The Nutritional and Health Benefits of Rasbhari, Cape Gooseberries, or Golden Berries
Latin Name : Physalis peruviana
Indian Name : Rasbhari
Other Names : Cape gooseberry, Golden berry, Inca berry, Ground cherry, Peruvian cherry, Poha, Uchuva, Physalis berry, Giant ground cherry, Chinese lantern are among some of its other names.
Nutrients In Rasbhari
The fruit is rich in polyphenols and carotenoids.
It is rich in Vitamin A and C and provides 14% and 18% of the daily needs respectively.
It also provides 4 grams protein per 100 grams.
Rasbhari is rich in the B complex vitamins, thiamine and niacin and contains the minerals iron, phosphorus and some calcium.
It is rich in pectin.
Contains a high level of fructose, the beneficial sugar for diabetics.
Rasbhari, cape gooseberries, or golden berries have anti-asthmatic, anti-spasmodic, antiseptic, anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-ulcer properties.
Some of the health benefits of Rasbhari are :
- The polyphenols and carotenoids provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce the risk of diabetes, hypertension, and lung cancer.
- The melatonin content in rasbhari has been found to lower the risk of diseases associated with damage due to the rampaging free radicals like neurological diseases.
- Vitamin A keeps the vision strong, prevents the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, and maintains skin health.
- Pectin content helps in calcium absorption and along with phosphorus keeps the bones strong.
- The fruit has liver protective properties.
- The pectin also regulates the intestinal health.
- Rasbhari reduces cholesterol, regulates blood pressure levels, treats throat infections.
- It boosts immunity levels, cleanses the blood and also controls amoebiasis.
The rasbhari fruit has also been used traditionally in folk medicine.
- The leaf decoction is used as a diuretic and anti asthmatic.
- The heated leaves are applied as a poultice on inflammations.
- The leaf infusion is given as an enema.
- Rasbhari fruit has been used to treat malaria, rheumatism, dermatitis, asthma, hepatitis, leukemia, cancer etc.
About the Fruit
Rasbhari or cape gooseberry is native to Brazil but has become naturalized in Peru and Chile.
Both the plant and the fruit are called by the same name. Among other countries, the fruit is also grown in South Africa, Australia, China, Thailand, Egypt, India, New Zealand and various Pacific islands.
Rasbhari Plant And FruitClick thumbnail to view full-size
About the Plant
The rasbhari plant is closely related to the tomatillo as both belong to the same genus and is also related to tomato, potato, eggplant as they belong to the same family Solanaceae. Interestingly, though named a berry it is not related to any of the berries.
The cape gooseberry plant is usually about 2 to 3 feet tall but can grow up to 6 feet in height. The branches are ribbed, have a purplish tinge to them and are covered with fine hairs. The leaves are velvety and heart shaped but randomly toothed and at times somewhat pointed as well with fine hairs.
Rasbhari plant resembles a tomato plant but it stand firm, erect and the branches are woody. The fruit resembles small unripe tomatoes when raw and green.
The plants grow both in temperate and tropical climates, need plenty of sun and a lot of water or rain when they are growing. The water requirement drops appreciably when the fruits are maturing. They are propagated from seeds usually or by cuttings.
The rasbhari plants need a well drained soil and the best crop is obtained from sandy soils.
Rasbhari fruit is a smooth, round berry with orange yellow golden colored skin and contains numerous small yellow seeds embedded in its fleshy and juicy pulp. The berries are enclosed in individual paper thin bladder like coverings and appear like tiny lanterns hanging from the stems. The fruit tastes sweet but has a slight tart taste to it too.
Rasbhari is eaten raw but can be dried like raisins and eaten on its own or added to a variety of foods like yogurt, salads, oats, etc. It can also be used to make jams or jellies, pies, cake etc.
If left with the papery covering the fruits can stay good for a month or more. It is best to remove the fruits from their covering only when they need to be consumed.
The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies, supplements or starting a new health regime.
The Golden Berry
Cape Gooseberries: Tasting & Growing
How to make cape gooseberry chutney
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
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© 2013 Rajan Singh Jolly