also have high fiber and no fat, which means you will be able to lose those extra holiday pounds easier
  • Oranges also have a fair amount of Folic Acid, Calcium, Potassium and Thiamine! So, not only are oranges good for anyone to eat, but they are particularly healthy for expectant mothers.
  • Vitamin C in oranges protects sperms from genetic damage that may cause birth defects
  • Orange contains Beta carotene, which is a powerful antioxidant guarding the health of our cells.
  • Orange contains Calcium, which a school going knows how important is in healthy bones and teeth's.
  • Our brain needs folic acid for proper development which is found in Oranges.
  • Blood pressure can be kept in balance with magnesium found in Oranges.
  • To maintain a healthy cardiovascular system and to maintain electrolyte balance of cells, one can eat oranges for potassium it provides.
  • The food we take is converted into energy by thiamin found in orange.
  • Arteriosclerosis: Regularly consuming vitamin C retards the development of hardening of the arteries.
  • Cancer prevention: A compound in oranges called liminoid, has been found to help fight cancers of the mouth, skin, lung, breast, stomach and colon. The high vitamin C content also acts as a good anti-oxidant that protects cells from damages by free radicals.
  • Cholesterol: The alkaloid synephrine found under the orange peel can reduce the liver's production of cholesterol. Whereas the anti-oxidant fights oxidative stress that is the main culprit in oxidizing the LDLs in our blood.
  • Constipation: Even though the orange "tastes acidic", it actually has an alkaline effect in the digestive system and helps stimulate the digestive juices, relieving constipation.
  • Damaged sperms, repair: An orange a day is sufficient for a man to keep his sperms healthy. Vitamin C, an anti-oxidant, protects sperms from genetic damage that may cause a birth defect.
  • Heart disease: A high intake of flavonoids and vitamin C has been known to halve the risk of heart diseases.
  • High blood pressure: Studies have shown that a flavonoid called hesperidin in oranges can lower high blood pressure.
  • Immune system: The strong content of vitamin C stimulates white cells to fight infection, naturally building a good immune system.
  • Kidney stones, prevent: Drinking orange juice daily can significantly drop the risk of formation of calcium oxalate stones in the kidney.
  • Skin: The anti-oxidant in orange help protect the skin from free radical damage known to cause signs of aging.
  • Stomach ulcer: Consuming vitamin C rich foods helps to lower the incidence of peptic ulcers and in turn, reduce the risk of stomach cancer.
  • Viral infections, protection against: The abundance of polyphenols have been shown to provide protection against viral infections.

Grapes - the queen of fruits

Scientific Synonym - Namily Vitaceae

Native to
- Egyptian, Greeks, Phoenicians and Romans also grew grapes both for eating and wine production. Later, the growing of grapes spread to Europe, North Africa, and eventually to the United States.

Rich Source of
- Grapes are rich sources of vitamins A, C, B6 and folate in addition to essential minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and selenium. Grapes contain flavonoids that are very powerful antioxidants.

Tastes like
- Sweet sometime sour

- The grape is propagated easily from seeds, layers, cuttings of the new wood, and by grafting

Interesting Facts -
  • Top 10 Grapes producers - Italy, France,China,United States,Spain ,Turkey,Iran,Argentina ,Chile,India
  • Grapes have vitamins, minerals, fiber and even proteins and could play an important role in ensuring a healthy and robust life
  • Used for wine, or eating as a table grape, fresh or dried (raisin, currant, sultana)
  • Half a grape fruit provides more than half of the adult daily requirement for vitamin C. They contain 1/20th the vitamin C of kiwi fruit
  • There is a popular myth that eating grape fruit helps you to slim because it has the ability to burn fat. Grapes are lower in calories and fat, but no fruit has the ability to burn fat.
Sought by Birds - Many small birds and Honey bees

- June till September

Health Benefits
  • Good blood and body builder, it is also a quick source of energy.
  • Helps reduce platelet clumping and harmful blood clots
  • Eat both juicy flesh and pulpy membrane. Both has usefule amount of pectin which helps to lower levels of blood cholesterol.
  • Asthma: Due to its eminent therapeutic value, grapes can be used for cure of asthma. In addition to it, the assimilatory power of grapes is also higher. It increases the moisture present in lungs.Due to which grapes is called the "nectar of the gods"
  • Heart diseases: Grapes increase the nitric oxide levels in the blood, which prevents blood clots thereby reducing the chances of heart attacks. In addition the antioxidant present in grapes prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which blocks the blood vessels.
  • Migraine: Ripe grape juice is an important home remedy for curing migraine. It should be taken early in the morning, without mixing additional water.
  • Constipation: Grapes are very effective in overcoming constipation. They are considered as a laxative food, as they contain organic acid, sugar and cellulose. They also relive chronic constipation by toning up intestine and stomach.
  • Indigestion: Grapes play an important role in dyspepsia. They relive heat and cure indigestion and irritation of the stomach. They are also preferred as they constitute a light food.
  • Fatigue: Light and white grape juice replenishes the iron content present in the body and prevents fatigue. Though, the dark grape juice might not give an iron boost and on the other hand, decrease the iron levels. Drinking grape juice also provides you with instant energy. The anti-oxidants present in grapes also provide the needed boost to your immune system.
  • Kidney disorders: Grapes can substantially reduce the acidity of the uric acid and helps in the elimination of the acid from the system, thereby reducing the work pressure of kidneys.
  • Breast cancer: Through a latest study, it has been discovered that purple colored Concord grape juice helps in preventing breast cancer. Significant reduction in mammary tumor mass of laboratory rats was seen after they were fed the grape juice on the experimental basis.
  • Alzheimer’s disease: Resveratrol, a beneficial polyphenol present in grapes reduces the levels of amyloidal-beta peptides in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Studies suggest that grapes can enhance brain health and stall the onset of neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Muscular degeneration: Grapes can prevent the age related loss of vision or macular degeneration. Three servings of grapes a day can reduce the risks of macular degeneration by over 36 %.
  • Prevents cataract: Flavonoids present in grapes have antioxidants, which can reduce and fight the damage caused by free radicals such as cataract apart from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and age related problems.
  • Blood cholesterol: Grapes contain a compound called pterostilbene, which has the capacity to bring down cholesterol level. Saponins present in grape skin can also prevent the absorption of cholesterol by binding with it.
  • Antibacterial activity: Red grapes have strong antibacterial and antiviral properties and can protect you from infections. They have a strong antiviral property against poliovirus and herpes simplex virus.
  • Anticancer properties: Grapes are found to have strong anti cancer properties due to the anti-inflammatory effect of resveratrol present in grapes. It is particularly effective in colorectal cancer and breast cancer. Anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins present in grapes have properties of an anti-proliferate and can inhibit the growth of cancer causing agents. Grape juice not just prevents the risk of cancer but also suppresses the growth and propagation of cancer cells. The pigments contained in grapes enhance the overall immunity of the body.
Warnings -
  • Neither grapes, nor grapes juice are recommended for persons suffering from stomach ulcers, diabetes and obesity;
  • Eating grapes or drinking grapes juice can cause dental problems. If you have a cavity in a tooth, it is not recommended to consume grapes, as they will intensify the destruction process of the tooth;
  • Grapes cannot be consumed along with a relatively large number of food products, like: milk, fish, beer, mineral water, melons, etc. The combination of these kinds of food products with grapes can cause serious stomach problems.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Wood Apple - vilampazham

Scientific Synonym
- Limonia acidissima

Also known as
- elephant apple, monkey fruit, vilampazham, Belada Hannu, Bael fruit, Kath bel

Native to
- Wood apple is indigenous to South India. It is also cultivated in. tropical Asia.

Rich Source of
- Wood apple consists of moisture 64.2 per cent, protein 7.1 per cent, fat 3.7 per cent, minerals 1.9 per cent, fibre 5.0 per cent and carbohydrates 18.1 per cent per 100 grams. Its mineral and vitamin contents are calcium, phosphorus, iron, carotene, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin. Its calorific value is 134. Wood apple is rich in oxalic, malic citric acid and a concentrated tannic acid.

Tastes like
- The pulp is brown, mealy, odorous, resinous, astringent, acid or sweetish, with numerous small, white seeds scattered through it.

- The wood-apple is generally grown from seeds though seedlings will not bear fruit until at least 15 years old. Multiplication may also be by root cuttings, air-layers, or by budding onto self-seedlings to induce dwarfing and precociousness

Interesting Facts -
  • Wood apple, as one of its aliases (elephant apple) suggest, is the favourite of elephants.
  • Naturally, the Hindu Elephant-headed God, Lord Vinayaka, is propitiated with an offering of this fruit
  • The rind must be cracked with a hammer. The scooped-out pulp, though sticky, is eaten raw with or without sugar, or is blended with coconut milk and palm-sugar sirup and drunk as a beverage, or frozen as an ice cream. It is also used in chutneys and for making jelly and jam. The jelly is purple and much like that made from black currants
  • he pulp of an unripe fruit is sour to taste and is made into chutney by mixing it with a paste of green chillies, salt and suitable spices.
  • Wood apple juice is effective thirst quencher in summer
  • The devotees of Lord Shiva commonly offer bael leaves to the deity, especially on Shivaratri; this probably explains why bael trees are so common near temples. Hindus also believe that goddess Lakshmi resides in bael leaves
  • Bael fruit pulp has a soap-like action that made it a household cleaner for hundreds of years.
  • The sticky layer around the unripe seeds is household glue that also finds use in jewellery-making.
  • The glue, mixed with lime, waterproofs wells and cements walls.
  • The glue also protects oil paintings when added as a coat on the canvas.
  • The fruit rind yields oil that is popular as a fragrance for hair; it also produces a dye used to colour silks and calico
Availability - early October through March

Health Benefits
  • It is an antidote for poisons and also helps in curing sore throat.
  • After the rains, the trunk and branches give off a gum called ‘Feronia gum’, which counteracts diarrhoea, dysentery and diabetes.
  • The pulp of the raw fruit is useful in arresting secretion or bleeding.
  • The ripe fruit is refreshing, aromatic, digestive and a tonic. It is useful in preventing and curing scurvy and in relieving flatulence.
  • Its leaves are not only aromatic but also possess some astringent and carminative properties.
  • The gum that the stem exudes has a soothing effect on the skin and mucous membranes.
  • Mashed seedless pulp of the raw fruit is beneficial in the treatment of dysentery, diarrhoea and piles.
  • The pulp of the ripe fruit, mixed with cardamom, honey and cumin seeds, is effective for; indigestion, diarrhoea and piles.
  • The transparent gummy substance oozing from the stem when cut or broken can be beneficially used in bowel affections.
  • It also relieves tenesmus, that is, powerful straining to relieve the bowels.
  • A mixture of the ripe pulp of the fruit, cardamom, honey and cumin seeds, taken regularly in the morning tones up sagging breasts.
  • It is also useful in preventing cancer of the breast and uterus and helps cure sterility due to a deficiency of the harmone progesterone.
  • About 90 grams of the sap of the fresh bark, 2 corns of pepper, a few drops of pure cow's ghee and a dessertspoon of honey, prevents any post-partum complications.
  • It is taken twice daily immediately after childbirth.
  • The bark of the tree is good for biliousness. It can be taken either in the powdered or decoction form. The juice of the leaves can also be applied to the skin eruptions caused by biliousness.
  • Cure for urticaria - 30 ml of fresh leaf juice, mixed with cumin is taken twice daily
  • Wood apple in the form of chutney or sherbet isuseful in treating hiccups. It is made with salt and tamarind.
  • Aphrodisiac: Powder of the leaves, dried in shade, with an equal quantity of sugar candy is useful in spermatorrhoea, or involuntary ejaculation, premature ejaculation and functional impotency.
  • Energy Booster: Hundred grams of Bel fruit pulp provides 140 calories and is therefore, a good energy booster.
  • Effective for ear-aches: The root of the bel tree is used to check different kinds of ear problem

Friday, August 28, 2009

WaterMelon - Summer Fruit gives Viagra effect $@#@#$$

Scientific Synonym - Citrullus lanatus

Native to
- southern Africa, Vietnam, China, Europe

Rich Source of - Watermelon contains about 6% sugar and 92% water by weight.Watermelon is an excellent source of vitamin C. It is also a very good source of vitamin A and vitamin B6. In addition, watermelon is a good source of thiamin, potassium and magnesium.

Tastes like
- Sweet

- Seed Germination

Interesting Facts -
  • The Dictionary of American Food and Drink, "watermelon" made its first appearance in an English dictionary in 1615.
  • In Vietnamese culture, watermelon seeds are consumed during the Vietnamese New Year's holiday
  • The Oklahoma State Senate passed a bill on 17 April 2007 declaring watermelon as the official state vegetable, with some controversy as the watermelon is a fruit.
  • The citrulline which exists in watermelon (especially in the rind) is a known stimulator of nitric oxide. NO is thought to relax and expand blood vessels, much like the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra, and may even increase libido
  • The best way to choose a flavorful melon is to look at the color and quality of the flesh, which should be a deep color and absent from white streaks.
  • When choosing a whole watermelon, look for one that is heavy for its size with a rind that is relatively smooth and that is neither overly shiny nor overly dull.In addition, one side of the melon should have an area that is distinct in color from the rest of the rind, displaying a yellowish or creamy tone. This is the underbelly, the place that was resting on the ground during ripening, and if the fruit does not have this marking, it may have been harvested prematurely, which will negatively affect its taste, texture and juiciness.
Sought by Birds - Crows, WoodPeckers etc

- Summer

Health Benefits
  • Vitamin A found in watermelon is important for optimal eye health, can help prevent night-blindness, and boosts immunity by enhancing the infection-fighting actions of white blood cells called lymphocytes.
  • Vitamin B6 found in watermelon is used by the body to manufacture brain chemicals (neurotransmitters), such as serotonin, melatonin and dopamine, which preliminary research shows may help the body cope with anxiety and panic.Watermelon is rich in the B vitamins necessary for energy production.
  • Vitamin C in watermelon can help to bolster the immune system's defenses against infections and viruses and can protect a body from harmful free radicals that can accelerate aging and conditions such as cataracts.
  • A two-cup serving of watermelon is also a source of potassium*, a mineral necessary for water balance and found inside of every cell. People with low potassium levels can experience muscle cramps.
  • For Pregnant women - Watermelon is an excellent source of vitamin C, which aids in the maintenance of normal connective tissue, and promotes wound healing and helps the body’s immune system function. Vitamin C also assists in the body’s utilization of iron; during pregnancy a woman's body requires more iron than usual to produce all the blood needed to supply nutrition to the placenta.
  • These powerful antioxidants travel through the body neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals are substances in the body that can cause a great deal of damage. They are able to oxidize cholesterol, making it stick to blood vessel walls, where it can lead to heart attack or stroke. They can add to the severity of asthma attacks by causing airways to clamp down and close. They can increase the inflammation that occurs in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and cause most of the joint damage that occurs in these conditions, and they can damage cells lining the colon, turning them into cancer cells.
  • Protection against Macular Degeneration
  • Arginine to Prevent Erectile Dysfunction, Lower Blood Pressure, Improve Insulin Sensitivity

Tender Cocunut - 15 Good reason to love this fruit

Scientific Synonym - Cocos nucifera

Also known as - Nariyal(Hindi), Narikela(Sanskrit), Thenkai(Tamil)

Native to - with most authorities claiming it is native to South Asia (particularly the Ganges Delta), while others claim its origin is in northwestern South America. Fossil records from New Zealand indicate that small, coconut-like plants grew there as long as 15 million years ago. Even older fossils have been uncovered in Kerala (Kerala means "land of coconut palms"), Rajasthan, Thennai in Tamil Nadu at banks of River Palar, Then-pennai, Thamirabharani, Cauvery and Mountain sides at Kerala borders,[Konaseema-Andharapradesh], Maharashtra (India) and the oldest known so far in Khulna, Bangladesh.
Mention is made of coconuts in the 1st centuries BC in the Mahawamsa of Sri Lanka.

Rich Source of - sugar, fiber, proteins, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals

Tastes like - Sweet in taste

Propagation - The flowers of the coconut palm are polygamomonoecious, with both male and female flowers in the same inflorescence. Flowering occurs continuously, with female flowers producing seeds. Coconut palms are believed to be largely cross-pollinated, although some dwarf varieties are self-pollinating.

Interesting Facts -
  • The Philippines is the world leader in coconut production (2007), followed by Indonesia, and India in distant third. Pollachi and its surrounding villages are the largest coconut growing hubs in India, and is famous for the most tender coconuts in India. And, they are also famous for the coconut-based products like tender coconut water, copra, coconut oil, coconut cake, coconut toddy, coconut shell-based products, coconut wood-based products, coconut leaves, and coir pith.
  • Nearly all parts of the coconut palm are useful, and the palms have a comparatively high yield, up to 75 fruits per year
  • The name for the coconut palm in Sanskrit is kalpa vriksha, which translates as "the tree which provides all the necessities of life".
  • Coir (the fiber from the husk of the coconut) is used in ropes, mats, brushes, caulking boats and as stuffing fiber; it is also used extensively in horticulture for making potting compost.
  • Copra is the dried meat of the seed and, after further processing, is a source of low grade coconut oil.
  • Coconut leaves are used for making broom in India.
  • Coir used for making mattress are made in India.
  • The leaves provide materials for baskets and roofing thatch.
  • Palmwood comes from the trunk, and is increasingly being used as an ecologically-sound substitute for endangered hardwoods. It has several applications, particularly in furniture and specialized construction (notably in Manila's Coconut Palace).
  • Hawaiians hollowed the trunk to form drums, containers, or even small canoes.
  • The husk and shells can be used for fuel and are a good source of charcoal.
  • Dried half coconut shells with husks are used to buff floors. In the Philippines, it is known as "bunot", and in Jamaica it is simply called "coconut brush"
  • Activated carbon manufactured from coconut shell is considered superior to those obtained from other sources, mainly because of small macropores structure which renders it more effective for the adsorption of gas/vapor and for the removal of color, oxidants, impurities and odor of compounds.
  • A coconut is an essential element of several rituals in Hindu tradition, and often is decorated with bright metal foils and other symbols of auspiciousness. It is offered during worship to a Hindu god or goddess. Irrespective of their religious affiliation, fishermen of India often offer it to the rivers and seas in the hopes of having bountiful catches. In Hindu wedding ceremonies, a coconut is placed over the opening of a pot, representing a womb. Hindus often initiate the beginning of any new activity by breaking a coconut to ensure the blessings of the gods and successful completion of the activity. In tantric practices, coconuts are sometimes used as substitutes for human skulls. The Hindu goddess of well-being and wealth, Lakshmi, is often shown holding a coconut.
  • The Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club of New Orleans traditionally throws hand decorated coconuts the most valuable of all Mardi Gras souvenirs to parade revelers. The "Tramps" began the tradition ca. 1901. In 1987 a "coconut law" was signed by Gov. Edwards exempting from insurance liability any decorated coconut handed from a Zulu float.
  • In the Philippines, dried half shells are used as a music instrument in a folk dance called maglalatik, a traditional dance about the conflicts for coconut meat within the Spanish era
  • Shirt buttons can be carved out of dried coconut shell. Coconut buttons are often used for Hawaiian Aloha shirts.
  • The stiff leaflet midribs can be used to make cooking skewers, kindling arrows, or are bound into bundles, brooms and brushes.
  • The roots are used as a dye, a mouthwash, and a medicine for dysentery. A frayed-out piece of root can also be used as a toothbrush.
  • Half coconut shells are used in theatre Foley sound effects work, banged together to create the sound effect of a horse's hoofbeats.
  • Making a rug from coconut fiber
  • The leaves can be woven to create effective roofing materials, or reed mats.
  • A coconut can be hollowed out and used as a home for a rodent or small bird. Halved, drained coconuts can also be hung up as bird feeders, and after the flesh has gone, can be filled with fat in winter to attract tits.
  • Dried coconut leaves can be burned to ash, which can be harvested for lime.
  • Dried half coconut shells are used as the bodies of musical instruments, including the Chinese yehu and banhu, along with the Vietnamese dàn gáo and Arabo-Turkic rebab.
  • A wall made from coconut husks
  • Coconut is also commonly used as a traditional remedy in Pakistan to treat bites from rats.[citation needed]
  • The "branches" (leaf petioles) are strong and flexible enough to make a switch. The use of coconut branches in corporal punishment was revived in the Gilbertese community on Choiseul in the Solomon Islands in 2005.
  • In World War II, coastwatcher scout Biuki Gasa was the first of two from the Solomon Islands to reach the shipwrecked, wounded, and exhausted crew of Motor Torpedo Boat PT-109 commanded by future U.S. president John F. Kennedy. Gasa suggested, for lack of paper, delivering by dugout canoe a message inscribed on a husked coconut shell. This coconut was later kept on the president's desk, and is now in the John F. Kennedy Library.
  • Coconut trunks are used for building small bridges; they are preferred for their straightness, strength and salt resistance. In Kerala (India), coconut trunks are also used for house construction.
  • Coconut nuts are used to make soap.
  • Leaves were woven together into a basket that could be used for drawing water from a well.
  • The dried Calyx of the coconut is used as fuel in wood fired stoves.
  • The fresh husk of a brown coconut is also used as a dish sponge or as a body sponge.
  • The mid-rib of the coconut leaf is used as a tongue-cleaner in Kerala.
Availability - All thru the year

Health Benefits -
  • purify the digestive system of it-tender coconut balances acid levels and cools the system.
  • Ayurveda considers coconut a natural stress-buster. which is associated with emotions.
  • The juice of tender coconut has been billed "the world's safest natural soft drink" for being a nutritious thirst-quencher.
  • Coconut has keshya properties -- that is, it improves hair quality. In Southern India, women apply coconut oil to their hair every day-which gives them long, lustrous locks.
  • Coconut is good for curing stomach disorders
  • Due to its soma-enhancing or nurturing value, coconut heals hot flashes and restores emotional stability in menopausal women.
  • Coconut improves the complexion. You can make coconut-based skin packs at home. The Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians suggests mixing coconut oil with oatmeal powder and a little bit of lavender flower powder to make a soothing facial pack.Regular intake reduces pimples
  • A burning sensation in hands and feet is cooled down by drinking coconut water/milk. All you have to do is make a paste of crushed middle aged coconut and apply it on hands and feet.
  • Coconut is traditionally considered a wound healer, especially effective at preventing the formation of scars if applied topically.
  • Hiccups due to pittam are also eased by coconut water.
  • Cleanses the urinary bladder. Good for Urinary diseases, Urinary stones. Coconut water is a mild diuretic. If you have urine retention from heat, then coconut water helps. Similarly, liver problems, such as inflammation, are also soothed by drinking tender coconut water.
  • There is a word called karshan meaning "that which supports the body to stay slim by enhancing fat metabolism." Recent research suggests that coconut is good for burning fat and lowering cholesterol- and it is clearly written in ayurveda that the oil has karshan properties.
  • Coconut helps detoxify and flush toxins out of the body.
  • Coconut water is good for jaundice
  • Coconut water is good for Sun burn, Itching. Heat boils,Measles, Prickly heat

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sapodilla - Chikoo

Scientific Synonym - Manilkara zapota

Also known as -
  • chikoo/chiku/sapota in India
  • sobeda/sofeda in Eastern India/Bangaladesh
  • Sabudheli in Maldivessawo in Indonesia
  • lamoot in Thailand/Cambodia
  • sapodilla in Guyana/Trinidad/Tobago
  • naseberry in Jamaica
  • sapathilla/rata-mi in Sri Lanka
  • dilly in The Bahamas
  • sapoti in Brazilchico
  • sapote in Mexico/Hawaii/southern California/southern Florida
  • ciku in Malay
  • Heart Fruit in China

Native to - Native to southern Mexico, Central America and the West Indies. It is grown in huge quantities in India, Mexico and was introduced to the Philippines during Spanish colonisation
Rich Source of - Antioxidants, vitamins A & C, potassium, copper, iron and vitamins like folate, niacin and pantothenic acid

Tastes like - The flavor is sweet and pleasant, ranging from a pear flavor to crunchy brown sugar.

Propagation - The sapodilla is most commonly propagated by seed adn grafting. The best seeds are large ones from large fruits. They germinate readily but growth is slow and the trees take 5 to 8 years to bear

Interesting Facts -

  • The fruit has a high latex content and does not ripen until picked.
  • The bark contains a gummy latex substance called chicle which used to be a primary ingredient in chewing gum.
  • Most people find it difficult to tell when a sapodilla is ready to pick. With types that shed much of the "sand" on maturity, it is relatively easy to observe the slight yellow or peach color of the ripe skin, but with other types it is necessary to rub the scurf to see if it loosens readily and then scratch the fruit to make sure the skin is not green beneath the scurf. If the skin is brown and the fruit separates from the stem easily without leaking of the latex, it is fully mature though still hard and must be kept at room temperature for a few days to soften. It is best to wash off the sandy scurf before putting the fruit aside to ripen. It should be eaten when firm-soft, not mushy.
  • Care must be taken not to swallow a seed, as the protruding hook might cause lodging in the throat
  • It is sometimes fried in Indonesia and, in Malaya, is stewed with lime juice or ginger.
  • Cooking with sugar changes the brown color of the flesh to a pleasing red.
  • The tannin-rich bark is used by Philippine fishermen to tint their sails and fishing lines.
  • Sapodilla wood is strong and durable and timbers which formed lintels and supporting beams in Mayan temples have been found intact in the ruins. It has also been used for railway crossties, flooring, native carts, tool handles, shuttles and rulers. The red heartwood is valued for archer's bows, furniture, bannisters, and cabinetwork but the sawdust irritates the nostrils. Felling of the tree is prohibited in Yucatan because of its value as a source of chicle.
  • A major by-product of the sapodilla tree is the gummy latex called "chicle", containing 15% rubber and 38% resin
Sought by Birds - Many Birds and bees

Availability - In India, the main season is from December to March. In Florida, with the peak of the crop in June and July. In Mexico, there are two peak seasons: February-April and October-December.

Health Benefits -

  • Because of the tannin content, young fruits are boiled and the decoction taken to stop diarrhea.
  • An infusion of the young fruits and the flowers is drunk to relieve pulmonary complaints.
  • The crushed seeds have a diuretic action and are claimed to expel bladder and kidney stones.
  • A combined decoction of sapodilla and chayote leaves is sweetened and taken daily to lower blood pressure.
  • A paste of the seeds is applied on stings and bites from venomous animals.
  • The latex is used in the tropics as a crude filling for tooth cavities.
  • Sapodilla is rich in dietary fiber (5.6 g/100g), which makes it a good bulk laxative. The fiber content helps relieve constipation episodes and also helps protect the mucous membrane of the colon from cancer causing toxins by firmly binding to them.
  • The fruit is rich in antioxidant poly-phenolic compound tannin. Tannins have shown to have potential antiviral, antibacterial and anti-parasitic effects. Tannins have many useful applications medicinally as anti-diarrheal, hemostatic, and anti-hemorrhoidal remedies.
  • It contains good amounts of antioxidant vitamins like vitamin C and vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for vision. It is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin A known to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers. So also, consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful free radicals.
  • Fresh ripen sapodilla are good source of minerals like potassium, copper, iron and vitamins like folate, niacin and pantothenic acid. These compounds are essential for optimal health as they involve in various metabolic processes in the body as cofactors for the enzymes

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Apple - Keeps the doctor away

Scientific Synonym - Rosaceae

Native to
- Central Asia

Rich Source of - Carbohydrate, Sugar, Dietary Fiber

Tastes like
- Sweet

Propagation -apples are ordinarily propagated asexually by grafting or as seedlings

Interesting Facts -
  • At least 55 million tonnes of apples were grown worldwide. China produced about 35% of this total.The United States is the second leading producer, with more than 7.5% of the world production. Turkey, France, Italy, and Iran are also among the leading apple exporters.
  • Compared to many other fruits and vegetables, apples contain relatively low amounts of Vitamin C as well as several other antioxidant compounds.
  • The seeds are mildly poisonous, containing a small amount of amygdalin, a cyanogenic glycoside; usually not enough to be dangerous to humans, but it can deter birds.
  • Apples are eaten with honey at the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashanah to symbolize a sweet new year
  • In the UK, a toffee apple is a traditional confection made by coating an apple in hot toffee and allowing it to cool. Similar treats in the US are candy apples (coated in a hard shell of crystallised sugar syrup), and caramel apples, coated with cooled caramel.
  • For home storage, most varieties of apple can be stored for approximately two weeks, when kept at the coolest part of the refrigerator (i.e. below 5°C).
  • Apples are self-incompatible; they must cross-pollinate to develop fruit.
  • Tale that originated from Switzerland of William Tell when an Apple was placed on the head of his son and Tell was ordered to split the apple with his arrow or lose his son
  • The story goes that in the Garden of Eden, Adam ate a piece of the forbidden fruit that got stuck in his throat, and thus the term Adam?s Apple.
Sought by Birds - Common Crow, hummingbird, Red-headed woodpecker etc

- autumn

Health Benefits
  • Green Apples - Good for strong bones and teeth, aids in vision, anti cancer properties.
  • Yellow Apples - Good for heart and eyes, immune system, reduce risk of some cancers.
  • Red Apples - Good for heart, Memory function, lower risk of some cancers and to maintain urinary tract health.
  • The proverb "An apple a day keeps the doctor away," addressing the health effects of the fruit, dates from 19th century Wales.
  • Research suggests that apples may reduce the risk of colon cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer.
  • The fiber content, while less than in most other fruits, helps regulate bowel movements and may thus reduce the risk of colon cancer.
  • They may also help with heart disease,weight loss, and controlling cholesterol,as they do not have any cholesterol, have fiber, which reduces cholesterol by preventing reabsorption, and are bulky for their caloric content like most fruits and vegetables.

Pomegranate - Super Healthy fruit (popular amongst health conscious crowd)

Scientific Synonym - Punica granatum

Also Known As - aanar (Hindi), anar(Persian)

Native to - SouthWest Asia, Caucasus(EurAsia)
It is widely cultivated throughout Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Israel, Iran, Iraq, India, Pakistan, Syria, Turkey, the drier parts of southeast Asia,
Peninsular Malaysia, the East Indies, and tropical Africa. Introduced into Latin America and California by Spanish settlers in 1769,
pomegranate is now cultivated in parts of California and Arizona for juice production.

Rich Source of - Vitamin C. It also has Vitamin A, E and folic acid

Tastes like - Sweet or Sour Taste differs based on different species and its ripeness

Propagation - The pomegranate can be raised from seed but may not come true. Cuttings root easily and plants from them bear fruit after about 3 years

Interesting Facts -
  • It has around 600 seeds
  • Easy way to separate seed from the pulp. Separating the red arils is simplified by performing this task in a bowl of water, wherein arils sink and pulp floats
  • The cultivation of the pomegranate has a long history in Transcaucasia where decayed remains of pomegranates dating back to 1000 BC have been found.
  • The Kur-Araz(Azerbaijan) lowland is the largest area in this region where pomegranate is cultivated.
  • Carbonized exocarp of the fruit has been identified in Early Bronze Age levels of Jericho, as well as Late Bronze Age levels of Hala Sultan Tekke on Cyprus and Tiryns
  • A large, dry pomegranate was found in the tomb of Djehuty, the butler of Queen Hatshepsut; Mesopotamian cuneiform records mention pomegranates from the mid-Third millennium BC onwards
  • sweetened pomegranate juice used in cocktail mixing
  • The pomegranate is one of the few images which appear on ancient coins of Judea as a holy symbol
  • Jewish tradition teaches that the pomegranate is a symbol for righteousness, because it is said to have 613 seeds which corresponds with the 613 mitzvot or commandments of the Torah
  • In Hinduism, one of Lord Ganesha's names is "Bijapuraphalasakta," which means "He who is fond of the many-seeded fruit (the pomegranate).
  • In Vietnam, the pomegranate flower is the symbol of summer.
  • Every part of the plant [root, bark, flowers, fruit, leaves] is used for medicinal purposes in Ayurveda.
Availability - In the Northern Hemisphere, the fruit is typically in season from September to February. In the Southern Hemisphere, it is in season from March to May.

Health Benefits -

  • Interestingly, pomegranate juice contains high levels of antioxidants - higher than most other fruit juices, red wine or green tea.
  • Pomegranate juice has been shown to work well as a blood thinner.
  • An excellent agent for promoting blood flow to the heart.
  • It also has been shown to reduce plaque in the arteries, and to raise good levels of cholesterol while helping lower bad cholesterol.
  • Pomegranate juice tends to act as an inhibitor on enzymes responsible for damaging cartilage.
  • It also helps in protecting unborn babies from brain injuries.
  • It is also beneficial in treating fertility problems
  • It also aids in maintaining a smooth and a healthy skin
  • Pomegranate can help to prevent premature aging as they help in slowing down the formation of wrinkles in one’s skin. In addition, scientists have also found that eating of pomegranates can be beneficial in protecting oneself from skin cancer.
  • Fights Breast Cancer - Studies in Israel show that pomegranate juice destroys breast cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. It may also prevent breast cancer cells from forming.
  • Lung Cancer Prevention - Studies in mice show that pomegranate juice may inhibit the development of lung cancer.
  • Slows Prostate Cancer - It slowed the growth of prostate cancer in mice.
  • Keeps PSA Levels Stable - In a study of 50 men who had undergone treatment for prostate cancer, 8 ounces of pomegranate juice per day kept PSA levels stable, reducing the need for further treatment such as chemotherapy or hormone therapy.
  • Protects the Neonatal Brain - Studies show that maternal consumption of pomegranate juice may protect the neonatal brain from damage after injury.
  • Prevention of Osteoarthritis - Several studies indicate that pomegranate juice may prevent cartilage deterioration.
  • Protects the Arteries - It prevents plaque from building up in the arteries and may reverse previous plaque buildup.
  • Alzheimer's Disease Prevention - It may prevent and slow Alzheimer's disease. In one study, mice bred to develop Alzheimer's disease were given pomegranate juice. They accumulated significantly less amyloid plaque than control mice and they performed mental tasks better.
  • Lowers Cholesterol - It lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) and raises HDL (good cholesterol).
  • Lowers Blood Pressure - One study showed that drinking 1.7 ounces of pomegranate juice per day lowered systolic blood pressure by as much as 5 percent.
  • Dental Protection - Research suggests that drinking pomegranate juice may be a natural way to prevent dental plaque.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Guava - Rich in Vitamin A and C

Scientific Synonym - Psidium

Also Known As - guayaba, Guave, goyave, gujawa, goiaba , jwafa,amrud,guaba,goiyaa, kuava

Native to -
Mexico and Central America, northern South America

Rich Source of - Vitamin C, Vitamin A and B, Calcium, Nicotinic Acid, Phosphorus, Potassium, Iron, Folic acid and Fiber

Tastes like - The outer skin may be rough, often with a bitter taste, or soft and sweet
Guava pulp may be sweet or sour

Propagation - Guava trees can be nursery propagated by grafting, by budding, by stem cutting (succulent green stems), or by root cuttings

Interesting Facts -

  • Guava is better than orange because guava contain more Vitamin C than orange
  • Guava should be had when it is just ripe to gain the maximum nutrients from it. Once it is overripe it becomes pulpy and emits unpleasant odour, it also loses its Vitamin C content.
  • This fruit is very good for weight watchers as it makes you full and is low in calories.

Availability - Fruit matures almost year round, with the peak season during the summer months.

Health Benefits -

  • Anti-Cancer: Essential oils from guava leaves have shown strong anti-cancer activity in vitro.
  • Diarrhea & Dysentery: Guava is very rich in astringents (compounds those make your gums feel tighter and fresh after you chew guava leaves or eat a raw guava or use some toothpaste) which binds up loose bowels in diarrhea. These astringents are alkaline in nature and have disinfectant and anti-bacterial properties, thus help cure dysentery by inhibiting microbial growth and removing extra mucus from the intestines.
  • Diabetics: Guava is low in sugar content making it a good choice for diabetic individuals.
  • Skin Care: Guavas can help improve your skin texture and avoid skin problems more than the best of beauty creams or skin toner gels can do. This is chiefly due to the abundance of astringents in its fruits (more in immature ones) and in leaves. You can benefit from it either by eating the fruits (this help tighten your muscles apart from your skin) or by washing your skin with the decoction of its immature fruits and leaves. It will tone up and tighten the loosened skin. In addition to the astringents, guava is very-very rich in vitamin-A, B, C and potassium which are very good anti oxidants and detoxifiers and keep your skin glowing and free from aging, wrinkles and other disorders.
  • Cough & Cold: Juice of raw and immature guavas or decoction of guava-leaves is very helpful in giving relief in cough and cold by loosening cough, reducing mucus, disinfecting the respiratory tract, throat and lungs and inhibiting microbial activity due to its astringent properties.
  • Constipation: Guava is one of the riches sources of dietary fiber. Its seeds, if ingested whole or chewed, serve as excellent laxatives. These two properties of guava help forming bowels, retaining water and clean your intestines and excretory system thoroughly.
  • High Blood Pressure: Guava helps reduce cholesterol in blood and prevents it from thickening, thereby maintaining fluidity of blood and reducing blood pressure.
  • Scurvy: Guava can outdo many other fruits, including orange and other citrus fruits, when it comes to concentration of vitamin-C, whose deficiency causes scurvy and which is the only remedy to it
  • Prolonged menstruation
  • Poor circulation (strengthen the heart)
  • Congestion of the lungs
  • Acidosis
  • Asthma
  • Catarrh
  • Obesity
  • protects prostrate

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Banana - Fruit for Energy

Scientific Synonym -
Antonio Musa

Also Known As - Plaintain, Platano (SPanish), Pisang susa

Native to - Malaysia Then to India, Brazil, China, Ecuador, Philippines , Indonesia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Thailand, Colombia, Burundi

Rich Source of -
Bananas are a valuable source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium.
Vitamins and minerals are abundant in the banana, offering 123 I.U. of vitamin A for the large size. A full range of B vitamins are present with .07 mg of Thiamine, .15 mg of Riboflavin, .82 mg Niacin, .88 mg vitamin B6, and 29 mcg of Folic Acid. There are even 13.8 mg of vitamin C. On the mineral scale Calcium counts in at 9.2 mg, Magnesium 44.1 mg, with trace amounts of iron and zinc.

Tastes like -
starchy to sweet

Propagation -
These are propagated asexually from offshoots of the plant. The plant is allowed to produce 2 shoots at a time; a larger one for fruiting immediately and a smaller "sucker" or "follower" that will produce fruit in 6 to 8 months time. The life of a banana plantation is 25 years or longer, during which time the individual stools or planting sites may move slightly from their original positions

Interesting Facts -
  • Arabian slave traders are credited with giving the banana its popular name. They were small, about as long as a man's finger. Ergo the name banan, Arabic for finger. The Spaniards, who saw a similarity to the plane tree that grows in Spain, gave the plantain its Spanish name, platano.
  • India is one of the Top Banana producing nations
  • It was almost three hundred and fifty years later that Americans tasted the first bananas to arrive in their country. Wrapped in tin foil, bananas were sold for 10 cents each at a celebration held in Pennsylvania in 1876 to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Instructions on how to eat a banana appeared in the Domestic Cyclopaedia of Practical Information and read as follows: "Bananas are eaten raw, either alone or cut in slices with sugar and cream, or wine and orange juice. They are also roasted, fried or boiled, and are made into fritters, preserves, and marmalades."
  • A single, sterile, male banana flower, also known as the banana heart is normally produced by each stem (though on rare occasions more can be produced—a single plant in the Philippines has five[7]). Banana hearts are used as a vegetable in Southeast Asia, steamed, in salads, or eaten raw. The female flowers are produced further up the stem and produce the actual fruit without requiring fertilization.
  • As the banana plants are normally tall and fairly sturdy they are often mistaken for trees, but their main or upright stem is actually a pseudostem (literally "fake stem").
  • Bananas come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple, and red.
  • Eat at least one banana a day, they are said to contain everything a human needs and they contain all the 8 amino-acids our body cannot produce itself.
  • Never store bananas in the refrigerator. Below 8 degrees Celsius the fruit will decay from the inside. These fruits will not ripen but will turn black in the refrigerator
  • Bananas and plantains are of major importance to food security.
  • Banana fibre is also used in the production of banana paper
  • The banana plant has long been a source of fibre for high quality textiles
  • The fibres are sent to the Kathmandu Valley for the making of high end rugs with a textural quality similar to silk. These banana fibre rugs are woven by the traditional Nepalese hand-knotted methods, and are sold RugMark certified.
  • Used as ornamental Plants
  • One green cooking banana has about the same calorie content as one potato.
  • In Eastern Africa you can buy banana beer. This beer is brewed from bananas;
  • Is the (only) fruit that for some people can work fatting because they contain a lot of starch (more starch than sugar). Those people shouldn't eat too many bananas a day;
  • Bananas are also humorously used as a phallic symbol due to similarities in size and shape;)
Availability - All Year, because of different planting seasons across the world

Health Benefits -
  • Anaemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of haemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anaemia.
  • Blood Pressure: Prevention of Hyper tension. This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect food for helping to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.
  • Brain Power: 200 students at an English school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.
  • Constipation: High in fibre, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.
  • Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin - known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.
  • Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.
  • Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body so if you suffer from heart-burn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.
  • Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.
  • Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.
  • Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.
  • Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and crisps. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods (such as bananas) every two hours to keep levels steady.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer, trypotophan.
  • Smoking: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking, as the high levels of Vitamin C, A1, B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.
  • Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalise the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water-balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be re-balanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.
  • Strokes: According to research in "The New England Journal of Medicine"eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!
  • Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.
  • Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronic ulcer cases. It also neutralises over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.
  • Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that, if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!
  • Eyes - Maintenance of night vision
  • Prevention of Bone breakdown
  • Electrolyte replacement in diarrhea
  • Healthy Kidney - Reduces cancer
  • Banana was considered an important food to boost the health of malnourished children

Fig - Fruit with high Sugar

Scientific Synonym -
Ficus carica

Also Known As -
Higo (Spanish), Figue (French), Feige (German), Fico (Italian).

Native to - southwest Asia and the eastern Mediterranean region (from Greece to Turkey) Iran and Pakistan, and also in the rest of the Mediterranean region and other areas of the world with a similar climate, including California, Oregon, Texas, and Washington in the United States, Nuevo León and Coahuila in northeastern Mexico, as well as Australia, Chile, and South Africa.

Rich Source of -
Figs are one of the highest plant sources of calcium and fiber

Tastes like -
soft sweet fruit, full of small seeds and often eaten dried

Propagation -
Figs can be propagated by suckers, layering, or cuttings

Interesting Facts -
  • Although commonly referred to as a fruit, the fig fruit is actually the flower of the tree, known as an inflorescence (an arrangement of multiple flowers), a false fruit or multiple fruit, in which the flowers and seeds grow together to form a single mass.
  • The fig fruit is an inverted flower with both the male and female flower parts enclosed in stem tissue.Actually, these so-called seeds are usually nothing more than unfertilized ovaries that failed to develop, and they impart the resin-like flavor associated with figs
  • Dried figs contain a lot of sugar, about 60%. It is thought that that was the reason why Plato advised Greek athletes to eat many figs. Its nutrition for athletes
  • The white juice that drips out of the fruit if the the stalk has been broken off is called latex. It was supposed to represent the universal energy and was used as a remedy against infertility and to incite the breast feeding process.
  • Good food for increasing weight and strength
  • In Mediterranean countries the fig is so widely used, both fresh and dried, that it is called "the poor man’s food".
  • It was one of the first plants ever to be cultivated by humans.
  • Fossilized figs dating to 9400-9200 BC were found in an early Neolithic village in the Jordan Valley. About's Archaeology Guide, Kris Hirst says figs were domesticated "five thousand years earlier" than millet or wheat. This common fig has been very kind to us throughout human history.
  • Figs can be eaten fresh or dried, and used in jam-making. Most commercial production is in dried or otherwise processed forms, since the ripe fruit does not transport well, and once picked does not keep well.
  • The sap of the tree's green parts is an irritant to human skin.
  • The fruits were used, among other things, to fatten geese for the production of a precursor of foie gras.
Availability - July and August

Health Benefits -
  • Immunity - It helps in the quick recovery after prolonged illness. It removes physical and mental exertion and endows the body with renewed vigor and strength.
  • Constipation - The tiny seeds in the fruit possess the property of stimulating peristaltic movements of intestines which facilities easy evacuation of feces and keeps the alimentary canal clean.
  • Piles - The fig is an excellent remedy for piles.
  • Asthma - Figs are considered beneficial in the treatment of asthma phelgmatic cases of cough and asthma are treated with success by there use.
  • The stem bark of fig tree is used as a medicine for bleeding gum's and pus in the gum.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Strawberry - a false fruit

Scientific Synonym -

Native to - originated in Europe in the 18th century. Most countries developed their own varieties during the 19th century,
They are grown throughout most of the United States and Canada; in European countries, including France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, and Poland; in southern and eastern Africa; in New Zealand and Australia; and also in Japan

Rich Source of - Strawberries have higher levels of vitamin c, fiber, folate and potassium than most other fruits like bananas, apples and even oranges

Tastes like - Tempting looks, tastes sweet

Propagation - It isn't necessary to grow strawberries from seed. Strawberries take care of propagating themselves admirably by sending out runners or daughter plants that root nearby.

Interesting Facts -
  • Strawberry fruits are aggregates made up of several small fruits, each with one seed called an achene. The flesh of the strawberry is actually an enlarged receptacle, non-reproductive material Technically its not a fruit, its a false fruit.
  • It is the only fruit in the world with seeds on the outside rather than the inside.
  • They are extensively used in food stuffs ice-creams, jams, jellies, squashes, syrups, confectioneries, bakeries, chocolates and even medicines for their extraordinarily rich flavor, taste and color.
  • It is a famous saying in India that a serving of any fruit a day will remove the rust from the joints.
  • The strawberry preserve tastes just awesome.

Sought by Birds - Finch, lavender etc

Availability - April to June

Health Benefits -
  • Antioxidants fight free radical and rid the blood of harmful toxins. Free radicals damage cells and cause most types of cancer. A daily intake of strawberries is seen to have remarkably brought down the growth of cancerous cells.
  • strawberries help slow the decline of age-related loss of cognitive and motor skills. The nutrients in strawberries nourish brain cells increasing brain health and function. It is a very common observation that old people tend to lose their memory and control over their activities, limbs etc. This is because of aging of their brain and the nervous system. The vitamin-C and the phytochemicals in them neutralize the effect of these oxidants and also rejuvenate the system. One more thing, strawberries are rich in iodine too, which is very helpful for proper functioning of the brain and nervous system.
  • Strawberries can be used to remove tartar in two ways. You can eat them, which is what most people will do, or you can cut them in half and rub them across your teeth.The acid in strawberries is extremely effective at dissolving the tartar. Aside from removing the tartar on your teeth, the acids dramatically improve gum health.
  • Supplementing strawberries into your diet is recommended for rheumatism, gout, and catarhh. They are also recommended for health problems such as high blood pressure, constipation, and the flu.
  • Fight against vision defects such as drying up of eyes, degeneration of optical nerves, Macular degeneration.
  • High fiber, Folate, no fats and high anti oxidants such as vitamin-C and those phytochemicals (Flavonoids) together form an ideal cardiac health pack, as they effectively reduce cholesterol. Some of the members of the vitamin-B family present in strawberries also strengthen the cardiac muscles and help better functioning of the heart.
  • Folate is known to protect from birth-defects. Vitamin-C effectively prevents from infections and cold. The phytonutrients also have anti inflammatory properties.


Content in this website are consolidated from various internet sources & books for the benefit of the readers.