Kavun zvichayny – common watermelon

An annual monoecious herbaceous rough-haired plant of the gourd family. The stem is hairy-rough, climbing (with the help of two- or three-part tendrils), very branched, pentagonal, 2-5 m long. The leaves are alternate, petiolate, up to 20 cm long, deeply divided into 3-5 narrow rounded lobes, which in turn are cut into rounded lobes. Flowers unisexual, solitary; corolla – 5-part, sulfur yellow. The fruit is a large, spherical or elongated, green or whitish berry with juicy red or yellowish flesh. Blooms in June – July. The fruits ripen in August – September.

Spread. The common watermelon comes from the semi-deserts and deserts of South Africa. In Ukraine, mainly in the southern regions, it is widely grown as a food plant.

Raw. The pulp and skin of ripe fruits, as well as seeds, are used for medicinal purposes.

The plant is unofficial .

Chemical composition . Watermelon pulp contains up to 8.7% sugars (mainly fructose), 0.1% organic acids (malic, citric and others), pectin substances (0.5%), fiber (0.5%), folic acid ( 8 μg/100) and a small amount of other vitamins (C, B 1 , B 2 , B 6 , nicotinic acid and B-carotene).

Pharmacological properties and use. Watermelon juice and pulp have diuretic and choleretic properties, and are good for quenching thirst in case of fever. The gentle fiber of watermelons stimulates the peristalsis of the intestines, accelerates the removal of cholesterol from the body, and has a mild laxative effect. For stones in the gall bladder, cystitis, nephritis, pyelonephritis and kidney stone disease (urate, calcium oxalate and cystine urolithiasis with precipitation of salts in an acidic environment), it is recommended to consume 2-2.5 kg of fresh watermelons every day. Long-term use of soft watermelon cures chronic gastritis, improves the condition of patients with atherosclerosis and diabetes. With chronic insufficiency of blood circulation, hypertension, nephritis, pyelocystitis, gout, diseases of the liver and gall bladder, watermelon unloading days are prescribed, which, depending on the condition of the patient, held twice a week or once every ten days. On unloading days, the patient receives only 1.5 kg of watermelon, eats it in 5 doses. Unloading days should be carried out under the supervision of a doctor. As a diuretic, fresh or pickled watermelon is useful for obesity. Watermelon seeds expel worms, and ground seeds with milk are used for uterine bleeding. Watermelon peel is also used as a diuretic.

Medicinal forms and applications .

Internally – infusion of dry peels (80-100 g of raw material per 500 ml of boiling water, infuse until cool) half a glass 4-5 times a day for acute and chronic inflammation of the large intestine;

decoction of skins (20 g of dry or fresh skins per 200 ml of boiling water) half a glass 3-4 times a day as a diuretic.

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