Non-Traditional Approaches to
the Theories, Treatments and Prevention of Cancer

Cranberry

September 15, 2014

Cranberries are native to the swampy regions of both the temperate and arctic zones of North America and Europe. Because they grow on slender, curved stalks, suggesting the neck of a crane, they were named “crane-berry”, or “cranberry”.

Long before the first colonists arrived in this country the cranberry was in common use by the Native Americans. The Pilgrims found them in the low marshes near the shore on the Cape Cod peninsula, and the women preserved them as a delicacy and served them with wild turkey at Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts.

Cultivation of the cranberry began early in the nineteenth cen­tury. The earliest records show that the business was largely carried on by retired seamen. Howe and McFarlin were the names of two of these men, and important varieties of cranberries are named for them. By 1870, a flourishing business had developed. It was re­corded in 1832 that ”Captain Henry Hall of Barnstable, Massachu­setts, had then cultivated the cranberry for twenty years,” and that “Mr. F. A. Hayden of Lincoln, Massachusetts, gathered from his farm in 1830, 400 bushels of cranberries which brought him in the Boston market $600.”

It has been said that the old clipper ships out of Gloucester, New Bedford, and the “Down East” ports carried supplies of raw cranberries in casks so that the sailors could help themselves. They did this to prevent scurvy, just as the sailors of England and South­ern Europe used limes to prevent this disease.

Cranberries grow on low, thick vines in a bog. The bogs are built on peat swamps that have been cleared, drained, and leveled. Water must be available and arranged so that the bog can be drained or flooded at the appropriate time. The surface, usually sand, on top of a subsoil that will hold moisture, must be level so the bog can be covered with water to a uniform depth when neces­sary. A cranberry bog takes three to five years to come into full production.

There are only five states that produce the greater supply of cranberries for market. They are, in order of production: Massa­chusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Washington, and Oregon. The berries are marketed from September through March, and the peak months are October, November, and December.

The quality of the berry is determined by its roundness and size, and from its color, which varies from light to dark crimson, depending on the degree of maturity. Some varieties of cranberries are more olive-shaped or oblong. They have a fresh, plump appear­ance combined with a high luster and firmness. Avoid a shriveled, dull, soft-appearing berry.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Cranberries have a heavy acid content, and therefore should not be eaten too frequently. They increase the acidity of the urine. Be­ cause of their extremely tart taste, people drown them in sugar syrup, which makes them unfit for human consumption. They are best if cooked first; then add raisins and a little honey.

One of the finest therapeutic uses for cranberries is as a remedy for rectal disturbances, piles, hemorrhoids, and inflammation of the rectal pouch.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 218

Protein: 1.8g

Fat: 3.18g

Carbohydrates: 51.4g

Calcium: 63.5mg

Phosphorus: 50mg

Iron: 2.7mg

Vitamin A: 182I.U.

Thiamine: .13mg

Riboflavin: .09mg

Niacin: 0.45mg

Ascorbic acid: 55mg

Pomegranate

September 8, 2014

Mohammad once told his followers: “Eat the pomegranate, for it purges the system of envy and hatred.” The pomegranate is one of the oldest fruits known to man. Frequent references to it are found in the Bible and in ancient Sanskrit writings. Homer mentions it in his Odyssey, and it appears in the story of The Arabian Nights. The pomegranate is native to Persia and its neighboring countries, and for centuries has been extensively cultivated around the Mediterranean, spreading through Asia. King Solomon was known to have an orchard of pomegranates, and history speaks of the children of Israel wandering in the wilderness and remembering with longing the cooling taste of the pomegranate. Ancient Assyrian and Egyptian sculpture has depicted this fruit, and it is sometimes on ancient Carthaginian and Phoenician medals.

The word pomegranate is derived from the Latin world meaning “apple with many seeds.” The fruit grows on a bush or small tree from twelve to twenty feet high. It grows to about the size of an orange or larger.

A pomegranate of good quality may be medium or large in size and the coloring can range from pink to bright red. The rind is thin and tough, and there should be an abundance of bright red or crimson flesh, with a small amount of pulp. The seeds are contained in a reddish, juicy pulp that is subacid and of fine flavor. They should be tender, easy to eat, and small in proportion to the juicy matter that surrounds them, while the juice should be abundant and rich in flavor.

There are many varieties of pomegranate. At least ten varieties were growing in southern Spain in the thirteenth century, as described by a writer of the time. It is a warm-climate fruit, and the leading producers in this country are California and the Gulf states. This fruit will not mature in cooler climates, although there are dwarf forms grown in cool climates which have striking scarlet flowers that are sold commercially. Pomegranates are in season September through December, and October is the peak month.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Use only the juice of the pomegranate. This juice is one of the best for bladder disorders and has a slightly purgative effect. For elderly people, it is a wonderful kidney and bladder tonic.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND (edible portion)

Calories: 160

Protein: 1.3 g

Fat: 0.8 g

Carbohydrates: 41.7 g

Calcium: 20 mg

Phosphorus: .8 mg

Iron: .8 mg

Vitamin A: trace

Thiamine: 0.07 mg

Riboflavin: 0.07 mg

Niacin: 0.7 mg

Ascorbic acid: 10 mg

Onion

September 2, 2014

Onions are believed to have originated in Asia. When the Israeli’s were in the wilderness after being led out of Egypt by Moses, they yearned for onions and other vegetables they were used to eating. Onions were used by the Egyptians as offerings to their gods. They were fed to the workmen who built the pyramids, and Alexander the Great gave onions to his troops to promote their valor.

The odoriferous onion and the dainty lily are members of the same family, Liliaceae. The substance that gives the onion its distinctive odor and flavor is a volatile sulfurous oil which is about half eliminated by boiling. This volatile oil is what causes tears. Holding onions under cold water while peeling them prevents the oil fumes from rising, so use water and spare your handkerchief.

Onions lose approximately 27% of their original ascorbic acid (vitamin C) after five minutes of boiling.

There are two classes of onions—strong and mild. The early grown onions are generally milder in flavor and odor and are preferred for raw use. Each of these two classes can be again categorized into four colors—red, brown, white and yellow. The white onions are the mildest. Each has many varieties.

Onions are also further divided by size for different uses. The smallest size is the pickling onion, also knows as pearl or button onion, and is not more than one inch thick. The next size is the boiling onion, which is usually an inch to two inches in diameter. The next larger size is preferred for chopping or grating. The very large Spanish or Bermuda onions are mild and sweet and good for slicing. They average two and one-half to two and three-quarters inches in diameter. In the trade, the term Valencia is used to mean Spanish-type yellow onions. The globe and flat-type yellow onions are generally referred to as yellows, and white onions of the globe and semi-globe types are generally referred to as whites.

Texas is the main early spring producer; California and Texas the main late spring states; California and New Jersey the most important early summer producers; and New York, Michigan, Minnesota, Colorado, California, Idaho, and Oregon the principal late summer states.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Onions are one of the earliest known food medicines, and were used for hundreds of years for colds and catarrhal disorders and to drive fermentations and impurities out of the system. The liquid from a raw onion that has been chopped up fine, covered with honey, and left standing for four or five hours, makes an excellent cough syrup. It is wonderful for soothing an inflamed throat. Onion packs on the chest have been used for years in bronchial inflammations.

Onions contain a large amount of sulfur and are especially good for the liver. As a sulfur food, they mix best with proteins, as they stimulate the action of the amino acids to the brain and nervous system. Whenever onions are eaten, it is a good idea to use greens with them. Parsley especially helps neutralize the effects of the onion sulfur in the intestinal tract.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 157

Protein: 6 g

Fat: 0.4 g

Carbohydrates: 36 g

Calcium: 111 mg

Phosphorus: 149 mg

Iron: 2.1 mg

Vitamin A: 160 I.U.

Thiamine: 0.15 mg

Riboflavin: 0.10 mg

Niacin: 0.6 mg

Ascorbic acid: 38 mg

Apricot

August 25, 2014

The apricot is said to have originated in China. It spread from there to other parts of Asia, then to Greece and Italy. As early as 1562 there is mention of the apricot in England in Turner’s Herbal.

It is recorded that the apricot grew in abundance in Virginia in the year 1720. In 1792 Vancouver, the explorer, found a fine fruit orchard that included apricots at Santa Clara, California. The fruit was probably brought to California by the Mission Fathers in the eighteenth century.

The apricot is a summer fruit, and is grown in the Western United States. California produces 97 percent of the commercial apricot crop. Only about 21 percent of the apricots produced commercially are sold fresh; the remainder are canned, dried, or frozen.

Tree-ripened apricots have the best flavor, but tree-ripened fruit is rarely available in stores, even those close to the orchard. The next best thing to a well-matured apricot is one that is orange-yellow in color, and plump and juicy. Immature apricots never attain the right sweetness or flavor. There are far too many immature apricots on the market. They are greenish-yellow, the flesh is firm, and they taste sour. Avoid green and shriveled apricots.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Apricots may be eaten raw in a soft diet. Ripe apricots are especially good for very young children and for older people. This fruit is quite laxative, and rates high in alkalinity. Apricots also contain cobalt, which is necessary in the treatment of anemic conditions.

Apricots may be pureed for children who are just beginning to eat solid foods. Apricot whip for dessert is wonderful, and apricots and cream may be used in as many ways as possible. They make good afternoon and evening snacks.

Dried apricots have six times as much sugar content as the fresh fruit. Therefore, persons with diabetic conditions must be careful not to eat too much dried apricot. Because of its sugar content, however, it is good when we need an energy boost.

Dried fruits should be put in cold water and brought to a boil the night before, or permitted to soak all night, before eating. Bringing the water to a boil kills any germ life that may be on the fruit. Sweeten only with honey, maple syrup, or natural sugars.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 241

Protein: 4.3 g

Fat: 0.4 g

Carbohydrates: 55.1 g

Calcium: 68 mg

Phosphorus: 98 mg

Iron: 2.1 mg

Vitamin A: 11,930 I.U.

Thiamine: 0.13 mg

Riboflavin: 0.17 mg

Niacin: 3.2 mg

Ascorbic acid: 42 mg

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Blackberry

August 18, 2014

Blackberries are native to both North America and Europe, but cultivation of this fruit is largely limited to North America. In the early days of the United States, when land was cleared for pasture, blackberry bushes began to multiply. There are many hybrids of blackberries, and both man and nature have had a hand in this process. By 1850, cultivated blackberries had become very popular. Blackberries are now cultivated in almost every part of the United States. Texas and Oregon probably have the largest numbers of acres planted with blackberries. Cultivation of this berry has been slow, because wild berries grow in abundance all over the country. The summer months are the peak season for blackberries.

A quality berry is solid and plump, appears bright and fresh, and is a full black or blue color. Do not choose berries that are partly green or off-color, because the flavor will not be good.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Blackberries are high in iron, but can cause constipation. They have been used for years to control diarrhea. If blackberry juice is mixed with cherry or prune juice, the constipating effect will be taken away. If one can take blackberry juice without constipating results, it is one of the finest builders of the blood.

Much like spinach, raisins, apples, plums and grapes, blackberries are rich in bioflavonoids and Vitamin C, but other nutritional benefits include a very low sodium count and having only 62 calories to a cup. The dark blue colour ensures blackberries have one of the highest antioxidant levels of all fruits. Antioxidants, well-known for lowering the risk of a number of cancers, are a huge bonus, but be aware the berries are best consumed in their natural state to get the full benefits.

The berries are known by a variety of names, which include brambleberries, bramble, dewberry, thimbleberry and lawers. Consumption of blackberries can help to promote the healthy tightening of tissue, which is a great non-surgical procedure to make skin look younger. Prolonged consumption also helps keeps your brain alert, thereby maintaining clarity of thought and good memory. The high tannin content of blackberries provides a number of benefits to reduce intestinal inflammation, alleviate hemorrhoids and soothe the effects of diarrhea.

Traditionally, the leaves and barks of the plant have also been consumed. The leaves of blackberries have been used to treat mild inflammation of the gums and sometimes even sore throats. The astringent tannins are effective in oral hygiene when used as a gargle or mouthwash. The leaves can also be used in a refreshing cup of tea or enhanced as a therapeutic drink. Not everyone will like the flavor, so to mask the bitter taste, honey or another form of sweetener may be added. The healthy dose of Vitamin K aids in muscle relaxing, so some women use the berries to alleviate labor pains. As part of a regular diet, the juice can also be used to regulate menstruation as it is very effective in helping blood to clot.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 294

Protein: 5.4 g

Fat: 3.6 g

Carbohydrates: 59.9 g

Calcium: 163 mg

Phosphorus: 154 mg

Iron: 4.1 mg

Vitamin A: 1,460 I.U.

Thiamine: 0.12 mg

Riboflavin: 0.03 mg

Niacin: 1.3 mg

Ascorbic acid: 106 mg

Lemon

August 11, 2014

Lemons, one of the most highly alkalizing foods, are native to tropical Asia, where cultivation goes back at least 2,500 years. In the twelfth century the Arabs brought lemons to Spain and Africa. It was Christopher Columbus, according to Las Casa, the Spanish historian, who brought seeds of lemons with him from the Canary islands on his second voyage.

In the New World, lemons were introduced by the Spanish adventurers in Haiti, then known as Hispaniola. In the US, Florida was the first lemon-producing area, and this state led in production of lemons until the heavy freeze in 1895 killed the lemon groves. They were never replanted. Now, about 95 percent of the lemons used in the US and Canada are produced in southern California. The other 5 percent are grown in Italy. Italy and California together produce all of the world’s entire supply of lemons.

In 1870, a variety of lemon called the Eureka was started from the Sicilian lemon seed planted in Los Angeles by C.R. Workmen. The Eureka, along with Libson, are the two varieties most commonly grown commercially. The Eureka grows in prolific quantity and is early-bearing, from late spring to summer; the Libson tends to bear only one large crop a year, in either spring or winter. A single lemon tree has been known to produce 3,000 lemons a year. This is because lemon trees bloom and ripen fruit every month of the year. The most fruit is produced between January and May.

The best lemons have skin of an oily, fine texture and are heavy for their size. This type is more apt to be full of juice, with a minimum of seeds and waste fibers. Choose lemons of a deep yellow color for ripeness and juice. They should be firm, but not hard, to the touch. Avoid using lemons that show signs of bruises, as fruits that have been mechanically injured are more subject to mold. Decay on the fruit appears as a mold or a discolored soft area at the stem end. Shriveled or hard-skinned fruits, or those that are soft or spongy to the touch, are not desirable. They may be old, dried out, mechanically injured, or affected by a rot at the center.

Lemon juice makes a good substitute for vinegar, especially in salad dressing, and for flavorings generally. Use a little lemon juice to cut the sweetness in very sweet fruit juices and use lemons in milk or cream, or canned milk, to curdle it, or when you want to make cheese. Use lemon to soften water to make an excellent rinse.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

The lemon is rich in alkaline elements. Fresh lemon juice is an outstanding source of vitamin C. However, most of this valuable vitamin is lost if the juice is left exposed to air too long. Lemons are high in potassium, rich in vitamin B, and maybe considered a good source of vitamin G. Both lemons and limes contain 5-6 percent citric acid as compared with oranges, which contain 1 to 2 percent. The lemon is classified as an acid fruit, along with other citrus fruits, cranberries, loganberries, loquats, pineapples, pomegranates, strawberries and tamrinds.

Lemons are ideal for getting rid of toxic materials in the body, but citric acid in lemons can really stir up inactive acids and inactive toxic settlements of the body. The mineral content of the lemon is alkaline-forming in its ash. However, before this alkaline ash goes into the tissues, the citric acid is stirring up many of the acids in the body and it is difficult to get rid of the toxic conditions. We cannot get rid of these toxins because the kidneys, bowels, lungs and skin are not throwing off the body acids fast enough. When these acids are not thrown off quickly enough, they stay in the body becoming so active that academia and other irritating conditions may arise. A person with a highly acid stomach and acid reactions in the body will find that he/she is allergic to many foods. Citric acid would not produce as many irritating effects in persons with this problem if they would first make sure that the eliminative organs were working properly.

Lemons, and all citric acid fruits, are good in cases of putrefaction, especially of the liver. In many cases, they will help stirrup any latent toxic settlements in the body that cannot be eliminated any other way. Lemon drinks help tremendously when we need to remove the impurities and fermentative effects of a bad liver. We have often used citric acid diets with excellent results. But citric acid juices do thin the blood and we must remember that the elimination diet is only a part of what we require for right living.

Lemons are wonderful for throat trouble and catarrh. At the first sign of a cold, drink a glass of warm, unsweetened lemonade, and the cold maybe prevented. Lemons may aid in digestion and can strengthen resistance. A little lemon and the yolk of a raw egg in a glass of orange juice is an excellent mild laxative, as well as a nutritious drink. But, if you are extremely irritable, nervous, sensitive, or highly toxic, use vegetable juices or vegetable broths instead of citric acid fruits.

Lemons are wonderful for fevers, because a feverish body responds to citric acid fruits better than any other food. If we could live correctly, we would find that citrus fruits are one of the most wonderful foods to put in the body. By “living correctly,” I , mean that if the skin is eliminating properly, it would be able to take care of its share of the waste materials that have to be eliminated. When the skin is not eliminating well and acids are stirred up with citrus fruit, the kidneys have to do more work than they are capable of doing. In this case, it is best to use vegetable juices instead of citrus juice to avoid stirring up the toxemia acids in the body. Vegetable juices carry off toxemia acids and act more as a sedative. Before we use lemons, we should make sure that the eliminative organs are working well, because if they are not, the citric acid will cause over activity. This over activity will result in constant catarrhal discharges, as well as many highly acid reactions in the body.

Lemons can be used very effectively in cases of influenza. My late teacher, Dr. V. G. Rocine, gave me this remedy for influenza many years ago: Bake a lemon for twenty minutes in the oven. Cut it in half and squeeze one half of the baked lemon into a glass of hot water. Drink this every half hour, as long as the fever is present.

The lemon seems to have the properties of increasing elimination through the skin, and therefore helps reduce the fever. The lemon also has certain effects on the germ life found in influenza, since it is a wonderful germicide. In fact, there are at least twenty different germs that can be destroyed by the use of lemon itself. To make this influenza remedy more complete, Dr. Rocine used a boneset tea along with it to control the calcium that is necessary whenever there is a fever.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND (including peel)

Calories: 90

Protein: 3.3 g

Fat: 0.9 g

Carbohydrates: 41 g

Calcium: 274 mg

Phosphorus: 67 mg

Iron: 3.1 mg

Vitamin A: 301 I.U.

Thiamine: 0.06 mg

Riboflavin: 0.18 mg

Niacin: 0.9 mg

Ascorbic acid: 346 mg

Lime

August 4, 2014

The lime is native to southeastern Asia and has been cultivated for thousands of years. It is believed that the Arabs brought them from India during the period of Mohammedan expansion in A.D. 570-900. From the earliest days of British sailing vessels, British sailors were given a regular ration of lime juice to prevent scurvy at sea, resulting in the nickname Limey for British sailors.

Limes have been grown in California and Florida since the early days of the citrus industry. After the great freeze in Florida in 1894-95, when the lemon industry was almost totally destroyed, California began growing virtually all the lemons in the United States. At this time Florida’s lime industry expanded, and now Florida grows most of the limes used in this country. California is second in production, and Mexico is a close third. Limes grow all year. Florida produces them from April to April, and California from October throughout the year. The main season for imports is May through August.

Limes that are green in color and heavy for their size are the most desirable commercially, because of their extreme acidity. The full, ripe, yellow lime does not have a high acid content. If the lime is kept until fully ripe it may be used in the very same way the lemon is used, and to fortify other foods with vitamin C. Like lemons, limes are very high in vitamin C, are a good source of vitamin B1, and are rich in potassium. They spoil easily, and limes with a dry, leathery skin or soft, moldy areas should be avoided. Store limes in a cool, dry place.

Limes contain 5 to 6 percent citric acid, and are too acid to drink without sweetening. Their natural flavor is enhanced when combined with other juices. Limes make a delicious dressing for fish, and, when added to melons, bring out the natural flavor of the melon. A few drops of lime juice added to consommé, or jellied soups, give a particular zest to the flavor. Sub-acid fruits, such as apples, pears, plums, peaches, grapes, and apricots, go best with limes.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Limes are good for the relief of arthritis because they have such a high vitamin C content. They are especially good for anyone with acidemia, because they are one of the most alkalinizing foods. A drink of lime juice and whey is a wonderful cooler for the brain and nervous system. Limes can be used to treat brain fever, or someone who is mentally ill. They are good for a brain with a great deal of hot blood in it, which usually shows itself in anger, hatred, or other brain disturbances. Limes make a wonderful sedative for those suffering from these afflictions.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND (without rinds or seeds)

Calories: 107

Protein: 2.8g

Fat: .8g

Carbohydrates: 42.4g

Calcium: 126mg

Phosphorus: 69mg

Iron: 2.3mg

Vitamin A: 50 I.U.

Thiamine: .1mg

Riboflavin: .08mg

Niacin: .7mg

Ascorbic Acid: 94mg

Lettuce

July 28, 2014

Lettuce is one of the oldest vegetables and probably originated in India or Central Asia. According to the writings or Herodotus, lettuce was served to the Persian kings as far back as the sixth century BC. It was a popular Roman food at about the beginning of the Christian era, and in the first century AD a dozen distinctively different varieties were described by Roman writers of the era. There is also evidence that lettuce was grown in China in the fifth century AD.

Columbus may have carried lettuce seeds to the New World, for it was being cultivated in the Bahamas in 1494. It was a common vegetable in Haiti as early as 1565, and Brazil was reported to have cultivated before 1650. The early colonists evidently introduced lettuce into the US, and in 1806 16 varieties were reported growing in American gardens.

Both the English and Latin words for lettuce are based on the heavy, milky juice of the vegetable, which is characteristic of the lettuce family. The primitive forms of lettuce has long stems and large leafs grew at the end of these stems. These closed-packed lettuce heads were well developed in Europe by the 16th century, while the loose common head type of developed later.

Lettuce has become the most valuable truck crop, and 85% of the commercial crop is produced in the west-California, Arizona, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. The northeast and south Atlantic states are also important lettuce growing regions.

Lettuce is available all year, and the peak months are May, June, and July. Although the crisp head and butter head types are the most important from a commercial standpoint, the Cos or Romaine type are bets from a health standpoint, as the sun is allowed to penetrate each leaf. The leaves generally have less of the bitterness that is characteristic of some types of head lettuce. The “leaf” or the “bunching” type of lettuce is distinguished by loose leaves that do not form a head. This type is best for home gardening, as it can be grown in areas where the temperature is too high for successful growing of the other types of lettuce. The stem type lettuce has an enlarged stem and no head. The leaves are not as palpable as the other types of lettuce leaves except when young and tender. The stems are pulled and eaten raw or cooked.

Lettuce of good quality should be fresh, crisp, and tender, and if in head lettuce form, the head should be fairly firm to hard. Lettuce with a well developed seed stem has a bitter flavor.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Leaf lettuce is much richer in iron than head lettuce. We do not advocate using head lettuce in the diet, for it contains little nourishment. It contains significantly lower amounts of vitamins A and C than green Romaine lettuce. The darker green outside leaves contain a much higher proportion of the valuable food elements than the light colored inner leaves. Head lettuce is very gas forming , and really only offers bulk to the intestinal tract. It has an alkaline ash, however, and is not stimulating. Also, it is excellent for those who would like to lose weight. It also has many sleep promoting elements and makes good lettuce juice, which help promote sleep. It tends to slow down the digestive effect of the intestinal tract.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND (head lettuce)

Calories: 57

Protein: 3.8 g

Fat: 0.6 g

Carbohydrates: 0.1 g

Calcium: 86 mg

Phosphorus: 78 mg

Iron: 1.6 mg

Vitamin A: 1,710 I.U.

Thiamine: 0.20 mg

Riboflavin: 0.21 mg

Niacin: 0.5 mg

Ascorbic acid: 24 mg

Plums and Fresh Prunes

July 21, 2014

The early colonists found plums growing wild along the entire Eastern coast. They were one of many fruits eaten by the Indians before the coming of the white man, and reports of early explorers mention the finding of plums growing in abundance. Today however native plums are not important commercially. The European type of plums, Prunas Domestica, has replaced the native plum. Plum pits from Europe probably were brought to America by the first colonists, for it is reported that plums were planted by the Pilgrims in Massachusetts, and the French brought them to Canada.

Although plums came to America by way of Europe, they are believed to have originated in Western Asia in the region south of the Caucasus Mountains to the Caspian Sea. According to the earliest writings in which the European plum is mentioned,the species dates back at least 2000 years.

Another species, Prunus Institia, known to us as the Damson plum, also came to America by way of Europe. This plum was named for Damascus and apparently antedates the European type, although Damson pits have been found in the lake dwellings of Switzerland and in other ancient ruins.

Another important species, the Japanese plum, was domesticated in Japan, but originated in China. It was introduced in the United States about 1870. This type is grown extensively in California.

Plums have been grown in some of the Spanish mission gardens of California at least as early as 1792, and the first prune plums grown in California were produced in Santa Clara Mission. However, the present California prune industry is not based on these but the French prune, Petite Prune d’Agen, scions of which were brought to California from France in 1856 by Pierre Pellier. French-type prunes grown in California orchards were shipped in to San Francisco markets in 1859.

Botanically, plums and prunes of the European or Domestica type belong to the same species. The interchangeable use of the terms “plum and prune” dates back for several centuries. Plum is Anglo-Saxon, and prune is French. It is uncertain just when the word prune was first used to designate a dried plum or a plum suitable for drying. The prune is a variety of plum that can be dried without fermenting when the pit is left in. Fresh prunes, as compared with plums, have firmer flesh, higher sugar content, and frequently higher acid content. A ripe, fresh prune can be separated from the pit like a freestone peach, but a plum cannot be opened this way.

Of all the stone fruits, plums have the largest number and greatest diversity of kinds and species. H.F. Tysser, editor of Fruit Manual, published in London, says there are over 2000 varieties. Samual Fraser, in his book America Fruits, speaks of a list of about 1500 varieties of Old World plums alone, and says there probably are just as many varieties of plums native to this continent. In addition, there is a long list of Japanese and Chinese plums.

Almost all of the plums shipped in the United States are grown in California. There are two types of California plums, Japanese and European. The former marketed early in the season and the latter in mid season or later. The Japanese varieties are characterized by their large size, heart-shape, and bright red or yellow color. Japanese varieties are never blue.

Plums and prunes of good quality are plump, clean, of fresh appearance, full colored for the particular variety, and soft enough to yield to slight pressure. Unless one is well acquainted with varieties, color alone cannot be replied upon an indication of ripeness. Some varieties are fully ripe when the color is yellowish-green, others when the color is red, and others when purplish-blue or black. Softening at the tip is a good indication of maturity. Immature fruit is hard. It may be shriveled and is generally of poor color or flavor. Over mature fruit is generally soft, easily bruised, and is often leaky.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Fresh plums are more acid to the body than fresh prunes. When too many plums are eaten, an over acid condition results. When prunes are dried, however they are wonderful for the nerves because the contain a phosphorus content of nearly 5 percent.

Prunes have a laxative effect. The dried prune is better to eat than the fresh plum or prune. The salts contained in the dried prune are valuable as food for the blood, brain and nerves. The French prunes are considered the best for their value to the nervous system.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 218

Protein: 3 g

Fat: 0.9 g

Carbohydrates: 55.6 g

Calcium: 73 mg

Phosphorus: 86 mg

Iron: 2.2 mg

Vitamin A: 1200 I.U.

Thiamine: 0.28 mg

Riboflavin: 0.18 mg

Niacin: 2.1 mg

Ascorbic acid: 20 mg

Raspberry

July 14, 2014

The red raspberry was first cultivated about 400 years ago on European soil. Cultivation spread to England and the United States, where the native American raspberry was already well known.

In 1845, Dr. Brinkle of Philadelphia became the first successful producer of raspberries in this country, and he originated many varieties. By 1870, this berry had become an important crop in the United States.

The red raspberry is native to the northern United States, and the black raspberry is found in the South. The purple raspberry is a hybrid between the red and the black, and did not become important until about 1900.

The raspberry has a wide range of colors. A yellow is raspberry found growing wild in many areas, particularly in Maryland. The Asiatic species of raspberry has a color that ranges through red, orange, yellow, lavender, purple, wine, to black. Even white berries are found in many species in their wild state. Pink berries have been found in Alabama and Oregon, and lavender ones in North Carolina. In the West, the wild black raspberry is often not quite black, but rather a deep wine in color. The market berry is usually the cultivated berry and is both red and black. There are many varieties of each that are popular. The market runs from supply mid-April through August, and the peak month is July.

A quality berry is plump, with a clean, fresh appearance, a solid, full color, and is usually without adhering caps. Berries with caps attached may be immature. Overripe berries are usually dull in color, soft, and sometimes leaky.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Raspberries are considered a good cleanser for mucus, for catarrhal conditions, and for toxins in the body. They are a good source of vitamins A and C. Raspberries leave an alkaline reaction. They should never be eaten with sugar.

Raspberries are wonderful in juice form and can be used as a cocktail before meals, since they stimulate the appetite. Raspberry juice is delicious mixed with other juices.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 177

Protein: 4.2 g

Fat: 0.4 g

Carbohydrates: 42.4 g

Calcium: 254 mg

Phosphorus: 150 mg

Iron: 1.5 mg

Vitamin A: 2,240 I.U.

Thiamine: 0.29 mg

Riboflavin: 0.30 mg

Niacin: 3.6 mg

Ascorbic acid: 166 mg

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