Malus domestica Borkh.

Apple - a summer green tree with a round, spreading or round crown. Tree 3-12m tall. The trunk tends to grow up to 40 cm in diameter. The bark of the tree is dark gray in color, often cracks in older trees. The bark of young branches is olive green. The buds are ovoid, tightly attached to the shoots and covered with dark red plates. The leaves are ovate with a toothed edge. The young leaves are hairy from below.

The apple blossoms from the end of April to the beginning of May. Flowering is observed for 1-2 weeks, the leaves also flourish at the same time. The aromatic flowers are formed on shortened shoots, they have a white or pink color, arranged in shield-shaped inflorescences.

Fruits begin to appear on an apple tree starting from 4-12 years old (it varies according to the variety of apple tree). In the same way, different varieties of apple trees tend to have different shapes and colors of fruit. The flesh of the fruit is juicy, sweet or sour-sweet. Apple lives on average 100 years and is not very picky about the soil.

Thanks to the work of breeders, today there are many varieties of apple trees and they are divided into early, summer and late varieties. Their fruits differ not only in taste, but also in chemical composition.

The fruits, flowers and leaves of the apple tree are used for medicinal purposes. Fruits are collected starting from August to mid-October - it is related to the region where the apple tree grows. Apple fruits can be conveniently stored in rooms with a positive (+) temperature, but close to zero, in such conditions they are stored for 3-5 months. Apple fruits of late varieties keep best.

Apple fruits are also dried in dryers and ovens at a temperature not exceeding 70C. It is also allowed to dry the fruits in the sun, but it is preferable to cut them more finely - into lobes or "rings".

Apple leaves are collected in June-July. Dry on sieves, in a well-ventilated and shady place, stirring the drug from time to time. It is also allowed to dry in forced dryers, not exceeding a temperature of 40-50C. The leaf is dry if the middle vein of the leaf does not bend, but breaks. It is preferable to store the leaves in a closed container for no longer than one year.

Fresh fruits contain various sugars (fructose, glucose, sucrose up to 12%), organic acids (up to 2.4% - malic acid, tartaric acid, citric acid, chlorogenic acid, arabic acid), pectins, tannins and dyes, vitamin C and B, carotene, essential oils, mineral salts, iron, phosphorus, manganese, iodine. Complex esters of amyl alcohol with formic acid, caproic acid, acetic acid, caprylic acid and acetic aldehyde were found in the composition of essential oils. Flavonoids are found in the peel of the fruit. The seeds of the fruit contain about 0.6% amygdalin glycoside and up to 15% vegetable fat. The leaves, on the other hand, contain many phenolic compounds.

Medicinal significance

The medicinal effect of the fruit of the apple is focused on the arrangement of the digestive tract, especially the intestinal tract. Malic acid, citric acid, tartaric acid together with vitamin P, tannins and pectin substances act against rotting and fermentation processes in the intestines and improve the health of the intestinal tract.

The tannins found in the ripe fruit enhance the blood vessel-strengthening effect of vitamin C. The potassium and tannins in the fruit prevent uric acid salts from settling in the joints, so apples can be used to reduce the development of gout, chronic rheumatism, arthritis, sclerosis and kidney stones. Apples also help remove oxalic acid from the body. Pectin substances improve metabolism, and also help remove toxins and excess cholesterol from the body.

Apples have an antimicrobial effect: pectin substances are able to stop the development of influenza type A virus in the body. Phytoncides, on the other hand, actively act against the development of staphylococcus aureus. For example, apple juice of the "Antonovka" variety has a destructive effect on the causative agents of dysentery.

Thanks to the research of European scientists, it has been established that apples are able to reduce blood cholesterol levels and have a preventive effect against atherosclerosis. This can be explained by the effect of pectin on bile and the intestinal tract. Pectin substances increase the output of these acids from the body, they also remove cholesterol from liver cells, regulating lipid exchange - which is also useful if you want to deal with excess weight. Therefore, it is advisable to eat a couple of apples every day - it will reduce the absorption of fat in the intestines, and the level of cholesterol in the body will also decrease. In addition, research has shown that they also improve heart function.

Homemade decoction of apple leaves effectively helps to get rid of hoarseness.

Thanks to the fact that the apple is easily available and contains many valuable elements, this remedy is especially popular in folk medicine. Apple fruit is an excellent source of vitamins that can be used for the prevention and treatment of many diseases. Fresh apples can be grated into a paste and a little butter can be added - wounds, burns, frostbite and other skin damage can be treated with this preparation, this same remedy helps women clean up the nipples after breastfeeding. Such a remedy also helps to treat ulcers that do not heal for a long time.

Fresh fruits quickly help in cases of avitaminosis, inflammatory diseases of the digestive tract and chronic constipation. Dried apple tea is an excellent aid in the treatment of kidney stone disease, rheumatism, gout and diseases of the digestive tract.

Apple juice is used to treat liver diseases, as a choleretic agent, as well as to treat anemia, gastritis, vitamin deficiency and ulcers. The juice strengthens the cardiovascular system, it is especially useful for people who do mentally hard work. Therefore, if you have to think a lot at work, you should pour yourself apple juice instead of coffee.

Fresh, baked and boiled apples are used on an empty stomach to prevent disorders of the digestive tract, more often in children, in case of weak digestion, as a mild laxative in case of long constipation, also as a diuretic in various edemas, atherosclerosis, chronic rheumatism, gout, kidney stone diseases in case of exacerbation. Apple fruits are also valuable in case of anemia, when the body lacks iron.

Apple leaves are effective against colds, hoarseness, by simply consuming them in the form of tea.

Apple cider vinegar is a popular and effective remedy in folk medicine. It is used to treat arthritis, osteochondrosis and hypertension. Rinse your mouth with apple vinegar diluted with water to get rid of chronic tonsillitis and acute angina. Apple vinegar is also used to rub the skin before going to sleep to reduce sweating, to improve the feeling of varicose veins, to treat radiculitis and skin fungal diseases. For the treatment of diseases of the upper respiratory tract, the planting of home apple flowers will be useful.

Apples are also used in diets. Make separate days when only apples are used in the diet, they will help cleanse the body of harmful substances, toxins, salts and cholesterol. When following a diet, it is good to know that sour apples will have a beneficial effect on diabetics, sweet apples on liver patients, as well as gastritis patients who have an increased content of gastric juice.

Not recommended for use

Although theapple tree contains many valuable substances, it also tends to have side effects and cases when it is better not to use it. Apples are not recommended for people suffering from pancreatitis, enteritis, gastritis with increased acid content, as well as severe kidney diseases.

Sour varieties of apples can aggravate the manifestations of digestive tract ulcers and worsen a person's well-being. In such cases, it is recommended to use apples of sweet varieties - peeled and grated or fried.

If allergic reactions are observed, it is worth choosing apple varieties with green fruits - they rarely cause allergies.

It is not recommended to use apples at night. Likewise, after eating apples, to protect tooth enamel, it is advisable to rinse your mouth with water.

It is good to know that apple seeds contain hydrocyanic acid, so it is not advisable to overdo it with the use of seeds in the diet.