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Grape - Benefits of Grape Seeds & Juice

Botanical Name: Vitis vinifera

Family Name : Vitiaceae

Grape grows on a climbing shrub that has an erect, somewhat contorted stem with dark brown bark that peels off in strips. The branches have a number of tendrils which enable the plant to cling on to supports. The alternate leaves which are opposite the tendrils and carried on a sturdy petiole, are palmate and 3-5 lobed with a glabrous surface. The flowers are grouped in panicles, each flower having a 5-lobed calyx and a pale green, 5-petalled corolla. The fruit is a berry which varies in colour; in the juicy pulp a few pear shaped seeds (pips) are immersed.

Origin and Distribution

Grapes have a long and abundant history. While they've grown wild since prehistoric times, evidence suggests they were cultivated in Asia as early as 5000 BC. The grape also played a role in numerous biblical stories, being referred to as the "fruit of the vine." Grapes were also pictured in hieroglyphics in ancient Egyptian burial tombs.

In the late 19th century, almost all of the vinifera varieties of grapes in France were destroyed by an insect that was unintentionally brought from North America. Fortunately, agriculturists crossbred some of the vinifera variety with the American labrusca variety and were able to continue the cultivation of grapes in this region, one that is famous for its grapes and wine.

Today, as researchers continue to investigate the health-promoting polyphenolic compounds found in grapes, this fruit is gaining even more attention. Currently, Italy, France, Spain, the United States, Mexico and Chile are among the largest commercial producers of grapes.

Grape is cultivated extensively in most parts of India. However, grapes come to us out of the abyss of antiquity. Their ancient origin is Europe and North America. Parts Used Fruit, leaves.

Properties of grape

Astringent, anti-inflammatory, tonic, cooling.

Forms of Use :- Decoction, fruit, juice, dry fruit.

Food Value of grape

More than 50 species of vitis are known today. Of these, vitis vinifera is the most important and is universally cultivated grape-vine. Grape fruit analysis gave following composition (per 100 gms)

Moisture 85.0%
Protein 0.5%
Vitamin C 1 mg/100 g
Carbohydrate 16.5%
Phosphorus 30 mg
Iron 0.5 mg
Calcium 20 mg

The vitamin content of grapes varies with species. Red or purplish grapes are rich in vitamins as compared to white. The vitamin content increases during maturation, except for biotin which decreases. The content of thiamine increases three-to-four fold during maturation. There is a loss of vitamins during the processing of grapes for making wine.

Fresh grapes contain varying, but small, quantities of vitamin C and small amount of dehydro-ascorbic acid. Grapes are good sources of bioflavonoids (Vitamin P) which are known to be useful in such conditions as purpura, capillary bleeding in diabetes, oedema and inflammation from injury, radiation damage and atherosclerosis. The berries also contain enzyme invertase etc.

Depending on the type and the locality in which the vine are cultivated, the total sugar content of the ripe grapes generally varies from 9.68 to 18.9% on fresh-weight basis. The major sugars of grapes are glucose and fructose.The amino acids of grape are arginine, proline, glycine, leucine, phenylalanine, lysine, histidine, isoleucine, valine, methionine and tryptophan.

Grapes contain large amount of tartaric and malic acids. Citric acid is present in small amount. Other acids present are: succinic, fumaric, glyceric, p-coumaric and caffeic acids. It also contains phenolic compounds besides other compounds.

Medicinal Uses & benefits

  1. Grapes, both fresh and dried, have varied uses in Ayurvedic and Unani systems of medicine. Fresh grapes are considered laxative, stomachic, diuretic, demulcent and cooling.
  2. Grapes are used in the preparation of various medicinal preparations. The popular tonic Drashasava is made from grape juice.
  3. Grapes are also used in the preparation of Chavanprash, a general health tonic.
  4. The juice of the unripe berries is used as an astringent in throat infections.
  5. Grapes tartar is used in the treatment of constipation.
  6. Dry grapes-Munakka-are used as a popular laxative.
  7. People with a torpid liver or sluggish biliary function are sometimes advised to undergo a special cure based on eating grapes.
  8. Grape juice is benefits for arteries
  • Wines - About 80 per cent of the grapes production is crushed for wine-making.
  • Grape-juice - Coloured as well as white grapes may be used for making grape-juice. In the case of coloured type, a preliminary heating of the crushed mass at 60-650 for a few minutes is necessary for extracting the colouring matter. The juice is extracted from crushed grapes by means of a basket-press, filtered and set aside for some time to remove cream of tartar. The clear juice is bottled and pasteurised. Grape juice is a very popular product.

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