Physalis is a plant of a genus of flowering plants in the nightshade family, including cape gooseberry and Chinese lantern, which grow in warm temperature and subtropical regions in the world. It is characterized by a small orange fruit similar in size, shape, and structure to a small tomato yet partly or fully enclosed in a large papery husk derived from the calyx.
They grow from 0.4 to 3 m tall, similar to the common tomato, but usually with a stiffer, more upright stem. Most of them need full sun and fairly warm to a hot temperature, can be either annual or perennial, and some are sensitive to frost, but others, such as the Chinese lantern tolerate severe cold when dormant in winter.
Only selected species of Physalis are edible. Its fruit is similar to a firm tomato texture and like pineapple or strawberries, with mild acidity. Cape gooseberry and tomatillo, some of its species, have been bred into many cultivars with varying flavors, from tart to sweet to savory. Physalis fruit is rich in cryptoxanthin and pectin.
The fruit can be used like the tomato. It can be eaten raw and used in salads once extracted from its husk. It can even be used as pie fillings, as flavorings, added to desserts, dried and used like raisins, and made into fruit preserves.
In Chinese medicine, Physalis species are used as remedies for such conditions as a sore throat, fever, abscesses, and coughs.
Health Benefits Of Physalis
Physalis is a kind of drug nourishing crops. As compared to lemons, its fruits have two times more vitamin C and appear just like a blonde-red cherry tomato with a more gratifying flavor compared to the tomatillo. Its stem, leaves, roots, and fruits also provide recovery power.
Weight Loss Properties
You can add a lot of these cherries in your diet without the need to worry about weight gain since 100 gram serving of it will only give about 53 calories and a single gram of fat. It also contains fibers that make you feel fuller and less willing to overindulge.
Rich In Vitamin A And Antioxidant
100 grams of Physalis fruit consists of 720 international units of vitamin A, which is equivalent to 14 % of the adult’s suggested everyday consumption. Vitamin is beneficial for skin health, good eyesight, and immune function.
Aside from this, the fruit also contains antioxidants, which neutralize the harmful outcomes of free-radicals, thereby shielding us from cancer and other diseases just like macular degeneration, rheumatoid arthritis, and cystic fibrosis.
The fruit consist of different particular B-vitamins wherein 100 grams of it includes:
Thiamine (0.110 milligrams, or 7.3 percent of the RDI) which is required to keep a healthy central nervous system (and is also therefore nicknamed the ‘anti-stress’ vitamin)
Riboflavin (0.040 milligrams, or even 2 % of the RDI) which is required to facilitate cell growth and repair.
Niacin (2.800 milligrams, or 14 % of our RDI) which is required for DNA repair and maintaining levels of energy.
Good Source Of Vitamin C
100 grams of Physalis fruit can provide your body with 11 milligrams of vitamin C, equivalent to 18 % of the RDI.
Vitamin C is needed for collagen manufacturing (that, in return, accelerates the body’s capability to restore wounds), reducing blood pressure level, battling cataracts, improving defense mechanism, and making certain the appropriate dilation of the bloodstream, therefore, safeguarding us from diseases just like atherosclerosis and congestive heart failure. Vitamin C can also safeguard us from free radical injury.
Diseases That Physalis Can Help Treat
Influenza And Laryngitis
Cut a Physalis Plant (all parts) into bits, about 3 to 4 cm, dry it, and let it boil in about 9-15 grams of water. Let it cool, strain it, and drink the water. Do this as much as 3 times every day.
Diabetes Mellitus (Diabetes)
Boil some dried Physalis plant bits in 2 cups of water until such time that only 1 glass of water is left. Let it cool, strain it, and drink the water once each morning.
Make a tea by boiling dried Physalis plant in 3 to 5 cups of water. After boiling, let cool, strain it and drink the water thrice a day.