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Fruits & Vegetables Herbs & Plants

Muskmelon

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

Common Names: Muskmelon (Cucumis melo), Pickling Melon

Habitat:Probably Cucumis dudaim is native of Asia, though it has been in cultivation for so long its native habitat is obscure. Derived through cultivation, it is not known in a truly wild location.

Description:
Cucumis melo conomon is an annual creeping plant, growing to 1.5 m (5ft). It is frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile…….CLICK  &  SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
Requires a rich, well-drained moisture retentive soil and a warm, very sunny position. A frost-tender annual plant, the pickling melon is occasionally cultivated in gardens and commercially, especially in warmer climates than Britain, for its edible fruit. This form is also of value in breeding programmes for disease resistance. Some varieties may succeed outdoors in Britain in hot summers but in general it is best to grow melons under protection in this country. This form of the melon probably has a better chance of succeeding outdoors than the other forms – see the list of cultivars for suggested forms to grow. Grows well with corn and sunflowers but dislikes potatoes. The weeds fat hen and sow thistle improve the growth and cropping of melons.

Propagation:
Seed – sow early to mid spring in a greenhouse in a rich soil. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Sow 2 or 3 seeds per pot and thin out to the best plant. Grow them on fast and plant out after the last expected frosts, giving them cloche or frame protection for at least their first few weeks if you are trying them outdoors.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Fruit; Oil; Seed.
Edible Uses:….> Oil.

Fruit – raw or cooked. The fruit is more often cooked, often as a savoury dish. They can be chopped finely and used as a seasoning in salads and soups. Both mature and immature fruits are made into sweet or sour pickles. Seed – raw. Rich in oil with a nutty flavour but very fiddly to use because the seed is small and covered with a fibrous coat. The seed contains between 12.5 – 39.1% oil. An edible oil is obtained from the seed…..CLICK &  SEE..>…....FRUITS.……....SEEDS
Medicinal Uses:
The fruits can be used as a cooling light cleanser or moisturiser for the skin. They are also used as a first aid treatment for burns and abrasions. The flowers are expectorant and emetic. The fruit is stomachic. The seed is antitussive, digestive, febrifuge and vermifuge. When used as a vermifuge, the whole seed complete with the seed coat is ground into a fine flour, then made into an emulsion with water and eaten. It is then necessary to take a purge in order to expel the tapeworms or other parasites from the body. The root is diuretic and emetic.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muskmelon
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cucumis+melo+conomon

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Herbs & Plants

Sow thistle

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Botanical Name :Sonchus oleraceus Linn.
Family:Asteraceae/ Compositae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Genus: Sonchus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales
Synonyms :Hare’s Thistle. Hare’s Lettuce.
Scientific names :  Sonchus oleraceus Linn.,Hieracium oleracerum Linn. ,Lactuca oleracerea Linn.
Common names :Gagatang (Ig.),Common sowthistle (Engl.),Milkweed (Engl.) ,Milk thistle (Engl.) ,Smooth sow thistle (Engl.) ,Swinles (Engl.) ,Sow thistle (Engl.)

Habitat :Found in the Benguet subprovinces, Rizal and Laguna provinces in Luzon. In waster places, along trails, old gardens, on talus slopes at altitudes of 1,200 to 2,000 meters

Description:
Sow thistle is an herb, erect, annual, milky, hairy or slightly glandular, growing 40 to 80 cm high. Leaves are oblong to lanceolate, 10 to 20 cm long, coarsely and lyrately lobed; the lobes somewhat reflexed and toothed, the terminal ones large, the lateral pointing downwards, and those of the stem clasping at the base. Heads are peduncled, about 1 cm long. Bracts are smooth, thin and green. Flowers are numerous and yellow. Achenes are nearly 3 mm long, compressed, ribbed and rough.

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It has hollow thick, branched stems full of milky juice, and thin, oblong leaves, more or less cut into (pinnatifid) with irregular, prickly teeth on the margins. The upper leaves are much simpler in form than the lower ones, clasping the stem at their bases.

CLICK & SEE

The flowers are a pale yellow, and when withered, the involucres close over them in a conical form. The seed vessels are crowned with a tuft of hairs, or pappus, like most of this large family of Compositae.

Edible Uses:
The young leaves are still in some parts of the Continent employed as an ingredient in salads It used in former times to be mingled with other pot herbs, and was occasionally employed in soups; the smoothest variety is said to be excellent boiled like spinach.

Constituents:
* Contains fixed oil with stearic and palmitic acids, ceryl-alcohol, invert sugar, choline, tartaric acid.
* Milky juice contains oxydase, coautchoue, mannite, l-inosite, etc.
* Phytochemicals of aqueous extracts yielded sugar reducers, phenolic compounds, tannins, flavonoids and coumarins.
* Study yielded four sesquiterpene glycosides – sonchusides A, B, C and D together with five known glycosides – glucozaluzanin C, macrocliniside A, crepidiaside A and picrisides A and C.

Medicinal Uses:
Parts used: Stem, leaves, gum, juice.

Folkloric:-
* Brownish gum formed by the evaporation of the common sow thistle, when taken internally in a dose of two to four grains, acts as a “powerful hydragogue cathartic” with strong effects on the liver, duodenum and colon. Its effects resemble elaterium, producing large and watery discharges, thus an effective agent in ascites and hydrothorax. However, it may cause griping like senna and produce tenemus like aloes. To counteract that effect, the gum is administered with manna, aniseed, and carbonate of magnesia, or with stimulants and aromatics

* Infusion of leaves and roots used by the natives of Bengal as tonic and febrifuge.

*In Indochina, stems used as sedative and tonic.

*In Italy, used as a laxative and diuretic.

*Juice of the plant used for cleaning and healing ulcers.

*In Brazilian folk medicine, used as a general tonic.

Studies
• Antidepressant: Study of S oleraceus extracts in mice showed evidence of an antidepressant-like effect comparable to that of amitriptyline (10mg/K p.o.).

• Antinociceptive: Extracts of SO markedly demonstrated antinociceptive action in mice, supporting previous claims of traditional use. At 300 mg/kg, it had a stronger antinociceptive effect than indomethacin (5 mg/kg) and morphine (10 mg/kg).

• Anxiolytic: Study of extract of aerial parts showed anxiolytic effects in mice similar to clonazepam (0.5 mg/kg).

• Phytochemicals / Low Toxicity: Study of aqueous extracts showed phenolic compounds, tannins, flavonoids and coumarins. Toxicity test on Artemia salina indicated low toxicity.

• Antioxidant / Cytotoxicity: Study of SO extracts showed concentration-dependent antioxidant activity. The methanol extracts yielded the greatest the most phenolic and flavonoid contents. Cytotoxicity activity showed the ethanol extract had the best activity against the growth of stomach cancer cell.

• Anti-Quorum Sensing / Antimicrobial: A study of 14 ethanolic extracts of different parts of 8 plants for antimicrobial and antiquorum sensing activity showed Sonchus oleraceus and Laurus nobilis to have superior activity against Chromobacterium violaceum. Quorum sensing is involved in microbial pathogenesis, and its inhibition may be a way of controlling bacterial infections with the advantage of reducing risks of resistance development.

Other Uses:
Its chief use nowadays is as food for rabbits. There is no green food they devour more eagerly, and all keepers of rabbits in hutches should provide them with a plentiful supply. Pigs are also particularly fond of the succulent leaves and stems of the Sow-Thistle.

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://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/sowthi71.html
http://www.stuartxchange.com/Gagatang.html
http://www.plantsystematics.org/imgs/kcn2/r/Asteraceae_Sonchus_oleraceus_33896.html

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Healthy Tips

Eat Watermelon to Prevent High Blood Pressure

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Eating watermelon may help prevent high blood pressure, according to findings published in the American Journal of Hypertension.

During a six-week study, four men and five postmenopausal women aged 51 to 57 were given 6 grams (g) of amino acid, which was extracted from the fruit. As a result, the researchers found that all the participants experienced better arterial function, which led to lower blood pressure.

The investigators suggest that these findings occurred because cardiovascular complications are improved by nutrients found in the fruit, such as vitamins A, B6, C, fiber, potassium and lycopene, which is a strong antioxidant.

Arturo Figueroa, co-author of the study, stated that “these findings suggest that this ‘functional food‘ has a vasodilatory effect, and one that may prevent prehypertension from progressing to full-blown hypertension, a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.” He added that because of the success of this trial, “we hope to continue the research and include a much larger group of participants in the next round.”

People who are interested in adding other food sources to their diet that combat high blood pressure can benefit from beetroot juice, brown rice, grapes and walnuts, which all contain several of the nutrients found in watermelon

Source :Better Health Researech

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News on Health & Science

Watermelon Yields Viagra-like fects

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Watermelons contain an ingredient called citrulline that can trigger production of a compound that helps relax the body’s blood vessels, similar to what happens when a man takes Viagra, said scientists in Texas, one of the nation‘s top producers of the seedless variety.

Found in the flesh and rind of watermelons, citrulline reacts with the body’s enzymes when consumed in large quantities and is changed into arginine, an amino acid that benefits the heart and the circulatory and immune systems.

“Arginine boosts nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, the same basic effect that Viagra has, to treat erectile dysfunction and maybe even prevent it,” said Bhimu Patil, a researcher and director of Texas A&M’s Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center. “Watermelon may not be as organ-specific as Viagra, but it’s a great way to relax blood vessels without any drug side effects.”

Todd Wehner, who studies watermelon breeding at North Carolina State University, said anyone taking Viagra shouldn’t expect the same result from watermelon.

“It sounds like it would be an effect that would be interesting but not a substitute for any medical treatment,” Wehner said.

The nitric oxide can also help with angina, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems, according to the study, which was paid for by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

More citrulline — about 60 percent — is found in watermelon rind than in the flesh, Patil said, but that can vary. But scientists may be able to find ways to boost the concentrations in the flesh, he said.

Citrulline is found in all colors of watermelon and is highest in the yellow-fleshed types, said Penelope Perkins-Veazie, a USDA researcher in Lane, Okla.

She said Patil’s research is valid, but with a caveat: One would need to eat about six cups of watermelon to get enough citrulline to boost the body’s arginine level.

“The problem you have when you eat a lot of watermelon is you tend to run to the bathroom more,” Perkins-Veazie said.

Watermelon is a diuretic and was a homeopathic treatment for kidney patients before dialysis became widespread.

Another issue is the amount of sugar that much watermelon would spill into the bloodstream — a jolt that could cause cramping, Perkins-Veazie said.

Patil said he would like to do future studies on how to reduce the sugar content in watermelon.

The relationship between citrulline and arginine might also prove helpful to those who are obese or suffer from type-2 diabetes. The beneficial effects — among them the ability to relax blood vessels, much like Viagra does — are beginning to be revealed in research.
Citrulline is present in other curcubits, like cucumbers and cantaloupe, at very low levels, and in the milk protein casein. The highest concentrations of citrulline are found in walnut seedlings, Perkins-Veazie said.

“But they’re bitter and most people don’t want to eat them,” she said.

Sources: Los Angeles Times July 3,’08

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Fruits & Vegetables Herbs & Plants

Watermelon

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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)

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