Apple Benefits, Qualities, Remedies, Research

By Dr Renita D’Souza
Apple can surely ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’ we are familiar with this adage. Today let us know why and how an Apple keeps the doctor at bay. Apples are rich antioxidants, flavanoids, Vitamin C and dietary fibre. It prevent oxidative stress and therefore help prevent chronic disease and slow ageing.

Introduction

It prevents cancers, cardiovascular disease, tooth decay and diabetes. It controls appetite, lowers the body weight and used in constipation. It is a good heart, liver and brain tonic. Also strengthens the alimentary tract.

Botanical Name – Malus domestica
Synonyms – Pyrus malus L, Malus communis Desf
Family – Rosaceae

Names in different Languages


English Name – Apple tree
Hindi Name – Sev, Seb
Bengali Name – Sev
Gujarati Name – Sapharchand
Kannada Name – Sebu
Spanish Name – manzano
French – pommier
Russian – yablonya
Chinese – ping guo shi
Portuguese – maceira

Medicinal Qualities of Apple Fruit


Taste – Sweet (madhura)
Vipaka (taste conversion after digestion) – Sweet (madhura)
Virya (potency) – cold (shitha)
Brhmanam – nourishes
Guru – heavy to digest
Ruchi krth – improves taste
Shukra krth – improves quality and quantity of sperms

Effect on Tridoshas
Apple fruit balances Vata and pitta.
Increases Kapha dosha

Morphology


Malus domestica is a deciduous tree growing up to 2-4 metre height. Flowers are white in colour. Leaves alternate, dark green, oval, margins serrated and downy undersides. Fruits skin is red, yellow, pink , green or brownish in colour when ripe. Flesh of fruit is pale yellowish. The outter skin of the fruit is covered in a protective layer of epicuticular wax.

Benefits of Apple Fruit

  • Lowers LDL (bad cholesterol)
  • Prevent Tooth decay – A research study shows that chewing an apple have similar effect to that of after tooth brushing by immediate reduction in salivary bacterial viability. (read here)
  • Avoid Alzhemirs disease – A study demonstrates that applie juice provides neuroprotection against multiple factors that accompany ageing and contribute Alzhemirs disease.(read here)
  • Regulate Blood Sugar – The antioxidants present in apples reduce the risk of diabetes. The polyphenols in apple skin stimulate pancreas to stimulate insulin and helps the cells to take in sugars.(read here)
  • Lowers Body weight – Apples are rich in fibre, many studies demonstrate that high fibre intake lowers the body weight. American Institute for Cancer Research writes that dietary fibre can act in several ways to lower cancer risk, including helping with weight control.(read)
  • Controls Appetite – Eating whole apple causes satiety and delay digestion due to fibre content. This feeling of full may reduce appetite.
  • Lower the risk of Cancer – A study proved that consumption of apples is associated with a reduced risk of cancer in different anatomical sites.(read)
  • Softens Gallbladder Stones – A folk remedy ‘gallbladder flush’ uses the apple juice as one its remedy to promote the passage of gall stones. But there is minimal scientific evidence that supports the efficacy of this treatment, the study suggest the gallbladder flush may be beneficial for some people. (read here)
    For this reason, apple juice along with olive oil is used as a gall bladder stone remedy.

Apple juice remedy for gall bladder stones


Though not clinically proven, the below remedy is famous.

1. Apple juice – Two glasses per day, without adding sugar, is consumed on empty stomach. After 2 hours, breakfast is taken. It is believed to soften the surface of the stone and reduce its size, hence helps in ejection of stones from the gall bladder. This is taken for 4 days.
2. 20 ml of olive oil + 40 ml of lemon juice  (no sugar) to be taken
on 4th day evening of the treatment – at about 6 pm. This is used to
expel the stone out of the bladder.

3. Repeat the same 5 rounds (4 days of apple juice + on the fourth day
evening olive oil and lemon juice). It will take 20 days to complete.
If you miss a couple of days, say due to inconvenience, it will take
22- 23 days.

Traditional Remedies of Apple tree

  • Bark decoction is used in recurrent fever
  • Roots are anthelmintic, relives burning sensation, induces sleep.

Part Used for Medicinal Purpose
Fruit, Bark, Roots

Bioactive constituents
Apple fruit contains terpenoids, flavonoids, phenolic compounds and tannins.

Pharmacological Activity
Apple possess strong antioxidant activity and anticancer activity. 

Interaction with medicines, supplements

Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.

Can this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets, Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most of the dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.

With western medicines
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.

Research


1. A research study done to evaluate effect of apple (Malus domestica) supplementation on serum lipids and lipoproteins level in cholestrol-fed male rat has showed that supplementation with apple along with a high cholesterol diet in rats, reduced the amount of TC, LDL and TG and increased HDL concentration. (A)
2. Analgesic Activity – A study conducted to demonstrate analgesic effect of extracted compound from apple peels and pulp have showed its significant analgesic activity.

3. Anibacterial Activity – A study done on effects of Malus domestica fruit extracts against clinically isolated dental pathogens have concluded sigificant antibacterial activity against dental pathogens.

4. Antidepressant Activity – A study suggests that fresh fruit juice of apple (Malus domestica) has significant antidepressant activity in chronic administration of 2 ml/kg. Because of its nutritional and functional properties it is recommended to consume in depressions.

Distribution and classification


Apples are grown in Asia, Europe and North America.

Sanskrit Synonyms of Apple
Mushtipramana – the size of an apple is almost equal to the size of one’s fist Badara,
Musti pramanabadara,
Sevam, Sivitikaphalam

Scientific Classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Spermatophyta
Subphylum: Angiospermae
Class: Dicotyledonae
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Malus
Species: Malus domestica
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Market available apple variants

Apples, raw, red,with skin (Includes foods for USDA’s Food Distribution Program)

Taste – Sweet
Qualities – heavy
Potency – cold
 After digestion taste transformation  – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing

Apples, raw, without skin

Taste – Sweet
Qualities – heavy (skin is heavy in nature; so is slightly lighter than apple with skin)
Potency – cold
 After digestion taste transformation  – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing

Apples, raw, without skin, cooked, boiled

Taste – Sweet
Qualities – heavy
Potency – cold
 After digestion taste transformation  – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha nourishing (without skin means less heavy in nature, boiled means easier for digestion or less heavier. Hence does not increase Kapha but nourishes it)

Apples, raw, without skin, cooked, microwave

Taste – Sweet
Qualities – heavy
Potency – cold
 After digestion taste transformation  – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha nourishing (without skin means less heavy in nature, boiled means easier for digestion or less heavier. Hence does not increase Kapha but nourishes it)

Apples, canned, sweetened, sliced, drained, heated

Taste – Sweet
Qualities – heavy (slightly more heavier than apple because of sweetnener)
Potency – cold
 After digestion taste transformation  – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing

Apples, dehydrated (low moisture), sulfured, uncooked

Sulfured fruit has been dried using sulfur dioxide as a preservative. … It’s often used for brightly-colored fruit to keep them more attractive.Sulfured apple’s calorie per 100 grams is 346, when compared to 48 calories of raw apple.
Because it is rich in nutrition, compared to normal apple, it increases Kapha to a higher extent.
Taste – Sweet
Qualities – heavy
Potency – cold
 After digestion taste transformation  – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing

Apples, dehydrated (low moisture), sulfured, stewed

Taste – Sweet
Qualities – not very heavy
Potency – cold
 After digestion taste transformation  – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha nourishing (it does not increase Kapha as much as Apples, dehydrated (low moisture), sulfured, uncooked, as it is heat processed (stewed), which makes it slightly lighter)

Apples, dried, sulfured, uncooked

Taste – Sweet
Qualities – heavy
Potency – cold
 After digestion taste transformation  – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing (it des not increase kapha as much as apples, dehydrated, suflured, uncooked, as it is completely dried and dryness is Kaphahara)

Apples, dried, sulfured, stewed, without added sugar

Taste – Sweet
Qualities – not very heavy
Potency – cold
 After digestion taste transformation  – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha nourishing (when heat processed, it becomes more lighter and hence is nourishes Kapha)

Apples, dried, sulfured, stewed, with added sugar

Taste – Sweet
Qualities – heavy (stewing makes it light, but sugar makes it heavy)
Potency – cold
 After digestion taste transformation  – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing (when heat processed, it becomes more lighter, but addition of sugar makes it heavy)

Apples, frozen, unsweetened, unheated (Includes foods for USDA’s Food Distribution Program)

Taste – Sweet
Qualities – heavy
Potency – cold
 After digestion taste transformation  – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing

Apples, frozen, unsweetened, heated (Includes foods for USDA’s Food Distribution Program)
Taste – Sweet
Qualities – heavy
Potency – cold
 After digestion taste transformation  – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing

Apples, raw, golden delicious, with skin

Taste – very sweet
Properties – heavy
Potency – cold
After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)  – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing (more Kapha increasing when compared to red delicious apple because of its sweetness which almost resembles that of sugarcane)

Apples, raw, granny smith, with skin (Includes foods for USDA’s Food Distribution Program)

Taste – sour, slightly sweet
Properties – heavy
Potency – cold
After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)  – sour
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta nourishing
Kapha increasing

Apples, raw, gala, with skin (Includes foods for USDA’s Food Distribution Program)

Taste – Sweet
Properties – heavy
Potency – cold
After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)  – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing

Apples, raw, fuji, with skin (Includes foods for USDA’s Food Distribution Program)

Taste – sweet, sour
Properties – heavy
Potency – cold
After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)  – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing

Apple juice, canned or bottled, unsweetened, without added ascorbic acid
Taste – Sweet
Qualities – heavy
Potency – cold
 After digestion taste transformation  – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing

Apple juice, frozen concentrate, unsweetened, undiluted, without added ascorbic acid
Taste – Sweet
Qualities – heavy (more heavy when compared to apple juice as it is more concentrated)
Potency – cold
 After digestion taste transformation  – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing (increases kapha more than apple juice, canned or bottled, as concentrate is comparatively more heavier)

Apple juice, frozen concentrate, unsweetened, diluted with 3 volume water without added ascorbic acid
Taste – Sweet
Qualities – heavy (less heavier compared to apple juice concentrate)
Potency – cold
 After digestion taste transformation  – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing (but does not increases Kapha as much as apple juice concentrate)

Applesauce, canned, unsweetened, without added ascorbic acid (Includes foods for USDA’s Food Distribution Program)
Taste – Sweet
Qualities – heavy
Potency – cold
 After digestion taste transformation  – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing (since apples are cooked to prepare apple sauce, it is less Kapha incresing when compared to raw apples)

Applesauce, canned, sweetened, without salt

Taste – Sweet
Qualities – heavy (slightly more heavy than unsweetened applesauce due to addition of sweetners)
Potency – cold
 After digestion taste transformation  – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing (since apples are cooked to prepare apple sauce, it is less Kapha increasing when compared to raw apples, but further addition of sweeteners make it Kaphakara.

Apple juice, frozen concentrate, unsweetened, undiluted, with added ascorbic acid

Taste – Sweet
Properties – heavy (more heavy when compared to apple juice as it is more concentrated)
Potency – cold
After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)  – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing (increases kapha more than apple juice, canned or bottled, as concentrate is comparatively more heavier)

Apple juice, frozen concentrate, unsweetened, diluted with 3 volume water, with added ascorbic acid

Taste – Sweet
Properties – heavy (less heavier compared to apple juice concentrate)
Potency – cold
After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)  – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing (but does not increases Kapha as much as apple juice concentrate)

Apple juice, canned or bottled, unsweetened, with added ascorbic acid, calcium, and potassium

Taste – Sweet
Properties – heavy (more heavy when compared to apple juice as it is more concentrated)
Potency – cold
After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)  – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing (more Kapha balancing as calcium strengthens bones = Vata balancing)
Pitta balancing (more Pitta balancing as calcium is Pittahara)
Kapha increasing (vitamins increase nutrition, so is Kapha increasing)

1 thought on “Apple Benefits, Qualities, Remedies, Research”

  1. WELL DONE DR. RENITA. VERY THOROUGH AND COMPREHENSIVE STUDY. AND MOST POSITIVE – MANAGED TO CONVERT ME INTO AN APPLE ADDICT.

    Reply

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