Ibn al-Qayyim mentioned the health benefits of the quince in his Prophetic Medicine. He described some of the benefits of this fruit as being good for the stomach, quenching the thirst, stops vomiting and nausea, and being beneficial for ulcers of the intestine. He also said that quinces could be harmful if eaten in large quantities and the best fruits were those eaten roasted or cooked with honey.
Ibn al-Qayyim said that the seeds of the quince were beneficial for curing hoarseness of the throat and trachea, and for many illnesses. He said that their oil could prevent sweating, strengthen the stomach and liver, and fortify the heart.
What Are Quinces?
The quince is a golden yellow, pear-shaped and highly scented fruit related to the apple and pear. It belongs to the pome fruit family, which means that it produces fruit by flowering plants.
Quinces are a good source of Vitamin A, fiber and iron. They have a strong, astringent flavor and a hard flesh, so they are not usually eaten raw.
The Chinese quince may be beneficial for gastric ulcers. Researchers from Shinshu University, Japan, found that Chinese quinces and quince phenolics (chemical compounds) were found to suppress the occurrence of gastric lesions in rats.
The Chinese quince may also have anti-viral health benefits. The phenolics found in this variety of quince showed the strongest anti-influenza viral activity, as well as having superior antioxidant functions.
Tips on Using Quinces
- Select fruit that are large, firm, and yellow with little or no green.
- Wrap quinces in a plastic bag and refrigerate them for up to 2 months.
- Quinces must be handled carefully as they bruise easily.
- Because of their high pectin content, quinces are particularly popular for use in jams, jellies, and preserves. They tend to hold their shape, so they are ideal for poaching, stewing, or baking as a dessert.
References for further reading
- Hamauzu Y, et al, antioxidant and antiulcerative properties of phenolics from Chinese quince, quince, and apple fruits.J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Feb 8;54(3):765-72.
- Hamauzu Y, et al, Phenolic profile, antioxidant property, and anti-influenza viral activity of Chinese quince (Pseudocydonia sinensis Schneid.), quince (Cydonia oblonga Mill.), and apple (Malus domestica Mill.) fruits.J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Feb 23;53(4):928-34.