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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.




APPLE
(Malus spp syn Pyrus malus)
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Also: (M. pumila) and (M. coronaria syn Pyrus coronaria)

"Eat an apple a day"

Caution: Ingesting large quantities of apple seeds can be fatal.

CONTAINS: Sugars, fruit acids, pectin, Vitamins A, B1, C and minerals.
Each 100 grams contains: 58 calories, 84 grams of water, .2 g. of protein, .6 g. of fat, 14.5 g. of total carbohydrate, 1.0 g. of fiber, .3 g. of ash, 7 mg of calcium, .3 mg of iron, 54 mg of a beta-carotene equivalent, also: potassium, phosphorus, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and ascorbic acid.
One apple contains about 2 grams of pectin.
A source of magnesium.
From the seeds, HCN can be extracted as well as a bright yellow semi-drying oil with the odor of bitter almonds. The seeds also contain up to 17% pectin, pectic acid tannins, wax, traces of essential oil, quercetin, isoquercitain, ursolic aci, oleanolic acid, pomolic acid C30H48O4, pomonic acid, alpha-farnesene, shikimic acid, leucocyanadin, cyanidin-3-galactoside, epicatechin, catechin, chlorogenic acid, quercetin 3-glucoside, quercetin 3-rhamnoglucoside, p-coumaric acid.

Nicholas Culpeper 1653... "their syrup is a good cordial in faintings, palpitations and melancholy."

Believed to have originated in southwest Asia. Malus communis syn Pyrus malus is the Wild Apple or Crab-tree. The part used was/is the fruit and bark. It is the ancestor of all cultivated varieties.

Apples are found in all regions of the northern temperate hemisphere. The charred remains have been found in ancient Swiss lake-dwellings. In fact, the diggings of Stone-Age lake dwellers in central Europe show the use of apples long before recorded history. Old Saxon manuscripts abound with mention of apples and cider.

The term "pomatum" (pomade) took its name from being originally made of the pulp of apples, lard and rosewater. In Tudor times apple pies were generally seasoned with cinnamon and ginger. In Shakespeare's time apples served for dessert were usually accompanied by caraway. Roast apples or crab apples formed a necessary part of the "wassail-bowl" tradition. A mix of hot spiced ale, wine or cider with bits of toast and apples floating in it was called "Lamb's Wool", the name being derived from the Irish "la mas nbhal" (feast of the apple-gathering) and sounded something like 'Lammas-ool' which was corrupted into Lamb's Wool. By tradition the person taking a drink would also take out an apple and eat it while wishing good luck to his companions.

The Greeks attributed the start of the Trojan War on the Apple of Discord (a golden apple) which was thrown before an assembly of the gods by the goddess of hate (Eris). It was inscribed "for the fairest" and Hera, Athene, and Aphrodite each wanted it. Paris was chosen to present the apple and was tempted with remarkable gifts by each of the goddesses. Aphrodite promised him the most beautiful woman in the world and helped him to abduct Helen, thus beginning the famous Trojan War.

Hercules beheaded a hundred-headed serpent in order to obtain the golden apples of the Gardens of Hesperides as one of his labors.
Three golden apples were given to Hippomenes by Aphrodite in order to win the hand of Atalanta by beating her in a foot race. He threw down the apples during the race to distract her and thus win.

An apple features prominently in Snow White as well as the tales of William Tell and Johnny Appleseed.

Very old varieties going back to early United States settlement are: Medlar, Black Gilliflower, Seek-No-Further, Blaxton's yellow sweeting, Belle et Bonne, and Westfield Seek-No-Further.
Astrologically it is ruled by Venus and Libra.



PROPAGATION: Apples can be propagated by seed, but are best if purchased from reliable stock.
NEEDS: For insect control on apple trees, dust weekly with wood ashes. For boron deficiency use Boraxo soap or Borax.
HARVEST: Fruit and root bark (inner bark is used). Bark is taken in spring. Buds and blossoms are taken in spring just before reaching maturity and then dried. Leaves contain an antibacterial substance (phloretin) which is active in doses as low as 30 ppm.
PART USED: Inner bark (root bark preferred), buds, blossoms, leaves, fruit. (Note: the inner bark of the wild crab apple is considered the best) Wild crab apple is Malus coronaria syn Pyrus coronaria



USES

MEDICINAL:
Main health benefits are derived by eating one apple per day. They are considered a "cold" fruit and eating too many on a chilled stomach can lead to digestive upsets.
Tonic, digestive and liver stimulant, diuretic, anti-rheumatic, bowel control, antiseptic. Considered to be anti-bacterial, carminative, cyanogenetic, depurative, digestive, diuretic, emollient, hypnotic, laxative, refrigerant, sedative and a tonic.
Considered to have a cleansing effect on liver, spleen, colon and kidneys. Contains anti-viral agents.
One of its more important ingredients is pectin which also helps to remove blood toxins and possibly eliminating metals and radiation from the system. In Russian experiments heavy metals were found to be excreted more efficiently when pectin was included in the diet.
Contains ellagic acid (antioxidant) which helps to block cancer-causing agents including the modaflatoxin and nitrosamines.
The inner bark is considered a neutral or astringent tonic for colon, kidneys, bladder and spleen.
In Chinese medicine the inner bark is used to treat "wet" or "soggy" spleen disorders like diabetes, hypoglycemia or blood toxicity. Also for nausea, fever, vomiting and flu.
Root bark is considered to be anthelmintic, hypnotic and refrigerant.
Fresh unsweetened apple cider is used to decrease stomach acidity. (When cider is drunk regularly there is a noted absence of kidney and gall bladder stones)
Sour apples are eaten as a diuretic for cystitis and other urinary infections.
Useful to reduce cholesterol (1983 study) and protect the heart, being rich in soluble fiber. In testing, about 15 grams per day showed reduction in cholesterol of 13% or more during a 3 week period. It is thought the pectins work by binding with bile acids and also increasing excretion of bile acids. It is believed that mucilagenous fibers (ie. pectin, fenugreek and plantain) are better at reducing cholesterol than particulate fibers (ie. wheat bran). It works best when combined with animal or dairy products. It is also useful in preventing and regressing gall stones. Pectin helps to regulate blood sugar. If diabetic and thinking of making changes to the diet, it is important to monitor insulin requirements closely as a reduced need makes insulin overdose possible. Check with doctor when making dietary changes.
Fresh apple is cleansing when eaten in the morning and tends to be laxative when taken in the evening.
Used for both diarrhea and constipation; the ripe apple is laxative while the unripe is astringent
Stewed apples traditionally used for diarrhea and dysentary. Useful for small babies and children; soothing in cases of gastric ulceration or ulcerative colitis.
In Europe the scraped apple is used to treat infant diarrhea, dysentary and dyspepsia. Also, eating apples as part of a natural regimen for Coeliac disease and infectious diseases of the liver and gall bladder.
For diarrhea: grate one ripe apple and allow the pulp to stand at room temp for several hours, at which time, it will be considerably darkened; the now oxidized pectin in the fruit is the same basic ingredient as that in the brand product Kaopectate by Upjohn.
For stubborn constipation juice equal amounts of apple and spinach and take 2 cups per day.
Contains malic and tartaric acids which neutrilize overacidity. Eat SWEET apples for overacidity and SOUR apples for too little acid or if there is constipation.
An infusion of dried apple peel is used for rheumatic illness. Also for gout, and as a diuretic in urinary disorders.
An infusion of fresh raw fruit is used as a warming drink for rheumatic pains, intestinal colic and as a cooling remedy for a feverish cold.
An infusion of apple blossoms is used for sore throats, colds and as a diuretic.
Used in poultices for skin inflammations.
Good source of vitamins and minerals in anemia and debility.
Used as a folk remedy for bilious ailments, cancer, catarrh, diabetes, dysentary, fever, flux, heart, malaria, pertussis, scurvy, spasm, thirst and warts.
Ancient cure-all is said to be apple wine at least 2 years old.
In Chinese medicine the variety Malus pumila [PING GUO] is used to dispel gas, dissolve mucous, cure flux, as a tonic for anemia, used for bilious disorders and colic. The root is anthelmintic, soporific and refrigerant.
Digestion = small amounts of apple cider vinegar in water to help relieve indigestion and heartburn. If it works, it indicates too little acid is being produced by the body.
A traditional drink used to restore balance to the body is a little apple cider vinegar plus honey in water taken once a day.
A bark infusion was used by Native Americans suffering from bilious ailments, intermittant and remittant fevers. The Seneca used wild apple root bark for tuberculosis and malaria. The Meskwaki once mistakenly believed it able to cure small pox.
In England rotten apples were once used as a poultice for sore eyes.
Horseradish steeped in apple cider vinegar was considered useful for dropsy (a condition characterized by much fluid retention...ie. heart, kidneys, etc.).
Eat fresh apples to stimulate a sluggish liver.
Cooked apples were used for cases of sore throat and fever, inflamation of the eyes and for erysipelas (a contagious disease caused by Streptococcus pyogenes).
Raw, peeled and grated (or can be roasted in the oven and then the pulp used) they are used as a poultice on the eyes to relieve strain and inflamation. The poultice is also used on sprains.
Swollen glands = dip a cloth in apple cider vinegar and wring out. Use as a compress. For neck glands cover the cloth with a large wool sock so the area can heat up from within.
Itching = 2 C. of apple cider vinegar added to the bathwater or else, apply full-strength directly to the itch except near the eyes or the genitals. A douche with diluted apple cider vinegar is used to relieve itching caused by Trichomonas vaginitis (use 1/2 to 1 C. of vinegar to 1 pint of warm water...NOT for yeast infection).
Warts = Pare the wart (not a recommended practice today) and spread the juice of a sour apple OR a few grains of epsom salt upon it.
Apple water is used for fevers. Also, a decoction of the bark.
Apple cider vinegar is considered to have curative powers; it is used externally and internally for acne and body odor. It is mixed with warm water and diluted with honey for stomach disorders. Also helps heal burns when soaked gauze is applied. Will also remove dandruff when used as a hair rinse (diluted). Eliminates body odor when used as an underarm deodorant. Said to cure athlete's foot when sore feet are soaked daily in a strong solution.
Eating an apple is nature's perfect teeth cleaner.
Old gallstone remedy = Drink nothing but apple cider vinegar for 3 days (5 times daily). On the 4th day combine 1/4 C. olive oil with 1/4 C. vinegar. (This was repeated 1 or 2 more days if necessary).
Folk remedy for rheumatism and arthritis = Take some homemade apple juice and set aside in a glass container near a warm place for a week (shake occasionally) so it can ferment. It becomes vinegar. Take 1 Tbsp each day upto 1/2 C. twice daily.

DOSE: TRADITIONAL DOSAGES FOR PROFESSIONAL NOTE ONLY
All others buy commercial preparations and follow directions carefully.
Infusion of INNER BARK = 1 to 4 fl. oz.
INFUSION = 1 to 2 tsp of dried apple peel with 1 C. simmering water, steeped 10 to 15 min. and taken 1 to 3 cups per day.

VETERINARY:
The crab apple (Malus sylvestris) is used for its astringent properties.
For wounds both internal and external the fruits are pulped and mixed with a little corn flour...treatment for diarrhea is similar: a cupful of the pulp is given midday and evening before meals or when fasting.
It is helpful against scabies, as a stomach and intestinal medicine and to check internal bleeding.
Good nerve and heart tonic which is said to improve the speed of racing animals.
Apple juice is used for exhaustion due to distemper and is given to a cocker-sized animal at the rate of 2 Tbsp at morning and night.
For dysentary, 1 Tbsp is given morning and night.
For swollen glands a hot lotion is made by dissolving powdered seaweed in hot apple cider and applying externally.

CULINARY:
Many uses from salad to desserts, jams, cider, juice and baked goods. Apples have traditionally been used to provide pectin in jelly making. They are dried, canned, jelled, made into apple butter and apple cider, etc.
To store fresh apples pack in layers, alternating layers of straw, sawdust or maple leaves. Do not let the apples touch each other and place in root cellar, dry basement, etc. where it is dry and cool without freezing.
Combines well with any fruit or vegetable in a juicer.

COSMETIC:
A rinse to restore skin pH = 1 part apple cider vinegar to 8 parts water. Distilled white vinegar can also be used, although in homemade beauty preparations the apple cider vinegar is preferred.
Apple cider vinegar is useful in face masks to slough off dead skin cells. Pure apple juice can be used as a toner for oily and combination complexions.
Bath = 1 C. of apple cider vinegar added to the bath to soften skin and help reduce fatigue.

DYE:
Bark yields yellow to yellow-tan with no mordant.




RECIPES
ALSO SEE: Cooking with Apples



APPLE WATER I (Culinary)

Boil sliced apples in water until strong apple flavor is developed; sweeten with sugar; bottle for 3 or 4 months with a lemon peel in each bottle; a thick 'mother' will form at the top, but remove and enjoy the liquid.

APPLE WATER II

Slice 3 unpeeled apples. Simmer in very little water until soft. Strain through a fine strainer and add a piece of lemon for flavor if desired. Drink cold.



APPLE PEEL INFUSION

Steep 1tsp dried apple peel with 1 C. simmering water for 7 to 10 minutes; take from 1 to 3 C. per day.



APPLE MARMELADE

Peel, core and cut up 12 lbs. of apples. Cook gently with 6 lbs of sugar and 1 quart of cider until the fruit is soft. Pour through a sieve and place in glass jars.



OLD METHOD APPLE JELLY

Quarter 6 lbs of apples and 1 lemon and place in pan and cover well with water. Boil to a pulp then place in jelly bag and allow to drip into a bowl all night. Return juice to pan adding 1 lb of sugar to each pint of juice. Boil 3/4 hour or until at jelly stage. Pour into clean dry warm jars and cap.

CRAB APPLE JELLY

Cook crab apples with 6 cloves and 1-inch piece of fresh ginger until the fruit is soft. Strain and boil again and add 3/4 lb of sugar to each pint of liquid. Let boil to jelly stage. Fruit should not be cooked too long and sugar should be added just before the strained liquid boils.



WHOLE STEWED APPLES

Place 6 large red apples in a kettle with just enough boiling water to cover. Cover the pan and cook slowly, until apples are soft with the skins broken and the juice a rich red color. Remove the apples and boil the juice to a syrup by adding sugar. Pour syrup over apples. A syrup can also be made with sugar and water in which the apples are stewed whole or sliced. A clove can also be added or else the rind of a lemon for flavor.



APPLE, PEAR & PLUM JAM
(no sugar required)
8 lbs of each fruit
1/2 pint of cider
1/4 oz. of powdered cloves

Cut apples and pears in quarters but do not peel or core. Put in pan with plums and add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil then simmer until soft. Press out all juice through a fine sieve. Strain the juice through muslin (or use a jelly bag) and boil quickly in an uncovered pan until thick like a syrup. Pour syrup into jars and seal. Store.



APPLE CHUTNEY

30 windfall apples
2 oz. salt
3/4 lb. brown sugar
4 oz. onions
1 clove garlic
3 oz. powdered ginger
1/2 oz. dried chilies
1 oz. mustard seeds
4 oz. raisins
1 quart apple cider vinegar

Peel, core, slice and place apples in pan with sugar and vinegar and simmer until apples are soft. Wash the mustard seed with vinegar and allow to dry. Chop raisins, peel and slice garlic, peel and slice onions, slice chilies and pound them together with the ginger and mustard seed.
When apples are soft, add the rest of the ingredients and let mixture become cold. Mix well and jar and seal.
(Note: Chilies can also be held back from pounding and put into the mix just before placing in jars.)



©2000 by Ernestina Parziale, CH

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