Apart from the fruit, even mango bark and mango leaves have immense health benefits? Read on to know more about mango tree’s uses, and its benefits and importance.
By Arun Sharma
Come summer and most of us conjure up dreadful images of the sun bearing down on us and making our life miserable. But, is summer only about unbearable heat and nothing else? Not really, for summer also brings along with it the 'king of fruits' — yes, everyone's favourite and the divinely delicious mango.
But, while enjoying the goodness of mango, have you ever wondered about mango tree uses?
It is an inseparable part of the Indian culture and customs, and folklore. Considered sacred, the Hindus believe the mango tree to be the abode of gods. They use its leaves to decorate their home on auspicious occasions and for conducting religious rituals. From Kalidas to Amir Khusrau to Mirza Ghalib, poets across India have waxed eloquent about both the mango tree and the mango.
So, how did this tree and its fruit come to occupy such an important place in our lives? And, what are its benefits and importance? Let's read on to find out.
The history of the mango tree can be traced back to the bronze age, or almost 4,000 years ago. Originally, a native of southern Asia, especially eastern India, the mango tree was introduced to southeast Asian countries by Buddhist monks. Later, it was brought to Africa by the Portuguese, from where it spread across the world.
The English word 'mango' is an adaption of the Malayalam name for the fruit, which is 'maanga'. A member of the Anacardiaceae, or the cashew family, the scientific name of mango is Mangifera indica.
The lifespan of a mango tree is more than 100 years, and during all this time, it confers its valuable gifts on many generations. The importance of mango tree can be gauged from the fact that almost every part of the mango tree is useful and beneficial to us.
The most consumed product of a mango tree is its fruit. The mango is not only a sweet and juicy delight, but also has therapeutic properties. Here's how a mango a day may help in keeping ill-health at bay:
Now that you know the health benefits of eating mango, let's look at some of the medicinal properties present in the leaves of the mango tree:
Some common varieties of mangoes found in India are, Alphonso, Banganapalli or Safeda, Neelam, Sindoora, Dasehri, Chaunsa, Kesar, Langra, Mulgoba, Himsagar, Himam Pasand and Totapuri.
Over the centuries, the mango tree has spread across India and the world. Today, according to the National Horticulture Board, about 1,500 varieties of mango are grown in India, with each having a unique taste and flavour. This is also a reminder of how popular the mango is in our country, and how much we love it. The next time you pass by a mango tree silently swaying in the wind or as you stand under its cool shade, don’t forget to appreciate its significance in your life. Also, if you are fortunate enough to have a garden or a backyard, you can grow your very own mango trees and relish the delicious fruits. Even if you aren't that lucky, you can still grow a bonsai mango tree in a pot in your balcony or terrace.
About the author:
Written by Arun Sharma on 4 April 2019; updated on 17 September 2019
The author was associated with the healthcare industry before becoming a full-time writer and editor. A doting father to two preteens, he believes in experiential learning for his children. Also, he loves mountain trekking and nature trips.
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