If you go to the desert to travel or explore, even if you are thirsty, do not easily try the "watermelon" here.
This should be considered the most useful advice for local people, but there are many people feel puzzled, the same watermelon, how the desert can not eat?
Next let's understand, the desert everywhere "watermelon", why no one dares to eat? Local people said, if you do not believe in evil, eat a try.
Eat "watermelon" can actually be poisoned
There are really people who do not believe in evil, run to the desert to explore, the results are accidentally lost, dry mouth to walk a long time also did not find the exit.
Suddenly in the endless yellow desert, see a green, whether this is an oasis in the desert or a mirage?
In fact, neither, but the result is very surprising, because it is a large "watermelon" ah.
In the desert, can find this kind of fruit containing a lot of juice, is a gift from God, so this person completely put others' advice aside, without saying a word will be "watermelon" open, and found that it is white flesh.
Maybe the watermelon is not ripe yet because of the lack of water, but who cares about that in the case of extreme water shortage.
The result is a mouthful, only to feel full of bitterness, but in order to live, or forced to swallow it.
I don't know, this "watermelon" is not to give him life, but rather like a "life".
Originally, with the lack of water in the desert, one's immunity has been reduced, and even dizziness has appeared long ago.
So after eating the "watermelon", only feel more headache, and even diarrhea directly to the whole person are deflated, if not someone to rescue, he may be dehydrated, plus poisoning fell in the desert.
So in order to save your own little life, it is best not to eat blindly in the wild.
Desert "watermelon" is what exactly
But what is this "watermelon", why can also make people poisoned?
It turns out that the watermelon we usually eat, belongs to the genus Cucurbita, it has six other siblings.
They are watermelon with sticky seeds, watermelon with missing beard, watermelon with amaru, watermelon with nordan, watermelon with hot fan, and watermelon with medicine.
Each of these seven types of watermelon is actually useful, and depending on their composition, we can use them for food, forage and medicine.
The desert "watermelon" we are talking about today is actually a medicinal watermelon, because it has certain medicinal properties, that's why people named it so.
But, didn't you say it was poisonous earlier, how come you can still use the medicine now? This is indeed not wrong, but there is no hurry, we take our time to understand.
Medicine watermelon is a wild watermelon that has not been domesticated
There is no definite answer about the origin of watermelons, but one theory is that they all originated in Africa.
Thousands of years ago, all watermelons were still wild, like the bright red, juicy and sweet watermelons we eat now, which came about after a long period of domestication.
The initial watermelon was not only dull in color, but also had an average taste of flesh. It took a long time of cultivation before it gradually became the indispensable fruit king in summer today.
As a forage watermelon, it is a variant belonging to the watermelon subspecies hairy watermelon, which has a well-developed rootstock and grows large, but also has little flavor, so it is used to feed livestock.
And medicine watermelon, apparently is not completely domesticated batch, they were left in the desert, gradually adapted to the hot and dry environment, but also gradually accumulated a lot of toxins.
Identify medicinal watermelon and watermelon
It is worth mentioning that medicine watermelons are so confusing to look at that when they are not ripe, they almost look exactly like watermelons, which is why they are mistakenly eaten in the desert.
However, we can easily distinguish the difference between the two, except for the difference in their effects and the ingredients they contain.
The medicine watermelon is much smaller than the watermelon, usually not more than 10 cm in diameter, and the surface of the grain also looks more broken, and when ripe, the outer skin will turn yellow.
The biggest difference is the flesh of it and the watermelon. Most edible watermelons have red flesh and black seeds, while the flesh of medicinal watermelons is white and the seeds are like soybeans.
So whether from the appearance or the flesh, it is important to distinguish between the two, or accidentally eat drug watermelon is not a good thing.
Medicine watermelon is full of poison
Medicine watermelon vine and fruit are toxic, so do not say eat, even touch it becomes a problem.
Virtually all plants in the Cucurbitaceae family produce the toxic steroid compound cucurbitacin, such as squash, zucchini and American pumpkin.
Fruits that contain a lot of cucurbitacin generally taste bitter, so this is probably to avoid being eaten by some herbivores.
However, many of the cucurbitaceous foods we eat now contain very little of this cucurbitacin compound anymore, which is actually the result of natural selection.
But long-term living in the wild medicine watermelon is different, its survival environment is very harsh, so more to protect themselves from being eaten by animals, and finally led to extinction.
There are many types of cucurbitacins, and scientists can now arrange them alphabetically from A to T, and cucurbitacins A, B and C are the most toxic.
Medicine watermelon contains cucurbitacin is level B. In addition to this type of toxin, it also contains bitter glycosides and other substances, so the combination of its toxicity can be ranked to level 5.
People who mistakenly consume medicinal bitter melon usually experience symptoms such as dizziness, diarrhea and cramps, and too much consumption may lead to kidney failure, etc.
Of course, after consuming it, there is still a period of time for its medicinal effects to kick in, so drink milk immediately to relieve it and then seek medical attention quickly, along with atropine which can reduce secretions, etc.
But we must note that this medicine watermelon generally grows in the desert, where it is often not in front of the village, so if you see it, even if you are thirsty again, you should go around.
Medicine watermelon also has a use
Of course medicinal watermelon is not useless, for this natural toxin, people will naturally take advantage of it.
[Watermelon seeds can produce oil].
The first is the seeds of the medicinal watermelon, that is really useful, this bean-sized melon seeds can be used as oil seeds.
The oil content of its melon seeds is generally 24.86-26.1% and can even reach a maximum of 30.12-35.66%.
And the medicinal watermelon also produces a lot of seeds. People usually pick the unripe medicinal watermelon, remove the rind and bake the flesh directly in the sun or using an oven.
One hectare of medicinal watermelon can yield 6.7-10 tons of melon seeds and up to 3 tons of oil.
The main components of these oils include triglycerides, free fatty acids, phospholipids and sterols, so it can be used to produce soap.
Some scientists believe that because of the high oil content of medicinal watermelon seeds, they can provide edible oil for water-scarce countries if they are continuously bred.
Watermelon seeds can be used medicinally
In addition to this, scientists have found that low doses of watermelon seeds and pulp can be used to lower blood sugar and therefore are also used in clinical applications in Islamic countries around the world as one of the herbs that can treat diabetes.
This is because it not only induces insulin secretion from the pancreas after insulin supplementation, but also lowers blood sugar and improves blood lipid levels at the same time.
Of course, in North African folklore, medicinal watermelon is also used to treat liver and blood disorders.
In addition to this, it has even been found that medicated watermelon can stimulate hair growth. Large amounts of medicated watermelon may indeed cause hair loss, but once the dosage is precise, the effect can be comparable to the male pattern baldness drug finasteride.
And people also make use of the toxicity of medicinal watermelon as a raw material for insecticide, which also has excellent effect in killing insects.
This shows that although the medicine watermelon is poisonous, but its ability can not be small.
Therefore this medicinal watermelon is not only grown in the wild, but there are many people who grow it in large quantities.
It has been grown in large quantities on the island of Cyprus as early as the 14th century, and is still exported today, based on its use as a source of local economic income in World War I.
Today medicinal watermelon is mainly distributed in North Africa and the Mediterranean coast, the Arabian Peninsula, Turkey, Spain, Egypt, India and other places.
In our country, this medicine watermelon in the Song Dynasty, came along the Silk Road to China's Xinjiang region, in Xinjiang and Tianhe Yecheng area also have a large number of planting.