Benefits Of Cashew Nut Shells (Anacardium Occidentale) For Health

Benefits Of Cashew Nut Shells (Anacardium Occidentale) For Health

Cashew Nut Shells (Anacardium Occidentale)

Cashew Nut Shells (Anacardium Occidentale) is known as other name: Cajueiro, Cashew Nut Shells, Jambu...

Cashew Nut Shells (botanical name, Anacardium occidentale) is an evergreen tree found in the tropical regions and belongs to the plant family which also includes mango, poison oak and poison ivy. The cashew tree is native to Brazil’s Amazon rain forest. It spread all over the world by Portuguese explorers and today, it is cultivated commercially in Brazil, Vietnam, India and in many African countries.

This tree grows up to a height of 30 feet (10 meters) and produces big oval-shaped leaves. Cashew Nut Shells bears flowers that have a yellow hue with pink stripes and emerge on the extended stems. The fruit of Cashew Nut Shells is basically a coagulated stem. However, the actual fruit of this tree is found immediately under the thickened part of the stem and it encloses red or yellowish flesh that envelops the cashew nut. After the bark or shell of the nut is removed, it is mainly used as a food.

Benefits Of Cashew Nut Shells (Anacardium Occidentale) For Health
Cashew Nut Shells (Anacardium Occidentale) Fruits Picture

Its exterior shell composes a phenolic resin, urushiol, which is a potent caustic skin irritant toxin. In the processing units, this outer shell is roasted in order to destroy urushiol resin, and only then its edible cashew kernel is extracted.

As mentioned earlier, Cashew Nut Shells is indigenous to the northeast coast of Brazil, people in the region had domesticated (started cultivating) cashew much before the Europeans arrived in the country around the end of the 15th century. Later, the European traders as well as explorers ‘discovered' and also documented cashew in 1578. From Brazil, Cashew Nut Shells was taken to India as well as East Africa and it became naturalized in these places soon.

Cashew Nut Shells has a number of medicinal uses and is available in the form of a tincture. This tincture is effective for treating diabetes, but in this case the patients need to have patience before the results are evident. It would take a minimum of three to four weeks before the favorable results of low blood sugar are noticed. Nevertheless, diabetics using this tincture should measure their blood sugar levels every day to ensure that the combination of the prescribed insulin and/ or additional medications with Cashew Nut Shells does not reduce the blood sugar levels too much. The shell of the cajueiro cashew encloses natural oil that may result in irritation of the skin provided it is not heated earlier to remove much of the caustic property of the oil. Hence, it is advisable that you should never consume raw cashew. However, they are safe after they are roasted in their shell.

Nutrition Cashew Nuts For Health

Cashew nuts are rich in “heart-friendly” monounsaturated-fatty acids like oleic, and palmitoleic acids. These essential fatty acids help lower harmful LDL-cholesterol while increasing good HDL cholesterol. 

Benefits Of Cashew Nut Shells (Anacardium Occidentale) For Health
Cashew Nut Picture

Cashew nuts are abundant source of essential minerals. Minerals, especially manganese, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium are concentrated in these nuts.

Cashews are also good in many essential vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin, and thiamin (vitamin B-1). 100 g nuts provide 0.147 mg or 32% of daily-recommended levels of pyridoxine. Pyridoxine reduces the risk of homocystinuria, and sideroblastic anemia. Niacin helps prevent "pellagra" or dermatitis. Additionally, these vitamins are essential for metabolism of protein, fat, and carbohydrates at the cellular level.

Further, the nuts are also carry a small amount of zea-xanthin, an important pigment flavonoid antioxidant, which selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes.

Benefits Of Cashew Nut Shells (Anacardium Occidentale) For Health

The medical condition specific advantages of Cashew Nut Shells are many and some of them are discussed below.

Cashew Nut Shells is successfully employed to treat about 65 per cent cases of leishmaniasis, a form of skin ulcer, in the Barna region of Brazil. In effect, extracts obtained from Cashew Nut Shells are more than 90 per cent successful in treating medical conditions attributable to parasites and those that result in schistosomiasis (also known as bilharzias).

The juice extracted from the fruit bark as well as the nut oil of Cashew Nut Shells are considered to be equally effective traditional medication to treat corns, calluses, warts, elephantiasis and also ulcers that are cancerous. It has been proved that anacardol acid and anacardic acid present in Cashew Nut Shells extracts are somewhat effective against Walker carcinosarcoma 256. A decoction prepared with the astringent fruit bark of Cashew Nut Shells is prescribed for people who are experiencing acute diarrhea and thrush. Old leaves of this tree are applied topically for skin problems as well as burns. An oily material obtained from the pericarp of Cashew Nut Shells is used to treat ruptures on the feet.

Benefits Of Cashew Nut Shells (Anacardium Occidentale) For Health
Cashew Nut Shells (Anacardium Occidentale) Fruits Picture

Cuna Indians are known to have employed the bark to prepare an herbal tea to cure asthma, colds and nasal congestion. The seed oil of Cashew Nut Shells is considered to be alexeritic as well as amebicidal (any substance that kills ameba) and is used to cure malaria, gingivitis and syphilitic ulcers. The ancient Indian form of medicine Ayurveda advocates the use of Cashew Nut Shells fruit for treating a number of health conditions, including dysentery, fever, leucoderma, tumours, ascites, absence of appetite and persistent ulcers.

According to Ayurveda, the fruit of this tree is considered to be an aphrodisiac and anthelmintic (any substance capable of eliminating parasitic worms). People in the Gold Coast use the leaves and bark of this tree to cure tender gums as well as toothache. The juice of Cashew Nut Shells fruit is employed to treat hemoptysis (expectoration of bloody mucus). On the other hand, people in Cuba use the resin from the tree to cure cold. Cashew Nut Shells also shows hypoglycemic (lowering blood sugar to exceptionally low levels) actions. In Malaya, people prepare a decoction with the bark to treat diarrhea, while people in Indonesia use the older leaves in the form of a poultice to treat burn injuries and various skin complaints. The juice extracted from the "apple" is employed to treat quinsy (suppurative tonsillitis) in Indonesia, while it is used to cure dysentery in the Philippines.

In the 16th century, cashew fruits as well as the juice extracted from them were taken internally by European settlers in Brazil to cure fever, improve their breath as well as to protect the stomach.

For several centuries, the native tribes of the rain forests have used the cashew tree, its fruits and nuts and currently it is a common plant grown in their gardens. In northwest Amazonia, the Tikuna tribe believes that the juice extracted from the cashew fruit possesses therapeutic properties and is effective in treating influenza. In addition, they also brew an herbal tea with the leaves and bark of cashew trees to cure diarrhea. Similarly, in Guyana, the WayĆ£pi tribe uses the herbal tea prepared with cashew tree bark to cure diarrhea as well as colic among infants. Several tribes in Suriname topically apply the noxious seed oil of Cashew Nut Shells to eliminate worms, especially larvae of botfly beneath the skin. 

People in Brazil prepare an herbal tea with the bark of the tree and use it in the form of a douche for vaginal discharge as well as an astringent to stop bleeding following the extraction of a tooth. In addition, a wine is prepared using the cashew fruits and it is effective for treating dysentery in different regions of the Amazon rainforest. The juice of the fruit as well as the herbal tea prepared with the bark are both widespread medications for treating diarrhea all over the Amazon region now. This remedy is used by the local people as well as curanderos (folk healers) alike.

In the herbal medicine of Brazil, the leaves and bark of cashew tree are used to treat psoriasis, eczema, dyspepsia, scrofula, venereal ailments, and genital problems. People in Brazil also use herbal formulations prepared with the leaves and bark of the tree to cure bronchitis, intestinal colic, cough, impotence, leishmaniasis (an infection attributed to a protozoan belonging to the genus Leishmania) as well as skin problems associated with the sexually-transmitted disease (STD) syphilis. Practitioners of herbal medicine in North America employ cashew to treat bronchitis, coughs, tonsillitis, diabetes, diarrhea, intestinal colic as well as a common stimulant/ energizer.

In the present day herbal medicine of Peru, cashew leaf tea (known as ‘casho') is used as a common remedy for diarrhea, an herbal tea prepared with the bark of the fruit is used in the form of an antiseptic vaginal douche, while the seeds of the fruit are used to treat skin contagions. A tea prepared with the cashew leaf is used as a mouthwash as well as a gargle for treating tonsillitis, mouth ulcers and throat problems. It is also used topically to wash injuries. The bark is also used to prepare an infusion or it is marinated to cure debility, diabetes, muscular weakness, urinary problems as well as asthma.

Cashew nuts Health Benefits

Health Benefits of Cashew Nut for Healthy heart

Cashews have lower fat content, approximately 75% of their fat is unsaturated fatty acids content is oleic acid. Increased OA intake reduces your blood triglyceride and low-density lipoproteins (LDL). It also elevates your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) concentration. This combined action significantly improves your blood lipid profile and lowers your risks of plaque formation and heart disease.

Benefits Of Cashew Nut Shells (Anacardium Occidentale) For Health
Cashew Nuts Picture

Health Benefits of Cashew Nut for Red Blood Cells

Cashews are rich in copper, which helps in the metabolism of iron, aids in the formation of red blood cells and helps in keeping bones and the immune system healthy. It is also vital for the nervous and skeletal system of the body. A deficiency of copper in the body may result in osteoporosis, irregular heartbeats, and anemia.

Health Benefits of Cashew Nut for Anemia

Cashews are a source of dietary, iron which is vital for carrying oxygen around the body and aids in the functioning of enzymes and the immune system. A deficiency of iron in the diet can lead to body fatigue, anemia, and an increased susceptibility to infections.

Health Benefits of Cashew Nut for Bone health

Cashews are rich in magnesium and copper. Copper plays a role in a wide range of physiological processes including iron utilization, elimination of free radicals, development of bone and connective tissue. Magnesium is also vital for healthy bones. About two-thirds of the magnesium in the human body is found in our bones. Magnesium balances the calcium level in our body and thus helps to regulate nerve and muscle tone. In nerve cells, magnesium serves as a calcium channel blocker that prevents calcium rushing into the nerve cell. By blocking calcium's entry, magnesium keeps our nerves relaxed.

Health Benefits of Cashew Nut for Dental health

Research has also shown that chemicals in cashew nuts kill gram positive bacteria, a pervasive mouth affliction that causes tooth decay, acne, tuberculosis and leprosy. Eating cashew nuts at moderate levels, some say, can eliminate abscessed teeth, though this has not been proven yet by proper clinical trials.

Health Benefits of Cashew Nut for Gallstones disease

The cashew nut, have been associated with a reduced risk of gallstone disease. According to the Nurses’ Health Study, looking at the dietary data of 80,718 women, integrating at least one ounce of nuts a week, such as cashews, gives women a 25 percent lower risk of developing gallstones.

Health Benefits of Cashew Nut for Weight loss

Cashews are recommended for several diet plans, which are a part of weight reduction programs. These are cholesterol free. Cashew nuts have high fat content, but it is considered as "good fat." This is due to the agreeable fat ratio in the nut is 1:2:1 for saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated, respectively. As cashews are rich in dietary fiber and energy density, if consumed in moderate amounts they may be satisfying and wont increases the weight.

Health Benefits of Cashew Nut for Diabetes

Cashews work with a person's lipid profile and provide beneficial effect on those with diabetes or at risk for diabetes. These nuts aid in reducing triglyceride levels in diabetes patients that protect them from further cholesterol and sugar related problems. Integrating frequent consumption of Cashews into your diet, especially raw cashews, may lower the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

Benefits Of Cashew Nut Shells (Anacardium Occidentale) For Health
Cashew Nut Shells (Anacardium Occidentale) Fruits Picture

 Health Benefits of Cashew Nut for Eye health

Cashew nuts contain small amounts of zea-xanthin an important antioxidant, which gets selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eye. This gives our eyes the protective UV ray filtering functions, preventing age related macular degeneration in the elderly.

Health Benefits of Cashew Nut for Liver and Brain

Cashews are the best sources of dietary copper. This mineral helps to breakdown the fat in your food. Inadequate copper intake can raise your blood triglyceride and increase you in risk of fatty liver and heart disease. Copper also needed for proper brain function. Copper is involved in the production and secretion of melanin and dopamine. Without enough copper intakes might leads to severe sun burn, chronic fatigue syndromes, depression and other neurological disorders.

Health Benefits of Cashew Nut for Immune System

Cashews contain zinc, which plays a vital role in the strengthening of the immune system against microbial infections, protein synthesis and the healing of wounds. It is extremely important during pregnancy for the growth of the baby and the developmental years of childhood to maintain a stable state of the body.

Cashew Nut Shells (Anacardium Occidentale) Side effects and cautions

The cashews are rich in caloric. However, consuming more than a single serving may introduce too many calories into your meal plan. Hence intake of large amount leads to weight gain in the human body.

Eating cashews in moderation in a reduced-sodium meal plan is not likely to trigger hypertension, but consuming these nuts in large quantities can make the sodium add up fast. In order to avoid blood pressure consumes less cashew nut.

Person those who suffer from headaches and migraines, avoid cashews. These nuts contain the amino acids tyramine and phenyethyamine. However, if you have a sensitivity to these amino acids, they can also cause head pain.