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Plum for Skin, Hair & Healthcare

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Plum for Skin, Hair & Healthcare

About Authors
Monika Chamoli 1, Upma Singh 2, Raaz K. Maheshwari 3 *
1 Department of Applied Sciences, Pt LR College of Technology, Faridabad, Haryana
2Department of Applied Chemistry, School of Vocational Studies & Applied Sciences, Gautam Buddha University, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Greater Noida, UP
3 Department of Chemistry, SBRM Govt PG College, Nagaur, Rajasthan
*gcacs60@gmail.com

The plum is a wonderful, juicy fruit that belongs botanically to the family of Rosaceae. This fruit belongs to the genus Prunus domestica, which also includes peaches, nectarine, and almonds. It is one of the few fruits that come in a panorama of colors. The plant which bears this fruit is a small shrub that is widely grown all across the world, especially in China, United States, Japan, and Europe. Though India is not much known for this fruit production, the country grows approximately 12 varieties of plum. Their primary producers are Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. It is one of the rarely found fruits in India.

Plums are known as ‘Aloo Bukhara‘ in Hindi. Aloo Bukhara is very attractive, healthy, tasty and antioxidants rich fruit packed with the vitamins (especially vitamin A), minerals, iron and etc. it boosts the mental and emotional health of the people as it contains all the essential properties of boosting the health if consumed on daily basis. It can be used as a wonderful vitamins capsule of boosting the health. It has been used for years for both health and beauty benefits by the people.

It is the rich source of iron and folic acid thus reduces the chance of early menopause by maintaining the proper flow of blood and hemoglobin count among women. It provides relief from the semen leakage problem among men if the mixed water of soaked plum and 1 tsf aniseed (saunf) is taken regularly.

It contains vitamin A and beta carotene which helps in improving eye sight and preventing from the various eye disorders. It also helps in improving the appetite and normalizing the digestive system functioning as it is the best natural home remedy for all. It provides instant relief from the weakness and fatigue if taken on daily basis on empty stomach in the morning after routine walk.


Its antioxidants richness makes it able to boost weak memory power during old age. Plum also provides relief from the problems of throat swelling, soreness, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, scanty urination and prostate gland problem. It enhances metabolism by promoting the enzymatic actions in body.  Its high level of antioxidants, carotenoids and phytonutrients helps in getting prevented from the diseases caused by free radicals.

It contains good level of magnesium mineral which has ability to promote muscles, nerves and blood vessels relaxation. It also protects from the asthma, muscle soreness, migraine, headaches and etc. It naturally assists in treating the problem of constipation, irregular bowel movements and etc disorders of digestive tract due to the availability of insoluble dietary fibers.


BENEFITS OF ALOO LEAVES
It provides relief from the intestinal worm problem if paste of the plum leaves is applied to the lower abdominal area means below the belly point. Drinking water or tea prepared by boiling some plum or Aloo Bukhara leaves provides instant relief from the excessive running nose problem. It provides skin a radiant glow, soft and supple touch. Prune prevents skin from the dryness and roughness including other facial skin problems by providing it a natural freshness. It also provides relief from the dark and black lips problem if fresh peeled plum is rubbed on the lips and gives lip a soft and pink look. Plum prevents skin cells damage by protecting it from the harmful UV sun rays. Vitamin C found in it protects skin from various seasonal infections.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF PLUMS
Plums neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals and protect against the development of health conditions like asthma, arthritis, heart stroke and cancer. The antioxidants found in this fruit protect the body from free radicals that speed up the aging process. Zeaxanthin, an important dietary carotenoid, selectively absorbs light into the retina where it provides antioxidant and protective UV light filtering functions. These antioxidants are particularly effective in neutralizing the destructive oxygen radical called superoxide anion radical and are known to prevent oxygen-based damage to fats, such as fats that comprise a substantial portion of the brain cells or neurons. The antioxidants in this fruit also improve the memory by neutralizing the cell-damaging radicals.

The compounds sorbitol and isatin, found in plums, help in regulating the functioning of the digestive system and in relieving constipation. The vitamin C in the plum helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents, counter inflammation and free radicals.

Plums also help in maintaining the heart health. They contain antioxidants that help to get rid of the free radicals and prevent cholesterol oxidation. Cholesterol oxidation is a threat to healthy blood vessels, which may eventually lead to a number of heart diseases such as heart stroke and high cholesterol. The vitamin C in plums is extremely helpful for controlling heart diseases in diabetic patients.

Some studies have connected the plum to the prevention of cancer, especially breast, gastrointestinal and respiratory tract cancers. Anthocyanins, which are reddish blue pigments in this fruit, protect against cancer by mopping the free radicals. Vitamin A found in plums is also known to protect from oral and cavity cancer. Plums are particularly good in preventing breast cancer. The antioxidant power of plums and their phytonutrients cease the development of the breast cancer cells without killing the healthy cells. Plums contain potassium that is an important component of the cell and body fluids that help in controlling the heart rate and the blood pressure. It also prevents platelet clotting which may result in atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, stroke and coronary heart disease. It also maintains a healthy level of blood pressure. The fiber in plums helps to lower the cholesterol levels.

Plums also contain vitamin B6, which prevents an increase in the homocysteine levels and reduces the possibility of a heart attack.
Both plums and prunes are known to be effective natural laxatives and can help to maintain regular bowel habits. Plums can also protect against macular degeneration. Eating three servings of this fruit daily can lower the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. Try adding diced plums to your morning cereals or salads.

Plum and prunes have the increased ability to absorb iron in the body. This ability is due to the high vitamin C content in this fruit. The iron in the plum is highly required for the formation of red blood cells. It improves the blood circulation in the body and prevents anemia. It also removes toxins and prevents constipation, leading to weight loss naturally. Plum is rich in fiber and antioxidants, which aid proper digestion and good metabolism. It contains citric acid, which prevents tiredness and cramps. It also improves liver and gastrointestinal function. Thus, eating plums or drinking plum juice regularly will help you shed those extra pounds easily.
Plums rank quite low in glycemic index, so eating plums controls the blood sugar level and reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The phytonutrients found in plums control the release of glucose into the blood after you have just eaten your meal and regulate the insulin spike between the meals. So, it is recommended that diabetic patients should incorporate plums in their diet as it will not worsen the situation and will keep them healthy. The soluble fiber in plums also helps to lower cholesterol by soaking up the extra bile in the intestine and then excreting it. Bile is made in the liver to digest fat. When the body excretes bile along with fiber, the liver makes use of the cholesterol in the body to make more bile, thereby lowering the amount in circulation in the body. Soluble fiber also inhibits the amount of cholesterol manufactured by the liver in the first place. Plum also assists the body in making healthy tissues and a strong immune system. It prevents cold and flu and is helpful to people who suffer from recurrent infections.

Several researches have concluded that eating plums boosts the bone health, especially of post-menopausal women. It reverses bone loss due to the rich amount of phenolic and flavonoids compounds. It also contains boron which plays an important role in ossification and actively participates in the preservation of the bone density and the general upkeep of your bones.

Drinking plum juice can also help to even out the skin tone and firm the skin by improving the skin health and rejuvenating its appearance. Collagen deficiency often makes the skin dull and lifeless. The plum contains a high amount of vitamin C that is required for the production of hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine, which are needed to bind the molecules that produce collagen. This rejuvenates the skin from the roots and reduces wrinkles and other signs of aging.

Plums can also reduce the appearance of scar tissue by increasing the blood flow to the scar tissue, minimizing the look of the scar and blending in the development of new skin. Plums have high amounts of antioxidants that provide an effective shield against the sunrays and reduces the sun damage. Plums also help to replace damaged tissue and help to heal the wounds at a faster pace. They improve the skin elasticity and create scar tissue and ligaments for a quick recovery. Applying plum pulp on the face lightens dark spots and treats skin discoloration, freckles and age spots to give you a younger looking and healthy skin. Free radicals often make our hair weak, brittle and thin. These conditions often hinder proper hair growth. Vitamin E in the plum strengthens the cell membranes and prevents free radicals from attacking the follicles of the scalp. Thus, people who eat plums and prunes regularly have healthy, strong and thick hair.

The fruit of the plum tree (Prunus salicina Lindl.) has been used as a traditional medicinal food in humans to enhance immunity against infectious agents and to treat cancers. However, limited information exists on the mechanisms responsible for its immune enhancing properties. Plums have a high content of antioxidants which function to protect against harmful free radicals that could lead to heart disease or cancer. More research is needed to assess the levels of carotenoids and other phytochemicals present in prunes to ensure correct labeling and accuracy of food composition tables in order to support dietary recommendations or health claims.

REFERENCES
1. Chai SC,  Hooshmand S, Saadat RL, Payton ME, Brummel-Smith K, Arjmandi BH Daily apple versus dried plum: impact on cardiovascular disease risk factors in postmenopausal women. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012, 112(8):1158-68. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2012.05.005.
2. Lee SH1, Lillehoj HS, Cho SM, Chun HK, Park HJ, Lim CI, Lillehoj EP. Immunostimulatory effects of oriental plum (Prunus salicina Lindl.). Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis. 2009;32(5):407-17. doi: 10.1016/j.cimid.2007.12.001.
3. Stacewicz-Sapuntzakis M1, Bowen PE, Hussain EA, Damayanti-Wood BI, Farnsworth NR. Chemical composition and potential health effects of prunes: a functional food? Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2001 ;41(4):251-86.
4. Utsunomiya H1, Yamakawa T, Kamei J, Kadonosono K, Tanaka S. Anti-hyperglycemic effects of plum in a rat model of obesity and type 2 diabetes, Wistar fatty rat. Biomed Res. 2005;26(5):193-200.
5. Kuo PH, Lin CI, Chen YH, Chiu WC, Lin SH. A high-cholesterol diet enriched with polyphenols from Oriental plums (Prunus salicina) improves cognitive function and lowers brain cholesterol levels and neurodegenerative-related protein expression in mice. Br J Nutr. 2015 May 28;113(10):1550-7. doi: 10.1017/S0007114515000732.
6. Tsuji R1, Koizumi H, Fujiwara D. Effects of a plum (Prunus mume Siebold and Zucc.) ethanol extract on the immune system in vivo and in vitro. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2011;75(10):2011-2013.
7. Groathouse J1, Barcena H, Gustafson C, Wilson MV, Symonsbergen DJ, Lucas KA, Holmes AE.  Wild Plum: novel particles of improved optical brightness and fluorescence. J Cosmet Sci. 2010 ;61(4):279-288.
8.  Stacewicz-Sapuntzakis, M; Bowen, PE; Hussain, EA; Damayanti-Wood, BI; Farnsworth, NR (2001). "Chemical composition and potential health effects of prunes: a functional food?". Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 41 (4): 251–86. doi:10.1080/20014091091814.
9.  European Food Safety Authority, Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies. "Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to dried plums of 'prune' cultivars (Prunus domestica L.) and maintenance of normal bowel function (ID 1164, further assessment) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006". EFSA Journal. 10 (6): 2712. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2012.2712.

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