Natural Health Tips

Ibn al-Qayyim: Watermelon is a Powerful Cleanser

Ibn al-Qayyim detailed the benefits of eating watermelon in his book "The Prophetic medicine." He said eating watermelon cleanses the body and helps to expel stones from the stomach (perhaps referring to kidney or gall stones), and is quicker to digest than cucumber. He also said that it is beneficial for a fever, and if ginger is added to it, it can also be used to treat a chill. He said that to gain the full health effects, it should be eaten in season, before a meal, as it has a cleansing effect upon the stomach and removes ailment from it.

Facts about watermelon

Watermelon is related to the cantaloupe, squash, pumpkin, and other plants that grow on vines on the ground, and is actually a vegetable, not a fruit. It contains 92% water and 8% sugar.

The lycopene (an antioxidant) content of watermelon is similar to that of raw tomatoes. A one-cup serving of watermelon contains roughly the same about of lycopene as two medium-sized tomatoes. Watermelons are also a good source of Beta-carotene. watermelon rind is a natural source of citrulline, an amino acid that promotes nitric oxide production, improving blood flow through the arteries.

Studies have found that consumption of watermelon can reduce the risk of certain cancers. Research carried out in Korea found that men with a high intake of watermelon, along with other fruit, had a lower risk of colorectal cancer. Another study found that those who consumed watermelon, along with other foods high in carotenoids, had a lower risk of prostate cancer.

Tips on Using Watermelon

  • Every part of the watermelon is edible, even the seeds and rind.

  • Whole melons will keep for 7 to 10 days at room temperature.

    When cut, cover the cut surface of the watermelon with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated.

  • Unripe watermelons should be avoided as they can be slightly acidic.

References for further reading

  • Ghazizadeh M, Razeghi A, Valaee N, Mirbagheri E, Tahbaz F, Motevallizadeh H, Seyedahmadian F, Mirzapour H. watermelon juice concentrate. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2004;13 (Suppl) :S162.

  • Jian L, Du CJ, Lee AH, Binns CW. Do dietary lycopene and other carotenoids protect against prostate cancer? Int J cancer. 2005 Mar 1;113(6):1010-1014.

  • Lee SY, Choi KY; Kim MK, Kim KM, Lee JH, Meng KH, Lee WC. The relationship between intake of vegetables and fruits and colorectal adenoma-carcinoma sequence. Korean J Gastroenterol. 2005 Jan;45(1):23-33.