1.1 What is a golden kiwifruit?
The golden kiwifruit (botanical name: Actinidia chinensis; also known as kiwi, kiwifruit, or Chinese gooseberry; Chinese Pinyin: Mi Hou Tao, Simplified Chinese: 猕猴桃), is a species of flowering, fruit-bearing and medical plant in genus Actinidia in the Chinese gooseberry family, Actinidiaceae. The term golden kiwifruit can refer to the plant as well as the fruit of the plant. The flowers are light yellow, 1.8 – 3.5 cm in diameter, with 3 to 7 petals (usually 5). The edible fruit is oval, the size of a duck’s egg, usually between 4.5-5.5 cm in diameter and 5-6 cm tall with smooth, bronze skin. Native to Southern China (originated in Hunan Province) and extensively cultivated elsewhere in New Zealand, Chile, Italy, France, Greece, Turkey, Iran, United States and Japan, habitats of golden kiwifruit include hillsides, forest edges, shrubland (usually found from between 800 to 1,800 meters in elevation). Characteristics of golden kiwifruit include long lifespan, ability to withstand cultivation at high altitudes, high perishability, low ability to withstand flooding and drought.
Other simplified Chinese names for golden kiwifruit include:
阳桃, 羊桃, 奇异果, 狐狸桃, 野梨, 藤梨, 猴仔梨, 杨汤梨, 木子.
1.2 How does golden kiwifruit taste?
Ripe golden kiwifruits have a soft, juicy, meaty texture with a flavor that is sweet, aromatic, lemony and mildly sour.
1.3 How do I tell if my golden kiwifruits are ripe?
Most ripe golden kiwifruits are found from September to November, depending on the weather conditions. Golden kiwifruits ripen quickly at room temperature, and there is no need to have the fruits exposed to direct sunlight. The stem area of the fruits will be slightly soft when ripe, sampling and tasting is suggested before bulk purchasing.
1.4 How is golden kiwifruit used in traditional Chinese medicine?
The fruit of golden kiwifruit is considered to be sour, sweet, cold and nontoxic in nature and to be associated with the stomach, liver and kidney meridians. It is used as heat-clearing drug, antidipticum and appetite stimulant drugs in traditional Chinese medicine (CTM) and widely adopted in treating different diseases and health problems, such as ascites due to cirrhosis.
2. Uses, Health Benefits of Golden Kiwifruit & Medical Formulas
2.1 Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against the artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause major health problems. Golden kiwifruits are rich in dietary fiber which is the nutrients in the diet that cannot be digested by gastrointestinal enzymes in our body but still fulfil an important role in ensuring body health. A research published in Annals of Internal Medicine concluded that daily intake of 30 grams of dietary fiber may help to lose weight, lower blood pressure, and improve our body’s response to insulin (harvard.edu 2015).
2.2 Boost Metabolism And Lose Weight
Golden kiwifruit is rich in Vitamin B5 (also known as pantothenic acid) which is a water-soluble vitamin that is found in all cells of our body. Pantothenic acid is key in the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats; our body use pantothenic acid in synthesizing coenzyme-A (CoA) as well as to metabolizing proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Thus, eating golden kiwifruit can help to boost metabolism as well as to lose weight by breaking down fats.
2.3 Good For Pregnancy
Golden kiwifruits contain a high level of folate, a water-soluble B-vitamin which is also known as vitamin B9 or folacin. Sufficient supplement of folate (a minimum of 400 micrograms per day) before and during early pregnancy is proven to be helpful in preventing some major birth defects of the baby’s brain (known as anencephaly) and spine (known as spina bifida). Anencephaly is the absence of a major portion of the brain, skull, and scalp that occurs during embryonic development. Spina bifida is a birth defect that involves the incomplete development of the spinal cord or its coverings, the disease can result in some severe physical disabilities. According to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), golden kiwifruits contain 34 mcg folate (equivalent to 8.5% RDA) per 100 g (3.5 oz) serving and is a recommended food source for folate for every woman even she does not have a plan to become pregnant.
2.4 Enhance Immunity
Golden kiwifruits are rich in Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid), a water-soluble vitamin and powerful antioxidant. According to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Research Service, golden kiwifruits contain 105.4 mg Vitamin C (equivalent to 127% RDA) per 100 g (3.5 oz) serving. Vitamin C play a key role in boosting our immunity, it affects several parts of the human immune system; for instance, vitamin C has been shown to stimulate both the production and function of leukocytes (white blood cells), especially neutrophils, lymphocytes, and phagocytes (oregonstate.edu 2017). A lack of Vitamin C can lead to a serious immune deficiency called scurvy which can further lead to anemia, fatigue, and bleeding.
2.5 Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are hardened masses of minerals that can cause severe pain in the back and abdomen. Urinary stone prevalence is estimated at 3% in all individuals, and it affects up to 12% of the population during their lifetime. Statistics show that the rate of people who develop kidney stones is increasing in the U.S. and the reasons for the trend are still unknown (onhealth.com 2016). What’s more, the chance of having recurring stones are about 70-80 percent once a person suffers their first stone attack, therefore it is important to prevent kidney stones as well as its recurrence through our daily diets. Researches suggest that higher potassium intake can help lower the risk for getting kidney stones, and golden kiwifruit is an excellent food source of potassium.
2.6 Indigestion And Inappetence
[CTM Formula] A decoction of dried golden kiwifruit is taken orally to treat indigestion and inappetence.
[CTM Formula] A decoction of dried golden kiwifruit and root of Chinese trichosanthes is taken orally to treat diabetes.
2.8 Reduce Scrotal Swelling
[CTM Formula] A decoction of dried golden kiwifruit and oval kumquat root mixed with soju is taken orally to treat painful scrotal swelling.
2.9 Kidney Stone
[CTM Formula] A decoction of dried golden kiwifruit is taken orally to treat a kidney stone.
2.10 Ascites Due To Cirrhosis
[CTM Formula] A decoction of dried golden kiwifruit, Lobelia chinensis and red dates is taken orally to treat ascites due to cirrhosis.
The Ben Cao Medical Book (also known as Compendium of Materia Medica or Ben Cao Gang Mu; Chinese: 本草纲目) is the most famous and comprehensive medical book ever written in the history of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Compiled and written by Li Shi-zhen (1518~1593), a medical expert of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) over 27 years.
The Ben Cao Medical Book records and describes all the plants, animals, minerals, and other objects that were believed to have medicinal properties in TCM. The book reflects the pharmaceutical achievements and developments of East Asia before the 16th century. On the basis of his predecessors’ achievements in the pharmacological studies, Li contributed further by supplementing and rectifying many past mistakes and misconception in relate to nature of many medicinal substances and causes of various illnesses. Charles Darwin, originator of the biological theory of evolution, regards the book as the “ancient Chinese encyclopedia”.
Disclaimer: The Ben Cao Medical Book is translated by ChinaAbout.net. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of CTM knowledge and information from the research and experience from the author Li Shi-zhen. Kindly be alert that the CTM knowledge and ancient formulas given above are likely NOT medically proven and may contain misconceptions.
List of reference
harvard.edu 2015 Making one change — getting more fiber — can help with weight loss [online] link: http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/making-one-change-getting-fiber-can-help-weight-loss-201502177721