Tomato - Natural Benefits and Curative Properties
Botanical Name :: Lycopersicon-esculentum
Indian Name :: Tamatar
The tomato, is one of the most important vegetables in most regions of the world. It is a short-lived perennial annual plant. It bas vigorous tap root, extensive fibrous roots, solid, hairy stems and spirally arranged, mainly oval leaves. The fruit is a fleshy, round or lobed, smooth or furrowed, red, pink or yellow berry with numerous flat, slightly curved seeds.
The tomato originally as a small, wrinkled thick skinned and seedy vegetable, much smaller in size and irregular in form. Many scientific methods were employed to bring it to its present shape and quality. It has now hundreds of varieties, many of which are smoothly and globular, with almost solid pulp.
Origin and Distribution
Tomato is considered to be a native of South America, probably the Peru-Equator. From there it was brought to Europe by the Spaniards in the early 16th century. But for several hundred years, it was grown only as a garden ornament and was called 'love apple'. Only in 1860, it was discovered that tomato was as good a food as any other fruits or vegetable. Soon after this discovery, it gradually became very popular all over the world. It is now grown in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines. Central, East and West Africa, tropical America, the Caribbean and throughout the tropics. It holds second place among the vegetables produced in the world, only exceeded by the potato.
Food Value of Tomato
Only about 130 years back, tomato was considered poisonous. It was regarded by many as an acid forming food which would increase the acidity of the blood and body tissues. Because of this belief, those suffering from gout, rheumatism, arthritis and general acidosis were advised not to use it It was also blamed to be a cancer culprit. It was thought that it has no food value and that it supplied only color and flavor to the diet The latest studies in nutritional chemistry have, however, completely dispelled these baseless ideas about tomato. It is now considered to have unsurpassable nutritional and health giving qualities. Tomato is rich in calcium, phosphorus. vitamin C and carbohydrate.
The carbohydrate in tomato is chiefly in the form of invert sugar which is the predigested form. It contains very small quantity of starch which is converted into sugar, chiefly dextrose during the process of ripening.
Natural Benefits and Curative Properties of Tomato
The tomato, is one of the most powerful deobstruents of the Materia Medica. It removes disease particles and opens natural channels of the body. It is gentle natural stimulant for kidneys and helps to wash away the toxins which cause diseases and contaminate our system. They are at their best when they are fully ripe. Their vitamin C content increase as they ripen. Tomato juice is probably one of the most widely used juices. Fresh, raw tomato juice is most beneficial and has an alkaline reaction, when digested, in concentrated form. Tomato as an external application can be used as a cosmetic. Its pulp should be applied liberally on the face and left there for an hour and then' washed with warm water. Repeated daily, it will give good complexion and remove ugly-looking pimples in a short time.
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