There is a whole agronomic science dealing with the study of apple varieties, it is called pomology. The beginning of this science was the work of the Russian scientist and writer A.T. Bolotov, who at the end of the 18th century. wrote the first work in the history of fruit gardening “Images and descriptions of various kinds of apples and pears, born in Dvoreninovskiye, and partly in other orchards. Drawn and described by Andrey Bolotov in Dvoreninov from 1796 to 1801 ”.
The word "pomology" resurrects the beautiful myth of the Roman tree goddess Pomona, who devoted herself to her favorite plants: in the spring she planted apple trees, looked after them in the summer, collected the fruits in the fall, and in the winter she cut the crowns, giving them the desired shape. These worries absorbed her so much that the goddess had no time to even think about love, while many gods looked with envy at the beautiful young girl, trying to win her heart, but no one succeeded.
The god of the changing of the seasons and their various gifts, Vertumnus, also fell in love with her. In ancient Rome, he was painted in the form of a gardener with a garden knife and fruits in his hands. Therefore, not only beauty, but also common interests attracted Vertumnus to the goddess. However, knowing about her inaccessibility, Vertumnus did not dare to appear before her in his own guises and preferred to declare his love under different guises, turning into a sailor, then into a farmer, and once even turned into an old woman and in a rattling voice began to convince her to marry Vertumnus ... However, Pomona refused this time, referring to the fact that she had never seen God and, therefore, could not appreciate him in absentia. And then Vertumnus dared to appear before Pomona in all the splendor of his beauty and charm. His hair shone like a golden rain, his cheeks glowed with ripe peaches, his eyes glowed with deep blue love. In one hand he held a garden knife, and in the other a full basket of fragrant fruits.
Captivated by the beautiful god, Pomona agreed to become his wife. Since then, they have been working inseparably in apple orchards, carefully cultivating beautiful and tasty fruits that are so necessary for people.
And when the fruits began to ripen, gardeners made sacrifices to these gods. On August 13, a holiday was even celebrated in honor of Vertumnus and his beautiful and hardworking wife.
Home apple or cultural(Malus domestica) - a tree of the Rosaceae family with a spreading crown, ovoid leaves and fragrant white or pinkish flowers. The fruits are usually round, of various sizes, color, taste and smell (depending on the variety).
The apple tree has served man since time immemorial. Its history is so rich that whole volumes can be devoted to it, but our task is to look at this plant from the medical side.
In folk medicine of European and Asian countries, apples have been used for a very long time and for many diseases. In the old days, it was believed that apples, used for dinner, provide a light, restful sleep, and waking up in the morning, a person gains vigor and strength, even if he did hard physical or mental work the day before.
The fruits, baked in the ash of a fire, were given by folk healers to patients with pleurisy, and grated with fat were applied in the form of an ointment to the cracks on the lips or hands for faster healing.
From the French name for apples Pomme the name of lipstick happened. In the Middle Ages, apples were used to make various masks, creams and rubbing. A fondant made from apples and olive oil was prepared against the wounds, or a crushed baked apple was applied as a plaster.
To a large extent, the taste of apples depends on the amount and ratio of sugars they contain (fructose prevails), organic acids (malic and citric), and tannins. Essential oils give them aroma.In addition to the listed substances, they also contain fiber, a lot of pectin, mineral salts (iron, manganese, potassium, sodium, calcium), phytoncides and other substances.
The fruits contain vitamins P and C. Even the poorest in vitamin P apples contain 30-50 mg of it per 100 g of fruit. The daily rate of these compounds is 50-100 mg. Therefore, eating just one or two apples a day is enough. By the way, which varieties of apples contain the most of these compounds, you can find out yourself. Usually, if the apple pulp remains white after biting off, then there is little vitamin P in it. It's another matter if it turns brown and has a tart taste, like, for example, strong tea. Apples with a high content of P-vitamin compounds are very useful for people with increased fragility of blood vessels.
Although apples are usually low in vitamins, some varieties can serve as an additional source of vitamin C. In this respect, Antonovka, White filling and some other varieties growing mainly in the middle lane are most appreciated. It should be remembered that with long-term storage of fresh apples, the amount of vitamin C in them is steadily decreasing. So, for example, in Antonovka after 100 days of storage, only 28% of the original amount of ascorbic acid remains. But in canned apples and apple compote, vitamin C remains for a very long time. Even two years after canning, about 70% of the original amount of this vitamin is retained in apple compote. Including in the daily diet of children and adults from 1 to 3 apples, due to the content of vitamin C in them, it is possible to reduce the number of colds by about half.
Apples contain significantly more pectin substances than strawberries, pears, raspberries, gooseberries and some other fruits and berries. Pectins adsorb toxic substances, which in this way are rendered harmless and removed from the body. That is why raw grated apples are one of the best remedies for indigestion. In order for pectins to have a healing effect, you must eat at least five apples a day. They are used to treat acute and chronic colitis and other intestinal diseases, especially in children. In the folk medicine of the Caucasus, apple juice and cider are used for gastrointestinal diseases. The healing effect is due to the anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial action of apples. It was found that Antonovka apple juice kills some pathogenic microbes, including the causative agent of dysentery.
Considering the presence of pectin and antimicrobial substances, one should not forget about other features of the chemical composition of apples. So, despite the fact that the phytoncidal properties of Antonovka and some other sour varieties are more pronounced, it is still better to use sweet varieties for the treatment of intestinal diseases, since a large amount of organic acids can cause an undesirable increase in peristalsis and irritation of the mucous membranes.
Fortunately, the calorie content of apples is low, and the list of nutrients is very extensive. Therefore, they can be used by people of any body size in unlimited quantities. Low calorie content is a very valuable quality for their diet. with obesity... In this case, doctors often recommend doing apple fasting days (1.5-2 kg of apples per day) once a week.
Apples are eaten raw and processed. They are used to prepare compotes, mashed potatoes, jam, jam, marshmallow, marmalade, vinegar, kvass, cider, and wine. In large quantities, apple juice is produced - a drink of a pleasant sweet and sour taste, containing almost all substances useful for humans, extracted from apples. Pickled and pickled apples are very tasty.
Apples are good for cardiovascular diseases... The combined action of vitamins C and P has a beneficial effect on patients with atherosclerosis, hypertension and some other diseases.
They are quite possible to treat non-severe forms of hypertension without any additional medication. The combination of apples and rice in the diet only helps to reduce and normalize blood pressure, but also eliminates edema of cardiac origin, an apple diet leads to a decrease in blood pressure and a decrease in headaches, dizziness, and noise in the head. In dietary nutrition and traditional medicine, the fruits of wild apple trees are also used.
British and Italian doctors recommend systematically include apples in the diet to lower blood cholesterol and prevent heart attacks and strokes. But, of course, we are talking about the constant "eating" of apples. One apple a month is not enough. And given the listed properties of this fruit, it is highly respected by gerontologists - doctors dealing with diseases of old age. It is not for nothing that rejuvenating apples are found in all Russian fairy tales.
Apple juice today is considered a good dietary remedy for atherosclerosis, gout, chronic rheumatism, urolithiasis, stomach and intestinal disorders, anemia, vitamin deficiencies, liver and kidney diseases.
The systematic inclusion of apples and products prepared from them in the diet promotes the elimination of uric acid from the body, which is very useful for gout. Raw, baked or boiled apples are used as a diuretic for edema.
As a diuretic means take dry apple peel, grind it into powder on a coffee grinder. 1 tablespoon of powder is poured with a glass of boiling water and boiled in a sealed container for 15 minutes. Drink 3-4 glasses a day.
Apples are also advised for people of mental labor and other professions leading a sedentary lifestyle. This phenomenon is called hypodynamia, and its consequence is all kinds of disturbances in the work of the gastrointestinal tract, in particular constipation. In addition to changing the regime, you should eat an apple in the morning on an empty stomach and in the evening before bedtime, recalling the English proverb "an apple a day, keeps the doctor away" - "an apple a day and a doctor is not needed."
With diabetes many fruits are contraindicated, but not apples. Japanese doctors recommend using them in combination with lemon. For mild diabetes, apple roots can sometimes be helpful in combination with other remedies. Their bark contains the glycoside phloricin, which somewhat lowers the sugar level in the urine of diabetic patients.
An alcoholic infusion of young shoots has antioxidant properties.
Apples are useful for anemia... From the juice of sour apples (by adding 2 parts of iron per 100 parts of juice), an extract of malic acid iron is obtained, which is used to treat anemia. Although this opinion is controversial, and some sources indicate that the old recipe for anemia, which consists in sticking nails into an apple (wait until the nails rust, remove them, and eat the apple) and other similar techniques are useless, because this form of iron is not absorbed by the body.
Apple broth or tea can help relieve cold coughs and hoarseness. With laryngitis in children, you can take a tablespoon of flax seeds, peel from one apple and 1-2 teaspoons of honey, pour 0.3 liters of water, boil for 10 minutes; drink warm 3 times a day 5-10 minutes before meals.
As a cough remedy means you can prepare a syrup. Grated apples are covered with sugar and let them juice. Then it is squeezed out and evaporated, not allowing it to boil until the consistency of a syrup. Take for cough, sore throat, hoarseness of the voice, 1 tablespoon before meals 3-4 times a day. However, when taking this remedy, it should be remembered that it has some laxative effect.
In folk medicine, for colds and hoarseness, it is also advised to use an infusion of dried apple leaves (1:10). Sugar is added to the infusion for taste. They drink it warm for half a glass every 2 hours.
The potassium and tannin salts contained in apples have a retarding effect on the formation of uric acid in the body. Therefore, long-term use of apple broth and tea is very useful for patients with gout and urolithiasis.
Apple peel tea drink as a sedative. In this case, take a large apple, cut it into slices, pour in ½ liter of boiling water, put it on the fire and simmer for an hour, not letting it boil. When the infusion has evaporated by almost half, drink it before bedtime. You can slightly sweeten the infusion for taste.
Tea made from apple leaves and petals helps with colds, relieves coughs.
Apples are also used externally. So, in folk medicine, pieces of raw apples or freshly grated gruel are applied to the skin for burns, frostbite and ulcers that do not heal for a long time.
For the healing of scratches, abrasions and cracks on the lips and nipples of the breast, sometimes an ointment from mashed apples in butter is used.
In dermatological practice and cosmetology apple applications and masks are used for inflammatory skin diseases.
The apple tree is a very good honey plant. Bees collect up to 30 kg of honey from 1 hectare of apple orchard. Some varieties of apple trees, especially small-fruited ones, are bred as decorative ones. The dense reddish-white wood of the apple tree is used for various joinery and turning products. The bark can be used to make red paint.