Quince Fruit by Ibn Al-Qayyim (Mu Gua in Chinese)
The quince fruit is an essential herb that I use in clinical practice. It is both the Materia Medica of Ibn Sina as well as the Materia Medica of Chinese Herbal Medicine. The fruit was also one that was close to the Heart of Prophet (SAW).
Ibn Al-Qayyim mentioned the health benefits of the quince in his Prophetic Medicine. He described some of the benefits of this fruit as being good for the Stomach, quenching the thirst, stops vomiting and nausea, and being beneficial for ulcers of the Intestine. He also said that quinces could be harmful if eaten in large quantities and the best fruits were those eaten roasted or cooked with honey.
Ibn Al-Qayyim said that the seeds of the quince were beneficial for curing hoarseness of the throat and trachea, and for many illnesses. He said that their oil could prevent sweating, strengthen the Stomach and Liver, and fortify the Heart.
What Are Quinces?
The quince is a golden yellow, pear-shaped and highly scented fruit related to the apple and pear. It belongs to the pome fruit family, which means that it produces fruit by flowering plants.
Quinces are a good source of Vitamin A, fiber and iron. They have a strong, astringent flavor and a hard flesh, so they are not usually eaten raw.
The Chinese quince is beneficial for gastric ulcers. Chinese quinces and quince phenolics (chemical compounds) were found to suppress the occurrence of gastric lesions in rats.
The Chinese quince also has anti-viral health benefits. The phenolics found in this variety of quince showed the strongest anti-influenza viral activity, as well as having superior antioxidant functions. From a pharmacology point of view, it is considered antibacterial, antineoplastic and hepatoprotective.
I prescribe quince fruit to patients when they suffer signs and symptoms that relate especially to the Liver and Spleen such as cramping, severe pain, weakness of limbs and lower back,treats diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain and calf cramping. It nourishes the muscles and sinews. In combination with other herbs, there are too many functions and indications to name here.
Tips on Using Quinces
Select fruit that are large, firm, and yellow with little or no green.
Wrap quinces in a plastic bag and refrigerate them for up to 2 months.
Quinces must be handled carefully as they bruise easily.
Because of their high pectin content, quinces are particularly popular for use in jams, jellies, and preserves. They tend to hold their shape, so they are ideal for poaching, stewing, or baking as a dessert.