Nov 05 - 11, 2007

Mango is the most popular fruit of the Sub-Continent. Every body from a child to an elderly person like to eat mangoes eagerly. It has some unique qualities of taste, colour and dietary value. Because of its easy availability in Pakistan at reasonable rates, it is within the reach of a majority of the people.

According to a French historian, De Kandway, mango orchards were grown some 4000 years ago. Although mango is being raised in South America but it has no match to our mango fruit, which is superior in many respects.

Export: According to a recent report of APP, export of mango has reached the figure of 27 million dollars. According to Baber Ihsan, Technical Manager, Pakistan Horticulture Development Export Board, the export of mango would reach as high as $60 million by the year, 2010. As informed by him, the Horticulture Department Extension Service is doing wonderfully useful job by visiting mango orchards and training the farmers. However, estimatedly, some 2 million metric tons of mango is wasted every year for want of application of post harvest technology, which results in colossal loss, running into millions of rupees. The need of the hour is that pre-harvest and post-harvest technologies are used by our farmers/horticulturists to save these losses. It is appreciable that the Government has started a programme for linking the markets with the farms and airports by roads and providing cold storages for increasing the shelf life of the fruit at Rs.5 billion.

It was informed by him that our present markets for the export of mango are United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and United Kingdom but these are low price markets, though our mango enjoys superb popularity in the Middle East and Arab world. Now it has been planned and decided to enter the high price markets of Germany, America and China. We have already made trade agreements with China. To cater for the new markets in these countries, we need to do a good deal of home work to meet the demands of importers in these markets with regard to quality, packing and safe handling of our merchandise as well as to make concerted efforts to penetrate in these markets with confidence and conviction and . not in a hatch-patch way.

Dietary & medicinal value of mango: According to our Unani physicians, eating mango is useful for heart, brain and lever. It is somewhat laxative (not purgative). Its use purifies the blood, makes the colour of face and body fair and adds to the physical beauty. It contains vitamins A and C, more than all other fruits. It is a natural tonic for fragile and physically weak children. Eating mangoes by women in pregnancy facilitates birth of fair colour children. Similarly, eating mangoes by breast-feeding mothers increases the capacity of milk for sucking babies. Mangoes contain protein, phosphorus, iron, potassium and glucose.

There is a precaution that mango should never be used empty stomach. It is also advised that milk mixed with water should be taken after eating mangoes, which on one hand nullifies the adverse effects of mango and on the other enhances its usefulness for health. It adds to the freshness of the body, strengthens urinary tract and kidneys. Using a few jaman, after eating mangoes is also useful for protecting the user from any adverse effect in digestive system.

According to Unani school of medicine, leaves, bark, gum, fruit and seed/stone of mango all have their respective medicinal value. Oil taken from old mango pickle is useful for curing baldness. Using a thin twig as a tooth brush removes bad smell of the mouth.

There is a prescription for those, who suffer from uneasy and difficult urination. Bark of the root of mango tree and leaves of Shisham 5 grams each may be boiled in one kg water .When water quantity comes down to one third, it should be allowed to cool down. Then it should be used after mixing sugar for the aforementioned ailment.

Leaves of mango tree that fall down may be collected, dried in shade and powdered. Using two grams of this powder for several days is advantageous for diabetic patients to control diabetes. .

When mango tree bears flowers, which emit a special type of fragrance, some of the flowers may be rubbed between both the Pams several times for an hour or so. This would create a miraculous effect in the hands. Placing the hands at the place of the body stung by a scorpion would spontaneously relieve the pain and inflammation. This effect remains valid for an year.

Bark of the mango tree is useful in dysentery, likoria and piles. The bark should be ground/ powdered and used as a medicine or fresh bark may be used with the white of an egg or gum. The juice of the bark used with lime cures some male and female hidden diseases.