It is a citrus fruit with interesting therapeutic properties, in particular its essential oil provides the greatest health benefits
The cedar plant, scientific name Citrus Medica, belongs to the Rutaceae family and draws its origins from Persia. The cedar, along with the pomelo and the mandarin is considered one of the three citrus varieties from which all others derive.
The plant is in the form of a shrub and can reach a height of about 4 meters, its flowers are white and characterized by a good smell.
Today it is cultivated in the Mediterranean regions, in India, in the United States, in Brazil, Australia and the Middle East. In Italy it is cultivated above all in Calabria and in the wet coastal area of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
- Chemical Composition
- Properties and Benefits
- Essential oil
There are many varieties of this citrus fruit which are divided mainly into two categories: sweet and sour. In Italy the most widespread variety is constituted by the Smooth Cedar of Diamante (acid) which is cultivated in Calabria and is destined, thanks to its properties, mainly to the production of candied fruit.
The fruit has numerous nutraceutical benefits, proven by pharmacological studies. A example is anti catarral, protects the capillaries, is antihypertensive, diuretic, antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, analgesic, antioxidant, anticancer, antidiabetic, antiulcer, cardioprotective and anti-hyperglycemic. ( 1 )
Like lemon, it contains a good amount of vitamin C, flavonoids and a fair amount of mineral salts. It also contains immediately assimilable sugars such as sucrose, glucose and fructose.
The main bioactive compounds present are iso-limonene, citral, limonene, phenolics, flavonones, vitamin C, pectin, linalool and decanal, which represent numerous health benefits. Pectin and heteropolisacharides also play an important role as dietary fiber.
100 g of edible portion have a caloric intake of 31 kcal.
Cedar: Properties and Benefits
It has good pain-relieving properties that prove useful in the treatment of mild to moderate pain, such as headaches. A study of 90 migraine patients suggests that cedar syrup has useful properties to reduce the intensity of headaches. ( 2 )
Unfortunately, due to its particular taste, it is not a fruit that everyone likes and for this reason it is rarely used fresh. And yet, thanks to the good amount of flavonoids it contains, it is a food antioxidant. It has the property to counteract the activity of free radicals and to hinder water retention. An Italian study found significant antioxidant activity in the skin of the fruit.
According to the results, the peel extract can be used to combat diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. ( 3 )
Benefits to the Heart
A study conducted in Saudi Arabia on rats suggests that Citrus Medica extract has cardioprotective properties. According to the researchers, the cardioprotective effect could be attributed to the presence of antioxidant phenolic content and vitamin C in C. medica fruits. These would cause a significant reduction in the oxidative threat that leads to normal physiological function. ( 4 )
According to a Korean study, cedar essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties. ( 5 ) A study conducted on rats showed that the peel extract has powerful pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. ( 6 )
An Italian study found the cytotoxicity of the essential oil of the fruit against different strains of bacteria: Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli. Researchers have confirmed its traditional use as a food preservative and have suggested the possible use of these oils as antimicrobials. ( 7 )
The good amounts of vitamin C gives it properties disinfectants and antibacterial. These are also able to bring benefits to the immune system, making it stronger and resistant to bacterial attacks. This is why it is recommended for all winter-related illnesses.
According to a Chinese study on mice, essential oil of cedar wood can have beneficial effect on anxiety and mood. ( 8 )
It seems that its scent keeps mosquitoes away while a few drops on the bites diminish the sensation of itching.
Essential oil is obtained from the peel and peel of the cedar. Thanks to its properties, it is used in the cosmetic field for the preparation of perfumes and creams.
Essential oil can also be used to combat hair loss and stimulates growth. A couple of tablespoons of alcohol with a couple of drops of essential cedar oil, can be used to massage the scalp a couple of times a day, for a week.
It is good not to use the essential oil on children and pregnant women. Better to avoid exposing yourself to the sun after having done a massage with this oil.
It is better to avoid consuming the industrially produced cedar syrups that are easily available in supermarkets.
This is because they contain chemical additives, dyes and added sugars that are not very healthy.
The tree produces citrus fruit cedars and should not be confused with the Cedar of Lebanon which is instead a conifer linked to an important religious significance.
The cedars, more than for their healthy properties , are known for their wide use in pastry in the form of candied fruit. They are used for the preparation of Sicilian cassata, Christmas panettone and Easter doves.
Maybe Not Everyone Knows That
To obtain benefits against cellulite, in addition to using essential oil for massages, it is useful to drink a juice of cedar fasting, in the morning.
One of the most famous foreign varieties is represented by the Corsican cedar, a species famous for its sweet taste pulp.
It is also used for the production of soft drinks including the famous cedar. It must be said, however, that such beverages, such as syrups, are more the result of chemical manipulations rather than the result of direct citrus treatment.
A cedar cut in half in the refrigerator ensures the absorption of all odors.
Cedar: Properties and Benefits
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