Spanish cherries are evergreen trees of the Sapotaceae family, and they grow to reach about as tall as medium-sized oak trees. This plant, known by its scientific name Mimusops elengi, is endemic to India, Indo-China, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, the Andaman Islands, and Peninsular Malaysia.
In Ayurveda, this plant is used to cure a wide variety of medical conditions, including toothache, headache, poisoning, oral cavity issues, diarrhoea, and more.
Gum health can be improved by using the herb's seed coat or bark. You can eat fresh Spanish cherries or use them to make pickles. Women's fertility is boosted by using the tree bark. Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants abound in Makilam Vittu.
What is Spanish cherry?
The Spanish Cherry (Mimusops elengi) is a medium-sized evergreen tree of the sapodilla (Sapotaceae) family. The plant is native to the regions spanning from India and Sri Lanka through the Andaman Islands, Myanmar, Indo-China, Peninsular Malaysia, and Vanuatu.
Other names of Spanish Cherry:
The Spanish cherry is also known as the medlar, barsoli, bakuli, bakul, tanjongtree, engitrd, elagi, marouc, magadam, kirakuli, intianbaulapuu, maulsari, bullet wood, bullet
The Spanish Cherry is a small to medium-sized evergreen tree that can reach a height of 30 metres and a trunk diameter of 100 centimetres. Its crown is thick and spherical and spreads outward. The tree is widely distributed, being able to be found in maritime habitats along the coast, in coastal vine thickets, lowland inland rain forest, and rocky localities from sea in addition to the Northwestern Himalayas and Indo-gangetic Plain. The plant may survive in waterlogged conditions for short periods of time, although it does best in rich soil. It can withstand light frost for short periods of time. The bark is a dull grey colour and often comes in lengths of 15–25 centimetres and widths of 10–15 centimetres. Rough on the outside because of all the vertical lenticels, cracks, and longitudinal fissures. The quills of dried bark are very thin and papery. It's highly regarded as an ornamental because of the strong shade it produces and the sweet fragrance of its tiny, creamy blossoms that permeate the night air from March to July.
Flowers and fruits of Spanish Cherry:
The white, star-shaped flowers are deliciously fragrant and spectacular, but they are partially obscured by the plant's foliage. Especially in irrigated gardens and landscapes, they bloom most heavily during the rainy season, with intermittent blooming at other times. It is typical for flowers to bloom between the months of March and July. Little, egg-shaped, berry-like fruit with a persistent calyx can grow up to 3 cm (1.2 in) in length after fertile blooms have faded. The fruit is green when it is young, turns yellow as it ripens, and turns a deep orange colour when it is fully ripe. The pulp is yellow and mealy, and there is usually one large seed within, however it can be double-seeded.
Health benefits of Spanish Cherry:
1. As a Diabetes Treatment
Anti-diabetic qualities can be found in the seeds of the Spanish cherry. The blood sugar level can be maintained by eating these cherry seeds. When it comes to treating diabetes, the Mahila vithai is one of the most effective Ayurvedic remedies. It will assist maintain a healthy blood sugar level by stimulating insulin production in the body.
2. Increases Quality of Sleep
The hormone melatonin, found in Spanish cherries, has been shown to have a calming effect on sleep. The pineal gland in the brain is responsible for making melatonin. For optimal health, it will help you keep a regular sleep-wake schedule and manage your body's internal clock. To increase melatonin levels, try drinking a decoction made from Magilam seeds 30 minutes after dinner.
3. Reduces the Probability of Heart Attacks
The Spanish cherry has been shown to reduce the risk of gout attacks by 35%, according to research undertaken by the departments of medicine and public health at Boston University. It has been shown that gout patients who consume this Mahila vithai over the course of two days significantly reduce their risk of gout attacks by 35% compared to those who do not consume cherry. If you want to lessen your chances of experiencing a gout flare, up your intake of Spanish cherries or Spanish cherry extract.
4. Aids in Weight Reduction
Those who wish to shed a few pounds may find dietary inclusion of the Spanish cherry to be helpful. According to the results of several studies, taking either the whole Mahila vithai plant or its extract can aid in the fight against fat storage in the body. One cup of Spanish cherry has less than 100 calories, making it a healthy option for those watching their calorie intake. It has a modest quantity of water content, which helps to flush out impurities, and is high in vitamins, both of which serve to boost the body's metabolic rate.
5. Helps in Blood Pressure Reduction
The potassium in the cherries helps flush out any sodium that has built up. This Spanish cherry's ability to regulate blood pressure stems from its role in maintaining a healthy sodium-to-potassium ratio in the body.
6. Slows down the ageing process
The antioxidant capacity of the Spanish cherry is quite high. Antioxidants are highly powerful against free radicals, the cause of dull skin. Because to the antioxidants in Magilam, your skin will look healthier and younger for a very long time. If you have black spots on your skin from sun damage, you can get rid of them with a little aid from the powder made from Spanish cherry seeds. Mix the powdered Spanish cherry seeds with the turmeric and 1 teaspoon of honey to make a paste. After 10 to 15 minutes of application, rinse the face with cold water. With this face pack, you can lighten the appearance of scars and other skin discolorations. The Spanish cherry is a food that can be consumed to help keep the skin in good shape.
6. Preserves Acid-Base Chemistry
Cherries have a naturally high pH. When the acidity of the body rises, eating cherries can help restore a healthy balance by neutralising excess acidity. Indigestion and acid reflux can be avoided as a result.
7. Improves Muscle Comfort
One study found that eating 1.5 cups of Spanish cherries or taking 1 cup of Magilam extract helped curb muscle inflammation and pain. Muscle pain can be alleviated by taking an extract of the Spanish cherry twice daily for seven days.
8. Protects Against Colorectal Cancer
Chemicals that cause cancer are produced during the charring of a hamburger, but the Spanish cherry's ingredients will help cut down on this. Makilam Vittu's fat and moisture content won't prevent the oxidative degradation of meat lipids, but it will lessen the production of heterocyclic aromatic amines. A decrease in colon cancer risk is a direct result of eating Spanish cherries.