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.


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