Phalsa, also known as Indian Sherbet Berry that goes with the botanical name Grewia asiatica tops the list of exotic fruits in our country. Widely used in the preparation of sherbets, phalsa is a powerhouse of vitamins, ample amounts of trace minerals and is easily digestible.
The phalsa plant is native to India and naturally grows and develops widely in South-East Asian tropical countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Thailand. It is a seasonal crop, with summer being the primary fruiting period. The fruits remain fresh only for a short while upon harvest and hence must be consumed promptly.
The short and shrubby phalsa tree has elongated, slender and droopy branches. Its leaves are wide, oval-shaped and deciduous, bearing orange-yellow flowers upon maturation. The ripe phalsa fruits have a dark purple to the black outer skin, with a fleshy lighter coloured interior. Similar to grapes in appearance and taste, these fruits are also drupes and present themselves in branched clusters, with a characteristic sweet and sour, tart-like taste.
The nutrient profile of the phalsa fruit is remarkable, with this exotic Indian berry possessing significantly high water and moisture content. Loaded with good amounts of calories and carbohydrates in the form of simple sugars, to meet the energy needs, this fruit can be easily processed by the body.
Moreover, phalsa also contains abundant amounts of vitamin C, innumerable beneficial trace minerals like sodium and iron, as well as potent antioxidants that assist in eliminating detrimental free radicals from oxidising healthy cells in the system.
This small purple fruit has today, crossed its indigenous Asian environments and is being propagated as far as in the warmer regions of North America and Australia so that people all over the world can obtain the marvellous advantages of phalsa, to boost overall health.
Astounding Health Benefits Of Phalsa:
Regulates Electrolyte Imbalance
Being intrinsically high in sodium content, phalsa plays a crucial role in balancing the key ions namely sodium, potassium and chloride, in the bloodstream. Thus, it effectively controls the transmission of impulses via nerves, for optimal enzyme function and muscle activity and thus regulates the electrolyte imbalance.
Effectively Treats Anemia
Phalsa has immense quantities of iron, the mineral that is central in monitoring synthesis as well as a smooth flow of blood, between organs and tissues in the body. In instances of iron deficiency or anaemia, consuming the ripe fruit helps in boosting iron levels as well as combating dizziness and fatigue.
Relieves Joint Pain
The antioxidant content in phalsa infuses the unripened fruit with anti-inflammatory traits. This is extremely valuable in alleviating severe pain in bones, in situations of arthritis and osteoporosis and also helps to increase the mobility of joints.
Natural Cooling Effect
Phalsa is infused with elevated water content, which makes this luscious summer fruit a perfect choice, for cooling the heated up body, both on a hot day as well as during illnesses. Squeeze the juice of phalsa, add a bit of jaggery and consume this desi sherbet to provide instant relief from the sweltering heat.
Treats Respiratory Issues
Ingesting the juice of phalsa fruits, along with lemon and ginger essence, is a wonderful curative technique for pacifying irritating instances of the lungs such as in asthma, bronchitis and cold and cough.
Additional Wellness Merits Of The Sweet And Succulent Phalsa Or Falsa Fruit:
The bright red to purple-hued Indian sherbet berry, locally known as phalsa or falsa, offers a luscious taste to juices and smoothies, thereby being a popular summer fruit for quenching thirst and infusing energy, amidst the scorching heat. Moreover, phalsa is rich in essential nutrients, antioxidants, not only for instantly cooling the body, maintaining electrolyte balance and soothing joint aches, but also for effectively managing seasonal and chronic conditions such as malaria, diabetes, hypertension.
Controls Blood Sugar Levels
Phalsa fruits are blessed with polyphenol antioxidants as well as an inherently low glycemic index. Consuming a measured portion of salad with phalsa or a small glass of falsa sharbat post meals helps in suppressing sudden spikes in blood glucose concentrations. This tremendous antihyperglycemic effect of phalsa makes it ideal to incorporate into a diet for those with diabetes.
Bestowed with the beneficial minerals potassium and phosphorous, phalsa works wonders in bringing down blood pressure when it is raised much above the normal range. Furthermore, the wealth of tannin, anthocyanin antioxidants in phalsa prevents the accumulation of lipids in the bloodstream and clogging of cholesterol in blood vessels, to avert cardiac ailments of atherosclerosis, arrhythmia, heart attacks and augment heart functions.
Effectively Manages Malaria
Malaria is a seasonal disease transmitted by mosquito bites, that affects many children and adults, particularly in the damp monsoons. Adding a small serving of phalsa fruits to the regular diet confers valuable antipyretic or temperature/body heat-reducing, analgesic i.e. pain-relieving traits and significantly alleviates symptoms of body pain, fever and discomfort often experienced in bouts of malarial infection.
Phalsa Side Effects And Contraindications:
- Pregnant and lactating women must keep in mind to not consume too much of phalsa, as it may lead to extreme fluctuations of body temperature.
- Make sure to buy only the fresh produce from stores, as the ripened phalsa fruits retain their dewiness and flavour only for a few days post-harvest.