Buddha's hand: Fruit for Good Luck, Happiness and Long Life
April 2, 2014 11:35 AM EST
Buddha's hand is a fragrant citron variety whose fruit is segmented into finger-like sections. The origin of Buddha's hand plant is traced back to Northeastern India or China.The Buddha's hand fruit has a thick peel and only a small amount of acidic flesh and is juiceless and sometimes seedless.Buddha's hand fruit is very fragrant and is used predominantly in China and Japan for perfuming rooms and personal items such as clothing. The fruit may be given as a religious offering in Buddhist temples. According to tradition, Buddha prefers the "fingers" of the fruit to be in a position where they resemble a closed rather than open hand, as closed hands symbolize to Buddha the act of prayer.The peel of the fruit can be candied into succade. In Western cooking, it is often used for its zest. The inner white pith is not bitter as is usually the case with citrus, so the fingers may be cut off and then longitudinally sliced-peel, pith, and all-and used in salads or scattered over cooked foods such as fish.Buddha's hand resembles lemon primarily, and orange secondarily (but don't expect sweetness). The pith does not have the inedible sourness of its peel-which, if eaten, would be like eating a lemon rind-but it is juiceless and seedless. The pith is identical to the whites of an orange peel, described as "velvety smooth" with a "delicate flavor" and "tropical overtones."Nutritional Value in Buddha's Hand
- 1 teaspoon of the rind contains: no fat no cholesterol no sodium no sugar no protein 3 kcal 13% RDI of vitamin C 1% RDI of calcium 1g carbohydrage (negligible) 1g of fiber (3% RDI)
Health Benefits of Buddha's handModern pharmacological actionsBuddha's hand: Fruit for Good Luck, Happiness and Long Life1. Alcohol extract of Buddah's hand fruit can significantly inhibit intestinal smooth muscle;2. Alcohol extract of hand of Buddha fruit can dilate the coronary blood vessels and increase coronary blood flow. When in high concentration, it inhibits myocardial contractility, slows heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and protects experimental myocardial ischemia;
3. Buddhas hand citrus relieves asthma and eliminates phlegm to some degree;4. The fructus citri sarcodactylis polysaccharide contained in Buddha hands fruit plays an important role in supporting immune function. That being said, it promotes the phagocytic function of peritoneal macrophage, and tremendously fights against the cyclophosphamide-induced immune dysfunction.Buddhas hand fruit in herbal remediesAs a common Chinese herb, it is viewed as acrid, bitter, and sour in taste and warm in properties. It covers 3 meridians of liver, spleen, and lung. Its most important functions are stretching liver to smooth Qi and harmonizing stomach to relieve the pain. Main Buddhas hand citron uses and indications are liver-stomach Qi depression, fullness in chest and rib cage, fullness or distension or pain in the stomach, reduced appetite and vomiting, and so on. Recommended hand Buddha dosage is from 3 to 6 grams in decoction.1. Cough by vital energy and phlegm stagnation. According to Min Nan Min Jian Cao Yao (Folk Herbal Medicine In Minnan), Buddha hand decoration in the dose of 2 to 3 Qian is a good formula for phlegm-Qi induced cough.2. Tympanites and swell. According to Lingnan Cai Yao Lu (Records of Gathering Medicinal Herbs of Lingnan), the combination of Buddha hand citrus and (Hominis Urinae Sedimentum) can cure tympanites and swell.3. Leukorrhea. According to Folk Herbal Medicine In Minnan, the hand of Buddha coupling with small intestine of pig works for diseases of gynecology.4. Hepatitis A. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine Dictionary, Buddha citron combining with Bai Jiang Cao (Patrina) treats infantile infectious hepatitis A.This herb is rich in nutrients, such as carbohydrates, crude fiber, ash, limettin, and so on. Hence, it is mostly used for medicinal purposes and made into tea and essential oil. What's more, it is often used for dietary therapy too.The Japanese and Chinese use the Buddha's Hand for perfuming rooms and their clothes. It has the smell of violets and osmanthus. The whole fruit is sometimes used as a centerpiece. It can also be used in many recipes. It can be used in the place wherever lemon zest is used. The grated rind can also be used in different foods to add a lemony taste to them. The rind cut into strips can also be used to make homemade marmalade or candied. It can also be used in casseroles, soufflés and soup compotes.The Buddha's Hand is high in vitamin C. It is used as a general tonic and stimulate. There are no other known nutrients in the fruit. Moths can be repelled with the leaves of the fruit. In order to buy a ripe fruit, look for one that is firm with a sweet fragrance and is blemish free. The fruit will last up to two weeks at room temperature and refrigerated it will last longer.In China the fruit is often carried in the hand or simply placed on a table in the home to bring those who live their good luck, happiness and long life.
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