Pear is a coastal region fruit tree native to Western Europe and North Africa, and Asia. It is a prehistoric fruit which is found to be cultivated in China in early 2000 BC. Romans also cultivated this fruit, and traces of ancient pear cultivation across shores of Caspian and Atlantic also have been found. Pear has 3000 known varieties across the globe; among those, there are two basic pear varieties, one is hard, known as Nashpati, and another is soft, known as Babbu-Gosha. Pear is rich in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibers, which are great for health. Regular consumption of pear helps to manage constipation due to its fiber content and laxative activity. The low-calorie content helps to manage weight, and it also reduces fat, so it is good for blood circulation and cardiac health. Pear is low in sugar content and stimulates insulin activity; thus, it manages low blood sugar levels and helps in diabetes. The high vitamin C content and antioxidants prevent diseases, infection, and free radical damage.
Pear is a good remedy for the skin. It contains arbutin, which reduces melanin levels of the skin and acts as a natural skin whitening agent. Application of pear pulp on the skin removes blemishes and acne marks. It is good for acne due to its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. The paste of pear leaves has wound healing properties.
Despite all these beneficial effects, excessive consumption of pear can cause health problems. Pear is high in fiber, and it is Guru (heavy) by nature, so it takes time to digest; excess consumption or having a weak digestive system can result in digestive problems. It can also create constipation and gas.
How did the ‘Pear’ word originate?
Pear's origin could be from the Germanic word Pera and then in old English Pere, which means "fruit of the prat tree." Or the word could be originated from Vulgar Latin Pira, which turns in to Pirum and then in Dutch Peer and later into "Pear."
Benefits of using Pear in Ayurvedic treatment
The fructose and sorbitol content of pear act as a laxative, which helps to manage constipation. The small intestine poorly absorbs fructose and sorbitol. This poorly absorbed sugar attracts water when passed through the large intestine. Further in, a pear is also high in fiber. So, the absorbed water makes the stool soft, and the fiber content adds bulk to the stool. Together this helps to pass stool and increase stool frequency, too, thus helps in constipation.
Constipation can cause due to poor digestive fire, which eventually makes the stool stiff and hard to pass. Pear helps to make the stool soft and increase stool quantity as well.
Consume 1 – 2 pear regularly after taking food, preferably in the morning, can manage constipation problems.
2. Acidity problem
It is not sure that pear can help in acidity because there is not enough scientific evidence present to prove the fact.
Hyperacidity is the increased level or accumulation of acid in the stomach. According to Ayurveda, this is due to pitta's aggravation, and pear helps to manage this problem. Pear has Sita or cold property, which helps to manage the pitta imbalance.
Taking 1 – 2 pears in the morning after having food can manage acidity.
3. Liver disease
Pears different constituents have different properties, which together act as hepatoprotective. Arbutin is an important constituent of pear, which has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties that protect the liver. Arbutin decreases the levels of bilirubin production and also prevents lipid peroxide, thus protects liver cell damage. The peel of the peer also helps to decrease increased levels of the liver enzyme in the blood.
According to Ayurveda, the liver disease occurs due to an imbalance in Pitta dosha (fire and water elements of the body). Pear is very helpful due to its Sita or cold nature. Liver disease is also directly related to the food that the patient consumes. Pear helps to manage the digestive system and also prevent liver damage.
Taking 1 – 2 pear in the morning after breakfast helps in liver damage.
It is not sure if pears help in diarrhea or not because there is not enough scientific evidence to prove this fact.
According to Ayurveda, diarrhea, or Atisar, happens due to the consumption of improper food, impure water, toxins, or mental stress. Agnimandya or weak digestive fire can also lead to improper food digestion and cause diarrhea. All these factors led to an imbalance in Vata dosha. Aggravated Vata can bring fluid to the intestine from various cells in the body. This fluid mixes with stool and cause watery loose motion.
Pear help to make the stool thick as it is Sita or cold, and it also possesses Stambhak (astriction) property, which reduces the watery motion to prevent the loss of nutrition and fluid through stool. Thus pear can manage diarrhea.
1 – 2 pears after breakfast regularly is preferred for managing diarrhea.
5. Helps in wound healing
Pear leaves can help to heal wounds and also brings back the normal skin texture. It is due to is Ropan or healing property. Applying pear leaf paste on the wound can also reduce the burning sensation due to its Sita or cold property. Pear leaves also act as an anti-inflammatory agent, which helps to reduce the swelling in the wound. It is recommended to take 3 – 5 fresh pears leaves and make a paste with coconut oil. Apply this paste externally to the wound and let it dry. Repeated this process several times until the wound heals.
6. Managing Melasma
Melasma is a skin condition where brown patches appear on the face, this is due to hormonal imbalance during pregnancy, or it can be caused by sun exposure. According to Ayurveda, Melasma occurs due to an imbalance in pitta dosha, and pear helps to balance pitta. Pears help to manage the brown patches due to their pitta balancing and Rasayana properties. The application of pear pulp gives the skin a cooling and soothing effect. 1 – 2 teaspoons of pear pulp is mixed with rose water and apply it on the affected area. Let it dry and wash it with water. Repeating this process daily will help to manage the dark spots in melasma.
Forms of Karanja in Ayurveda with Recommended Dosage
1. Fresh pear
One can eat the fresh pear fruit as a whole. 1 – 2 pears per day is recommended. Eating pear in the morning on an empty stomach helps in digestion and boosts metabolism. pear can also be consumed as a snack throughout the day, but not at night due to its sita or cold nature.
2. Pear juice
Pear juice is great for health; it boosts immunity, and antioxidants prevent aging. Pear juice contains high dietary fiber, which helps in constipation, and vitamin C helps to fight many diseases. fresh pears are chopped into pieces and blended in a juicer to make pear juice. ½ - 1 cup of pear juice daily can fulfill your daily requirement of fruits.
3. Pear pulp
Pear has antioxidants, and it acts as an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agent, which is great for the skin. Pear pulp helps to reduce acne and removes marks from the skin. Its cooling and skin whitening nature gives the skin a natural glow. Pear pulp mixed with rose water is applied externally to treat skin problems.
FAQ’s about Pear
● How would you compare pear and apple?
Both apple and pear are good for health; they are low in calories and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C. It is also rich in dietary fiber, preventing constipation and reducing blood glucose level and cholesterol levels. The antioxidant activity prevents aging, and several phytonutrients that are present in both pear and apple, help fight diseases.
● Does eating pear skin can cause a problem?Consumption of pear skin is absolutely safe. Most of the vital nutrients are present just under a pear's skin, so removing the skin is not recommended. It contains fiber, vitamin C, copper, which repairs tissue damage and prevent several diseases. Pear skin also contains antioxidants that reduce free radical damage, which prevents aging and cancer.
● How many pears are recommended a day?
Pears are rich in essential phytonutrients and other nutrients. It is low in calories and high in dietary fiber and vitamin C. eating 2 pears a day is enough.
Ayurveda says, eating 1 – 2 pears daily in the morning is best for our health. Consuming it before taking food in the morning also helps indigestion.
● What is the sugar content of pear?
Pears are relatively low in calories and sugar. The low glycemic index of pear helps manage blood glucose levels as it does not cause a spike in the glucose level. One cup of pear basically contains 14 grams of sugar that calculate into approximately 80 calories. (100 grams of pears contains 57 calories)
● What is the best time to eat pear?
Every fruit is best to consume in their respective season. Pears are available throughout the year, but the proper season is June to August. It is also recommended to eat a pear in the morning before breakfast as it is high in dietary fiber, which helps to boost metabolism. But it is also fine to eat them as a snack during the day.
● What will happen in the excessive consumption of pear juice?
Pears are rich in nutrients and dietary fibers, which is good for health. But excessive consumption of pear juice can result in negative health effects. Excess fiber is not good for health as it can be bad for the digestive system. The high fiber content of pear can led to constipation and malabsorption of nutrients. Too much vitamin C can also cause diarrhea, nausea, heartburn, and headache.
● How can pear help with diabetes?
Pear helps to reduce blood glucose levels due to its hypoglycemic activity. Consuming pear stimulates pancreatic cells to release more insulin or inhibit the absorption of glucose in the intestine. The antioxidant activity of pear also prevents cellular damage to pancreatic cells. Pear improves the utilization of glucose by the cells. This is why pear is good for managing the diabetic condition.
● How does pear help to lower lipid levels in the body?
Pear is hypolipidemic, which helps to lower lipid levels in our body. It reduces triglycerides and LDL (low-density lipoprotein, bad for health) levels and increases the HDL (high-density lipoprotein) levels. Pear also reduces the risk of heart diseases like atherosclerosis and coronary artery diseases, which occur due to high lipid levels. Pear also acts as an antioxidant and a cardio-protective agent.
● Does eating pear cause gas?
Pear is high in fiber, and it takes time to digest. Eating it in excess amounts causes gas as it is Guru or heavy in nature.
● Does pear help in acidity?
Yes, pear helps to reduce acidity because of its Sita or cold nature. It also strengthens the digestive system if taken in the morning before food.
● Can pear help in cough?
No, actually, pear can badly affect or increase cough situation because it is Sita or cold. Eating pear during cough can create an imbalance in Kapha and aggravate the symptoms of cough.
● How does pear help in weight loss?
Eating pear in the morning helps in proper digestion, and proper digestion of food reduces unnecessary fat. It contains pectin (a type of fiber), which binds with fat molecules and eliminates them, which might help to lose weight.
In Ayurvedic terms, weight gain is a condition of excessive accumulation of fat or Ama (undigested toxic remains of food due to improper digestion). Pear might help in this situation as it increases digestive fire, and its Rechana or Laxative property helps in the excretion of these toxins. This ultimately helps to reduce weight.
● How does pear boost immunity?
Pear contains antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress and degradation of cells, thus maintain proper body functionalities. Specifically, Vitamin C is a great antioxidant and helps to fight many diseases. So, eating pear can boost immunity.
Pear possesses Rasayana (rejuvenating property), which helps to fight disease and external infections. It helps to boosts immunity.
● Is pear good for bone health?
Bone problems primarily occur due to deficiency in calcium in our body, as calcium is essential for bone strength and bone health. Pear can help in calcium deficiency; it consists of boron, which increases the retention of calcium in our body and helps in the absorption of calcium. So, eating pear regularly is good for bone health.
● How pear improves blood circulation?
Pear is hypolipidemic, which means it reduces fat and bad cholesterol levels in our body, which leads to blood circulatory problems. Consuming pear helps to improve blood circulation and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It also reduces blood pressure, which further helps to improve blood circulation.
● Can we treat acne problems with pear?
Acne causes due to clogged skin pores, microbial infections, and other problems. Pear is a good antioxidant that helps to maintain good skin condition, and it also acts as an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. The anti-inflammatory property helps reduce the inflammation in acne, and the antimicrobial quality prevents acne formation. Pear also has skin whitening properties, which removes acne marks as a natural product; pear is good for acne and is used in several skin care products in the cosmetic industry.