Mangoholic Summer:

In India, every year with the onset of summer, for almost from the time immemorial the mango season starts and by May when summer at its peak Mangoes is the common sight through out the country selling like hot cakes. No wonder the Mangoes are the national fruit of the India and “Food of the God”. Today, India is the world’s largest mango producer, growing nearly 1000 varieties of mango and contributing over 50 per cent of the world’s total mango production of approximately 23 million metric tons with very little export as most are consumed within the country.

Mango has been the most popular tropical fruit since 2000 BC or earlier finds a mentioned in the Indian history as well. In fact, the famous poet Kalidasa is known to have sung its praises. Apart from that, ancient Greek King Alexander the Great and Chinese pilgrim Hieun Tsang have been said to have savored its taste. Historical records also mention the instance of Mughal King Akbar planting 100,000 mango trees in Darbhanga, known as Lakhibagh.





Some interesting facts and myths about Mangoes:

The mango is known as the ‘king of fruit’ throughout the world.

The name ‘mango’ is derived from the Tamil word ‘mangkay’ or ‘man-gay’. When the Portuguese traders settled in Western India they adopted the name as ‘manga’.

Mangos originated in East India, Burma and the Andaman Islands bordering the Bay of Bengal. Around the 5th century B.C., Buddhist monks are believed to have introduced the mango to Malaysia and eastern Asia – legend has it that Buddha found tranquility and repose in a mango grove. Persian traders took the mango into the Middle East and Africa, from there the Portuguese brought it to Brazil and the West Indies. Mango cultivars arrived in Florida in the 1830’s and in California in the 1880’s.

The Mango tree plays a sacred role in India; it is a symbol of love and some believe that the Mango tree can grant wishes.

In the Hindu culture hanging fresh mango leaves outside the front door during Pongal (Tamil New Year) and Deepavali is considered a blessing to the house.

Mango leaves are used at weddings to ensure the couples bear plenty of children.

Mangos are bursting with protective nutrients. The vitamin content depends upon the variety and maturity of the fruit, when the mango is green the amount of vitamin C is higher, as it ripens the amount of beta carotene (vitamin A) increases.

Every part of the mango is beneficial and has been utilized in folk remedies in some form or another. Whether the bark, leaves, skin or pit; all have been concocted into various types of treatments or preventatives down through the centuries. A partial list of the many medicinal properties and purported uses attributed to the mango tree are as follows: anti-viral, anti-parasitic, anti-septic, anti-tussive (cough), anti-asthmatic, expectorant, cardio tonic, contraceptive, aphrodisiac, hypertensive, laxative, stomachic (beneficial to digestion).

Mangoes are powerful antioxidants that can prevent aging.


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