Khirni, a delicious summer fruit in India, is packed with the goodness of practically every single essential nutrient - vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, antioxidants and plant esters, conferring tremendous benefits for overall health. These pulpy fruits remedy microbial skin infections, prevent cancers, pacify stomach ulcers and bolster immune function.
Not surprisingly, khirni was popularly called the “King Of Fruits” in ancient times and is known to have been used by royalty as well as the common folk, to effectively treat a host of ailments. In fact, it is referred to as “Rajphal” or “Rajdan” in the age-old ayurvedic scriptures. Khirni being its Hindi name, this fruit is locally known as “Patla” or “Pola” in Telugu, “Palamunpala” in Malayalam and “Ulakkaippalai” in Tamil. It is commonly termed as obtuse-leaved mimusops in English and its scientific name is Manilkara hexandra or Mimusops hexandra.
The khirni tree, if not damaged severely, actually survives for hundreds of years. This 50-foot tall evergreen tree bears elliptic leaves, with bright white flowers. Upon fully budding, the khirni fruit is essentially a berry, reddish-yellow in colour, with a single seed enclosed within the outer skin. The khirni fruits, although available only for a brief period in the hot summer season, secrete a flavourful milky fluid inside that tastes similar to sapota/chikoo, besides providing a wealth of nourishing components.
Khirni fruits contain abundant reserves of proteins, carbohydrates and useful fats, for optimal growth and development of the body. Being inherently rich in vitamins C and A, these pulpy fruits are also a treasure trove of polyphenolic antioxidants, sterols, tannins, saponins, triterpenoids, myricetin and quercetin. What with its appealing taste, coupled with the powerhouse of nutrients it contains, khirni fruits are certainly a beneficial addition to the daily diet. Read on, to discover the fantastic merits of khirni fruits, for complete healthcare.
Also Read: Top Most Antioxidant-Rich Foods
Khirni Health Benefits:
Cures Fevers And Jaundice
The juice derived from the pulp of khirni fruit is bestowed with valuable antioxidants – myricetin and quercetin, which supply significant antipyretic i.e. body temperature lowering traits. Drinking a glass of fresh khirni juice is a well-known remedy for fever and jaundice, vastly diminishing the symptoms of body pain and discomfort.
Augments Kidney Function
Khirni fruit is endowed with proteins, which aside from building strong muscles and promoting metabolism, also possess diuretic properties. This fosters normal excretory processes and helps to get rid of toxins, waste matter and undigested food accumulated in the system, by means of optimal kidney activity, thereby preventing kidney disorders.
Heals Skin Infections
The vast array of triterpenoid plant chemicals in khirni make it a superb natural solution to treat skin infections. In addition, khirni also possesses powerful antimicrobial properties. Applying the paste from fruit extract directly on the skin provides instant relief from rashes, itching and psoriasis, thus enriching its texture and restoring suppleness and radiance to the skin.
Alleviates Stomach Ulcers
Khirni fruits encompass noteworthy levels of tannins and saponins – valuable plant compounds that remarkably mend gastrointestinal ulcers. Adding a few slices of khirni fruit to breakfast or having it as a snack in the evening soothes the tummy, by regulating gastric acid volumes and stimulating protective mucosal secretions by the walls of the stomach.
Immense quantities of vitamin C are found in khirni fruit, making it an advantageous food for improving the body’s defence mechanism. The antioxidant nature of vitamin C also aids in flushing out harmful free radicals from the system. Moreover, khirni fruit holds considerable antimicrobial potential, shielding the body from bacteria and viruses that trigger diseases.
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Rectifies Hormonal Imbalance
Khirni is bestowed with B vitamins, calcium and triterpene antioxidants, which positively influence hormonal activity in the body and scavenge harmful free radicals to shield healthy cells from oxidation. The extracts from ripe khirni fruits are mashed and made into a decoction which is consumed as a traditional remedy for mending thyroid problems as well as for settling imbalances in estrogen- the female reproductive hormone and promoting fertility in women.
Heals Swollen Gums
The fruit derivatives of khirni, as well as the latex resin residues from the plant stem, are a popular natural remedy for inflamed gums and toothaches, thanks to their astonishing levels of analgesic i.e. pain-relieving, antiseptic and antimicrobial components. When applied directly on the teeth and gums, the khirni fruit delivers superb benefits for oral health, effectively treating a host of dental disorders such as cavities, plaque, tartar, gum disease/gingivitis and yellow, stained teeth.
Improves Lung Functions
Khirni displays excellent decongestant and bronchodilatory properties, owing to the plethora of anti-inflammatory and blood-purifying phytonutrients present in the fruit and leaf isolates. These potent bioactive compounds alleviate symptoms such as a blocked nose, wheezing and congested airways which often occur in respiratory disorders of asthma, bronchitis. Hence, by significantly loosening phlegm and surplus mucus trapped in the pulmonary passages, khirni facilitates normal breathing and augments lung wellness.
Khirni fruits are certainly a rare combination of tasty and healthy fruits, that substantially amplify strength, stamina and immunity, apart from being a potent medicinal food that rectifies various illnesses including fever, jaundice and ulcers. Add these luscious khirni fruits to the diet today, to reap the fabulous benefits they offer, for overall well-being.