Pomelo (Chakotra) – Uses, Qualities, Remedies, Side Effects, Research

By Dr Renita D’Souza
Pomelo (Chakotra) is a sweet large citrus fruit. It is the best cardiac tonic and nutritive fruit. It relieves excess thirst. Fruit juice is used traditionally in diabetes.

Introduction


Chakothra leaves are used traditionally to treat epilepsy chorea (kampavata), whooping cough and hemorrhage disease. Fresh leaf oil posses Anti- dermatophytic activity and Fungicidal activity. Flowers of chakothra acts as mild sedative. Aromatic flowers are made into perfumes.

Botanical Name – Citrus maxima
Synonyms – Citrus costata, Citrus pompelmos, Citrus grandis, Citrus decumana
Family – Rutaceae

Names in different Languages


Sanskrit Name – Madhukarkati
English Name – Shaddook, Pummelo, Pomelo, Chinese grapefruit
Hindi Name – Chakothra, Mahanimbu, Batawinimbu, Chakotara, Paparmas
Tamil Name – Pambalemasu, Metukku, Pampalimacu, Pommacu
Marathi Name – Popanas, Bampara, Cakotra, Papannasa
Gujarati Name – Obakothala, Papanas
Telugu Name – Pamparamnasa
Kannada Name – Sakothre, Sakotta, Cakota hannu
Assamese Name – Robab tenga
Konkani Name – Toranda, Toranji
Malayalam Name – Kampilinaranna
Manipuri Name – Nobab
Oriya – Batapi
French Name – Pamplemmousse
German Name – Pomelo
Japanese Name – Zabon

Medicinal Qualities of Pomelo fruit


Taste – sweet
Virya (potency) – cold (shithala)
Guru – heavy for digestion
Rochani – improves taste
Vrushya – aphrodisiac
Daha shamani – relieves burning sensation
Durjara – difficult to digest

Effect of Chakotra on Tridoshas
Balances all three doshas Vata, Pitta and Kapha dosha.

Traditional Uses of Pomelo


Raktapitta – bleeding disorders
Kshaya – emaciation, tuberculosis
Shwasa – asthma
Kasa – cough
Hikka – Hiccups
Bhrama – giddiness

According to Kaiyadeva Nighantu, the wild variety of this fruit possess less quality.

Morphology of Citrus maxima


Citrus maxima is an evergreen tree growing up to 20-25 feet in height. Leaves are dark green and downy on the under surface. Leaf petioles are winged. Flowers are aromatic and white in colour. Fruits are large, round in shape, yellow in colour when ripe. Pulp is pink or white in colour.

Uses of Chakothra rind


Used in vomiting, abdominal colic pain, Diarrhoea, headache and eye diseases.(A)
It acts as Anti-asthmatic, sedative and brain tonic.

Root and Bark possess Antimicrobial activity.

Nutritional Benefits of Pomelo Fruit
Rich source of vitamin C, B1, B2 and B12, protein and calcium.

Traditional remedies of Chakotra

  • Decoction of leaves, flowers or fruits is used to treat cough, fever and digestive problems.
  • Fruit juice is used to relieve fever.
  • For sedative effects in epilepsy, chorea and whooping cough, decoctions of leaves, flowers and rind are used for oral administration.
  • Rind paste is used externally to treat burn.
  • Seeds are used as the remedy to treat cough, indigestion and low back pain.
  • Fruit juice along with pulp added with honey is used to increase urinary flow.
  • Warm leaf decoction is used as a remedy in swelling and ulcers.

How to eat pomelo?

  • The fruit pulp is either eaten raw, juice can be extracted or can be used in salads.
  • Fruit pulp and juice residue is used as cattle feed.
  • Tree wood is used as fuel (B)

Pharmacological Activities of Pomelo
Extract of Citrus maxima possesses Antimicrobial, antihelmintic antioxidant, anti-diabetic and central nervous system activity, hepato-protective and anticancer activities. (C)

Essential oil
Fruits and leaves yield essential oil. It is used as one of the components of various toiletry products.

Part Used
Leaves, Fruits, Rind

Side Effects of Chakothra

Continuous and excessive contact with the oil of outer Pomelo peel can cause skin irritation or dermatitis.

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.

Pomelo Vs Grapefruit:
Most of the qualities of Pummelo fruit match with grapes.
Grape is easier to digest than Pomelo.

Pomelo Vs Amla fruit


Amla (Indian gooseberry) has five tastes, but Chakkota has sour and sweet tastes only.
Pomelo has mild laxative action (Sara quality), but Amla does not have this.
Amla has more pronounced rejuvenation action than Pomelo.
Amla is easier to digest than Pomelo.

Chemical constituents of Pummelo
Pummelo peels contains skin irritants such as limonene and terpene, also citral, aldehydes, geraniol, cadinene and linalool.
Bark and root contain β-sitosterol, acridone alkaloid
Fruits contains high amount of polyphenolic compound like hesperidin, naringin, caffeic acid, P-Coumaric acid, Ferulic acid and vanillic acid.

Research


Analgesic, Anti-inflammatory, CNS depressants activity – A research study concluded that methanolic extract of Citrus maxima fruits peel has CNS depressant effect with moderate analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities.
Anti cancer Activity – A study conducted to determine antitumor activity of Citrus maxima (Burm.) Merr. leaves in Ehrlich’s ascites carcinoma cell-treated mice has concluded that Citrus maxima possessess significant anti cancer property.
Antidiabetic and hyperlipaemic effects – A research study data suggest a significant anti-diabetic and hyperlipaemic effects of Citrus maxima fruit extracts in alloxan diabetic rats.
Central Nervous System Activity – A study done to evaluate central nervous system activities of Citrus maxima leaf extract on rodents have concluded that Citrus maxima will be an alternative source for psychiatric and neurological disorders.
Hepato-protective – A research study results suggest that the extract of Citrus maxima leaf possessess hepatoprotective, hypolipidemic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities.

Synonyms, classifications, distribution

Sanskrit Synonyms
Madhuraphala, Madhurabijapura
Madhuparni, Mahaphala, Madhuvallika
Vardhamana

Distribution
Citrus maxima is found in South and Southeast Asia.

Scientific Classification
Phylum – Tracheophyta
Division – Magnoliophyta
Class – Magnoliopsida
Order – Sapindales
Family – Rutacea
Sub family – Aurantioideae
Genus – Citrus
Species – maxima

Classical Categorisation
Bhavaprakasha Nighantu – Amraadiphala Varga
Kaiyadeva Nighantu – Aushadi Varga
Raja Nighantu – Aamradi Varga
Dhanvantari Nighantu – Aamradi Varga

Grapefruit (Citrus × paradisi)

Grapefruit, raw, pink and red and white, all areas

It is a hybrid of orange (naranga) and pomelo fruit (chakotra)
Taste – sweet, slightly sour
Properties – heavy for digestion
Potency – not very hot (orange is hot, pomelo is cold)
After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing

Grapefruit, raw, pink and red, all areas

Taste – sweet, slightly sour
Properties – heavy for digestion
Potency – not very hot (orange is hot, pomelo is cold)
After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing

Grapefruit, raw, pink and red, California and Arizona

Taste – sweet, slightly sour
Properties – heavy for digestion
Potency – not very hot (orange is hot, pomelo is cold)
After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing

Grapefruit, raw, pink and red, Florida

Florida produces more juice oranges
Taste – sweet, slightly sour
Properties – heavy for digestion
Potency – not very hot
After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing

Grapefruit, raw, white, all areas

Taste – slightly sweet, slightly sour (white grapefruit is less sweeter than other varieties)
Properties – heavy for digestion
Potency – not very hot
After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing

Grapefruit, raw, white, California

Taste – slightly sweet, slightly sour (white grapefruit is less sweeter than other varieties)
Properties – heavy for digestion
Potency – not very hot
After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing

Grapefruit, raw, white, Florida

Taste – slightly sweet, slightly sour (white grapefruit is less sweeter than other varieties)
Properties – heavy for digestion
Potency – not very hot
After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing (as Florida grapefruits are juicier, it increases Kapha more than California grapefruits)

Grapefruit, sections, canned, water pack, solids and liquids

Taste – sweet, slightly sour
Properties – heavy for digestion
Potency – cold (grapefruit, in general is not very hot, storing in water pack makes it cold)
After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing (more kapha increasing than raw grapefruit as it is more cold)

Grapefruit, sections, canned, juice pack, solids and liquids

Taste – sweet, slightly sour
Properties – heavy for digestion
Potency – not very hot
After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing (slightly more kapha increasing than raw grapefruit as it is juice pack)

Grapefruit, sections, canned, light syrup pack, solids and liquids

Taste – sweet, slightly sour
Properties – heavy for digestion
Potency – not very hot
After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing (syrup is slightly concentrated than juice, hence is more kapha increasing than juice pack)

Grapefruit juice, white, canned or bottled, unsweetened

Taste – sweet, slightly sour
Properties – heavy for digestion
Potency – not very hot
After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing (juice is more kapha increasing than raw fruit)

Taste – sweet, slightly sour
Properties – heavy for digestion
Potency – not very hot
After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)  – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing (juice is more kapha increasing than raw fruit)

Grapefruit juice, white, canned, sweetened

Taste – sweet, slightly sour
Properties – heavy for digestion
Potency – not very hot
After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing (juice is more kapha increasing than raw fruit, since it is sweetened, it is more kapha increasing than unsweetened grapefruit juice)

Grapefruit juice, white, frozen concentrate, unsweetened, undiluted

Taste – sweet, slightly sour
Properties – heavy for digestion
Potency – not very hot
After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing (juice is more kapha increasing than raw fruit, it is still more kapha increasing than juice pack as it is concentrate)

Grapefruit juice, white, frozen concentrate, unsweetened, diluted with 3 volume water

Taste – sweet, slightly sour
Properties – heavy for digestion
Potency – not very hot
After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing (not as much Kapha increasing as juice as it is in a very diluted form)

Grapefruit juice, pink or red, with added calcium

Taste – sweet, slightly sour
Properties – heavy for digestion
Potency – not very hot
After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing

Grapefruit juice, white, raw

Taste – slightly sweet, slightly sour (white grapefruit is less sweeter than other varieties)
Properties – heavy for digestion
Potency – not very hot
After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing
Kapha increasing (slightly more kapha increasing than raw fruit as juice is slightly more concentrated)


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