Persimmons (Diospyros virginiana) are a sweet and delicious fruit that are an excellent source of vitamin A, C, and B-complex and minerals such as potassium, manganese and copper.
They contain an anti-cancer and anti-tumor compound called Betulinic acid which makes them highly beneficial for lung, colon, prostate, breast, and skin cancer.
Persimmons contain active enzymes that help to break down toxic cells and foreign microbes in the body. They also have phytonutrients called Catechins which have powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-aging properties.
Persimmons are known to help soothe sore throats and irritated digestive tracts and are good for colds, viral infections, constipation, and acid reflux.
Persimmon tea is a well-known acid reflux remedy that can be made by combining 2 quarts of water, 3 cinnamon sticks, and 1/2 cup of thinly sliced fresh ginger into a pot and simmering for 30-60 minutes.
When done, remove the cinnamon sticks & ginger from pot and add 1 cup of dried persimmons. Allow the dried persimmons to soak in tea and store entire mixture in the fridge for up to a week. Sip 1/2 cup of this liquid 1-3 times day to stop and prevent symptoms of acid reflux from reoccurring.
Persimmons are a fantastic source of an antioxidant called zea-xanthin which is vital to help prevent and protect from age-related macular degeneration. They are also a great weight loss food as they are both fat-free and high in fiber.
There are two popular varieties of persimmons: Hachiyas and Fuyus.
Hachiya persimmons (pictured left) have a tear drop shape and must be fully ripe, almost to a pudding, jelly like consistency before eating.
When Hachiya persimmons are fully ripe, they are decendently sweet and are prized around the world for their flavor and health benefits.
Fuyu persimmons (pictured right) are hard and crisp like an apple and they can be eaten out of hand or peeled and sliced into pieces.
Fuyu persimmons are also delicious dried and are a sweet chewy snack that can help to curb the appetite and prevent over-eating while giving you ample energy to get you through your day.
Fresh persimmons can be used in fruit salads, smoothies, salads, homemade jellies and jams, pies, and sorbet and are an excellent way to add nutritional and healing benefits to your diet.
Fresh persimmons are available in most supermarkets and dried persimmons can be found online or at your local health food store.
You can grow persimmons from seeds, cuttings, suckers or grafts.
Young seedlings that are one to two years in age can be transplanted to an orchard. The best quality, however, comes from grafted or budded trees.
An important factor for those wanting to know how to grow persimmon trees includes the type and number of trees to plant.
The American persimmon tree requires both male and female for fruit while the Asian variety is self-fruiting. If you have a smaller garden space, consider the Asian persimmon.
The right persimmon growing conditions are not hard to find. These trees are not particularly picky about soil but do best with a pH of 6.5 to 7.5.
If you are interested in growing persimmons, choose a sunny spot that drains well.
Persimmons have very deep tap-root, so be sure to dig a deep hole. Mix 8 inches of soil and loam in the bottom of the planting hole, then fill the hole with loam and native soil.
Water young trees well until established. Thereafter, keep them watered whenever there is no significant rainfall, such as periods of drought.
Do not fertilize the tree unless it does not appear to be thriving.
Although you can prune the tree to a central leader when young, very little pruning is required with older growing persimmons as long as they are bearing fruit.