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What is medlar and how does it grow, medlar useful properties and harm

What is medlar and how does it grow, medlar useful properties and harm


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Hearing the name medlar, the tales of Scheherazade and various oriental sweets come to mind. In fact, medlar is a plant that was cultivated for a long time as an ornamental in most countries, but is now recognized as an edible fruit plant. What does it look like, where does the medlar grow? Is it possible to eat its fruits, what are their benefits and harms?

Content:

  • German medlar, a short description
  • Lokva or Japanese medlar, description
  • The benefits and harms of fruits, leaves, medlar flowers

German medlar, a short description

There are two different types of plants called medlar - these are Germanic and Japanese or lokva. Although both species belong to the same family, they are representatives of different genera. German medlar - belongs to the genus Medlar, from the Pink family. Deciduous plant, tree or shrub. Introduced to Germany from southwestern Asia. It grows in warm climates with mild winters. Found in the Crimea, the Caucasus, southern Europe. In Azerbaijan, it was raised several centuries before our era. But gradually, in the 17th - 18th centuries, the displacement by other plants began and the popularity slightly decreased.

Under favorable conditions, the tree grows up to eight meters high. The branches are prickly. Leaves are oval-oblong, their length reaches 15 cm, width - up to 4 cm. The leaves remain green all summer, and turn red in autumn. The German medlar blooms in the second half of May. The flowers are white, five-petal, with red stamens. In place of the flowers, round brown fruits with a diameter of 1.5 to 3 cm are formed. In cultivated plant varieties, fruits can reach up to 5 cm in diameter. There are four large bones inside the fruit. If you try to eat them immediately after ripening, it may seem that they are inedible, since their flesh is very tart and firm.

We must wait for the frost to hit and only then harvest the trees. The pulp becomes soft, jelly-like and sour-sweet, as in a pear, there are hard stony cells.

Considering that the Germanic medlar grows in areas with a fairly mild climate, you can not wait for frosts there, you will have to remove the fruits and place them in a strong salt solution after harvesting. Store all this in a cool place for several weeks and only then eat it. After such ripening, the taste of the fruit of the German medlar is a bit like applesauce and they themselves significantly decrease in size and become wrinkled. Fruits of the medlar can be eaten fresh, but most often it is used in confectionery production. The medlar is the only species of the genus Medlar, however, there is another plant with the same name - Japanese medlar /

Lokva or Japanese medlar, description

Japanese medlar or lokva is an evergreen plant of the genus Eriobotria, from the Apple subfamily, included in the Pink family. This genus includes about 30 plant species. For the first time, the plant was described in detail by the Swedish botanist KP Thunberg in the book "The Flora of Japan" (1784). Lokva has very large leaves. They reach up to 25 cm in length and up to 8 cm in width. From above, the leaf plates are green, firmly leathery, from below, slightly brownish and pubescent.

Medlar grows in warm climates in China and Japan. Blooms in October. The flowers are white, creamy with a strong pleasant aroma. Collected at the tops of the shoots in dozens of pieces. The fruits ripen by May - June. In European climates, it blooms in spring, the fruits ripen by October. They are quite large, slightly elongated, up to 8 cm in length and up to 4 cm in diameter. The color is bright yellow or orange. On the branches are located in groups of 10 - 12 pieces. Each fruit contains seeds, their usual amount is from 1 to 5 pieces. It is worth noting that from the crushed seeds of Japanese eriobotria, you can brew a drink that is very similar in taste to coffee.

Immediately after collection, the medlar is eaten. Currently, it is grown not only in Asian countries, but also in southern Europe, Transcaucasia, it has become especially popular in Israel, where it is called shesek, in Spain it is known as nispero. Recently, scientists have been paying much attention to the useful and medicinal properties of the fruits of the Japanese medlar.

The benefits and harms of fruits, leaves, medlar flowers

The benefits of Japanese medlar are due to their low calorie content and high content of nutrients. It contains vitamins:

  • TO
  • E
  • carotene
  • beta carotene
  • group B

macro- and microelements:

  • iodine
  • iron
  • potassium
  • phosphorus
  • calcium
  • magnesium

Medlar is used for kidney dysfunction; when consumed fresh, it acts as a diuretic. It is able to remove not only excess fluid, but also toxins, while replenishing the content of nutrients. The fruits of Eriobotria japonica have a positive effect on visual acuity due to the content of carotene and beta-carotene, which are converted into vitamin A. Potassium, contained in medlar, stabilizes the work of the heart and blood vessels.

Besides the fruit, other parts of the plant are used. For lung diseases, you can prepare a decoction of flowers. It acts as an anti-inflammatory and as an expectorant. It is recommended for asthma, coughs of various natures, chronic bronchitis. An aqueous infusion of leaves is used for gastric and intestinal disorders, diarrhea. It can be drunk with various intoxications and poisoning. Recently, substances that inhibit the growth of cancer cells have been isolated from the Japanese medlar.

Harm of the Japanese medlar

In addition to benefits, fruits and other parts of the Japanese medlar can cause some harm to the body. This is due primarily to the content of cyanide substances. Although their number is scanty and they cannot cause poisoning, headaches can still occur with a long stay near the plant. Individual intolerance to various parts of the plant is possible. But if these interesting fruits are found on sale, they should be purchased and appreciated for their taste and benefits.

Video about the Japanese medlar:


Watch the video: Medlar plant grow, care u0026 harvest Mespilus germanica (July 2022).


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