What kind of name is this – MONK FRUIT????
When I heard this name… I was surprised too…
One of my brilliant student, Ishu Gupta asked me about this fruit. Seriously, I had no idea what this fruit was all about??? Why it’s called as monk fruit?? Where it produce?? What medicinal properties this fruit has??? Etc.. Etc… so many questions???
So, finally I did a lot of research on this monk fruit with the help of Google and pub med, and trust me, I was astonished by its properties...
Here I am…
MONK FRUIT (Siraitia grosvenorii)
Monk Fruit is also known as Luo Han Guo (luohanguo) refers to the fruit of Siraitia grosvenori, formerly called Momordica grosvenori, a member of the Curcubitaceae. Monk fruit has traditionally been grown on steep forested mountains in small family orchards. According to legend, monk fruit is named after the Buddhist monks who first cultivated it nearly 800 years ago. Ever since then it has been treasured for its health-giving powers and its unique low-calorie sweetness. Monk fruit (Luohanguo) is primarily grown in southern China, mainly in Guangxi Province, with most of the product from the mountains of Guilin. The steep mountains provide shade and they are frequently surrounded by mists that further protect against excessive sun, yet the temperature in this southern province is warm. The wild plant is rare, thus luohanguo has been cultivated in the region for many years. With the time, the plant also travelled to a few more countries in the South –East Asia but most parts of the world are still unaware of it. In fact the world came to know about this fruit barely a hundred years ago.
The outer surface of the dried Monk fruit is round and smooth, dusty yellow-brown or dusty green-brown. It is covered with fine, soft hair. The fruit is covered by a hard but thin shell. Inside is a partly dry, flexible substance containing the juice, as well as a large number of seeds. The skin, juicy part, and seeds all have a good sweet flavor. Its nature is cool, and it has no poison.
Monk fruit have some really good properties. Some of them are:-
Natural sweetener -The monk fruit act as a natural sweetener. Monk fruit extract is a high intensity, zero-calorie sweetener, and can be used in blends with sucrose, fructose and erythitol. The sweetness of this fruit is due to the presence of achemical mogrosidein its pulp. The pulp of this fruit contains around 1% mogroside making it the sweetest fruit on earth. Both the fresh and dried fruits are extracted to yield a powder that is 80% or more mogrosides. The mixed mogrosides are estimated to be about 300 times as sweet as sugar by weight, so that the 80% extracts are nearly 250 times sweeter than sugar; pure mogrosides 4 and 5 may be 400 times as sweet as sugar by weight.
Good for diabetic patients - Diabetes is a common endocrine-metabolic disease with rising incidence in recent years. It is the third most life threatening disease whose mortality is right after cancer and cardiovascular disease. Research and development of drugs against diabetes and its complications have been getting more and more attentions.
Guo-Ping Lin etal (2007) conducted a study on Effect of Siraitia grosvenorii Polysaccharide on Glucose and Lipid of Diabetic Rabbits Induced by Feeding High Fat/High Sucrose Chow. The Siraitia grosvenorii polysaccharide (SGP) from the Siraitia grosvenorii (Swingle) was isolated and purified. The therapeutic effects of SGP on diabetic rabbits induced by feeding high fat/high sucrose chow were studied. The study concluded that SGP not only ameliorates the lipid disorder, but also lowers plasma glucose levels. So SGP have obvious glucose-lowering effect on hyperglycaemic rabbits induced by feeding high fat/high sucrose chow, its mechanism may be related to amelioration of lipid metabolism and restoring the blood lipid levels of hyperglycaemic rabbits.
TheMonk fruit helps relieve sunstroke, moistens the lungs, eliminates phlegm, stops cough, and promotes bowel movements.
These are some of the benefits of this fruit…
But I feel we need to do some more researches on medical properties of monk fruits. As in my knowledge, there is only 1 research study available in database that stated monk fruit have good effects on diabetes. If we conduct researches, keeping in mind, its sweetening properties, then I think we don’t need artificial sweeteners for diabetic patients, monk fruit will work perfectly – that my hypothesis… what u think?????
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Content courtesy: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?cmd=HistorySearch&querykey=4
T. Tsurtematsu and A. Shigenobu, “Study on the constituents from fructs of momordicae grosvenori,” Pharmaceutical Journal, vol. 103, pp. 1151–1173, 1983.
R. Kasai, R.-L. Nie, K. Nashi, et al., “Sweet cucurbitaneglucosides from fruits of Siraitia siamensis,” Agricultural and Biological Chemistry, vol. 53, no. 12, pp. 3347–3349, 1989.
L.-Q. Zhang, X.-Y. Qi, W.-J. Chen, and Y.-F. Song, “Effect of Mogroside extracts on blood glucose, blood lipid and antioxidation of hyperglycemic mice induced by Alloxan,” Chinese Pharmacological Bulletin, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 237–240, 2006.