Benefits Of Mesquite (Prosopis pallida) For Health

Benefits Of Mesquite (Prosopis pallida) For Health


Mesquite (Prosopis pallida)


Mesquite (Prosopis pallida) is known as other name: Algarroba, American Carob, Huarango, Kiawe...

A leguminous plant, Prosopis pallida is one of the mesquite tree species. This plant is indigenous to Ecuador, Colombia and Peru, especially in the arid coastal regions. Mesquite trees are very common in the American southwest.

Mesquite is basically a very large tree that often grows up to a height of anything between 8 meters and 20 meters, while the width of its trunk is usually about 80 cm across. It also has a very long life when grown in suitable conditions. However, the plant is reduced to the size of a shrub when grown in infertile land where there is a scarcity of water. The trunk is irregularly fuste, twisted as well as knotty. The inner bark of the tree is white and red hued. It has a bitter and varnish scented fiber-like texture.

Benefits Of Mesquite (Prosopis pallida) For Health
Mesquite (Prosopis pallida) Picture

The fruit of mesquite is basically a pod or legume, which grows up to a length of anything between 16 inches and 30 inches and its width is a little more than 1.5 cm, while its thickness is about 8 mm.

The leaves of mesquite appear in an alternate display and are twice-compound (bipinnate). The leaves have a resemblance to those of ferns. The leaves appear on very light, hairy stems (also known as puberulous petioles) and grow up to a length of 8 mm to 20 mm and generally have branchlets (pinnate), which may vary between two and four pairs. Each branchlet or pinna measures about 2 cm to 5 cm in length and produces anything between 7 pairs and 15 pairs of oblong-shaped to somewhat elongated leaflets (pinnules). The leaflets are about 2 mm to 10 mm in length and approximately 1.4 mm to 4.4 mm wide. Precisely speaking, they are usually two to four times longer compared to their width.

The flowers of this tree appear in clusters or racemes, which are elongated and cylindrical. Each of the racemes may be about 8 cm to 12 cm in length and appear on the stalks (peduncles) whose length may vary between 4 mm and 30 mm in length. About two to five stalks may emerge from one leaf fork or axil. The flowers are petite and they have different colors: whitish, creamy, greenish or more frequently yellowish. Each flower has five subtle sepals whose length may vary between 0.5 mm to 1.0 mm and they are joined together to form a calyx tube (a small tube). The flowers have five little petals, each measuring about 1.5 mm to 3.0 mm and they are joined at their base. The flowers also comprise 10 noticeable stamens which are about 5 mm to 6 mm in length. The trees are mainly in bloom during the summer.

Mesquite meal is a traditional Native American food produced by gathering ripened seed-pods from the mesquite tree and grinding them into a fine powder. Used as a staple food for centuries by desert dwellers, this high protein meal contains good quantities of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc, and is rich in the amino acid lysine as well. Researchers report that mesquite is highly effective in balancing blood sugar.


Benefits Of Mesquite (Prosopis pallida) For Health


Mesquite pods are considered to be a super food that contains elevated amounts of protein, but has a very low glycemic index. In addition, mesquite is gluten-free and an excellent source of several essential minerals, including iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc and amino acid  lysine People with diabetes will find mesquite very useful, as it is an excellent resource of tannins, soluble fiber, mucilaginous polysaccharide gums and inulin (a polysaccharide) that are effective in preventing as well as improving diabetes.

It is said that the bark of mesquite trees also encloses tannins and provides a brown-hued gum, which can be used in the form of a glue and varnish. In addition, this gum is also reported to possess therapeutic properties and is used in the form of a medicine.

Benefits Of Mesquite (Prosopis pallida) For Health
Mesquite (Prosopis pallida) Picture

Mesquite tree leaves may be used like a cold compress for bee stings. Consuming tea made from these leaves assists with bacterial or fungal infections like stomach irritations, diarrhea and even ulcers. Individuals with athlete’s foot should also apply a mixture of mesquite leaves and water onto the affected regions to provide relief.

Headaches normally arise because of the daily stresses that people are exposed to. A migraine, however, is a kind of a more severe headache that might really affect an individual’s life. Both these problems are easily corrected using mesquite leaves. A poultice of these leaves is topically applied to reducing or completely stopping headaches and migraines.

Mesquite powder has a flavor that is similar to molasses and it goes well in smoothies, coffees and teas. It is delicious when added to energy bars, butter spreads and dairy yogurts. Like a healthy seasoning, you can add mesquite powder to sauces, casseroles, soups and any other meat or vegetable dishes.