The botanical name of sapota is Manilkara zapota, commonly known as sapodilla or chikoo. Though its English name, sapota, is followed in Tamil its original name in Tamil is ‘Seemai Iluppai’, hinting its origin of overseas country. It’s largely grown in India, Pakistan and Mexico and there are two varieties of sapota, ‘Paal sapota’ (Milky variety) and ‘Gundu sapota’ (Plump variety).
Though many of us do not like the fruit because of its drabness the fruits contain various essential nutrients within. It provides rich energy due to its high glucose content. Therefore it is suitable for sports persons as it could provide more energy. It’s rich in vitamins, minerals and tannin content and is added in milk shakes because of its sweetness.
The fruits contain 1 gram of protein, 0.9 gram of fat, 2.6 gram fibre, 21.4 gram carbohydrate, 2.1 mg of calcium, 27 mg of phosphorus, 2 mg of iron, 6.1 mg of vitamins. It helps build the physique and strengthens bones because of the presence of calcium and phosphorus.
It helps prevent decline in eye sight among the aged if it is taken in regularly as it is rich in vitamin A content. It also helps prevent vulnerability to infection and therefore keeps the body disease free. It facilitates better digestion and therefore prevents from various infections of intestine, esophagus and also from irritable bowel disease.
It serves as a laxative as it contains more fibre. Further, it helps enhancing the epithelial layer of intestine thereby prevents from various intestinal infections. It helps reduce nausea, vomiting, giddiness and body weakness among pregnant mothers.
Those who suffer from hyper cholesterol can have two fruits everyday to regain normal levels of cholesterol in the body. Hence it is a very good medicine to treat obesity. One of the research findings in America revealed that it cleanses blood vessels thereby preventing us from heart diseases, a natural remedy towards cardio protection. Besides, it helps cure mouth ulcers, heartburns, piles and constipation.
It cures the early stages of tuberculosis disease if the fruit pulp is drunk along with a ‘Nendran’ variety of banana daily. It cures common fever if dry ginger and Sitharathai (Alpinia galanga) powder added to the fruit pulp of sapota concocted with palm jaggery is drunk for a few days. It is also claimed that it cures cancer as well.
Cold can be cured if the fruit pulp of sapota added with lemon juice is taken in for a few days. The leaves of sapota eaten frequently will make the skin shine. Bile related problem can be cured if a fruit is taken in every day along with a table spoon of cumin.
Those who suffer from sleeplessness can have restful sleep if the fruit or fruit pulp is taken in before going to bed.
Those who are skinny can have the fruit regularly to gain wait. It can enhance skin health and make skin shine. For health skin, after removing the skin and the seeds of the fruit, grind it with milk. Take two teaspoons of it and mix it with a teaspoon of cucumber powder. Apply the mix on your body before taking bath and the skin will glow after regular application.
Similarly, two teaspoons of its seed powder add one cup of sesame oil, quarter teaspoon of pepper powder. Heat it at a moderate temperature and filter it. The balm gained from heating the concoction can be applied to the hair using cotton. After allowing it to soak for half an hour take bath applying Bengal gram and soap nut powder on the body. Continue this for alternate days for a month and it can prevent heavy loss of hair.
(This article written by Maria Belsin in Tamil has been reproduced in English by Amalan Stanley)