Some call medlar one of the most ugly fruits on the planet (when it comes to the Germanic type). However, in the Middle Ages this tree was very popular, and Charlemagne loved him so much that he decided to plant a medlar in every city he conquered.
What is medlar
Medlar is a tree from the Rosaceae family. To date, 2 kinds of medlar are cultivated in the world: German (or Caucasian) and Japanese. Nearly 30 species of this plant are found in the wild.
German medlar. It was known to the ancient Babylonians and the inhabitants of Transcaucasia. Today it is found in countries with a warm climate, including Western Europe, growing on the Crimean peninsula and in the west of Ukraine. This is a deciduous plant, on the branches of which there are thorns. Fruits ripen after frost.
Japanese medlar. Mostly grown up by the Chinese and Japanese. It differs in large orange-brown fruits with juicy pulp and dense skin (they resemble apricots in some measure). It blooms in autumn, and bears fruit in spring.
The ugly appearance of medlar gave rise to various ugly names for this plant. But despite the ugliness of the fruit, they taste very good. The medlar fruit resembles a giant rosehip, only brown in color. More precisely, the color of ripe fruit varies from rust to dirty brown. Full ripening of the fetus occurs after harvesting or on a tree after frost (when the fruit loses its astringency). After that, the fruit becomes soft, sweet, with a citrus flavor, and the aroma resembles a spicy baked apple. Having cleaned the ripe fruit from the skin and seeds, you can immediately use it or make jams and jellies from it.
Fruits ripen on small trees, which rarely exceed 2.5 meters in height. Unlike many fruit trees, medlar first blooms in spring with green leaves and only then white flowers appear. The average life of these trees is about 50 years, the peak fruiting is 2-3 years after planting.
Information about the origin of this plant is not so much, but most likely, medlar appeared in southwest Asia or southeast Europe in very ancient times. This fruit tree was grown by the ancient Greeks and Romans; it was very popular in Western Europe during the Victorian era. Mushmulu mentioned Shakespeare in his creations, and in Iran and Turkey it is still popular. However, for industrial purposes today is almost not grown. The thing is that the most delicious medlar becomes at the stage shortly before the onset of decay. So the “window” of edibility of this fruit is very small. In addition, ripe fruit, when it is actually very tasty, looks far from presentable.
In the Middle Ages, the fruits of medlar were also used as a remedy for intestinal disorders. However, over time, this fruit has been undeservedly forgotten, and yet its high nutritional value and healing properties are necessary for modern man.
Benefit for health
Medlar, like many other fruits, is rich in useful components, moreover, in an optimal concentration for the human body. These amazing fruits are full of vitamins A, C, B1, B2. When it comes to medlar, one cannot but recall the proteins, tannins, pectin, and low-carbohydrate organic acids that are also found in fruits. The mineral complex consists of iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, so we can say with confidence that the daily intake of these fruits will provide the body with the necessary dose of substances important for strengthening immunity.
If we recall the medicinal properties of medlar, the word "universal" is best for characterization. Even in the Roman Empire, these fruits were known as fruits for the treatment of almost all diseases of the stomach. And today in alternative medicine this plant is used against digestive disorders, as a natural diuretic and laxative, a means to improve intestinal motility.
People with liver and kidney problems are advised to regularly eat this fruit, as it provides an effective detoxification of the body. Medlar also stabilizes bad cholesterol.
|Calorie content||46 kcal|
|Vitamin A||77 mcg|
|Vitamin C||1 mg|
|Vitamin B1||0.03 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.03 mg|
|Vitamin B3||0.1 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.2 mg|
|Vitamin B9||15 mcg|
Medlar, as some say, is an ideal winter fruit that boosts immunity, strengthens the body to fight viruses, and protects the organs of the respiratory system. In addition, there is an assumption that these berries have the properties of aphrodisiacs.
Medlar is rich in vitamins A and C, phenols and flavonoids, known for their antioxidant properties. These substances remove free radicals from the body. The antioxidant properties of medlar reduce the risk of cancer, cataracts, and diabetes. Also, these fruits protect brain cells, prevent neurological diseases, memory loss.
Fruit syrup is used as a cough medicine, tea as an expectorant. In addition, medlar reduces the symptoms of angina pectoris. If you pour boiling water and insist on the leaves of medlar, ginger, basil, honey and licorice root, you will get an effective drug for colds and asthma.
Ursolic acid in the leaves of the tree has an inhibitory HIV effect, although these plant properties have not yet been fully studied. And scientific research has shown benefits for the treatment of candidiasis.
The benefits of diabetes and heart disease
Tea made from this fruit is an effective way to regulate sugar, blood triglycerides and cholesterol. This ability of medlar determines the presence of fiber in the fruit. It prevents the absorption of harmful fats in the colon. A low concentration of sodium and sufficiently high portions of potassium improve the heart rate and stabilize blood pressure. This exotic fruit is also able to protect the heart from the effects of stress.
Clinical studies have shown that medlar relieves the symptoms of osteoporosis. It is established that the ursolic substance contained in the leaves prevents the loss of minerals, and also reduces the symptoms of joint inflammation in osteoporosis.
Medlar in the form of tea activates the elimination of toxins from the body, which provoke the onset of cancer.
Regular consumption of this fetus reduces the risk of disease, in particular, prevents malignant degeneration of lung cells, colon and in the tissues of the oral cavity. Clinical trials have also determined that leaf extract can inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
Like carrots, medlar is good for eye health. And the whole point is the high content of vitamin A, which helps to maintain visual acuity, prevents tissue degeneration as a result of the oxidation process. Regular consumption of fruit will help reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, as well as improve vision. In addition, medlar is useful for maintaining eye pigmentation.
It has diuretic properties, therefore, it helps to quickly remove uric acid salts from the body, reduces the risk of kidney stones and the development of gout. And thanks to the high content of pectin, it blocks the absorption of toxins in the intestine, thereby preventing oncology. Tea from the leaves is useful for strengthening the liver and general detoxification of the body.
Rich source of Vitamin C
The high content of vitamin C makes medlar an ideal product for the fight against scurvy, bleeding gums.
Unripe fruits are used as an astringent, they have a beneficial effect on the health of the mucous membranes of the digestive organs. Medlar is also useful for people suffering from constipation, because it regulates the process of digestion thanks to fiber. Meanwhile, excessive fascination with the fruits is likely to cause severe diarrhea.
Benefits for the reproductive system
For the female body, the fruits are useful as a natural remedy that regulates the menstrual cycle, as well as eliminating the symptoms of PMS. Medlar will protect men from prostate cancer and potency problems.
Researchers found mandelic acid in the seeds and leaves of medlar. As a result of metabolic processes, it turns into cyanide. In addition, the seeds contain a substance that, when overdosed, causes shortness of breath and vomiting. And excessive obsession with tea from medlar can cause food poisoning. You should also be careful with the young leaves of this tree - they contain a substance that causes a headache. Unripe fruits are dangerous for people with a stomach ulcer or inflammation in the pancreas. In addition, this fetus can cause allergic reactions. Introduce into the children's diet also with caution, starting with 1 fetus per day.
The benefits of medlar leaves
The leaves of this tree have many medicinal properties. An extract of them or a decoction is used for:
- strengthening immunity;
- diabetes treatment (enhances insulin production);
- pancreatic health promotion;
- liver cleansing;
- treatment of inflammation on the skin (added to creams);
- fight against viral diseases;
- getting rid of depression;
- improving the condition of people with HIV.
Medicinal loquat tea
Tea made from medlar is used as an alternative for dizziness, infections of the mouth and throat, as well as a drug that enhances potency in men. This tool will also help with bleeding gums, and will relieve bad breath. And since medlar does not contain many calories, it is safe for people who are on a diet or suffering from diabetes.
How to cook
To make this drink you will need 2 medlars. Finely chop the berries and pour 200 ml of boiling water. Cover and insist for an hour. Strain and take three times a day.
What to cook from medlar
This fruit is used to make juices, tea, jams, liquors. It can be used in any form, while being sure that the body will still benefit from it. Here are some ideas that you can cook their medlars.
Once medlar jam was not an exotic dessert, but a traditional preparation for the winter. To prepare this delicious jam according to an old recipe, you will need:
- loquat (1 kg);
- honey (1 kg);
- water (0.7 l).
Mix water with honey and boil. Add well-washed berries to the boiling mixture. Cook for 50 minutes, stirring constantly. Jam (still hot) pour into sterilized jars, roll up and store in a cool place.
To prepare this drink you will have to prepare:
- medlar (250 g);
- water (2 l);
- brown sugar (130 g);
- brandy or cognac (500 ml).
Rinse the fruit thoroughly, clear the stems and pour it into a glass container with a wide neck. Boil water with sugar and cool a little, then pour into a bottle, and then add cognac. Close the jar tightly and shake to mix the ingredients. Infuse for approximately 14 days at room temperature. It is important to shake the vessel daily. After 14 days of fermentation, strain through cheesecloth and can be consumed.
Medlar is known for its many beneficial properties that strike with its healing power. But this is easily explained by the rich mineral and vitamin composition. However, in some cases this marvelous fruit can be dangerous.