Botanical Name:Citrullus lanatus
Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus, Family Cucurbitaceae) is both a fruit and a vegetable and plant of a vine-like (climber and trailer) herb originally from southern Africa and one of the most common type of melon. This flowering plant produces a special type of fruit known by botanists as a pepo, which has a thick rind (exocarp) and fleshy center (mesocarp and endocarp); pepos are derived from an inferior ovary and are characteristic of the Cucurbitaceae. The watermelon fruit, loosely considered a type of melon (although not in the genus Cucumis), has a smooth exterior rind (green and yellow) and a juicy, sweet, usually red or yellow, but sometimes orange, interior flesh. The flesh consists of highly developed placental tissue within the fruit. The former name Citrullus vulgaris (vulgaris meaning “common” Shosteck, 1974), is now a synonym of the accepted scientific name for watermelon, Citrullus lanatus.
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David Livingstone, an explorer of Africa, described watermelon as abundant in the Kalahari Desert, where it is believed to have originated. There, the ancestral melon grows wild and is known as the Tsamma melon (Citrullus lanatus var citroides). It is recognizable by its pinnatifid leaves and prolific fruit, up to 100 melons on a single vine. For this reason it is a popular source of water in the diet of the indigenous people. The flesh is similar to the rind of a watermelon and is often known as citron melon (distinct from the actual citron, of the citrus family); it is used for making pickles, and because of its high content of pectin is popular as a constituent of jams, jellies, and other gelled preserves. It has established itself in the wild in Baja California.
It is not known when the plant was first cultivated, but Zohary and Hopf note evidence of its cultivation in the Nile Valley from at least as early as the second millennium BC. Finds of the characteristically large seed are reported in Twelfth dynasty sites; numerous watermelon seeds were recovered from the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun.
By the 10th century AD, watermelons were being cultivated in China, which is today the world’s single largest watermelon producer. By the 13th century, Moorish invaders had introduced the fruit to Europe; and, according to John Mariani’s The Dictionary of American Food and Drink, “watermelon” made its first appearance in an English dictionary in 1615.
Museums Online South Africa list watermelons as having been introduced to North American Indians in the 1500s. Early French explorers found Native Americans cultivating the fruit in the Mississippi Valley. Many sources list the watermelon as being introduced in Massachusetts as early as 1629. Southern food historian John Egerton has said he believes African slaves helped introduce the watermelon to the United States. Texas Agricultural Extension horticulturalist Jerry Parsons, Ph.D., lists African slaves and European colonists as having distributed watermelons to many areas of the world. Parsons also mentions the crop being farmed by Native Americans in Florida (by 1664) and the Colorado River area (by 1799). Other early watermelon sightings include the Midwestern states (1673), Connecticut (1747), and the Illiana region (1822).
SMALL SEEDLESS WATERMELON
Watermelon with yellow fleshUntil the 1940s, however, it was hard to find watermelons in good condition at grocery stores. Melon lovers had to grow their own, which tended not to keep for long, purchase them from local grocers supplied by truck farmers, or purchase them from roadside produce stands. Now they can be found in most any local grocery store, and if preferred in slices or whole, with seeds or without.
An American favorite for meals and snacks. People canâ€™t seem to get enough of the sweet treat, and nutritionists have long appreciated the health benefits watermelon provides. Recently research has shed new light on its potential health benefits. Watermelon contains high concentrations of lycopene, an antioxidant that may help reduce the risks of cancer and other diseases. Watermelon is fat free, nutritionally low in calories and considered an ideal diet food, and is high in energy, making it a great energy boost!
Watermelon, the fruit that is really a Vegetable. Watermelon can be traced back to Africa and is part of the cucumber and squash family. Early watermelons were mainly rind and seeds. Today’s varieties are larger, the flesh sweeter, the seeds smaller and the rind thinner. It is perhaps the most refreshing, thirst quenching fruit of all. Watermelon consists of 92% water and 8% sugar, so it is aptly named. Americans eat over 17 lbs of watermelon each year. The largest one on world record (Guinness Book of World Records) weighed 262 pounds.
Then Charles Fredric Andrus, a horticulturist at the USDA Vegetable Breeding Laboratory in Charleston, South Carolina, set out to produce a disease-resistant and wilt-resistant watermelon. The result was “that gray melon from Charleston.” Its oblong shape and hard rind made it easy to stack and ship. Its adaptability meant it could be grown over a wide geographical area. It produced high yields and was resistant to the most serious watermelon diseases: anthracnose and fusarium wilt. Today, farmers in approximately 44 states in the U.S. grow watermelon commercially, and almost all these varieties have some Charleston Gray in their lineage. Georgia, Florida, Texas, California and Arizona are the USA‘s largest watermelon producers.
This now-common watermelon is large enough that groceries often sell half or quarter melons. There are also some smaller, spherical varieties of watermelon, both red- and yellow-fleshed, sometimes called “icebox melons.”
For commercial plantings, one beehive per acre (4,000 mÂ² per hive) is the minimum recommendation by the US Department of Agriculture for pollination of conventional, seeded varieties. Because seedless hybrids have sterile pollen, pollinizer rows of varieties with viable pollen must also be planted. Since the supply of viable pollen is reduced and pollination is much more critical in producing the seedless variety, the recommended number of hives per acre, or pollinator density, increases to three hives per acre (1,300 mÂ² per hive).
In Japan, farmers of the Zentsuji region found a way to grow cubic watermelons, by growing the fruits in glass boxes and letting them naturally assume the shape of the receptacle. The square shape supposedly makes the melons easier to stack and store, but the square watermelons are often more than double the price of normal ones. Pyramid shaped watermelons have also been developed.
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There are more than 50 varieties of watermelon. Most have red flesh, but there are orange and yellow-fleshed varieties. Of the 50 varieties of watermelon throughout the United States, there are four general categories: Allsweet, Ice-Box, Seedless and Yellow Flesh.
Fat-free , Saturated fat-free , Very low sodium , Cholesterol-free , A good source of vitamin A, High in vitamin C
Watermelon is best known as a thirst-quenching fruit that comes into season when temperature are at their hottest. In traditional Chinese medicine it is used precisely to counter summer heat patterns characterized by excessive sweating, thirst, raised temperature, scanty urine, diarrhea, and irritability or anger. Watermelon fruit and juice soothe these symptoms, increasing urine flow and cleansing the kidneys. The fruit’s refreshing properties extend to the digestive system, where it clears gas. Watermelon may be used in the treatment of hepatitis. In hot weather it is helpful for those suffering from bronchitis or asthma. The cooling fruit pulp may be applied to hot and inflamed skin and to soothe sunburn. The fruit, eaten when fully ripe or even when almost putrid, is used as a febrifuge The fruit is also diuretic, being effective in the treatment of dropsy and renal stones. The fruit contains the substance lycopine (which is also found in the skins of tomatoes). This substance has been shown to protect the body from heart attacks and, in the case of the tomato at least, is more effective when it is cooked. The seeds can be mashed and used to expel worms. The seed is sometimes used in the treatment of the urinary passages and has been used to treat bed wetting. It also has a hypotensive action. The dried pulp was once used as a powerful purgative. It contains a cucurbitacin glycoside with antitumor properties. A fatty oil in the seed, as well as aqueous or alcoholic extracts, paralyze tapeworms and roundworms. The rind of the fruit is prescribed in cases of alcoholic poisoning and diabetes. The root is purgative and in large dose is said to be a certain emetic.
Watermelon as health food and drink.
Fresh watermelon may be eaten in a variety of ways and is also often used to flavor summer drinks and smoothies.
GOLDEN POT OF MINERALS :-
The growth of modern medicine/allopathy may well be enormous and tremendous in a short span of time but in some areas of medical aid modern medicine miserably failed and it has not achieved any remarkable success in curing many chronic ailments.Patients, alienated from traditional practices, are often over druged for the most trivial of health problems. Herbal remedies, particularly unani medicines offer effective cures, says Hakeem Hashmi, a prominent physician by rejuvenating body systems to fight disease; modern medicine directly attacks the disease and in the process weakens the system Hakeem Hashmi insists on eating available vegetable and fruit to keep a healthy life free from ailments. Hakeem Hashmi gives us valuable tips about one such fruit watermelon /Tarbooz which mineral rich with curative and nutritive qualitie Watermelon is a popular fruit of summer. It is the only fruit supposed to provide drink and food both. It is know in various names in different countries. In Arabic it is Tarbooz and also bateekh in Persian hindwana in Hindi it retains the name Tarbooz in Latin citrulis vulagris as its name suggests Tarbooz or watermelon appears to have their origin in the Middle East. From the Middle East countries and turkey watermelon spread out to the many parts of the world today even in U.S.A Europe watermelon is a popular fruit.
The fruit is growth on a creeper, which is normally grown in sandy places even in the sany banks of the rivers. The leaves of this creeper are artistically cut at the edges and quite broad in shape. Its flowers are whitish yellows. Watermelon appears dark green with many stripes. It is quite big at times more than a foot in diameter and about a kilo or more than in weight. Its pulp is a variety of colours from dark red to light yellow and even white. Its seeds are also are of various colours red to somewhat yellowish mostly black. Although they contain basically only mineral water yet that water has such mighty combination of certain necessary salts that their regular in take cures a lot of disease. It is a very tasty fruit, which produces instant coolness in the body its pulp is after removing the seeds. The water oozed out while cutting the fruit is also very good for digestive system. Its pulp is supposed to be rich in iron and magnesium and hence a very good food for those having weak liver and we all know that liver is one of the vital organs and its sluggishness or malfunctioning can cause score of other ailments. Liver if not be functioning well the whole of body becomes a mine of all sorts of weakness and a breeding ground for a number of ailments. Hence it is essential that liver must always be functioning well for keeping your liver in good condition watermelon helps in many ways.
HIGH BLOOD-PRESSURE: –
Juice extracted from seeds which contains cucurbocitrin helps in dialating the blood vessels activates the kidneys, brings down high blood-pressure and reduces oedema of the ankles juice is extracted by drying the seeds in shade powdered two spoonful of powder is put in 1 cup of boiling water for one hour strained taken 4 times relieves high blood-pressure.
Watermelon helps in curing enlarged liver and Jaundice while the patient may be treated by any branch of medicine he or she must be asked to regularly take watermelon juice / sherbet, given earlier after mixing it in the juice of sugar lane every morning and after noon till the yellow colour of the body is removed.
HEART DISEASE: –
Sherbat made with watermelon seeds mixed with rose petal black pepper poppy seeds and almonds in watermelon or milk very nourishing and imparts strength to heart and brain.
KIDNEY PROBLEMS: –
One cup of watermelon juice kept overnight in the open & taken with sugar candy in the morning helps in cleansing the kidneys.
HEAT STROKE: –
300 to 500 grams of watermelon taken with breakfast prevent & cure heat strokes.
STOMACH & DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS: –
Watermelon taken with little salt and pepper helps in removing constipation & other problems of indigestion.
One class of watermelon juice mixed with sugar candy taken before breakfast cures chronic headaches.
One cup of watermelon juice mixed with sugar candy checks nausea and control bile. A part these, watermelon is found to be a very curative for mental disorder, phobia, hysteria, sore lips, cough, short of breath, blood in spittle, vomiting, gonorrhoea, stone in kidney or bladder, anaemia, T.B, blood impurity impotency ulcers and Leucoderma. So improve your health eating more and more watermelon.
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The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
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