Harvesting the Healing Power of Fruit
Did you know that common foods are used as medicines in many Latin American, Asian and African countries? Here is how fruits such as banana, papaya, tangerines, mango, pears and watermelon are used as natural cures for common ailments and health conditions. There are many ways we can harvest the healing power of fruit.
Our first examples will be using fruits commonly available in North America during the course of a normal year, although many of these fruits are available virtually year-round in tropical climate countries.
Banana and Plantain – For addressing and managing problems with diarrhea, dispepsia and bronchial ailments, the banana and plantain family top the list of medicinal plants. Bananas are softer and much sweeter than their firmer and blander first cousins, the plantain. The scientific names of the most common species are Musa paradisiaca and Musa sapientum. The pulp of both act as an emolient in the human body’s systems. The flowers prepared as an infusion are used for chest congestion and externally, the liquid extracted from the flowers also makes an effective eye wash for dirty, inflamed, sore or tired eyes. Bananas are yellow when ripe and can be eaten raw, cooked or blended with other liquids, juices, water or milk to be consumed. Plantains however, need to be cooked to be edible and palatable.
Papaya - Carica papaya, as the common fruit is scientifically known, has therapeutic properties in all of its parts in addition to being a rich source of vitamins A and C and minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, iron, sodium, patassium, and magnesium. There are also an abundance of carbohydrate enzymes in the fruit. The juices of papaya and mango when combined are beneficial for a broad range of health ailments. Papaya extracts are used in the cosmetics industry in a wide range of applications as well. Pulp of the fruit is used in making soap, and regularly drinking the juice of the fruit can aid in reducing spots on the skin as well as wrinkles.
Making a Combination Fruit Juice with Healing Power
Here’s how to prepare a basic juice combination of papaya and mango:
Wash and peel one papaya and one mango. Remove seeds and membranes. Prepare the juices of the papaya and mango separately. Store the two juices separately in sealed containers. When you are ready to drink the juices, mix one part mango juice to three quarters parts of papaya juice. Drink a cup of the juice combination with each meal, sipping the juice combination slowly as opposed to gulping it down.
Mango – The second part of the papaya – mango fruit juice combination as mentioned above is Mangifera indica as the common mango is scientifically known. The fruit is packed full of vitamins like vitamins A, B1, B12, B6 and B4 along with minerals including potassium, calcium, and phosphorous. Mangoes are applicable to natural treatment of health ailments such as diabetes (although due to its relatively high sugar content its consumption should be limited), stomach aches, heart problems and the fruit acts as a laxative, a diuretic and even a dentifrice (for cleaning teeth). It is best when used in combination with papaya as a juice as mentioned earlier.
Tangerines – Often called “Mandarinas” in Spanish, Portuguese and French, tangerines are known scientifically as Citrus nobilis. The fruit also contains substantial quantities of citric acid, potassium, manganese, vitamin C in lesser quantaties than oranges, vitamin A in greater quantities than any other citic fruit. The alternative medicine properties of tangerines include acting as a calming agent, helping to promote healing of wounds and acting as an antiseptic. Included in the fruit’s chemical properties are the properties that its oil has in eliminating spots and blotches on the skin as well as aiding in the rapid formation of scar tissue essential to the healing process. A few drops of tangerine oil when dissolved in a little water and consumed acts as a sedative.
Pears – The common pear, scientific name, Pyrus communis, contains high levels of potassium and other minerals. It is consumed raw alone, in salads, jellies, jams or cooked, for its flavor and to benefit from its properties in treatment of circulatory or renal (kidney) adema and swelling. Its tendency to promote fluid release is one reason it’s effective in many natural weight loss treatments for the highly obese. Alternative medical treatment call for the fruit to be consumed raw, in salads or cooked in water and a little honey, or consumed as a natural juice.
Watermelon – Loaded with vitamins A and B2, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, manganese needed for bone formation and the nervous system. The fruit known scientifically as Citrullus vulgaris contains only seven percent sugar, and offers benefits for treatment of high blood pressure, cleansing of the digestive system, elimination of toxins and its effects as a diuretic. This can be especially important when there is an excess of uric acid in the system. Portions of the fruit or quantities of its juice should be consumed in the mornings and at bedtime. Prepare the juice by cutting the fruit into pieces then blending without adding any water or other liquids. Strain to remove seeds and extraneous solids before consumption.
Bronchitis sufferers can also benefit from regular consumption of watermelon as raw fruit in salads or in a fruit and vegetable juice combination. Watermelon is known to promote production of mother’s milk in lactating women and promote post-partum recovery.
Harvesting the Healing Power of Fruit
In many Latin American, Asian and African countries, fruits such as those mentioned above are commonly used as natural cures for moderate health ailments and conditions. Presented here are but a few of the many ways we can harvest the healing power of fruit.
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