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Monday, November 15, 2010

WHAT IS LOQUATS? LOKAT , ERIOBOTRYA JAPONICA: LOQUATS HEALTH BENEFITS, USES AND HISTORY: HOW TO MAKE LOQUAT TISANE

LOQUATS, LOKAT, ERIOBOTRYA JAPONICA
Loquats are originally native to southeastern China, but were introduced to Japan and the Indian subcontinent so long ago that they have become naturalized there. They grow in the Punjab province of Pakistan and in Khyber-Pakhtoonkwa (formerly the North West Frontier province). They grow in Greece and Turkey where they are called Yeni Gun or New Day. In Pakistan they are called lokat. The name comes from the Cantonese, luh kwat which literally means “rush orange”. Chinese immigrants are believed to have taken them to Hawaii.
   They were first described to the western world in 1690 by Kaempfer a botanist, and Thunberg elaborated on his description after a visit to Japan in 1712. The trees were planted in the National Gardens in Paris in 1784 and plants were transported from Canton to London to be planted in the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew in 1787. By the 1870s they were common in California where they were planted as ornamental small-fruited trees.
 By 1818 they were being grown in greenhouses in England and can be grown outside in sunnier places such as Cornwall.
Loquat tree
   The fruit are rich in potassium, iron and calcium and the seeds contain amygdalin which is also in the skin, linoleic, palmitic, and oleic acids. The leaves contain traces of arsenic, tannins, triterpenes, vitamin B and ascorbic acid, and the young leaves contain saponins. (You should use these in tisanes so that they will help lift your mood.)
   The fruit acts as a sedative and can stop vomiting and prevent thirst, while infusions of the dried, powdered leaves, relieve diarrhoea, depression, and counteract intoxication from alcohol. You can make hot leaf poultices for swellings such as tennis elbow and sprains. The tisane can be used for skin diseases, or a paste can be made from the leaves and applied to the skin to get rid of rashes, pimples and irritation. However the main uses of the tisane are to relieve coughs, warm the body and help ease sore throats.
  You can make strawberry and loquat sauce, by just hulling the strawberries and peeling and stoning the loquats then liquidizing them adding a liqueur of your choice to taste if the sauce is too thick for your purposes. You can make a crumble with them too, simmering the peeled stoned fruit with a little water and sugar for 10 mins then transferring it to an oven-proof dish and topping with 4-6 oz flour mixed with 2-3 oz butter and rubbed together until they become breadcrumb like; then add a little sugar. Mix and pour over the fruit. Cook in a moderate oven until golden brown on top (about 20-30 mins) and serve with ice cream or whipped cream.
 
LOQUAT LEAF TISANE
Ingredients
15 gr dried loquat leaves or 60 gr. fresh young leaves,
gur or jaggery to taste
3 cups water

Method
Wrap the leaves in muslin or a piece of thin cotton, put in a pan with the water and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 30 mins.
Add the gur or jaggery and simmer until this has melted.
Drink a cup a day to get rid of a cough, cold or ease a sore throat. It’s also good for the stomach and lungs (apparently), if taken regularly.
This has Taste and is a Treat(ment).

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