Payne Mountain Farms
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Quince as an herbal remedy

Quince (Pyrus Cydoniz) – Quince is a large shrub with pink blossoms and dark green leaves.  The plant is not used extensively in modern herbal medicine but is sometimes made into syrup for the treatment of diarrhea.

There are other ways that quince is utilized. Sometimes the seeds are used for their mucilage content and are an excellent substitution for flax seeds. When boiled with water the seeds form a thick ointment-like substance that is taken internally for treatment of dysentery, thrush, and irritable bowel conditions.  Sometimes a decoction is used as an eye wash or lotion. With such high mucilage content, the application is not readily washed away by tears.

Quince was once highly regarded as an herbal medicine and the plant has been under cultivation since ancient times. It was believed that quince provided protection from the evil eye. Most gardens used to boost at least one quince tree. The plant was considered necessary for making jams and jellies due to its high pectin content.

Senior citizens may fondly remember the scent of quince cooking in their mother’s kitchens. It is regrettable that the smell and taste of quince is now almost forgotten.

Quince is connected with Greek and Roman mythology and is often seen represented in ancient paintings and sculptures. Quince is depicted in the wall mosaics of Pompeii, where the fruit is often seen being held in the paws of a bear.

According to the Greeks and Romans, Quince was held sacred by Venus. Paris gave Venus a quince, and she is often depicted with the fruit in her right hand. In ancient literature, quinces are often referred to as golden apples. Some scholars believe that a quince was the “apple” referred to in the Garden of Eden.

Quince fruits are often used as the symbol of love and happiness. Throughout history quince fruits were given as presents and considered love tokens. During the middle ages, quinces were used at every wedding feast. Greek brides would nibble a quince to perfume their breath before entering the bridal chamber.

Many European countries consume large amounts of quince marmalade (the word marmalade originally meant “quince jam”).This sweet preserve is added to pies, spread on toast, and served with meat dishes. In France, quince marmalade is mixed with rosewater and musk resulting in a delicious preserve known for its digestive powers.

Quince thrives in damp, rich soil. The plant forms a thick bush that usually reaches only five or six feet in height.  Quince trees require a cold period to flower properly and are self pollinating. The ripe fruit is golden yellow and is shaped like a pear. Fruits are best left to ripen on the tree and picked after a frost. Planting is done during the latter part of January or February when trees are completely dormant. Planting techniques and post-planting care are the same as for most other deciduous fruit trees.

* Please consult with your physician before using any herbal remedy.