Uchuva is a plant with many properties and benefits, its botanical name is Physalis Peruviana and belongs to the nightshade family. Other names of uchuva are Indian rasbhari, husky cherry, pok pok, uvilla and Peruvian ground cherry.
It is a small orange berry fruit that is usually grown in warm regions such as South Africa, South America, Central America, India and China. It is full of fiber, protein, phosphorus, niacin, pectin, carotenoids, vitamin A and vitamin C.
The plant grows between 11/2 feet and 3 feet tall (45 to 90 cm). It sends out shoots that branch out quite a bit. The leaves are almost oval and sometimes show dented edges. The Chinese lantern has a surprising chalice that encapsulates an oval fruit.
Its acidic taste has many admirers who can not wait for the arrival of this seasonal fruit. Uchuva can be consumed fresh, as a healthy snack and also used as a dressing for desserts or in puddings.
The medicinal actions associated with uchuva are diuretic, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, purgative, laxative and antihepatotoxic. Uchuva is a true source of carotenes, provitamin A, vitamin E, phytosterols and vitamin C.
The uchuva for which it serves
Uchuva has been used for several years for medicinal purposes as it has a number of health benefits. It serves for the treatment of macular degeneration, neurodegenerative diseases, abdominal discomfort, earaches and is also used to treat asthma, cataracts, hepatitis and many other diseases.
Its aphrodisiac benefits have given it the name “uchuva fruit of love. In addition, the properties of uchuva for the skin are very extensive. It is also used for sleep and to treat other conditions such as:
- Poultice for inflammation
- Pressure control
- Treatment of Cancer and Heart Conditions
- Bone Health Treatment
- Treatment for dermatitis
- Natural tranquilizer
- Regulator of metabolic activity
- Relief of kidney diseases
Although it is a very healthy fruit, there are some contraindications of the uchuva. when still green and immature, these fruits are high in solanine: this can lead to diarrhea or gastroenteritis if ingested.
Keep in mind also that physaline is one of the active ingredients of the genus Physalis and when ingested in high doses, it can be abortifacient. It should also not be ingested when it is green, as it can become toxic and cause allergies.
Cultivation of uchuva
The uchuva grows near houses and buildings, in gardens, and even on highlands with altitudes above 10,000 feet (3200 meters). It spreads very easily in these environments. It also grows in fertile soils and is abundant in southeastern Canada.
This plant multiplies through seeds and cuttings, mainly in spring. It must be located outside in full sun or semi-shade, lives either in acidic soils or well-fertilized limestone soils.
For good growth, the plant requires frequent watering, and high ambient humidity. However, it is best to water it about 3 or 4 times a week in summer, and about twice a week the rest of the year.
Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.