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Medicinal Properties of Cashewnut


Botanical name:- Prunus Dulcis
Indian name:- Munthri Parupu/Kaju

Other names: mamuang himmaphan (มะม่วงหิมพานต์) - Thai, Kaju (Gujarati), Cajuo (Portuguese), hạt điều (Vietnamese), Buah Gajus (Malay), Kadju (Sinhalese)

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Cashew is a multipurpose tree of the Amazon that grows up to 15 m high. It has a thick and tortuous trunk with branches so winding that they frequently reach the ground. Cashew trees are often found growing wild on the drier sandy soils in the central plains of Brazil and are cultivated in many parts of the Amazon rainforest.

The cashew tree produces many resources and products. The bark and leaves of the tree are used medicinally, and the cashew nut has international appeal and market value as a food. Even the shell oil around the nut is used medicinally and has industrial applications in the plastics and resin industries for its phenol content. Then, there is the pseudo-fruit-a swollen peduncle that grows behind the real fruit that yields the cashew nut. The pseudo-fruit, a large pulpy and juicy part, has a fine sweet flavor and is commonly referred to as the "cashew fruit" or the "cashew apple." Fresh or frozen cashew fruit concentrate is as common a juice product in South American food stores as orange juice is in the United States. It is very perishable, however; therefore, no fresh cashew fruit is exported into the United States or Europe from South America.

The cashew nut is defined botanically as the fruit. It grows externally in its own kidney-shaped hard shell at the end of this pseudo-fruit, or peduncle. The nut kernel inside is covered with an inner shell, and between the two shells is a thick, caustic, and toxic oil called cardol. Cashew nuts must be cleaned to remove the cardol and then roasted or boiled to remove the toxins before they can be eaten.

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Main Actions (in order):
antiseptic, antidysenteric, antibacterial, antiulcerous, astringent

Main Uses:
For diarrhea, dysentery, and colic as an internal and external antiseptic against bacterial infections.
For stomach ulcers (all kinds)
For ear and eye infections to stop bleeding and heal wounds.

Properties/Actions Documented by Research:
Antidiabetic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiulcerous, astringent

Other Properties/Actions Documented by Traditional Use:
Antidiabetic, antidysenteric, cough suppressant, decongestant, digestive stimulant, diuretic, febrifuge (reduces fever), hypotensive (lowers blood pressure), purgative (strong laxative), refrigerant (reduces body temperature), tonic (tones, balances, strengthens), wound healer

Recipes using Cashewnuts - Cashewnut Burfi

  • Ingredients:
    • Cashewnuts - 300 gms. (finely ground)
    • Milk - 500 ml.
    • Sugar - 1 cups
    • Khoya/Ricotta Cheese - 250 gms.
    • Coconut - 1 (grated)
    • Almonds (Badam) and pistachios - 10 gms. each (chopped)
    • Ghee or oil - 1 cup
    • Cardamoms - 2 (ground)
    • Few strands of saffron
    • Pinch of nutmeg
    • Silver varak (silver paper)

    Method :

    1. Pass the cashewnut powder through a fine sieve, then fry in oil for a couple of mins. and keep aside.
    2. Add khoya to cold milk.
    3. Separately, add the nutmeg with a little milk and keep aside.
    4. Fry the coconut in oil till it turns a light brown.
    5. In a heavy bottomed vessel, boil the milk and add the sugar.
    6. Stir till it dissolves, then add cardamom, saffron and nutmeg.
    7. Add the khoya, cashewnut pwd, grated coconut to the milk mixture and stir thoroughly.
    8. Continue cooking on a low flame, stirring constantly.
    9. When the mixture leaves the side of the vessel, remove and spoon contents into a greased thali.
    10. Smoothen with the back of a flat spoon.
    11. Garnish with varak, almonds and pistachios.
    12. Cut into diamond shaped pieces and serve.

    Latest News on Cashewnuts

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