Common watermelon is an annual herb with a creeping branching stem 2-3 meters long, a species of the genus Watermelon (Citrullus) of the Pumpkin family (Cucurbitaceae).
The fruit of a watermelon is a large spherical false berry with a smooth surface and pink or red juicy sweet pulp.
Some varieties have white or yellowish-white flesh.
The homeland of watermelon is South and Central Africa. Watermelon is cultivated in many areas of the Earth with a dry and hot climate.
Currently, watermelons are grown in 96 countries of the world in more than 1200 varieties.
The pulp of watermelon contains from
5,5 to 13% sugars (glucose, fructose and some sucrose).
By the time of ripening, glucose and fructose predominate, sucrose accumulates during storage of the watermelon.
Fructose makes up about half of all sugars and determines the sweetness of the watermelon. Fruit weighing 3-4 kg contains up to 150 g of pure fructose.
Watermelon is a source of pectin, fiber, vitamins B1, B2, C, PP, folic acid and provitamin A, as well as salts of manganese, nickel, iron, magnesium and potassium.
The pulp contains:
pectin substances – 0,68%, proteins – 0,7%; calcium – 14 mg /%, magnesium – 224 mg /%, sodium – 16 mg /%, potassium – 64 mg /%, phosphorus – 7 mg /%, iron in organic form – 1 mg /%; vitamins – thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, carotene – 0,1-0,7 mg /%, ascorbic acid – 0,7-20 mg /%, alkaline substances.
100 grams of the edible part of the fruit contains 38 kilocalories.
Watermelon seeds contain up to 25% fatty oil similar in physical and chemical properties to almond oil and rich in vitamin D.
There is a way to grow especially sweet watermelons: a watermelon seed is planted in a saxaul in a special way. Eating on saxaul juice, the watermelon grows small (with a large fist) and very sweet – almost like syrup.
Watermelons are eaten fresh. Watermelon pulp is a good thirst quencher.
The fruits of small watermelons are used for pickling and canning.
By evaporating watermelon juice, a thick watermelon “honey” (nardek) is prepared, which contains up to 90% of sugars.
(The grape “honey” obtained in a similar way from grape juice is called bekmes or doshab; boiled juices of various fruits, berries and vegetables are also called bekmes)
Delicious jam and candied fruits are prepared from the rind of watermelon.
Table oil is obtained from the seeds.
Watermelon is good for people of all ages. Its medicinal properties are widely used in medicine.
A few tips on how to choose a ripe “striped berry”:
1. It is advisable not to buy watermelons before mid-August. Even the earliest varieties ripen naturally only by the end of July.
2. A ripe watermelon makes a dull sound when you pat it with the palm of your hand.
3. Ripe watermelon crunches even with slight squeezing.
4. Never buy a cracked watermelon.
5. Too large watermelon from the slide – overfed, too small – usually unripe. Choose only medium sized watermelons.
6. A large white spot on the side of the watermelon is a sign of immaturity. Choose a watermelon with a slight white spot.
7. A ripe watermelon is easily scratched with a fingernail.
8. Never buy watermelons near highways! Plucked watermelon “breathes”, it easily absorbs toxins from the air.
9. A dry tail is not an indicator of ripeness.
10. The fibers should be white on the cut. Yellow fibers are a sign of excess nitrates.
11. IMPORTANT SAMPLE. After cutting a watermelon at home, dip a piece of pulp in a glass of cold water. If the water turns pink, the watermelon is tinted in the literal sense of the word (some kind of dye is introduced). It is dangerous to eat such a watermelon.
12. Nitrates in watermelon are unevenly distributed. Most of them are at the skin and at the stalk. For children, it is best to give the pulp from the middle.
13. Watermelon with a sour smell can be seriously poisoned.
14. Nowadays, you can cook jam from watermelon peels, if this watermelon was purchased not earlier than August 20 (even better – in September). With modern technology for accelerated cultivation of watermelons, a lot of harmful substances are used, which are concentrated just under the skin.
15. A ripe watermelon is not only red in the cut, but also necessarily sweet. Red unripe watermelon is made by injecting a urea solution with a syringe (sometimes, and just the seller’s urine), but the proper sweetness does not appear from this.
16. The cut watermelon should be eaten within 2-3 hours. Therefore, buy watermelons of the right size. It is undesirable to store a cut watermelon even in the refrigerator for more than 3 hours – the pulp of a watermelon is a very good breeding ground for microbes. Therefore, a stale cut watermelon can be severely poisoned. This is a matter of chance, depending on what microbes get into a given watermelon when cut.
Medicinal uses of watermelon
Watermelon has a strong diuretic, choleretic, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic and tonic properties. Normalizes metabolic processes, enhances intestinal motility.
In folk medicine, the diuretic effect of watermelon is used for edema associated with kidney and cardiovascular disease, as well as for liver diseases and cholelithiasis. Watermelon does not irritate the kidneys or urinary tract.
The content of alkaline compounds regulates the acid-base balance, as a result of which watermelon is used for acidosis of various origins. The content of easily assimilable sugars and water in watermelon pulp determines the use of watermelon in chronic and acute liver diseases.
Watermelon is also used for obesity and the need for fasting when indicated during treatment. The fiber of the watermelon pulp improves digestion, promotes the elimination of cholesterol, and the folic acid and vitamin C contained in the watermelon have an anti-sclerotic effect. Pectin substances and a small amount of fiber in watermelon pulp help to “optimize the intestinal microflora and do not cause flatulence.
In folk medicine, watermelon juice was used for nutritional and vitamin face masks, which prevent flabbiness of both dry and oily skin, improve its color, and make it soft and smooth.
* Watermelons improve the digestion process. Fiber of watermelon pulp promotes the vital activity of beneficial microorganisms in the intestines. Watermelon is rich in alkaline substances that neutralize excess acids found in staple foods such as eggs, fish, meat and bread.
* Folic acid, which is found in watermelon, is important in cardiovascular diseases. It participates in the synthesis of amino acids and hematopoiesis, regulates fat metabolism, has an anti-sclerotic effect, as well as choline and vitamins C and P contained in watermelon pulp.
Folic acid is also found in vegetables: cauliflower, green peas, spinach, but when cooked, it is destroyed.
* It is useful to eat watermelon in the period after a long and serious illness, as well as after surgery, especially if it was carried out under anesthesia.
* Watermelon is an excellent diuretic, known for a long time. It should be eaten for edema associated with diseases of the cardiovascular system, kidneys and liver.
* With urolithiasis, cystitis and nephritis, you can
eat 2 to 2,5 kg of watermelon per day.
* In case of kidney stone disease, the alkalinity of urine under the influence of the substances contained in the watermelon increases, the salts become soluble and are excreted due to the diuretic effect. In this case, the watermelon should be eaten in even portions, or at night.
* A decoction of watermelon seeds and fresh watermelon peels has a good diuretic effect. Dried watermelon rinds can also be used if fresh peels are not available.
* For chronic cystitis, nephritis, kidney stones, bladder and ureter, a diuretic should be prepared.
The outer green layer of the watermelon rind is cut thinly, chopped finely, dried first in a warm oven, then dried at room temperature. Drink 1 teaspoon 3 times a day before meals, washed down with honey diluted in water: for 50 g of warm boiled water -0,5 teaspoon of honey. Store dried watermelon peels in a paper bag.
* To quench thirst, lower the temperature and with feverish conditions in folk medicine, patients are given the pulp and juice of watermelon.
Watermelon “milk” is also used, which is made from crushed watermelon seeds. They are ground in cold water in a ratio of 1:10 and drunk every 2 hours, 1 teaspoon (sugar or fruit syrup can be added).
* A decoction of dry and fresh crusts (1:10) is taken 0,5 cups 3-4 times a day as a diuretic.
* For colitis, prepare a decoction of watermelon peels and take 0,5 cups 4-5 times a day. 100 g of dried peels are poured into 0,5 liters of boiling water and insisted until cooled.
* The fiber of watermelon, enhancing intestinal peristalsis, accelerates the excretion of excess cholesterol, therefore, watermelon is useful for atherosclerosis and hypertension.
* Watermelon is also useful for anemia, since, in addition to folic acid, it contains salts
* When bleeding, watermelon seeds, passed through a meat grinder and pounded with milk, stop the blood.
* For angina and pulmonary tuberculosis, it is recommended to gargle with watermelon juice.
* With diseases of the liver and gallbladder, watermelon removes fluid from the body and nourishes the liver tissue with easily digestible sugars.
* For gallbladder stones, watermelons are used in medical nutrition, and they are also a good choleretic agent for hepatitis.
* Watermelon is useful for restoring liver function after jaundice.
* For diabetes mellitus, small doses of watermelon are recommended. This is due to the fact that ripe watermelon contains a lot of fructose, which is easily absorbed and, unlike sucrose, does not cause a load on the insular apparatus of the pancreas. But diabetics should be very careful with watermelons.
* Watermelon seeds, like pumpkin seeds, have an anthelmintic effect. They are used to treat intestinal parasites and to prevent worms. Fresh watermelon seeds are pounded with a heavy object to crush them rather than crush them into powder. For 1 liter of water, take 100 g of seeds, boil for 45 minutes over low heat, then filter and drink 200-250 g three times a day.
It is recommended to use dried watermelon seeds, passed through a meat grinder, with milk in a ratio of 1:10, and during the day to drink 2 glasses of the mixture between meals
* For skin diseases, watermelon lotions are used to heal non-healing festering wounds: a gruel of red watermelon pulp is applied to the wound.
* According to the prescription of Chinese medicine, for burns (even extensive, up to third-degree burns), they alleviate the patient’s condition with the help of fermented watermelon juice.
First, the burns are washed with cool saline or water, then several times a day they make lotions from the juice, which is prepared as follows: the pulp and juice of a ripe watermelon is placed in a clean glass jar, sealed and left at room temperature for 3-4 months, then the juice is filtered. Over time, it acquires a sour smell. Lotions are applied to the burned area.
With this tool, first and second degree burns usually heal in 8-9 days, and third degree burns in 18-21 days.
* Regular consumption of watermelon in food provides healthy sleep, peace of mind, and for men – an increase in potency.
* With headaches, migraines, a thick watermelon crust tied to the forehead and temples helps.
Healing watermelon powder
The most common disease of the musculoskeletal system in the world is osteochondrosis.
There are also a lot of means and methods of treatment, respectively, but traditional medicine is not lagging behind.
We present a well-proven folk recipe for the treatment of osteochondrosis:
This is watermelon powder.
It is very simple to prepare it:
remove the green peel from the watermelon, dry in the oven and then grind these crusts in a coffee grinder.
The norm for taking watermelon powder is the first week 1/2 teaspoon 2 times a day, the second week – 1 teaspoon 2 times a day, the third week – 1 teaspoon 3 times a day before meals with warm water.
But be careful: watermelon (including its crusts) has a strong diuretic effect, besides, it drives salt out of the body well. Therefore, take a remedy for osteoporosis with extreme caution and be sure to simultaneously take foods rich in potassium, such as dried apricots, prunes, raisins, buckwheat porridge, in order to prevent the loss of potassium in the body.
If you drink this watermelon powder for some time in the morning on an empty stomach, then the bile ducts will be perfectly cleansed, stones in the gallbladder will be crushed, and cholecystitis will be prevented. In this case, the intake rate is 1 teaspoon with a glass of warm water. Then do not eat or drink for 15-20 minutes.