Saturday, 8 July 2017

Guava-The Queen of Fruits

If pineapple is known as the "king" of fruits, guava is considered the queen. Thought to be native to southern Central America and Mexico where it's been a major crop for centuries, guavas are members of the myrtle and eucalyptus family, growing throughout the tropics on small trees with smooth, copper-colored bark. Another type, Psidium cattleianum, grown in flower and foliage gardens, is not for eating. Soft, sweet, and fragrant when ripe, guavas are small and round or oval, with varying colors from yellow to pink to dark red, depending on the variety. Each fruit contains a large number of tiny, edible seeds at the center. Guavas are very good simply sliced for a snack or added to salads. In other areas of the world, guava is popular as a thick, rich paste made into cheese. Fresh guava juice is common in Hawaii. In Fiji, guavas are used to make tasty jelly.

Guava can be almost invasive if allowed to grow at will, reaching heights of 30 feet. On some South Pacific Islands, it's illegal to plant new trees just for this reason. 
Guava trees can produce fruit twice a season in areas where the climate is right, and can live for around 40 years. Beautiful, edible flowers precipitating the fruit have myriad, tall stamens with tiny pistils at the ends, resembling exploding fireworks.  


Myth- Eating guavas during cough and cold worsens it!
Truth- Guava is rich in vitamin C and other minerals. It also has other nutrients, which build immunity and therefore help us fight against cough and cold, not cause it.

Friday, 7 July 2017


Belonging to the mulberry family, there is a plethora of fig tree varieties. Most of them are small at 10-30 feet and thrive in warm, dry climates. Pollinated by a tiny wasp, fig trees never blossom because the flowers are on the inside, producing dozens and sometimes hundreds of miniscule seeds that give figs their unique, crunchy texture. Scientists studying the effect of fresh fig "latex" on a stomach cancer cell line found that the latex acted as an anticancer substance without any toxic effect on normal cells. In another trial, dried figs were weighted down into 1 ml of distilled water for 3 months. After the water was drained, it was found that fig tree latex powder still retained its anticancer properties. Results showed that figs, dried or fresh, are possible subjects for helping treat stomach cancer.

Often mentioned in the Bible as a sign of peace and prosperity, the fig tree is so ancient, remnants of the fruit have been discovered in Neolithic excavations sites circa 5,000 B.C.
Dried figs are sometimes roasted and ground as a coffee substitute or converted into alcohol as a liqueur or tobacco flavoring.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Elderberry- Elderly Healthy

A uniquely American fruit familiar to the nation's first inhabitants, traditional uses for elderberries by Indians, who made use of every little part of the plant, included tools crafted from the branches, such as arrow shafts and pipes, as well as the berries. Sometimes propagated as an ornamental shrub, the elderberry bush is a member of the honeysuckle family. It's actually a small tree, with an abundance of delicate white flowers emerging as berry clusters generally between August and October, mostly in cool-to-warm areas of the country, like the Northeastern and Northwestern areas of the US and Canada. This tiny black fruit yields an abundance of juice for its small size, while cooking elderberries for sauce, some may prefer a little extra sweetness. When elderberry hunting, only the blue variety (also identifiable by the white surface coating, similar to blueberries) is good for eating, although they require.

As a moniker, the term "elder" is derived from the Anglo-Saxon "aeld," meaning fire, because the hollow stems of this plant were used to gently blow on flames to intensify the fire. "Sambucus" is a Greek word meaning "wind instrument." 
Native Americans once used elderberry branches to make flutes, so the tree was sometimes called "the tree of music."
Elderberry juice was used to treat a flu epidemic in Panama in 1995.

It was said that to wear or carry Elder wood, leaves, flowers or berries would protect you from attack.
Elderberry oil or water was used in blessing rituals.
Elder leaves and branches were often hung in doorways and windows to protect those who lived within.
Elder planted in the back yard, particularly near the kitchen, provided protection from negative influences and disease.
Elder flowers were used in a facial wash to lighten and care for the skin.
        It was said that if you fell asleep under the elder you would dream of the faerie lands.