Apple

Malus communis

Herbs gallery - Apple

Common names

  • Apple

The very potent medicinal properties of the humble apple are often forgotten, despite the old adage that states "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." The apple is one of the most common fruits and has been a part of the human diet since antiquity.

The scientific name of the apple is M. communis, and apples have been in cultivation since Roman times - the plant probably originates from somewhere in the Caucasus Mountains. In the ancient world, ripe apples were often used as a laxative, while, raw apples were used to counter diarrhea and related digestive disorders.

According to a widely held ancient medical system, namely Galenical medicine, most apples were thought of as being cool and moist and good for digestion. Apple based juices and herbal fruit infusions were often prescribed for the treatment of persistent fevers and all kinds of eye infections in the ancient world.

Remedies prepared from the apples were also used many years ago to gain relief from metabolic disorders like the gout, for the treatment of bilious constitutions, to heal skin eruptions and to aid nerve impairment. All sorts of superstitious beliefs and traditions have been connected with remedies made from the apple, these beliefs gained ground as the remedies are so popular across the world.

Apples mixed with saffron were often used by peasants of Westphalia to cure cases of jaundice decades ago. A legend connected to the healing ability of the apple is still extant in Devonshire, England; the belief is that an apple rubbed on a wart can make it disappear. Prussian peasants in one particular province used to eat an apple on Easter morning as an insurance against fever.

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Apple therapy is still in use to this day; many doctors prescribe apple based remedies to treat stubborn cases of diarrhea in patients of all age groups - including babies and young infants. The apple is an ideal fruit for many infants and invalids as it is rich in so many of the essential vitamins and minerals, the apple is also a good food as the fruit sugar found in the fruit is in a predigested form.

Dieticians class apples to be an alkaline food based on their chemical content. Apples are also believed to be an eliminative food and possess large amounts of the plant pigment called pectin; this compound has the ability to soak up excess water present in the intestines. Pectin also forms a soft bulk in the stomach that acts as a mild and nonirritating stimulant to the digestive system.

The stimulating effect of pectin aids the peristaltic movement of the alimentary canal and helps the natural bowel movement - aiding elimination of waste from the body.

Apples are not very high in the mineral iron; however, apples have a very beneficial ability in that they can aid the body efficiently absorb the iron found in all the other foods - including eggs and organ meats like liver. Apples are quite rich in their content of the essential mineral calcium. The calcium found in the apple helps the human system absorbing all the calcium found in different foods.

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The vitamin A content of apples is fifty per cent higher than what is found in oranges and other citruses. Vitamin A is very helpful in warding off colds and all kinds of infections, it also promotes growth in the human body. Vitamin A is also essential to keep the eyes in good condition, sufficient vitamin A in the body prevents night blindness - night blindness is very common symptom of severe vitamin A deficiency.

All the essential vitamins are found in good amounts in the apple. Apples are very rich in their vitamin C content; this vitamin is necessary to keep the bones and teeth in sound condition and helps normalize the human body. Apples also contain large amounts of the vitamin B complex, these vitamins are essential to maintain proper nerve health.

The essential vitamins and minerals found in apples are also effective at treating low blood pressure problems and in reducing the hardening in the arterial system - this is because most of these nutrients are potent purifiers of the blood. Apples also have a very beneficial effect on the functioning of the lymphatic system in general.

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Everyone benefits from drinking apple juice - one of the healthiest fruit drinks around. Apple juice can be used to cleanse the body and should be included in the diet, the juice speeds up the bowel action. However, drinking a lot of apple juice will lead to the production of large amounts of gas, if the bowel action is impaired in any way. When used in an enema mixed with water, the juice or concentrate of the apples heals bowel irritation.

Homemade apple juice is preferably made using raw apples; this juice must be consumed immediately after it is prepared for maximum benefit. The peels of raw apples can be saved and used to prepare a herbal and healthy tea, this tea is considered excellent for the kidneys and should be used in treating chronic kidney problems.

The herbal apple tea is easy to prepare as the only requirement is to steep apple peelings in boiling water. The taste of the tea can be enhanced by adding a little honey to the tea before it is consumed.

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Parts used

Fruit.

Uses

People suffering from the following diseases may benefit from eating apples while taking medications or undergoing  chemotherapy treatments:

Constituents

Apple contains sugars, fruit acids, pectin, vitamins A, B1, C, minerals.

Applications

Raw fruit

FRESH - Ripe apples can be eaten to ease symptoms of constipation, when this comes due to an overheated stomach. Sour or raw apples can be eaten as a natural diuretic in cases of cystitis and urinary infections of all kinds. Raw and ripe apples contain large amounts of all the vital minerals and essential vitamins, as such they are helpful in treating cases of anemia and debility in affected individuals.

INFUSION - To deal with rheumatic pains and intestinal colic, an infusion made from fresh raw apples can be taken as a warming drink, the same infusion acts as a cooling remedy for treating colds accompanied by fever.

JUICE - To treat various cuts and abrasions on the body, the undiluted apple juice or apple juice mixed with some olive oil can be used; this remedy can serve as a household remedy for treating small injuries.

Stewed fruit

FRESH - Stewed apples can be taken in cases of diarrhea, as well as to treat gastroenteritis and other intestinal infections affecting a person.

POULTICE - An herbal poultice made from the apples can be applied on the skin to treat different infections, including scabies and other external disorders.

Apple jelly with lemon verbena leaves

  • 12 acid cooking apples (about 4 lbs.)
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 cups sugar
  • 10 lemon verbena leaves

Chop the cored apples, and in a heavy enamel kettle, simmer them with the water until soft, about 25 minutes. Place the apples and juices in a jelly bag to drain overnight; set a glass bowl under the bag to catch the draining apple juice. It should make 10 cups.

The next day, set the apple juice and the sugar to simmer in a large jam or jelly kettle. Heat to boiling, then simmer until the juice flowing from a metal spoon sheets rather than falls in drops. Put 1 lemon verbena leaf into each of 10 sterilized 8-ounce jelly glasses, and pour the jelly over them. Seal with paraffin, and cap. Keep stored in a cool room.

Applesauce and raisin relish

Combine applesauce with raisins that have been soaked for 5 minutes in hot water, then drained. Add orange peel and crushed marjoram. Chill 2 hours before serving.

Comments

From Barb - Mar-05-2024
In addition to eating apples raw or using them in apple pies, I also use them to prepare apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is a great natural preparation for hair care or as a tonic for facial skin care. To prepare an apple cider vinegar hair rinse, simply add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a litre of boiled water. Apple cider vinegar rinse helps reduce the amount of sebum secreted by the scalp and thus helps eliminate dandruff. Apple cider vinegar rinse adds shine to the hair. However, drinking apple cider vinegar also strengthens our immunity and helps lose excess weight. I also add apple cider vinegar to various dishes, e.g. in green salads.
I also use apple cider vinegar as a gargle for a sore throat. Add 1/3 vinegar and 2/3 water to a 250 ml glass. I mix it thoroughly and gargle. This treatment should be repeated several times a day when we suffer from a sore throat. I really recommend it!
From Susie - Nov-07-2023
My mother always recommended eating an apple for constipation. And it had to be eaten on an empty stomach so that the nutrients in it were better absorbed. As far as I remember, this method has always worked. Now I know that it was due to the fiber found in apples.
From Peter - Jan-07-2021
Maybe this is a coincidence but whenever I eat a whole apple before going to bed I always have restful and good, deep sleep. And no problems with my "trips to the bathroom"!
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