Pomelo- proven health benefits, uses and recipes

The scientific name of the Pomelo is Citrus decumana Linn. It is also known as Forbidden fruit, Grape-fruit, Pummelo, Shaddock, Pu tao you and Suha.

Other names include

ARABIC: Laymûn hindî.

BENGALI: Bātābī lēbu, Chakotra, Jāmburā lēbu, Mahanibu, Sadaphal, Pumēlō.

BURMESE: Shouk ton oh.

DANISH: Pompelmus.

DUTCH: Pompelmoes, Pomelo.

FINNISH : Pummelo.

FRENCH: Pamplemousse doux des Antilles, Chadec, Shadek.

GERMAN: Riesenorange, Lederorangenbaum.

GUJARATI: Obakotru.

HINDI: Bataawii niimbuu, Cakōtarā, Mahanibu, Sanadāphala.

ITALIAN: Pampaleone.

JAPANESE: Buntan, Pomero, Bontan, Zabon.

KANNADA: Chakota, Chakota hannu, Chakotre, Sakkota, Tōran̄ji.

KHMER: Krôôch thlông.

LAOTIAN: Kièngz s’aangz, Ph’uk, Sômz ‘ôô.

MALAY: Jeruk bali, Jeruk besar, Limau besar, Limau betawi, Limau serdadu.

MALAYALAM: Pamparamasam, Pamparamasan.

MARATHI: Papnasa.

RUSSIAN: Pomelo.

SANSKRIT: Madhukarkati,

SPANISH: Cimboa, Pampelmusa.

TAMIL : Elumicham, Pambalimasu.

TELUGU: Nimmapandu, Pampalamasam, Pampara.

THAI: Som o, Ma o.

VIETNAMESE : Bưởi, Bưởi chùm Thái Lan.

It is a small tree, 6 to 13 meters in height, with long, sharp, solitary spines. Leaflets are entire or nearly so, sparingly hairy beneath and on the margins, ovate-oblong to elliptic, and 8 to 12 centimeters long. Petioles are obovate and broadly winged. Flowers are white, fragrant, and crowded in short, axillary racemes. Fruit is large, obovoid to spherical, up to 20 centimeters in diameter. Rind is very thick and spongy, easily removed from the segments of the fruit. Pulp is pale yellow, pink or red, sweet or acrid, with large, distinct vesicles.

Many delicious pummelos have green skin while others have a burnt yellow appearance. The range of the fruit’s colorful exteriors means that the skin color should not be used as a baseline. Pick pummelos that feel heavy for their size, are firm, smooth and shiny. Avoid fruit with marks, coarse or wrinkly skin, and soft spots. The thinner rind fruits often contain the most flesh, especially those practically emitting citrus oil while in the hand. A good chakotra is also aromatic near the stem.

Nutrition value and facts

• Food – Fresh fruit and preserved rind.

• Fresh fruit is a good source of vitamin B, iron and calcium.

• Leaves – volatile oil, 1.7% – dipentene, 25%; linalool, 15%; citral, 3.5%; a-pinene, 0.5-1.5%; d-limone, 90-92%.
Pericarp yields saccharose, reducing sugar; organic acid.

• Juice yields insulin like substance; lycopene; vitamin C; peroxidase; sugar, 14.3%; acid, 1.1%; fat, 0.33%; cellulose, 1.3%; nitrogenous substances, 1.6%

• Rind yields a crystalline glycosidal bitter principle, naringin (previously reported as hesperidin), 0.2-1.6% ; , 10%; pectin, 10%; peroxidase. Also yields a volatile oil, “pompelmus” oil, containing d-pinene, o.5-1.5%; d-limonene, 90-92%,; linanlool, 1-2%; citrate, 3-5%’ geraniol, 1.2%; linalyl and geranylacetate; citral 25%; free alkaloid, 8.61%; and ester, 4.38%.

• Phytochemical studies of various Citrus spp. yielded naringin, hesperidin, diosmin and naringenin.

• Phytochemical study of the peel of the grapefruit isolated five compounds: friedelin, b-sitosterol, limonin, cordialin B, and a previously unreported compound, 7(3′,7′,11′,14′-tetramethy)pentadec-2′,6′,10′-trienyloxycoumarin.

A 100 g of pummelo has about 38 calories. It contains the following nutritive values:

9.5g Carbs

1g Fiber (4% RDI)

No Fat

.8g Protein

61mg Vitamin C (102% RDI)

Thiamin (2% RDI)

Riboflavin (2% RDI)

Vitamin B6 (2% RDI)

17mg Phosphorous (2% RDI)

216mg Potassium (6% RDI)

Copper (2% RDI)

Pomelos have the taste of grapefruit without the bitterness and acidity, coupled with gorgeous floral overtones and a clean taste. The texture is fleshy and has more membrane than many other types of citrus; a bad pummelo is marked by dry, desiccated flesh with little juice. Of the three types of pomelos—pink, red and white—pinks and reds taste the sweetest, while white pummelos have a mildly acidic taste. To get the best tasting experience, ensure the pith is fully removed from every segment, as the pith adds a very bitter taste otherwise.

Parts used

Leaves and fruit.

Folkloric traditional medicinal remedies and uses

– Nausea and fainting: Squeeze rind near nostrils for patient to inhale.

– In the Philippines, leaves are used for aromatic baths.

– Infusion or decoction of flowers, leaves and pericarp used as sedative for nervous affections; also for coughs and ulcers.

– Peel or rind, dried or in decoction, used for dyspepsia.

– Boiled seeds in a gallon of water can be used for sitz-baths.

– In Malaya, lotion of boiled leaves used for painful swellings.

– In the Himalayas, fruit juice recommended for ulcers; used in diabetes; and mixed with black pepper and a little rock salt, used for malaria. Fruit juice with its pulp, with honey, is given to improve urinary flow.

-In Vietnam, the essential oils are used to make exfoliating scrubs and soaps.

Scientific proven evidence based health benefits and uses of grapefruit

Interaction of with Cytochrome P450 Enzymes:

Study of the relationships of plant constituents and CYP450 enzymes, such as grapefruit with CYP2A6.

• Antimicrobial:

Grapefruit seed extract (C paradisii) was found effective against P aeruginosa. The active ingredient was naringenin.

• Anthelmintic/ antiparasitic :

Study of alcoholic extract of the rind of Citrus decumana showed good in vitro anthelmintic activity against human Ascaris lumbricoides.

• Antioxidant / Anti-inflammatory / Analgesic:

Study of peel extract in four solvent systems showed significant dose-dependent antioxidant activity, a significant decrease in paw volume and pain. Results suggest the peel extract may be a useful as a natural antioxidant in the treatment of inflammation and pain.

• Antioxidant / Free Radical Scavenging:

Study showed fresh red pomelo juice is an excellent source of antioxidant compounds and showed great efficiency in scavenging different forms of free radicals including DPPH, superoxide anion, and hydrogen peroxide radicals.

Cyclosporin / Pharmacodynamic Effects / :

Study has shown that co-administration of Citrus grandis peels significantly decreased the systemic exposure of cyclosporin and resulted in higher macrophage and Th1 type activities than in mice treated with cyclosporin alone.

• Anti-Inflammatory / Nobiletin:

Study yielded a nobilietin, shown to contribute to pharmacological activities such as anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Results showed dangyuja leaves can inhibit LPS-induced production of inflammatory markers by blocking NF-kB and MAPKs signaling in RAW264.7 cells.

Flower Fragrance / Components:

Study of active components attributed to the fragrance of the C. grandis flowers showed the buds and blossoms of the flower possessing a strong floral-, jasmine- and orange-like aroma contain B-myrcene, limonene, ocimene, linalool and caryophyllene as the major compounds.

Antidepressant / Leaves:

Study evaluated the antidepressant effect of an aqueous extract of leaves of Citrus maxima Merr. in mice. Results showed significant reduction of immobility time in both TST and FST. It showed psychostimulant effect of locomotor activity testing. The antidepressant effect may be mediated by an increased in norepinephrine level in the synapses.

• Hypoglycemic / Glucose Tolerance and Lipid Profile Effects/ useful in diabetes:

Study evaluating C. maxima fruit juice showed beneficial effects on glucose tolerance and lipid profile in STZ-induced type-II diabetic rats.

• Antibacterial / Pseudomonas aeruginosa:

A comparative study was done on antibacterial activity of ethanolic extracts of V. negundo, F. vesca, T. arjuna, and C. maxima. Citrus maxima showed maximum zone of inhibition for Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Inhibition of Acetylcholinesterase Activity / Radical Scavenging:

Study evaluated the effects of some citrus fruit juices– C. maxima, C. paradisii, C. limoni, C. reticulata. shaddock–on acetylcholinesterase activity in vitro. The juices exhibited dose-dependent radical scavenging and dose-dependent inhibition of acetylcholinesterase activity. Results suggest citrus juices make good dietary supplements for the management of Alzheimer’s disease.

Cardioprotective / Doxorubicin (DOX)-induced Cytotoxicity/ good for heart problems:

Study investigated the protective effect of pummelo (C. maxima) fruit juice in rat cardiac H9c2 cells against doxorubicin (DOX)-induced cytotoxicity. Results showed CM fruit juice can be promoted as a functional fruit to protect cells from oxidative cell death, enhance phase II GSTP enzyme activity, and decrease senescenvce phenotype population induced by cardiotoxic agent suc as DOX.

Caution !
Drug interactions / Impaired Absorption

(A) P-Glycoprotein / Organic Anion Transporting Polypeptide:

Concerns have been reported on drug-grapefruit interactions because of the ability of grapefruit juice to inhibit the metabolism of some drugs. Grapefruit weakly inhibits the intestinal wall P-glycoprotein (p-GP), an efflux pump in enterocytes which is responsible for the intestinal secretion of many drugs. Another transport system affected by grapefruit is the OATP, organic anion transporting polypeptide; drugs handled by this system may suffer decreased absorption.

(B) Furanocoumarins / Bergamottin:

Grapefruit contains furanocoumarins, the most common are bergamottin and 6’7′-dihydrobergamottin which irreversibly inhibits cytochrome P450 3A4 isoenzymes in the intestinal wall, which may affect the metabolism of certain drugs consumed up to 72 hours of grapefruit consumption.

Some Drugs that should be avoided with grapefruit (incomplete list)
amiodarone (Cordarone) colchicine quinidine (Quinaglute)
atorvastatin (Lipitor) lovastatin (Mevacor) sildenafil (Viagra)
budesonide (Entocort) mifepristone (Mifeprex) simvastatin (Zocor)
buspirone (BuSpar) pimozide (Orap) sirolimus (Rapamune)
Some Drugs that should be used with caution with grapefruit  (incomplet list)
albendazole (Albenza) diazepam (Valium) losartan (Cozaar)
aripiprazole (Abilify) 5 erythromycin nifedipine (Procardia)
bupropion (Wellbutrin) felodipine (Renedil, Plendil) simvastatin (Zocor)
dextromethorphan fexofenadine (Allegra) triazolam (Halcion)

Find out the reason and who should avoid grapefruit.

The large pomelo fruit requires peeling through several layers to get to the juicy pink or pale yellow flesh. First, peel the thick, oily skin. Next, remove the cottony white pith and leave only the ball of fruit. While other citrus types only require peeling, pomelos have one last additional step: peel away the papery outer membrane encasing the flesh. Only the tear drop-like sacs of juice should remain.

Pomelos offer a pungent, zesty scent when peeled, so enjoy the fruit’s lingering fragrance that will aromatize the kitchen.

Storage tips:

Pummelos are hardy fruits, lasting for two weeks at room temperature, and three to eight when placed inside of the fridge. Pummelos can be frozen as well: peel and de-pith the fruit, then place chunks of the fresh pomelo in a thick plastic bag and freeze. Expect the fruits to last for only a month—freezer burn sets in after 30 days. Some choose to place pomelo chunks in a syrup pack, made by boiling water and sugar. This syrupy concoction acts as a preservative and flavor enhancer, and will preserve the life of the fruit for up to a year.

Pomelo Recipe Ideas and Uses:

– Add chopped pummelo to stir-fries vegetables, folding the fruit into the dish near the end of the cooking. Also add to salads, especially those that include peanut sauce.

-Make a citrusy sweet cocktail by blending pomelo chunks with ice and adding vodka. Or, strain the juice and add to a martini.

-Make a Thai pomelo salad by combining the fruit with red peppers, basil, cucumber, tofu, shallots, mint, and peanuts. Combine with a dressing made from peanut butter, coconut oil, soy sauce, and vinegar.

-Include pomelo chunks into European salads with beet, squash, avocado, walnut, vegan cheese, and a dark green like spinach or arugula.

-Make candied pomelo rind by peeling the skin and removing the bitter pith. Simmer the peel in sugar water for an hour and a half until the rinds are transluscent. Powder with sugar if desired, or leave to cool for two hours on a baker’s rack.

-Add fresh pomelo to cous cous dishes, adding complementary ingredients like mint, ginger, and shallots.

-Make pomelo lemonade by substituting this with lemon, and adding sugar as needed.

-Freeze the juice, and ice, and blend with sugar into a citrus sorbet. Garnish with mint.

-Juice pomelo with foods such as orange, carrot, ginger, and beetroot.

Read about other interesting fruits

Acai berry        Ambarella         Avocado           Bael          Bilberry       Fig            

Kiwi            Mangosteen          Miracle fruit           Papaya        Plum     Pomegranate          

 Quince           Rambutan           Roselle      Santol            Sapota         Sea buckthorn

Sour Orange     Soursop       Sweet Lime      Star gooseberry    Star Apple    

 Strawberry       Surinam Cherry         Tomato          Watermelon       Wood apple

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