Categories
Herbs & Plants

Cucumis melo

Botanical Name :  Cucumis melo
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Cucumis
Species: C. melo
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Cucurbitales

Synonym: Musk Melon.

Common Names : cantaloupe, Persian melon and Santa Claus or Christmas melon,

The Armenian cucumber is also a variety of muskmelon, but its shape, taste, and culinary uses more closely resemble those of a cucumber. The large number of cultivars in this species approaches that found in wild cabbage, though morphological variation is not as extensive. It is a fruit of a type called pepo. Muskmelon is native to Persia (Iran), Anatolia, Armenia, and adjacent areas on the west and the east which is believed to be their center of origin and development, with a secondary center including the northwest provinces of India and Afghanistan. Although truly wild forms of C. melo have not been found, several related wild species have been noted in those regions.

Habitat: The Melon is a native of South Asia-from the foot of the Himalayas to Cape Comorin, where it grows wild – but is cultivated in the temperate and warm regions of the whole world.

Description:
Cucumis melo is an annual, trailing herb, with large palmately-lobed leaves and bears tendrils, by which it is readily trained over trellises. Its flowers (which have bellshaped corollas, deeply five-lobed) are either male or female, both kinds being borne on the one plant. The male flowers have three stamens, the ovary in the female flowers, three cells. The many varieties of Melon show great diversity in foliage and still more in the size and shape of the fruit, which in some kinds is as small as an olive, in others as large as the Gourd (Cucurbita maxima). Some are globular, others egg-shaped, spindle-shaped or serpent-like, the outer skin smooth or netted, ribbed or furrowed, and variously coloured; the flesh, white, green or orange when ripe, scented or scentless, sweet or insipid, some bitter and even nauseous.
CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES
Muskmelons are monoecious plants. They do not cross with watermelon, cucumber, pumpkin, or squash, but varieties within the species intercross frequently. The genome of Cucumis melo L. was first sequenced in 2012

Medicinal Uses:
-The root of the Common Melon is purgative, and in large doses (7 to 10 grains) is said to be a certain emetic, the active and bitter principle having been called Melon-emetin.

The MELON-TREE, so-called, is the PAPAW, or Papaya (Carica Papaya, Linn.), a native of tropical America, where it is everywhere cultivated for its edible fruit and digestive properties.

The dried juice is largely used in the treatment of indigestion, under various trade names, ‘Papain,’ a white powder, being administered in all digestive disorders where albuminoid substances pass away undigested.

Click & see : What Are Cantaloupes Good For?

Disclaimer:
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.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cucumis_melo
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/melons30.html

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Buffalo gourd

[amazon_link asins=’B0722QZPTW,B018JOMKII,B001QXDT3U,B01NAK38DU,B01MSLOX41,B005NAZE2G,B071KBF55G,B0010ZUU2W,B000XDPSFG’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’f3fe7273-5bb0-11e7-966d-7de593088895′]

Botanical Name :Cucurbita foetidissima
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Cucurbita
Species: C. foetidissima
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Cucurbitales

Common Names : Buffalo gourd, Calabazilla, Chilicote, Coyote gourd, Fetid gourd, Missouri gourd, Stinking gourd, Wild gourd, Wild pumpkin

Habitat :Buffalo gourd is a xerophytic tuberous plant found in the southwestern USA and northwestern Mexico

Description:
Buffalo gourd is a large plant which is sprawling and prostrate. The leaves can reach large dimensions. The flowers are large and yellow orange with a fringed or rolled margin. The fruits are ovoid and marked with light and dark green when fresh. Cucurbita foetidissima is found at lower to middle elevations. The crushed leaves of this plant have a foul smell, said to resemble the odor of a sweaty armpit. Other members of this family include pumpkin, cucumber and various squashes. Most of these have seeds that look similar to pumpkin or cucumber seeds.
Click to see the picture…...(01).…..(1)………...(2)

Click to enlarge the pictures

Edible Uses:
A member of the cucumber family, the fruit is consumed by humans and animals. The fruit is eaten cooked like a squash when very young. As the fruit becomes fully mature, it is too bitter for humans to eat.

Medicinal Uses:
Several  plant parts of buffalo gourd have medicinal attributes that tribes implement into their culture. The Isleta-Pueblo Indian boiled the roots applying the infusion to chest pains. The Tewa grind the root into a powder drinking it with cold water for laxative effects (not safe: can cause diarrhea and irritation of the digestive tract). Cahuilla Indians used to chew the pulp of the gourd and apply the pithy mass to open sores, or boil the dried root and drink the decoction as either an emetic or a physic.  A poultice of the mashed plant has been used to treat skin sores, ulcers etc. The complete seed, together with the husk, is used as a vermifuge. This is ground into a fine flour, then made into an emulsion with water and eaten. It is then necessary to take a purgative afterwards in order to expel the tapeworms or other parasites from the body. As a remedy for internal parasites, the seeds are less potent than the root of Dryopteris felix-mas, but they are safer for pregnant women, debilitated patients and children. The juice of the root is also disinfecting and remedies toothache. The baked fruit rubbed over rheumatic areas will relieve pain. The seeds and flowers help control swelling. The seed also acts as an effective vermicide (kills worms– Grind seed into a fine flour; mix with water and drink). The poultice of the smashed plant will remedy skin sores and ulcers.  Mix root with olive oil; apply to infected area. The pulp of the gourd was mixed with soap and applied to sores and ulcers that other poultices and plasters had failed to cure.  The supperating parts were liberally dusted with a quantity of pulverized dried seeds.  The root was used to cure a bad case of piles or kill a mass of maggots infesting an open wound.

Other Uses:
When the fruit  gets fully matured   it is used for decorative purposes or in making musical instruments, particularly rattles. The seeds are the source of buffalo gourd oil.

It grows fast (including a massive underground tuber) with little water, and some have proposed growing it for fuel or biofuel ethanol

Disclaimer:
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.

Resources:
http://www.wnmu.edu/academic/nspages/gilaflora/cucurbita_foetidissima.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cucurbita_foetidissima
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

Enhanced by Zemanta
Categories
Herbs & Plants

Dhundhul (Luffa cylindrical)

[amazon_link asins=’B01GLOZV0M,B01EI6YOZI,B01GJRKUIY,B01M0AOZYK,B017R5WG0M,B01DBE2TVO,B00PZ5ZR8U,B01JZBEMJO,B017DGS5WS’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’18fa3793-0ecf-11e7-8e02-ebd798c6a96a’][amazon_link asins=’B01FMZJIKK,B01N3CTPRO,B00U6C2OC4,B01422EPHA,B00HBSZUHC,B01MY46ANW’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’e1899f87-f343-11e6-aa6d-5fced1ac7644′]

Botanical Name : Luffa cylindrical
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Luffa
Species: L. aegyptiaca
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Cucurbitales
Indian Name :Dhundhul
Common Name :Lufa,
Egyptian cucumber,  Vietnamese luffa, Dishrag gourd, Rag gourd, Sponge gourd, and Vegetable-sponge. It is also called smooth luffa to distinguish it from the ridged luffa (Luffa acutangula)….In Bengali it is called Jhingha … CLICK & SEE
Habitat:Luffa plants are tropical in origin, believed to have originated in southern Asia.  They need a long hot growing season. Places like the US Gulf Coast are plenty hot.  Starting the plants indoors may be needed for cooler climates.

Description:
Ridged luffa is a tropical running annual vine with rounded leaves and yellow flowers. The plant is diecious, having both male and female flowers. The rather large male flowers are bright yellow and occur in clusters. The female flowers are solitary and have the tiny slender ovary attached. The leaves are covered with short hairs and the fruits are ribbed and cylindrical shaped. It has ten longitudinal angular ridges and a tapered neck. Ridged luffa is very similar to L. Cylindrica which lacks the ridge. The young fruit is used as a cooked vegetable; although some gardeners grow Chinese okra for the fibrows interior. The fibrows netting is an excellent sponge but there are also industrial applications such as waterfilters. In Suriname‘s traditional medicine, a tea of the leaves is used as a diuretic, while juice of the fruit is used against internal hemorrhage. The seeds have laxative properties. Propagation: By seeds.

..click to see the pictures.>..(01)..………...(1)..…..(2)…….(3).…..….(4)…......(5)...(6)...……….

Loofah or Luffa, common name for a climbing plant of the cucumber family and for the vegetable sponge derived from the plant. There are six species of loofah plant, all of which are native to the Tropics and subtropics of Asia and Africa. The common name loofah and the scientific name Luffa are derived from the Arabic common name for this plant, lûfa. The most commonly used species, Luffa aegyptiaca, is an annual, monoecious vine (where male and female flowers appear on different parts of the plant), with deep yellow flowers. The female flowers are borne singly and the male flowers are in clusters.

The leaves are hairless, lobed, and triangular in outline. Tendrils arise from the stems near the leaves and the numerous branches are long and slender. The cylindrical or club-shaped fruit can be up to 30-40 cm (12-16 in) long and hangs down from the stems owing to its weight. The skin of the fruit is ridged and green, becoming straw-coloured at maturity. The small, brown or black seeds are wrinkled on the surface and look like watermelon seeds. They are released when the lid-like apex of the fruit breaks off. It is the dried and bleached vascular system of the mature fruit that is used as a sponge or dishcloth in many parts of the world. The young fruits of Luffa aegyptiaca and Luffa acutangula are also eaten as vegetables in some countries.

General Uses:
When mature,the fruits become a tough mass of cellulose fiber that makes a great scrubbing sponge.  These natural cellulose fiber sponge wonders of the vegetable world have many uses. They’ll make your skin squeaky clean or shine up your dirty dishes. Luffa are most excellent in the bath or shower.  The exfoliating action leaves your skin feeling the cleanest and tightest it could possibly be.  Scrubbing your back with a luffa sponge in the bath or shower is an incredibly pleasurable experience.  Home artisan craft soap makers include slices of luffa in their creations to add an extra cleaning boost to their soaps. Shredded or powdered luffa can be also be mixed into soap.

Luffa sponges are great for washing items like large pots and other containers like Tupperware®.  We use them for cleaning almost everything, including cars, boats, plastic buckets, and anything that needs scrubbed but can’t withstand steel wool.  Non stick cookware is one example.

A large loofa or a smaller piece on a handle or rope makes a great back scratcher.  They can be cut into many shapes for scrubbing pads, padding, and other craft uses.  Cut the sponges lengthwise and remove the core to make sheets of sponge material. These sheets of luffa material can be sewn into items like table hot pads, sandals, bath mats, hats, or anything else you can imagine.

Edible Uses:   The luffa flowers and fruits are soft and edible when young and are sometimes cooked and eaten like squash or okra. Loofah has been an important food source in many Asian cultures. The leaves and vines should not be eaten.  When crushed, they produce a bitter compound and smell that seems to repel insects and animals. It is similar to the bitterness sometimes found in cucumbers, a close plant relative also in the Cucurbitaceae family.  According to some sources a fellow named Wehmer identified a substance known as luffeine for the bitterness of Luffa acutangula, a related species grown commonly for food.

Small luffa fruits often are eaten but disclaim any legal responsibility for any bad reactions anyone might have from consuming luffa. Unknown allergy potential. Eat at your own risk. Some luffa varieties may produce fruits that are too bitter to eat. Peeling the skin off removes some of the bitterness. If it tastes bad, don’t eat it . Th  Edible luffa can be found sometimes in markets with Asian style vegetables. People  like them sliced in a stir fry or just sauteed in a little olive oil. Seasoning with a dash of soy sauce and cayenne pepper makes a tasty appetizer. The flowers have a crunchy green flavor similar to celery or cucumber. They make a colorful salad. The edible size fruits taste something like a cross between a zucchini and a cucumber.

Medicinal Uses:
Powdered luffa fibers have also been used as an ingredient in Chinese herbal medicine. Some compounds in the plant and seeds have been studied and used for medicinal properties.

Parts used :   Leaves, fruit.

In Chinese medicine, the inner skeleton of the dried fruit is used to treat pain in the muscles and joints, chest, and abdomen. It is prescribed for chest infections accompanied by fever and pain, and is used to clear congested mucus. Loofah is also given to treat painful or swollen breasts. Research indicates the fresh vine has a stronger expectorant effect than the dried fruit. Dried fruit fibers are used as abrasive sponges in skin care to remove dead skin and stimulate the peripheral circulation.

Folkloric:
· Decoction of leaves for amenorrhea.
· Poultice of leaves for hemorrhoids.
· Juice of fresh leaves for conjunctivitis.
· Juice of leaves also used externally for sores and various animal bites.
· Seed oil used for dermatitis.
· Infusion of seeds as purgative and emetic.
• In Russia, roots is used as a purge.
• In India, roots is used for dropsy and as laxative; leaf and fruit juice used to treat jaundice.
• In Java, leaf decoction used for uremia and amenorrhea.
• In Bangladesh, pounded leaves used for hemorrhoids, splenitis, leprosy. Juice of leaces used for conjunctivitis in children.
• In West Africa, leaf extract of ridged gourd applied to sores caused by guinea worms; leaf sap used as eyewash in conjunctivitis; fruits and seeds used in herbal preparations for treatment of venereal diseases.
In Mauritius, seeds eaten to expel intestinal worms; leaf juice applied to eczema.
• Seed used as insecticidal.
Others
· Fibrous nature of the mature fruit, devoid of pulp, is used as a bath brush or sponge.
• In China, has been used as a pesticide.
• Fibers sometimes used for making hats.

Studies
• Trypsin Inhibitors: Study isolated two trypsin inhibitors, LA-1 and LA-2, both consisting of 28-29 amino acid residues, respectively. Both strongly inhibit trypsin by forming enzyme-inhibitor complexes.
• Constituents: Study isolated seven oleanane-type triterpene saponins, acutosides A-G.
• Antioxidants : An antioxidant-guided assay yielded eight compounds. Results showed consumption of sponge gourds can supply some antioxidant constituents to the human body.

Disclaimer: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.

Resources:
http://toptropicals.com/catalog/uid/luffa_acutangula.htm

Patola – Scientific name: Luffa acutangula Linn.


http://www.luffa.info/

http://www.stuartxchange.com/Patola.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luffa_aegyptiaca

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

Enhanced by Zemanta
Categories
Fruits & Vegetables Herbs & Plants

Pumpkin

Botanical Name: Pumpkin
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus : Cucurbita

Habitat: Pumpkin is believed to have originated in Mexico and South America.Now it is cultivated through out the world.
Description:
Pumpkin plants are short lived annual or perennial vines with branching tendrils and broad lobed leaves. The plant produces large yellow or orange flowers and a pepo fruit (berry with a thick rind) known as a pumpkin. The fruit can range greatly in size, from miniature pumpkins weighing a few ounces to giant pumpkins which can reach over 75 lbs (34 kg). The skin of the pumpkin is usually ribbed and is usually orange on color although some varieties are green, grey, yellow or red in color. Pumpkin plants are usually grown as annuals, surviving one growing season and the vines are capable of reaching 15 m (50 ft) in length if vines are allowed to root.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
A pumpkin is a squash fruit, usually orange in color when ripe (although there are also white, red, and gray varieties). Pumpkins grow as a gourd from a trailing vine of the genus Cucurbita (family Cucurbitaceae). Cultivated in North America, continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand, India and some other countries, Cucurbita species include Curcurbita pepo, Cucurbita maxima, Cucurbita mixta, and Cucurbita moschata — all plants native to the Western hemisphere. The pumpkin varies greatly in form, being sometimes nearly globular, but more generally oblong or ovoid in shape. The rind is smooth and its color depends on the particular species (very dark-green, very pale-green, & orange-yellow are common). The larger kinds acquire a weight of 40 to 80 lb (18 to 36 kg) but smaller varieties are in vogue for garden culture. Pumpkins are a popular food, with their insides commonly eaten cooked and served in dishes such as pumpkin pie; the seeds can be roasted as a snack. Pumpkins are traditionally used to carve Jack-o’-lanterns for use in Halloween celebrations.

click to see the pictures..>…..(1).....(2)..(3)..…..…………….

Botanically it is a fruit, referring to a plant part which grows from a flower; however, it is widely regarded as a vegetable in culinary terms, referring to how it is eaten.

Butternut squash is called “butternut pumpkin” in Australia, and “neck pumpkin” in parts of Pennsylvania, where it is commonly regarded as a pumpkin and used in similar ways to other pumpkin.

Pumpkins have historically been pollinated by the native squash bee Peponapis pruinosa, but this bee has declined, probably due to pesticide sensitivity, and today most commercial plantings are pollinated by honeybees. One hive per acre (4,000 m² per hive) is recommended by the United States of America (US) Department of Agriculture. Gardeners with a shortage of bees, however, often have to hand pollinate.

Inadequately pollinated pumpkins usually start growing but abort before full development. Often there is an opportunistic fungus that the gardener blames for the abortion, but the solution to this problem tends to be better pollination rather than fungicide.

Pumpkins have male and female flowers, the latter distinguished by the small ovary at the base of the petals. The bright, colorful flowers are short-lived and may open for as little as one day.

English: A Pumpkin flower attached to the vine.
English: A Pumpkin flower attached to the vine. (Photo credit: WikiImmature Female Pumpkin FloAlthough in the rest of the world pumpkins are grown for eating, in the US they are grown more for decoration than for food (particularly around Haloween). Popular contests continually lead growers to vie for the world record for the largest pumpkin ever grown. Growers have many techniques, often secretive, including hand pollination, removal from the vines of all but one pumpkin, and injection of fertilizer or even milk directly into the vines with a hypodermic needle

Pumpkin seeds
The hulled or semi-hulled seeds of pumpkins can be roasted and eaten as a snack, similar to the sunflower seed. Pumpkin seeds can be prepared for eating by first separating them from the orange pumpkin flesh, then coating them in a generally salty sauce (Worcestershire sauce, for example), after which the seeds are distributed upon a baking sheet, and then cooked in an oven at a relatively low temperature for a long period of time.

Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a good source of iron, zinc, essential fatty acids, potassium, and magnesium. Pumpkin seeds may also promote prostate health since components in pumpkin seed oil appears to interrupt the triggering of prostate cell multiplication by testosterone and DHT.Removing the white hull of the pumpkin seed reveals an edible, green-colored seed inside that is commonly referred to as a pepita in North and South America.

Austria is a well-known producer of pumpkin seed oil.

Cooking
When ripe, the pumpkin can be boiled, baked, or roasted, or made into various kinds of pie, a traditional staple of American Thanksgiving, alone or mixed with other fruit; while small and green it may be eaten in the same way as the vegetable marrow. It can also be eaten mashed or incorporated into soup. If you pour milk into a pumpkin and bake it you can make a pudding. In the Middle East pumpkin is used for sweet dishes, a well known sweet delicacy is called Halawa Yaqtin. In South Asian countries such as India pumpkin is cooked with butter, sugar and spices called Kadu ka Halwa.

Pumpkin Flower:

Apart from their wonderful taste pumpkin flower is a good source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Consuming 33 gram of pumpkin flowers offers 9.2 mg of Vitamin C, 19 µg of Vitamin B9, 32 µg of Vitamin A,0.23 mg of Iron,16 mg of Phosphorus,0.025 mg of Vitamin B2, 8 mg of Magnesium,0.2 mg of Selenium and 0.228 mg of Vitamin B3

Pumpkin trivia
The pumpkin is from the Squash (Marrow) family and is related to the zucchini (courgette).
The largest pumpkin on record weighed 1502 lbs (666 kg). The largest pumpkins are really squash, Cucurbita maxima. They were culminated from the hubbard squash genotype by enthusiast farmers through intermittent effort since the mid 1800s. As such germplasm is commercially provocative, a U.S. legal right was granted for the rounder phenotypes, levying them as constituting a variety, with the appellation “Atlantic Giant.” Processually this phenotype graduated back into the public domain, except now it had the name Atlantic Giant on its record (see USDA PVP # 8500204).
Pumpkins are orange because they contain massive amounts of lutein, alpha- and beta-carotene. These nutrients turn to vitamin A in the body.

Activities involving pumpkins:

Halloween

A pumpkin carved into a Jack-o’-lantern for Halloween.
Painted mini pumpkins on display in Ottawa, Canada.Using pumpkins as lanterns at Halloween is based on an ancient Celtic custom brought to America by Irish immigrants. All Hallows Eve on 31 October marked the end of the old Celtic calendar year, and on that night hollowed-out turnips, beets and rutabagas with candles inside them were placed on windowsills and porches to welcome home the spirits of deceased ancestors and ward off evil spirits and a restless soul called “Stingy Jack,” hence the name “Jack-o-lantern”.

click tom see..>.…(1).………(2).…….…(3).….

A pumpkin carved into a Jack-o’-lantern for Halloween.

Chucking
Pumpkin chucking is a competitive activity in which teams build various mechanical devices designed to throw a pumpkin as far as possible. Catapults, trebuchets, ballistas and air cannons are the most common mechanisms. Some pumpkin chuckers grow special varieties of pumpkin, bred and grown under special conditions intended to improve the pumpkin’s chances of surviving being thrown.

Pumpkin festivals
Pumpkin growers often compete to see whose pumpkins are the most massive. Festivals are often dedicated to the pumpkin and these competitions.

Half Moon Bay, California, holds the annual Pumpkin and Arts Festival which includes the World Champion Pumpkin Weigh-Off. Farmers from all over the west compete to determine who can grow the greatest gourd . The winning pumpkin regularly tops the scale at more than 1200 pounds. The Pumpkin Festival draws over 250,000 visitors each year

Morton, Illinois, the self-declared pumpkin capital of the world,, has held a Pumpkin Festival since 1966. The town, where Nestlé’s pumpkin packing plant is located (and where 90% of canned pumpkins eaten in the US are processed), hosts a variety of activities during the Pumpkin Festival, including carnival games and pumpkin-related food. In 2006, 70,000 people attended the festival.

Medicinal Value and Uses:

As per Ayurveda:Pumpkin or white gourd is very good for the heart, destroys the excessive humors of bile and phlegm in the body, very nourishing, semen builder and nourishment to the pregnant woman during their pregnancies and also clears away the constipation during that time.

Pumpkin helps to prevent cancer
Pumpkin as World Healthiest Food

Learn more valuable uses of pumpkin

Click for Pumpkin Seeds and Prostate Health

Disclaimer:
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.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org

Enhanced by Zemanta
Categories
Fruits & Vegetables Herbs & Plants

Watermelon

Botanical Name:Citrullus lanatus
Family:
Cucurbitaceae
Genus:
Citrullus
Species:
C. lanatus
Variety:
lanatus
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order:
Cucurbitales

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.

click & see the pictures..>…..(01)....(1)..……….(2).

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).[citation needed] 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 can’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 m² 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 m² 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.


Click for more knowledge on Watermelon Nutrition Facts. Health, Food & Diet

Varieties
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.

Nutritional Facts:
Fat-free , Saturated fat-free , Very low sodium , Cholesterol-free , A good source of vitamin A, High in vitamin C

MEDICINAL USES:

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.

JAUNDICE:
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.

HEADACHE: –

One class of watermelon juice mixed with sugar candy taken before breakfast cures chronic headaches.

NAUSEA:
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.

Health benefits of watermelon……...(A).…………....(B.)…………(C)…...(D)

Disclaimer:
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.

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water-melon

http://www.hashmi.com/watermelon.html

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm