Cape gooseberries: properties, benefits and contraindications
Yellow and orange fruits of Japanese origin also known by the name of "Chinese lantern", the cape gooseberry is a fruit particularly appreciated in the oriental world for its nutritional and aesthetic qualities.
Hidden by a glass of leaves reminiscent of tissue paper, we find this autumn fruit rich in vitamin C, used by our ancestors as a natural purifier. The cape gooseberry aesthetically resembles a small tomato, with an oily touch and golden and yellow tones.
Physalis alkekengi, better known as alchechengi, is a herbaceous plant belonging to the Solanaceae family. It resists very well even to the most intense colds and therefore can also be grown in pots during the cold seasons. In addition to beautifying your garden or balcony, it will be for you a continuous source of fruits with immense beneficial properties.
It can be found easily in most Italian regions. The slightly citrus flavor is truly irresistible. Of the whole plant, only the fruit the size of a cherry is edible. The leaves that surround it instead contain solanine, a toxic substance for the body. We will investigate this shortly, in the paragraph of Cape gooseberry contraindications.
Nutritional values per 100g of physalis:
Water 85.4 g 66 kcal
Protein 2.38 g
Fat 0.97 g
Carbohydrates 14 g
Vitamin C 11 mg
Glycemic index 15
Cholesterol 0 g
Cape gooseberry: property In 2010, the Ministry of Health officially confirmed that Cape gooseberry is a fruit that offers many benefits to the body and can well integrate a healthy and balanced diet. Among the most known and renowned properties, we find its being a purifying and a natural diuretic. In the field of herbal medicine it is used to treat kidney stones and gout. Cape gooseberry is a plant rich in mucilage, flavonoids and carotenoids. It is an excellent antioxidant, capable of integrating good quantities of vitamin C into the body. In fact, we consider that it has about double that of lemon. Thanks to this vitamin, it manages to raise the body's natural immune defenses, also acting as a protector against the stomach, liver and urinary tract. Integrating the Cape goose in your diet allows you not only to increase the quantities of antioxidants and vitamins, but also of carotenoids and acids that manage to keep the kidneys healthy. Cape gooseberries: benefits Cape goose beans purify the liver and kidneys, support the natural work of antibodies and protect the body from both influenza and chronic diseases caused by viruses and bacteria. It acts especially on the urinary tract, purifying them and preventing the formation of kidney stones. Its beneficial properties also extend over the entire skin, helping it to fight and prevent various diseases. The alchechengi infusion is used in phytotherapy for the treatment of gout and for those problems related to water retention. Its leaves as we have seen are toxic to the organism but, if used externally, they act as relaxing compresses to relieve inflammation of the skin.
Cape gooseberries: contraindications and side effects
The cape gooseberry fruit has no particular contraindications. However, some studies have shown that their intake may interfere with that of some medicines, such as diuretics. For this reason, if you are following a treatment, start consuming cape gooseberry only after having sought the advice of your doctor. The discourse is different as regards the oval-shaped leaves surrounding the fruit. They are particularly rich in solanine, a substance toxic to the body. Symptoms vary from vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and headache. They typically disappear within 24 hours. Like all other solanaceae, cape gooseberries can have traces of alkaloids, which are present mainly in leaves and stems. Precisely because of the possible contraindications, the fruits should be consumed in moderate quantities and possibly under the advice of a trusted nutritionist. How to use cape gooseberry The fruits of cape gooseberry can be eaten fresh or dried. Jams are particularly good, ideal substitutes for those we buy at the supermarket. The fruit can also be used as an ingredient for sweets, fruit salads and desserts. The leaves should not be used for food purposes but, considering their particular beauty, they lend themselves very well to different types of decorations. It is no coincidence that they are known as "Chinese lanterns", used precisely to decorate the windowsills of the house. You can also use cape gooseberry leaves to decorate some dishes based on this delicious fruit.