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The healing power of persimmon

  1. Originally, the persimmon tree comes from the east coast of the United States, from New York to Florida, and its range extends inland to the Missippi River. The American persimmon can also grow in the Netherlands and Belgium. A persimmon tree usually grows to about 20 meters high, but specimens are known that are 35 meters high. To obtain fruit, male and female persimmon trees must be in close proximity. The fruits are up to six centimeters in diameter, orange to black in color and contain a generous amount of vitamin C.


  1. Naming persimmon General info persimoen Family persimon Traditional healing methods Tips for eating persimmon Seeds as a coffee substitute Wounds and sores Diarrhea Diphtheria Dropsy Fever Hemorrhoids Thrush

Naming persimony

  1. The Latin name of persimmon is Diospyros virginiana. Diospyros literally means 'fruit of the gods' or 'fruit of the gods'. Virginiana is the addition given for being found in the state of Virginia, USA. Thomas Harriot is the first to describe the persimmon. He liked its sweetness better than that of cherries. Harriot lived in a colony in Virginia. The word persimon comes from an Indian language, Powhatan. This language was spoken by the Indians who lived on the east coast of North America. The word in Powhatan was pasimenan, meaning "he who artificially dries fruit." Persimmon was apparently widely used to be dried so that it can be eaten all season long. William Strachey was the first Westerner to use the name persimon. He recorded this name in his book 'History of Travell into Virginia Brittania'.

General info persimoen

  1. Persimmon is related to the kaki. Like the persimmons, it is a pathonocarpic tree. This means that the fruit does not get seed if the flowers are not pollinated, but the tree does produce fruit. Persimmon is most commonly cultivated in Asia; China, Korea and Japan are 1, 2 and 3 on the list of most producing countries of persimmon. This is not the American persimmon, but an Asian variety we call kaki. The American persimmon is smaller and has slightly more seeds. That is why it is not used as a cultivated crop. Most American persimmon trees grow wild in the USA

Persimoen family

  1. There are a number of relatives of the American Persimon. The kaki is one of them. The others are described below:

Traditional healing methods

  1. Persimons are used by Native Americans and settlers in the US. used medicinally as an astringent, antiseptic and for the treatment of uterine bleeding, diarrhea and dysentery, diphtheria, dropsy, fever, gonorrhea, hemorrhoids, syphilis and thrush. The astringent or astringent effect applies especially to the unripe fruit.

Tips for eating persimmon

  1. The fruits can be eaten raw as a snack, but they can also be cooked to make compote or jam. It is also possible to dry the fruit. A ripe fruit has soft flesh and a sweet taste. The fruits have been used in recipes for puddings and pies since the 17th century, the time of the colonists. Dried persimmon pieces are placed in cakes to give them a natural sweet taste.

Seeds as a coffee substitute

  1. During the American Civil War, the seeds were sometimes used as buttons. Persimmon seeds are roasted for the purpose of using them for a substitute coffee. In the same American Civil War, there was sometimes a boycott of products and coffee was not available. Various products were used as a substitute, such as chicory root, dandelion root, melon seeds, cotton seeds, corn, peanuts, rice, rye, sugar cane seed, sweet potato and wheat. But most people thought the persimmon seeds were the best substitute for real coffee.

Wounds and ulcers

  1. In the days of the civil war there were not enough medicines. Persimmon was used to clean wounds when available. It was said that this American kaki variety hurts a wound; this is due to its antiseptic effect. External ulcers were also treated with the pulp of the persimmon. Uterine bleeding could also be treated with it.


  1. Dysentery is diarrhea with blood in the stool. For the treatment of diarrhea and dysentery, the persimmon fruit itself was used, but also the bark of the tree and the bark of the root. They used a tea together with Chinese or Russian rhubarb or they made a fruit syrup from the unripe fruits and mixed it with sugar. Anti-diarrheal pills were also made from persimmon, red oak bark, gum arabic, blackcurrant syrup and sugar.


  1. Diphtheria is also called croup. It is a bacterial infection that can affect the throat as well as the skin. It is transmitted by coughing. This infection was counteracted by using the inner bark of the persimmon tree. A gargle based on the inner bark was made against diphtheria.


  1. Oedemas are often associated with heart problems. Digitalis was often used against edema in the past, but some doctors during the American Civil War saw that a tea or infusion of the seeds of persimmon also worked against dropsy.


  1. Persimmon bark was used to 'drink away the fever'. Body temperature decreases after drinking this tea. Incidentally, the kaki fruit also works for this. In China, it has been known for hundreds of years that kaki decreases body temperature and this wisdom has recently been confirmed by scientific research.


  1. Persimmon flower / Source: Pollinator, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)


  1. Thrush is an infection of the oral mucosa caused by the yeast cabdida albicans. The inner bark of the persimmon tree was mixed with ash in hot water. This was boiled for some time, cooled. This is used to wash the inside of the mouth to combat thrush. Honey was used for the good taste, a longer shelf life and the extra disinfecting effect.

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