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Balsam Fruit

Introduction of Balsam apple

            Scientific name - Momordica balsamina

Indigenous to the tropical regions of Africa, Momordica balsamina is a tendril-bearing annual vine. The Bright Orange apple unlike the usual apples have numerous, glossy and sticky seeds. The appearance may not look pretty, but the health benefits associated with these fruits are plenty. They are usually found in the tropical regions of Asia, Africa and Australia. The flowers reveal a subtle beauty with its pale yellowness and the warty texture of the fruits skin are a beauty in itself. They prefer warm and sunny weather conditions and will bloom till winter if sown in fertile and well prepared soil about one half inches deep.

This bitter yet extremely health benefited fruit is sometimes sold in the Asian markets as a vegetable. The bitterness is tackled by blanching or cooking the fruit but is not eradicated completely. Also known as the Bitter gourd, sometimes most of the bitterness can be removed if soaked in water or in warm salt water. Numerous recipes are found online and this fruit is surprisingly made in a variety of ways and made tastier. They are deep fried and tossed with salt and pepper and also served with crunchy onion strips. Smell wise, they do not smell great, more like an old gym shoe.

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Nutritional Value of Balsam fruit

Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA
Energy 50 Kcal 2.5%
Carbohydrates 13.81 g 11%
Protein 0.26 g 0.5%
Total Fat 0.17 g 0.5%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 2.40 g 6%
Folates 3 g 1%
Niacin 0.091 mg 1%
Pantothenic acid 0.061 mg 1%
Pyridoxine 0.041 mg 3%
Riboflavin 0.026 mg 2%
Thiamin 0.017 mg 1%
Vitamin A 54 IU 2%
Vitamin C 4.6 mg 8%
Vitamin E 0.18 mg 1%
Vitamin K 2.2 g 2%

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Health Benefits of Balsam fruit

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The bitter gourd has plenty of health benefits. In Mexico, the whole plant is used to treat diabetes and dysentery. The plant is also modified to treat skin issues like Eczema, Vaginitis, hemorrhoids, itchy rashes, Leprosy and much more. The roots are a known aphrodisiac. The leaves are also used to treat Malaria, stomach pain, cold, cough, fever and measles. People suffering from vaginal discharge, Colic, Menstrual problems also seek the help of the Balsam Apple. This fruit can also be used to induce abortions. Although the appearance is fishy, the other benefits of this fruit over compensate for its looks.

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Uses of Balsam fruit

Balsam fruit can also be used as a medicinal remedy. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-bacterial properties. It is used to treat a variety of ailments, including diarrhea, fever, and skin infections. It is also used to alleviate symptoms of indigestion and reduce inflammation.

In addition to its culinary and medicinal uses, balsam fruit has many other benefits. It is high in fiber, which can help with digestion and weight loss. It is also a good source of energy and can help support healthy blood sugar levels. The fruit is also believed to have anti-aging properties.

Balsam fruit can be found in many health food stores, grocery stores, and online retailers. Be sure to buy fresh fruit to get the most nutrition, as canned and dried versions can have reduced nutritional value. When buying balsam fruit, look for ones that are firm, bright in color, and free of blemishes. Enjoy this unique, sweet fruit as part of a healthy diet.

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Propagation of Balsam fruit

Balsam fruit is propagated mainly by seed. The seeds must be planted in a well-drained soil in an area with full sun. The soil must be kept moist but not overly wet.

When the seedlings reach about 6-8 inches in height, they are ready to be transplanted. The seedlings should be spaced out about 24 inches apart. Once planted, it is important to water the seedlings regularly, especially during dry periods.

The plants should be fertilized regularly to ensure they get enough nutrients. A balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer should be applied every few weeks. The plants should also be pruned regularly to encourage growth and to keep them manageable.

When the fruit begins to mature, it should be harvested by hand. The fruit can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Balsam fruits can also be canned or frozen for long-term storage.

Balsam fruits make a great addition to any garden. They are easy to propagate, and their sweet, sour flavor makes them a favorite among many people. With proper care and attention, balsam fruits can provide a steady supply of delicious fruit for many years.

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