It is a large evergreen shrub or tree, which is grown commercially for its Tangy orange fruit and for its leaves for tea and also cultivated as an ornamental plant. It is originated from China and imported to Japan during Tang dynasty at early medieval ages (known as “biwa cha” in Japan). They are delicious round or oval fruits that grows in cluster.
Scientific Name – Eriobotrya japonica
Family – Rosaceae
- It is a large evergreen shrub or a small tree, having a rounded crown, trunk is short & woolly new twigs.
- Height- 5 to10 m (16 to 33 ft) but often they are smaller in size i.e. 3 to 4 m (10 to13 ft).
- Leaves- Simple, Alternate
- Length-10 to 25 cm (4 to10 in) long
- Color- Dark green, tough and leathery in texture, margin is serrated and below with thick yellow-brown pubescence it is densely velvety-hairy.
- Fruit – Ripening time- Early Spring to Early Summer depending on the temperature.
- The soft and orange the fruits are the sweetest in taste.
- Loquat fruits, grows in clusters
- Shape- Oval, rounded or pear-shaped
- Length- 3 to 5 cm (1to 2 in) long, with a smooth or downy, yellow or orange, sometimes red-blushed skin.
- They are succulent, tangy flesh is white, yellow or orange and sweet to sub acid or acid.
- Seeds- 1 to 4. It is having a variable number of the ovules mature into large brown seeds having different numbers of seeds appearing in each fruit on the same tree.
- Flavor- It tastes like a mixture of peach, citrus and mild mango.
- Flowers- They are unusual among fruit trees in that the flowers appear in the autumn or early winter.
- Measurement- 1 inch (2 cm) in diameter with 5 petals and produced in stiff panicles of three to ten flowers.
- Color- White in color.
- Aroma of flower- Sweet, heady aroma that can be smelled from a distance.
MEDICINAL AND NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS
- They are low-calorie fruits that provide numerous vitamins and minerals, making them very nutritious.
- It is enriched with the following nutrients- Protein, Fiber, Pro vitamin A,Vitamin B6, Folate (vitamin B9), Magnesium, Potassium, Manganese
- They are packed with plant compound i.e. particularly high in carotenoid antioxidants which prevents cellular damage and may protect against disease.
- For Healthy immune system – Carotenoids are also precursors to vitamin A, which is essential for healthy vision, immune function, and cellular growth
- This fruit boast folate and vitamin B6, which are very important for energy production and blood cell formation.
- Hridya- They boost up your heart health due to their concentration of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- Hypertension- Their potassium and magnesium are essential for blood pressure regulation and the proper functioning of your arteries
- Anti- Inflammatory- Their carotenoids and phenolic compounds may likewise protect against heart disease by reducing inflammation and preventing cellular damage
- Anti-cancerous- The substances in loquats skin and flesh, including carotenoids and phenolic compounds, are known to possess anticancer properties.
- Gut Health- It may improve your metabolic health by reducing levels of triglycerides, blood sugar, and insulin- a hormone that helps move blood sugar into your cells to be used for energy.
- According to some studies, it helps to lower down the blood sugar level, triglyceride, and insulin levels than mice only on a high-fat diet.
- It is helpful in Chronic inflammation is linked to many health conditions, including heart disease, brain ailments, and diabetes.
- Pregnancy- It helps in the treatment of hiccups, nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy. They can ward up Flu and viruses thus helpful in prevention from common cold.
METHOD OF INTAKE
They can be consumed in different ways:-
- It can be eaten raw
- It can be paired with cheese or nuts as a snack
- Consume it as a Fruit salad.
- As a sweet topping for your oatmeal- Stewed with maple syrup and cinnamon
- For baking into pies and cakes
- Can prepare Jam or jelly from it.
- It can be added to a smoothie alongside spinach, Greek yogurt, avocado, coconut milk, and frozen banana
- In combination with peppers, tomatoes, and fresh herbs for a delectable salsa
- Cooked and served with meat or poultry as a sweet side
- One can make Juice out of it.