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Health Benefits of Peaches

February 25, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 172

The peach tree, Prunus persica, is a deciduous tree native to China where it was first cultivated. The plant is related to plums, cherries and apricots and is a member of the rose family. It is a small deciduous tree that grows to a height of 16-33 ft, with spreading branches and sharp-pointed, veined green leaves. The fruit of the tree (also referred to as peach) is a succulent fruit covered with velvety skin that is slightly grooved on one side. It contains delicately perfumed yellow or whitish flesh and a large seed.


Its botanical name, Prunus persica, suggests that peaches have originated from Persia. Though evidence suggests that it actually originated in China where it was cultivated hundreds of years before it reached Persian soil. Peaches were actually mentioned in Chinese writings as far back as the 10th century BC and were considered as a choice fruit among kings and emperors. Recently, original manuscripts which contain information about peach cultivation dating back to 1100 BC were found in China.

The English name of peach is derived from the Latin word malum persicum which means "Persian apple". Later on, the French called it pêche, before it was called peach by the English.

The peach was brought to India and Western Asia in ancient times via the silk-road. After Alexander the Great conquered Persia, he then brought back the fruit to Europe. Peaches were then brought to the Americas by Spanish explorers in the 16th century. During the 17th century, peaches made it to England and France where it became a rare treat.

In the early 17th century, horticulturist George Minifie supposedly brought the first peaches from England to its colonies in America. It was said that he had the peaches planted at his Estate of Buckland in Virginia. The peach then spread across the United States with the help of American Indian tribes. It is said that tribesmen carried peach seeds along with them and planted as they travelled the country.

Health Benefits of Peaches

Peaches are a good source of niacin, thiamine, potassium and calcium. They are also high in beta-carotene which is an antioxidant that converts to Vitamin A. It is essential for healthy hearts and eyes. The antioxidant content of peaches also aids in the maintenance of urinary and digestive systems. It was also considered as a kidney cleanser and detoxifier. Peaches are also said to aid stomach ulcers and other digestive issues like colitis and kidney problems because of its high fiber and potassium content. A syrup and infusion made from peach flowers was recognized as a mild purgative for children. The essence made from the flowers is also used to aid those who are egocentric. It is said that the essence makes these people "open up" and less selfish. Recent research also suggests that the skin of peaches can protect the kidneys and liver and the flesh of the fruit may reduce the toxicity of drugs in cancer patients.


Although uncommon, peach may cause allergic reactions to some individuals. These symptoms include oral allergy syndrome, contact urticaria and gastrointestinal and respiratory symptoms. Peach seeds contain substances that are capable of decomposing into a sugar molecule and hydrogen cyanide gas. Large doses of these chemicals are hazardous to your health.

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I am a researcher and developer of Holistic healing methods for 50 years. I have doctors' degrees in Dentistry, Homeopathy, Natural Science, and I am a Licensed Certified Massage Therapist.

Source: EzineArticles
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