I will try just about any new fruit or vegetable on the quest for good health. But the Buddha’s Hand has to be one of the weirdest plants I’ve seen. I was visiting a friend in China when she pointed to fruit and asked what its name is. I had no idea, so we pulled out an English-Chinese dictionary and looked it up: “fo shou guo” (佛手果). It turns out that the Buddha’s Hand is associated with good fortune and longevity in traditional Chinese medicine. Also known as the Fingered Citron, the Buddha’s Hand is one of the oldest citrus fruits. For centuries, Buddhist hand fruit has been used as medicinal herbs around Asia. Buddha hand fruit health benefits include antioxidants, respiratory, and immune support.
Buddha hand fruit health benefits include being an immune system booster and anti-inflammatory. The fruit is also known to help reduce stress, fight cancer and improve heart health. Those who are familiar with the benefits of Buddha Hand Citron describe it as one of the most potent natural healers available today; however, there are those who warn against consuming this fruit because it may be more poisonous than healing for some people.
Trying new foods is always worth it because you never know what you may fall in love with. Even as I age I have fallen in love with a lot of foods that I used to hate. The major benefit is discovering new ways to get in the health benefits that so many different plants offer. When you eat a balanced diet that consists of a lot of vegetables and fruits, your body shows it.
It All Begins in China
The name ‘Buddha’s Hand’ was given to this unique citrus by European explorers when they came across what looked like a hand with long fingers on one of these fruits. However, locals in Asia had already been familiar with this type of citron. It is rich in volatile oils and other compounds like limonene, which is a natural antiseptic. The effects of this antiseptic compound have been backed by an increasing amount of research and can be applied directly to the skin or taken as a supplement in the form of lemon balm. Recommended Read: 11 Great Bijora Fruit Benefits
The fruit isn’t actually shaped like a hand, but it does resemble stretched fingers, hence the name buddha hand. The fruit is yellow and has an elongated shape with bumps on its skin. The bumpy skin helps maintain moisture in the fruit for up to 2 months after harvest. It’s these same bumps that give buddha hand fruits their unique appearance. Their fragrance is refreshingly sweet and sour at the same time, much like mandarin oranges or grapefruit. They can be eaten fresh or used in cooking, making them ideal for inclusion in salads, soups, juices, desserts, beverages, and marinades.
The Buddha’s Hand fruit also contains high amounts of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and immune-boosting phytochemicals that give it it’s bright coloring. It has gained popularity recently as an ingredient in detoxing teas but is now frequently used in beauty products like soap and lotions. Recommended Read: Quick & Easy DIY Skin Care Guide
Watch the video below to see more on Buddha hand fruit health benefits and how to use this strange fruit.
Buddha Hand Fruit Health Benefits
Buddha’s hand is a fruit with many health benefits that can either be eaten raw or processed. Below are some of the health benefits of having Buddha’s hand as part of your diet:
The buddha’s hand is one fruit that has a diverse set of minerals and vitamins that help us to build healthy bones and grow strong teeth, it also contains anti-cancer properties which will protect you against various cancers like prostate cancer. It aids the digestive system by being good for nursing stomach issues, helps with heart complaints, cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension too. Making it a daily meal helps in weight loss because buddha’s hands have fewer calories than other fruits around the world resisting obesity!
1. Treats Fever
Buddha’s hand fruit contains chrysanthenone, which is said to reduce body temperature when taken orally. In addition to this, its mineral content like potassium and phosphorus helps in reducing fever as well. Therefore, taking a glass of cold tea prepared with Buddha’s hand can actually help you get relief from fever. It doesn’t matter whether you are suffering from high or low-grade fever; it will make you feel better by lowering the temperature of the body immediately.
2. Great Source Of Vitamin C
Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid is an essential vitamin for our body that each cell needs in order to function properly and stay healthy. This vitamin acts as a natural remedy to treat issues the flu and cold. Not only that, it even boosts the immune system of your body. Vitamin C can be found abundantly in Buddha’s hand fruit which is great for overall health as well.
3. Skin Treatment
Buddha’s hand has anti-inflammatory properties which are very helpful in reducing swelling and pain caused by a skin problem like eczema or psoriasis. Therefore, you can use the extract from this fruit to get rid of these issues naturally . In addition to being used on the skin, it also helps to protect the whole body from harmful UV radiation when taken orally (as mentioned above).
4. For Healthy Hair And Nails
Buddha’s hand fruit is also a great source of vitamin E which helps to promote healthy hair and nails. Thus, it can be used to combat hair loss and dandruff  . Recommended Read: Quarantine Self-Care Guide: Skin, Nails, & Hair
5. For A Good Night’s Sleep
Vitamin E works together with Vitamin C in the body to reduce inflammation as well as heal wounds quicker. They are both important for the relaxation of blood vessels which aids sleep as it enables better circulation of oxygen around the body  . Furthermore, they can stimulate serotonin production which improves mood, relaxation, and overall health. Taking these vitamins orally or applying their extract to your skin will help you get a good night’s sleep every day.
6. Lowering Cholesterol Levels
Buddha’s hand fruit is also useful in lowering cholesterol levels. It contains phytosterols which are plant-based compounds that have the ability to reduce cholesterol levels as well as prevent and treat arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis  . They also regulate the absorption of fat and lower LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol which are fats that can clog your arteries, harden them, increase heart rate, and lead to other disorders such as stroke or a heart attack  .
7. For Healthy Skin
Studies have shown that vitamin E is necessary for healthy skin . It’s highly effective in improving damaged skin and keeps the epidermis fully moisturized by preventing water loss. The antioxidants found in Buddha’s hand fruit oil contribute to healthy glowing skin and reducing the signs of aging.
8. For Digestion
Mastic fruit contains a healthy combination of dietary fibers that prevents constipation and other digestive problems  . It regulates the secretion of gastric juices and bile in the intestinal tract, balances your body’s pH levels, and maintains a healthy bowel function. The high fiber content found in Buddha hand fruits helps to regulate blood sugar levels which prevent oxidative stress and inflammation on diabetes patients. Recommended Read: 7 Ways to Boost Digestion You Never Knew Existed + [Video]
9. Treats Respiratory Diseases
Mastic fruit contains essential oils that are known to have long-lasting expectorant, decongestant, and antibacterial properties. They help to open up the airways, treat respiratory issues, reduce inflammation of the throat tissues and relieve coughs  .
10. Menstrual Cramp Relief
Buddha’s hand fruit has been known to provide relief to menstrual cramps. It contains essential nutrients that help to soothe muscle spasms and reduce inflammation. The high potassium content is also known to reduce water retention in the body, which can cause menstrual cramps.
11. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Essential oils found in a slice of Buddha’s hand are said to have anti-inflammatory properties . They help heal aches and pains in arthritis patients as they contain natural pain relievers that block the release of histamine on cells that can trigger inflammation. Recommended Read: Why Anti-Inflammatory Foods Are So Important
12. Prevents Free Radical Damage
Radical damage has been known to break down cells. According To Japanese research published in the Journal of Nutritional Science, buddha hand fruit contains powerful antioxidants called alkylresorcinols (AR) that have been proven effective against cancerous growths by preventing the formation of tumors.
But all the good things that buddha hand fruit can do to your body do not come without its share of caveats.
The following are some of the side effects you may experience if you consume too much buddha hand fruit:
- Some people may get very allergic to the buddha hand fruit and will have vomiting, diarrhea, skin rashes, and even worse breathing difficulties. You may want to be familiar with your own body’s tolerance level so that your health is properly taken care of. If you believe that you are allergic to it, it would be better if you avoid consuming this kind of food entirely for safety purposes.
- Inhaling the smell of buddha hand fruit may trigger your allergies, such that you can experience sneezing, congestion, and irritation.
- Those who are taking medications and want to use buddha hand fruit as part of their diet plan should always take note that there have been reported instances where this food has interfered with the efficiency or with the possible side effects of a certain medication. If you will be taking any kind of medicine, it is best to consult your doctor first before adding more things to your daily routine diet.
- Many people have discovered that consuming buddha hand fruit regularly actually contributes greatly to constipation.
In conclusion, buddha hand fruit has a host of benefits. However, you need to know the right way on how to best take advantage of these benefits.
Buddha hand fruit should be taken fresh as soon as it is ripe because its nutrients greatly deteriorate with time. You can also opt to freeze the buddha hand once harvested and thaw it when needed.
Although its popularity is not widespread globally, in recent times, it is being looked upon as a health-promoting fruit with many therapeutic properties.