Watermelon for health and refreshment
Delicious and succulent dưa hấu (watermelon) is a popular treat in Vietnamese homes around Tet (Lunar New Year), and any other time the weather is hot.
More than just tasty, watermelon is packed with goodies for the body. A hundred grams of the mushy red flesh supplies 95.5g of water, 2.3g of glucid, 1.2g of protid, 0.2g of lipid, 15.5mg of phosphorus, 81mg of potassium, 8mg of calcium, 12mg of magnesium, 0.4mg of iron, 3mg of Vitamin C and 0.5g of fiber.
Most importantly, it contains lots of folic acid, a B-group vitamin essential in blood creation. Just 200g of the fruit is enough for an adult's daily folic acid requirement.
Watermelon cools a hot body, quenches thirst, and replenishes the calcium and magnesium lost through sweating.
To fix a dry tongue, sleep better, soothe mouth ulcers or simply make a good drink, leave the seeds in and turn the flesh into liquid with a blender. Don't swallow the juice straight down; instead, swirl it around the mouth for five minutes before sending it down the gullet.
Watermelon also relieves constipation and flushes out the urinary tract, which is often affected by very hot weather, and the fructose it contains helps the liver break down alcohol faster.
What's more, the fruit is the basis of a remedy for the oedema that comes with cirrhosis of the liver. To make it, take a one-kilogram watermelon, cut off the end and scoop out the pips. Next, peel and mash 10 big bulbs of garlic, stuff them in the watermelon, and cap the end with the cut-off piece. Then very gently heat the watermelon in a pan for 10 minutes until it's even mushier than before, remove from the pan, cut into two and eat in the daytime.
Watermelon is also ideal for slimming as it's mostly water yet fills the stomach. Compulsive eaters can eat it as a healthy alternative to the frequent snacks that pile on the pounds. And, as mentioned above, it is an excellent laxative.
Diabetics too should swallow plenty of watermelon because their bodies can better tolerate fructose, which is 50 percent sweeter than glucose anyway.
Besides eating or drinking it, watermelon can be used to vivify the skin and keep it looking good. It even helps in the fight against wrinkles. To make a skin lotion out of watermelon, remove the pips and liquefy the flesh in a blender. Strain out the residue and rub that into the skin at least once daily.
To cure nephritis and oedema, cook 50g of watermelon skin, 60g of rá»… cỏ tranh (fresh root of imperata cylindrica, also known as cogongrass) and one liter of water for 30 minutes. Drink three times a day.
Two analgesics for pain relief can also be made from the fruit of the gourd. To reduce the physical discomfort that accompanies immobility, dry some watermelon skin in a shady area, then grate and grind it into a powder. Dissolve 8g of the powder in warm alcohol mixed with a little salt, and drink.
To cure toothache, scorch some watermelon skin until it goes black like charcoal, pound it into a powder and apply to the sore tooth or teeth.
Finally, an alternative to tea for sipping during the day can be made by pouring 500ml of boiling water over some extracted watermelon skin.