Instant discovery of Calabash juice-A A +A
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
IT'S a fruit that looks a lot like a coconut and watermelon in appearance and size.
Calabash is not popular in Davao City yet unlike other fruits which are well within easy reach by the consumers either from a neighbourhood fruit stand or from public market.
In fact, I saw one myself in a city's suburb Magtuod when I came to visit our place there about two years ago. Looking so green and perfectly round, I mistook it for a watermelon. But there were no rambling vines on the ground and the fruits cling to a tree about roof-high, instead.
There's not yet mass production of these fruits in the city, not even in the neighbouring areas. I could only see these fruits seldom, very seldom. The latest was last year in an exhibit spearheaded by Southern Mindanao Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (SMARRDEC) at the University of Southeastern Philippines (Usep) sometime in August 2012.
Bilma Fuertes, an exhibitor, was bannering her products the Mary's light Miraculous Calabash Juice. About 20 bottles were displayed in her booth and more or less 10 hoard of students crowd Bilma's small booth during the exhibit.
Amazed upon seeing the Calabash for the second time a year later, I made my way to Bilma's booth just after each student got to taste the processed darkened juice extract of the fruit.
Out of curiosity, I asked how she came up with the juice from Calabash. She shared that it's her quest to find a better alternative in place of expensive medicines for her ailing husband that she discovered the medicinal properties of Calabash.
Having undergone trainings at Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Bilma has been making bottles of Calabash Juice not only good for her family but also for those who believe in herbal alternative to treat diseases.
That way, not only she keeps her family's health but also earns a living out of the Calabash juice.
She said the meat of this fruit is unstained white but it turns greyish because of the process it undergoes to extract the juice. Calabash meat normally has foul odor, she added.
The final product, however, is not as fetid as described, which tastes as sweet as a honey.
Calabash fruit is believed to remedy respiratory problems such as asthma and cough, cures dysentery and stomach aches, reduces blood pressure. It contains hydrocyanic acid, which is considered as purgative.
Bilma usually displays her products only during exhibits. Her products are also available at the one-stop shop located at the regional office Department of Agriculture 11 on F. Bangoy Street, Davao City.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 22, 2013.