Charismatic Cashew

In the plant kingdom generally the seed develops inside the fruit. But if you see a seed outside the fruit what you will say it is a Charisma! Here is one of them …amazingly, seed exists outside the fruit. It is yummy-yummy Kaju. Cashew nuts, like all nuts, are an excellent source of protein and fiber.

They are rich in mono-unsaturated fat which may help protect the heart. Cashew nuts are also a good source of potassium, B vitamins and folate. They contain useful amounts of magnesium, phosphorous, selenium and copper.

Like peanuts, cashew nuts are often salted. This added sodium content may contribute to increased blood pressure. So buy plain roasted cashew nuts without added salt.
Calories in Cashew Nuts:
1 oz/25g = 160 calories
In different parts of India it is called as Hindi-kaaju, Marathi-kaju, Telugu-jidi-mamidi, Tamil-mindiri, Kannada-Geru-bija, Malayalam-Andi paruppu, Bengali-Hijli-Badam
Botanically- It is Anacardium occidentale Linn. From the family Anacardiaceae (The Mango family). It is an attractive evergreen tree with the height of 10-15 meters. Leaves 5-7” long, obovate, entire, glabrous and thickly coriaceous. Flowering occurs generally in December. The proper fruit appear, as a kidney shape nut attached to a fleshy part, which is a modification of peduncle. It is commonly known as ’Cashew apple’. It is 2-3’ long bright yellow or red colored , soft and juicy. The nutty portion is greenish gray with hard smooth and shiny pericarp(the outer cover). This outer shell contains a strong powerful acrid oily juice which is irritating. The collection of fruits, is suitable from February to June. The tree starts bearing fruits around forth year of the age but full capacity is attained at the tenth year and continues for ten more years. A mature tree bears around 40-50 kg nuts every year. This tree occurs in western coastal area from Ratnagiri to kerala. It is also successfully introduced to other areas i.e. Bengal, Orissa and Mysore. Cashew tree is drought resistant tree but very much sensitive to frost. it is well-adjusted and good adjuvant as Underwood in palm groves specially in south India. In coastal areas it is important for reclamation of soil.
Its various parts procured and used practically and commercially. e.g. Cashew nut, Cashew nut oil, Cashew shell oil, cashew wood, milky sap, gum, bark, leaves, cashew apple and cashew pheni (the wine).
Bark It contains tannin and used in various secretary disorders i.e. hemorrhages, piles, diarrhea etc.
Gum- It is pale yellow to reddish in color and partly soluble in water and converts in jelly like mass. It is used in book binding work. It also shows some insecticidal activity.
Wood: It is reddish brown in colour, hard, used for packing cases, boat building and charcoal.
Milky sap arises from the bark of the cashew tree. It turns black on exposure to the air. It is a good indelible ink used for marking clothes.
Cashew apple-In unripe condition

it is astringent and acidic but in fully ripen stage it is soft, sweet, juicy and edible. Its juice may be fermented and made into wine. It is full of moisture (88%), carbohydrate (11%), & minerals sp. Calcium, Phosphorus and Iron. It is a rich source of vit. C. it is also contains small amount of carotene. Natural acridity of the juice may be reduced by addition of a little common salt (sodium chloride).

Nuts- cashew nuts are very delicious, appetizer, nutritive, aphrodisiac and hair tonic. It contains proteins 21%, fatty acids 47%, carbohydrates 22%, water contents 6%, and minerals 2-3 %.
Nut oil- Cashew nut oil is nutritive, emollient and properties similar to the almond oil. As it is a costly affair, it is not in the practice. Anacardic acids found in cashews have been used effectively in vivo against tooth abcesses due to their lethality to gram-positive bacteria. They are also active against a wide range of other gram-positive bacteria. Many parts of the plant are used by the Patamona of Guyana medicinally. The bark is scraped and soaked overnight or boiled as an antidiarrheal. Seeds are ground up into powders used for antivenom for snake bites. The nut oil is used topically as an antifungal and for healing cracked heels.
Wine(Pheni)- it is flavored with sweet scent of cashew thus loved by many. Also used in respiratory disorders.
So enjoy the fruit and nut of Kaju