The very potent medicinal properties of the humble apple are often forgotten, despite the old adage that states “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” The apple is one of the most common fruits and has been a part of the human diet since antiquity. The scientific name of the apple is M. communis, and apples have been in cultivation since Roman times - the plant probably originates from somewhere in the Caucasus Mountains. In the ancient world, ripe apples were often used as a laxative, while, raw apples were used to counter diarrhea and related digestive disorders. According to a widely held ancient medical system, namely Galenical medicine, most apples were thought of as being cool and moist and good for digestion. Apple based juices and herbal fruit infusions were often prescribed for the treatment of persistent fevers and all kinds of eye infections in the ancient world.
Remedies prepared from the apples were also used many years ago to gain relief from metabolic disorders like the gout, for the treatment of bilious constitutions, to heal skin eruptions and to aid nerve impairment. All sorts of superstitious beliefs and traditions have been connected with remedies made from the apple, these beliefs gained ground as the remedies are so popular across the world. Apples mixed with saffron were often used by peasants of Westphalia to cure cases of jaundice decades ago. A legend connected to the healing ability of the apple is still extant in Devonshire, England; the belief is that an apple rubbed on a wart can make it disappear. Prussian peasants in one particular province used to eat an apple on Easter morning as an insurance against fever.
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