Monday, June 11, 2012

Daily Herb-o-Scope - Watermelon

          Summertime festivities just wouldn’t be complete without watermelon. You know you picked a good fruit when you bite into a slice and the juice runs down chin and neck. Ummm! But watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) has benefits that extend beyond a tasty fruit.

          In Chinese medicine, watermelon, known a Xi Gua, is often referred to as a natural White Tiger Decoction, an herbal formula that treats heat stroke and summer heat. This tasty summer delight contains 92% water, more than any other fruit which helps to cool the body, relieve thirst and generate fluids. It’s high in vitamins and minerals and is a great source of antioxidants and other anti-cancer compounds. The fruit also helps to detoxify the body by increasing the frequency of urination and therefore helping the body to release toxins. Watermelon juice makes a great topical treatment for sunburns. It helps to cool the skin and promotes healing. 
          I always buy organic, but it’s nice to know that watermelons are one of the 15 cleanest fruits and veggies that are least likely to contain pesticides. So if you don’t want to pay extra for organic it’s ok. Just make sure to wipe down your fruit with a wet rag before indulging. 
          To get the maximum benefits from watermelon you should eat the pink part as well as the white part in between the pink fruit and green rind. A great way to enjoy both the white and the pink part of the fruit is to cut the green rind from the fruit and in a blender mix the remaining fruit. It makes a very tasty and refreshing drink. You can also freeze this juice in ice cube trays. They make a great addition to your water or cocktails on a warm summer day.

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