Mesquite is a generic name for a variety of plants in the genus Prosopis, it usually consists of more than 40 small legume trees.
Except the creeping mesquite (native to Argentina) in this species, all the rest are native to the Southwestern United States, Mexico, and South America.
Prosopis Juliflora grows in large numbers in the Tamaulipas Mezquital ecosystems of the xeric shrublands biome and desert regions of northeastern Mexico, and South America.
The desert covers an area of about 54,600 square miles and covers parts of the Gulf Coastal Plains of southern Texas ( Nuevo Leon, northeastern Coahuila, northern Tamaulipas).
Growing in parched deserts, these plants have long and firm roots that absorb groundwater from a distance. Mesquite is a legume that grows in desert habitats and is a strong source of stable Nitrogen.
What is Prosopis Juliflora
Prosopis Juliflora is a desert shrub or small tree belonging to the genus Mesquite, which is a medicinal plant in the family Fabaceae.
Although the P. Julifloratree is native to the Caribbean, Mexico, and South America, it is currently cultivated as an invasive plant in Asia, Africa, Australia, and various other major countries around the world. This desert plant can grow up to 39 feet in height and has a trunk of about 1.2 meters in diameter.
Leaf: Its light green autumn leaves have 12 to 20 leaflets and geminate-pinnate.
Flower: The flowers are greenish-yellow, 5-10 cm long, with cylindrical spikes. These flowers bloom in clusters of 3 to 5 at the tips of the branches.
Fruit: The fruits of this plant, called “Pod”, are 20 cm to 30 cm long and have 10 to 30 seeds per pod.
Seed: A mature plant can produce at least hundreds of thousands of seeds, and these seeds can be fertile for about 10 years. These seeds are spread by livestock and other animals through water and other factors. Therefore Prosopis Juliflora breeds not by plant but by livestock.
All plants of the genus Mesquite have very long and deep growing roots for distant absorption. The root of the tree was discovered in 1960 in an open-pit mine 175 feet deep in the Tucson area of Arizona.
Prosopis Juliflora trees, also known as “Vanni Andara” or “Katu Andara” in Sinhala, were introduced to Sri Lanka in the 19th century. History revealed that 5000 years ago in ancient India Juliflora was recognized as a sacred tree by the people, but there is no evidence to support it.
Even in the Mannar and Vanni areas, it is believed that these medicinal plants have been grown for a long time.
Mesquite plants have thorns in pairs at their ends to reduce evaporation, but plants growing in areas with low rainfall may have different thorns or without thorns. In India, this plant is called “Karuvelam Tree”.
Resistance Traits of Mesquite
Various parts of the Prosopis Juliflora plant are rich in natural organic compounds called alkaloids.
The alkaloid derived from this plant is capable of inhibiting the growth and proliferation of various gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria such as Salmonella, Klebsiella, E.coli, Bacillus cereus, Acinetobacter, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas putida, and Alcaligen.
That is, these malignant alkaloid compounds inhibit the proliferation of bacteria using a method called disk proliferation.
The minimum inhibitory concentration of the extract derived from the pod, leaf, and flower of Mesquite tree ranges from a minimum of 25μg/ml to a maximum of 100μg/ml. Thus these have a strong antibacterial effect.
The juice of its leaves have a higher and more intense activity than all other parts of this plant. Due to the severity of this extract, the growth of Klebsiella bacteria is suppressed on first use.
But the growth of bacteria such as Alcaligen and Acinetobacter, which are not inhibited by other antibiotics, is effectively inhibited by the alkaloids of the Mesquite plant. DART-MS analysis of the fractions confirmed the presence of Piperidine alkaloids in this plant extract.
The roots, bark, and leaves of the Mesquite plant are rich in antifungal properties. Alternariaalternata and phytopathogenic fungi produced by the tobacco plant were studied to evaluate their antifungal ability.
One group of the tested animals was given synthetic fungicides and another group was given the juice of Mesquite leaves. Studies have shown that mesquite leaf extract has various neurological effects on the body of animals and that the alkaloids in it inhibit the growth of Alternariaalternata and phytopathogenic fungi.
Researchers have also found that when this extract is used in combination with some approved fungicides, they can drastically reduce the concentration of the fungus. Prosopis Juliflora plant extracts have inhibitory biological activity and are considered to be an excellent source of alkaloids.
These carry out broad-spectrum fungal functions that inhibit the growth of fungi. Compared to various chemical fungicides, its natural antifungal properties quickly control fungal activity and do not cause any side effects in the body.
Due to such properties, this plant extract is strongly recommended for seed purification. The use of mesquite extracts can greatly reduce the levels of chemical fungicides during seed cleaning techniques and achieve significant inhibition of Mycoflora.
Various studies have shown that the juice extracted from the leaves of the Mesquite plant has anti-tumor properties. MTT based cytotoxicity monitoring is performed to evaluate the Vitro-tumor resistance in this extract.
In this method, the expression of MOLT-4 cells at different concentrations of 10 to 100 g/ml was determined after 24, 48, and 72 hours. The total alkaloid compound in the leaf extract is derived using the acid/base modified extraction method.
The genetic potential of Mesquite extract was tested using cytokinesis, a set of in vitro micronucleus. On the other hand, the genotoxic and cytotoxic energies in this extract were compared with mitogen-induced D-lymphocytes derived from the blood of healthy volunteers.
In all studies, the results showed that the extracts had a greater effect on cancer cells than normal cells. Prosopis Juliflora contains various alkaloids such as julifloricine, juliflorine, juliprosine, julifloridine, juliflorinine, and juliprosinine, which are responsible for various biological functions.
Mesquite leaf juices have now been discovered to contain a new alkaloid called julifloravizole, which has a broad-spectrum antifungal activity that can help fight Alternaria, Drechslera, and Fusarium.
Facts & Benefits of Mesquite (Karuvelam)
Mesquite, the main source of nitrogen, is rich in minerals such as zinc, potassium, lysine, iron, manganese, and protein. Studies show that they contain essential minerals, such as potassium and electrolytes, which can help prevent diseases such as high blood pressure and stroke, as well as increase bone density. Prosopis Juliflora’s root, stem, leaf, bark, flower, and resin all have medicinal properties and have the potential to cure a variety of ailments in our body. Here’s a look at some of the medicinal and health benefits of the Mesquite plant.
Benefits of Mesquite Pod
Mesquite powder is obtained from the pods of the Mesquite tree by drying them well in the sunlight and then grinding them gently. It is considered a “superfood” because it is rich in nutrients such as zinc, potassium, lysine, manganese, calcium, and iron. This nutritious powder has a slightly sweet taste so bakers use it in the making of cakes and cookies, besides, people utilize it as a versatile ingredient in different types of recipes. Mesquite pod powder has many health benefits, and is now one of the most valuable and essential ingredients in all kitchens.
1. Controls Blood Sugar Level
Many people fear that Mesquite pod Powder has a mildly sweet taste and that it may increase blood sugar. Unlike other sugars, mesquite contains a type of sugar called fructose, which does not affect sugar levels or insulin secretion in any way.
Also due to its characteristics, the body can keep the blood sugar level steady for a long time. It also acts against insulin resistance and helps to increase insulin secretion, and as a result, mesquite pod powder is a good addition to a diabetic’s diet.
Also Read: Best Herbs for Diabetes
2. Promotes Healthy Digestion
Containing glycemic index 25, Mesquite powder digests food more slowly than most other grains. Slow digestion helps prevent frequent hunger and immediate rise / instant fall of blood sugar levels.
People with intestinal problems are advised to take Mesquite pod as it is high in soluble fiber. This soluble fiber greatly helps to speed up the bowel elimination process. These improve intestinal function by effectively blocking the absorption of minerals and vitamins in the gut.
In addition, it destroys the formation of toxic bacteria in the body. Growing research suggests that the fiber content in it may be effective against a variety of diseases, including colon cancer.
Also Read: 10 Common Herbs Naturally Boost Digestion
3. Helps in Heart Health
Excess LDL cholesterol and triglyceride in the body are the most important causes of stroke and heart disease. Mesquite powder is good for improving heart health and protecting the body from the dangers including heart attack, cardiac disorders, and chest pain.
This is because mesquite pod is high in essential fatty acids called omega-3, which effectively reduces the risk of heart disease. These fatty acids also quickly treat inflammation and soreness.
Besides, this omega-3 in Mesquite pod powder is known to promote behavioral and cognitive functions. Deficiency of essential fatty acids in the body can lead to depression, mood swings, dry skin, poor memory, and fatigue.
4. Supports the Immune System
Zinc is an essential source of strength and growth for the immune system. Mesquite pod is an excellent source of zinc, which when taken with food strengthens the body’s immune system.
These help to speed up the healing process for chronic colds, sinus colds, persistent ear pain, and many other ear-related infections. Also, high blood sugar and zinc deficiency are the main reasons for the very slow healing of wounds and in some cases, they don’t heal until last.
Zinc is needed by the immune system to control the development of malaria, parasites, and infectious diseases.
Also Read: Best Herbs to Boost Immune System
5. Aids Muscle Growth & Repair
Mesquite powder is rich in protein and soluble fiber thus it is called as superfoods. The pod of the P.Juliflora plant contains 17% protein. Protein is considered to be the building block of muscle because without proteins the body cannot be able to build muscle.
Protein deficiency is the cause of many disorders such as multiple sclerosis, ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), Myasthenia gravis, Myopathy, Muscular dystrophy, Myositis.
Consumption of Mesquite Powder, one of the protein-rich foods, greatly promotes muscle growth, muscle strength, athletic performance, etc., and is also involved in muscle repair.
6. Reduces Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of heart disease. But the main reason for the increase in blood pressure is the high level of sodium deposited in the body.
Potassium contained in Mesquite pod helps in lowering blood pressure by helping to expel excess sodium deposited in the body.
Lowering blood pressure is not the only function of potassium but it also helps protect the body from diseases like stroke, kidney stones, and osteoporosis.
Also Read: Best Herbs For Blood Pressure
7. Highly Recommended for Depression
This pod is rich in magnesium which helps in curing many mental ailments including anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. They are also used to treat insomnia, depression, and migraine.
Also Read: Best Herbs Helps To Treat Depression
Benefits of Mesquite Leaf
Although these Mesquite trees grow in arid regions, their autumn leaves are evergreen. Mesquite leaf powder, which is obtained by drying the young Mesquite leaves well in the shade and then grinding them, has innumerable medicinal properties.
- The extract derived from the leaves of the Mesquite tree is high in methanol and has strong antiviral and antifungal properties.
- The leaves of this tree are rich in polyphenols which have strong antioxidant properties. It protects the body from various bacterial infections.
- The juice of these leaves acts as an excellent pain reliever to help reduce pain and inflammation.
- The distilled water obtained by boiling Mesquite leaves is used to expel harmful worms in the intestines.
Benefits of Mesquite Bark
- Both the Dried Mesquite Bark and powder can resist Dhatu rig, Prameha, Nightfall, Leucorrhoea, and some more bacterial infections.
- It effectively cures loss of viscosity of semen, premature ejaculation, spermatorrhoea, and frequent night discharges.
- Mesquite bark powder treats all dental related problems such as tooth cavity, tooth & gum pain, bleeding gums, and bad mouth odor.
- All the parts of the Mesquite tree have high antioxidants and it speeds up antimicrobial activities to control oral problems.
- Reduces pain and inflammation in the bonds and increases the blood flow of the body.
- Mesquite tree bark has numerous alkaloids that greatly support the pH of saliva.
- Besides, applying it’s powder externally can treat eye infections such as redness, eye irritation, and burning sensation in the eye.
Benefits of Mesquite Tree Resin
- The medicinal resin derived from the Mesquite Tree is used extensively to cure Pneumonia, Leucorrhoea, and Nightfall.
- Men can get various benefits and relief from ailments from consuming Mesquite Tree Gum.
- The major problems of men such as loss of spermatorrhoea, viscosity, frequent nocturnal problems, and premature ejaculation are cured by consuming Mesquite resin in a proper way.
- It strengthens gums and teeth, reduces gingivitis, and provides protection against bacterial infections in the mouth.
- The resin of Mesquite Tree effectively does antimicrobial activities that treat oral problems.
- This greatly reduces the incidence of plague, which is one of the biggest infectious diseases.
- This resin is recommended to treat redness of the eyes, eye infections, tooth decay, and gum inflammation.
Nutrition Values of Mesquite (Karuvelam)
The various nutrition contains and the value of 100 grams of Mesquite