Cantaloupe – Cucumis melo

Cantaloupe still on the vine
Cantaloupe still on the vine

One cantaloupe is ripe and lush,
Another’s green, another’s mush.
I’d buy a lot more cantaloupe
If I possessed a fluoroscope.

By Ogden Nash

 

The cantaloupe has been in cultivation for such an extensive time that no one now knows where it originated. It is believed to be a native of the Asian area, yet others speculate India or possibly Africa. The plant is no longer found in the wild at all! Some of the earliest societies cultivating it  though, were the Egyptians, followed by the Greeks and Romans.

 

The cantaloupe fruit itself is used in the first aid treatment used for sunburns and scrapes. The flowers, roots, and seeds can also be used folk medicine. Each part having different uses:

            Flowers – expectorant, emetic

            Fruit – stomachic

            Seed – antitussive, digestive, febrifuge, and vermifuge

            Root – diuretic and emetic

 

When you pick up a whole ‘loupe and hold the end where the small round circle appears under your nose, you should be able to smell the sweet, classic scent of the cantaloupe without even cutting into it, if the fruit is ripe and ready to eat! When you do cut it open, you will find the center cavity filled with fibers and seeds. Just scoop these out, and get a spoon…you are in store for a treat!

 

The flesh of the fruit has also been used crushed, then applied as a cooling cleanser for the skin.

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