Guinep Time in Jamaica
It is guinep season once again here in Jamaica, and it means that my friend ‘Granty’ is uptown Falmouth Water Square selling her guineps by the bunch.
Melicoccus bijugatus (the guinep’s scientific name) is native to northern South America and naturalised in coastal and dry forest in Central America, the Caribbean and parts of the Old World tropics.
As kids we grew up on the fruit. The huge trees grow all over Falmouth and we would eat them all day long. Nowadays though, many adults pass the guineps, even though they are readily available here in abundance. For those who don’t have a tree, they are sold by vendors like ‘Granty’ on the streets.
Had many of us known the health benefits from eating the guinep, I think we would be eating guineps for the entire season.
The guinep is more nutritious than we think. It has indications for heart disease, diabetes, weight loss, cancer, blood pressure, asthma, teeth, bones and more.
Here are the health benefits of eating the guinep fruit. It is also known as the genip, genipe, canepa, quenepa, quenepe, kinnip, huaya, mamoncillo, kenèp, chenet, limoncillo, skinip, kinnip, mamón or spanish lime.
Health Benefits of Guinep
The Guinep fruit grows in the tropics and are very popular in the Caribbean, Florida, Mexico, Africa, South America and other tropical areas… and the guinep fruit has lots of health benefits.
This small round fruit is about the size of an olive with a hard skin. Inside you’ll find a very sweet luscious fruit with a jelly like consistency, most people eat them fresh… but they can also be made into sauces, desserts, and juice.
The guinep fruit is full of fiber for lowering cholesterol and preventing constipation, also Vitamin A that boosts your immune system and prevents formation of urinary stones; Vitamin C which is very important as a great antioxidant; calcium which keeps your teeth and bones strong and helps prevent cancer; phosphorus which is important for digestion and regulating hormones.
Guinep also contains a large amount of tryptophan which is important for good sleep… and lysine which is important for proper growth and for preventing herpes.
Guinep lowers blood pressure and helps with asthma, and because guinep (Spanish lime) is full of antioxidants (Phenolic Compounds) they also work to prevent cardiovascular disease, boost your immune system and prevent strokes.
Some people say if you want to lose weight just keep eating guinep all day long… it will keep you busy.
Health Benefits of Guinep Leaves
The leaves of the guinep tree can be boiled and made into a tea which is great for intestinal problems. These intestinal problems include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), infections, constipation, peptic ulcers, bowel inflammation, stomach pain and even problems related to the anus.
To prepare the guinep leaf tea, get 5 to 7 leaves and bring to boil. Drink one cup per day.
Health Benefits of Guinep Seeds
The large seed of the guinep fruit is also edible and can be cooked… and once cooked they taste great. Roasted, crushed, and mixed with honey, guinep seeds soothe away diarrhea, and in South America roast guinep seeds are used as a substitute for cassava flour for baking.
In Colombia guinep juice is a staple and can be bought in stores, it’s sweet and wonderful tasting. Remember guinep fruit must be ripe otherwise they contain toxins, and because of the large seeds they are a potential choking hazard for children.
Try some guinep fruit — They Are Habit Forming Paul Haider – Master Herbalist Curated from OM Times
How To Make Guinep Juice
- Wash the guinep and your hands after picking
- Remove the outer shell
- Add water to the guinep in a container (the more guineps, the stronger the juice)
- Wash hands again
- Massage the guineps to get the ‘flesh’ released in the water
- Strain the mixture
- Serve the juice chilled or with ice – you may also add ginger
How to Get Rid of Guinep Stain
The guinep has ruined many clothes due to its strong stain. Here is how you can get rid of it if you treat it quickly: apply ice and blot with a paper towel or a rag. Constantly press down cold water and or an ice cube and the stain lifts.