Buddha’s hand is a citron fruit native to China and Northeast India. The unusual name of this fruit has come from its odd shape that resembles the hand of praying Buddha. The ripened fruit grows into long separate tentacles like fingers of a hand. It belongs to the same family as pomelo and mandarins, and possesses a distinct fruity fragrance and citrus flavor. Scientifically named as Citrus medica, the Buddha’s hand is also known as Fo Shou in some oriental regions.
The Buddha’s hand holds an important place in religious ceremonies because of its shape. Since ancient times, in China, the Buddha’s hand is used as a medicinal herb
to treat variety of diseases. It is also used to make perfumes and used as an ornamental fruit. Although its popularity is not widespread globally, in recent times, it is being looked upon as a health promoting fruit with many therapeutic properties. Buddha’s hand is juiceless, seedless and tastes bittersweet with a bit of a tangy taste, like lemon.
Nutritional Facts of Buddha’s Hand
The Buddha’s hand may not have many nutrients; however it does have high amounts of vitamin C, calcium and dietary fiber
It is devoid of any fats, carbohydrates, proteins and sugars.
Buddha’s hand is rich in volatile oils and other aromatic organic compounds like coumarin, limonin and diosmin
. This chemical composition of the Buddha’s hand plays an important role in treating many medical conditions.
Health Benefits of Buddha’s Hand
Buddha’s hand has a variety of therapeutic benefits and helps treat many medical conditions. It is one of the healthiest fruit to include in your diet. Some of its health benefits are:Relieves Pain
: Aromatic organic compounds found in the Buddha’s hand like coumarin, limonin, diosmin and bergapten are pain relieving agents. They are also anti-inflammatory
which help reduce swelling and pain. For hundreds of years, the Buddha’s hand is known for its pain relief properties. It can effectively ease inflammation and pain caused due to cuts, surgeries, bruises
, wounds and sprain. Treats Respiratory Diseases
: Buddha’s hand contains mild alcoholic compound which acts as an expectorant to treat respiratory diseases
. It helps clear cough and phlegm from the pharynx; relieves pain and eases breathing. It also helps treat asthma
to some extent. Soak the fruit in a bowl of water with some sugar to get maximum relief from breathing discomfort.Boosts Immunity
: Buddha’s hand is a great immunity booster owing to its chemical composition. There is a specific polysaccharide found in the fruit that enhances microbe scavenging activity of macrophages. This improves body immunity
and prevents from frequent infections like cold and flu
. Vitamin C fights infections and protects the body from microbial attack.Benefits the Gastrointestinal System
: The anti-inflammatory property of this fruit helps reduce inflammation in the stomach lining and intestine. It relieves pain, cramps and treats diarrhea. High amounts of dietary fibers further increase nutrient absorption in the intestines and ease food flow through colon. It also helps treat constipation
and maintain proper digestion.Regulates Blood Pressure
: Buddha’s hand contains alcohol extracts that dilate the blood vessels and ease blood flow; which reduces blood pressure. Vasodilatation significantly lowers the strain on the blood vessels which increases blood circulation, reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke and atherosclerosis
.Relief to Menstrual Pain
: Menstrual pain can be very discomforting at times. Buddha’s hand is an ancient remedy used to treat menstrual cramps, mood swings and bleeding
. Its antioxidant and inflammation relieving properties are beneficial in calming muscles of the lower abdomen and reduces pain.Antioxidant Benefits
: Buddha’s hand is rich in vitamin C content which acts as antioxidant
. It clears the body from free radicals and prevents oxidative damage of cells and tissues. It helps the body fight infections and reduces the risk of cancer. Antioxidants also delay aging of skin cells making the skin healthier and beautiful. The compound limonin has anti-cancerous properties which fight against breast cancer and colorectal tumors
.Medicinal Herb Benefits:
Traditional Chinese medicine uses Buddha’s Hand as a herb to treat inflammation of liver, lungs and spleen. It also helps treat vomiting, stomach pain and loss of appetite
. This fruit has also been effective in reducing chest pain and distension. Traditionally it is used as medicine to reduce swelling and pain in muscles.Lowers Cholesterol
: Buddha’s hand contains pectin which considerably reduces blood cholesterol levels
. The fruit maintains proper blood circulation and improves fat metabolism, preventing fat deposition on the walls of arteries. This protects the heart from cardiovascular diseases
Buddha’s Hand Recipe
Juicy Citron DelightIngredients:
- Buddha’s Hand citron finger, ¼ cup chopped, finely ground
- Lime juice/mandarin juice, 1 tsp
- Soda water, 150 ml
- Mint leaves
- Sugar 1 tbsp
- Ice cubes
- In a cocktail glass add lime juice, sugar, mint leaves and grounded citron finger.
- Muddle all the ingredients a little.
- Add ice cubes.
- Pour in soda water.
- Enjoy the fizz!