Loquat – Properties and health benefits / medicinal uses

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BOTANICAL NAME: Eriobotrya japonica Lindl.
BOTANICAL FAMILY: Rosaceae
OTHER NAMES: Tanaka, Japanese medlar, japanese plum.

Loquat is a fruit of Eriobotrya japonica Lindl., an evergreen tree of that reaches a height of about 5 meters. It belongs to the botanical family Rosaceae.

PROPERTIES OF LOQUAT
Loquat is a highly tasty and nutritious fruit. It contains the following:
* Carbohydrates in form of sugars, mainly fructose and levulose. It constitutes about 10.4% of its edible portion.
* Proteins, in small amounts are present, making up about 0.4%.
* Fats are negligible in loquats composition, at 0.2%.
* Minerals, mainly calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium are present in significant quantities.
* Vitamins, mainly B complex vitamins, E and C are present in small amounts. The most abundant vitamin present is vitamin A.

Here are some of the composition of loquat per 100 g raw edible portion
Carbohydrates – 10.4 g
Proteins – 0.430 g
Energy- 47.0 kcal/196 kj
Fiber – 1.70 g
Total fat – 0.200g
Saturated fat – 0.040g
Vitamin C – 1.00 mg
Vitamin A – 153 ug ER
Cholesterol – none
Potassium – 266 mg
Sodium – 1.00 mg

Health benefits / medicinal uses of loquat

Loquats supply few calories, about 47 kcal/100 g, together with abundant water and minerals. This accounts for its diuretic action. They are also very rich in astringent tannies, and triterpenic aromatic substances.
The medicinal uses of loquats are quite many, they include:

* KIDNEY DISORDERS
Loquat are highly recommended in cases of excess uric acid, kidney stones, kidney failure, gout. This is due to their effectiveness as a diuretic by increasing the production of urine and promoting the elimination of excess uric particles as well as its low protein and high mineral content.

* DIABETES
The loquats anti-diabetic action has been demonstrated both in diabetic humans and animals (rats). Its anti-diabetic action is related to the presence of some of the non-nutritive components, mainly triterpenoids and sesquiterpenic glucosides. Its then, a very wise step indeed for the diabetics to stick to the consumption of loquats.

* LIVER DISORDERS
Loquat helps decongest the volume of an enlarged liver (hepatomegalia) and also reduces ascites that are followed by liver degeneration. The regular consumption of loquat proves somehow effective in cases of Chronic liver diseases, mainly:
* Cirrhosis
* Hepatitis
* Fatty degeneration of the liver.

* COMMON COLD
Loquats, have an important antiviral effect against the rhinoviruses that causes common cold. The presence of substances in loquat like triterpenic esters, are resposible for its antiviral effect. Thus, the regular consumption of loquats in cases of common cold is highly beneficial.
* INFECTIOUS DIARRHEA
The astringent effect of loquat on the digestive track claims this property. They are highly recommended as the first solid food after periods of infectious diarrhea.

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