Durian a European Journal of Integrative Medicine

Durian (Durio
zibethinus) is a Southeast Asian tropical fruit that is known for its
distinct and unique odor, sulfury aroma and appetizing taste thus making it the
“King of Tropical Fruits”. This fruit can grow as large as twelve inches long
and 6 inches in diameter and typically weighs up to two to seven pounds.
Depending on the species, it can be round or oval, its husk is green to brown
and its flesh is pale yellow to red. Many locales compare this fruit to a
perfume with a very strong smell, while the foreigners coined the saying
“smells like hell and tastes like heaven.” After all the smell is not that
appealing for everyone but rather irritating to some who are not used to it,
describing it as “turpentine and onions garnished with gym sock, but upon
tasting the insides of durian you’ll surely regret the feeling of disgust upon
smelling the outer side. The famed naturalist Alfred Russel once remarked on
durian: “the more you eat of it, the less you feel inclined to stop” and it is
indeed true for the fact that many individuals really enjoy eating durian and
chooses it as their favorite fruit. It represents the third plant genus in the
Malvales order and first in the Helicteroideae subfamily.

According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, “Durian is
extensively growing in tropical regions, like Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia,
and the Philippines as major producers. The tree also grows in northern
Australia, some South American countries, and Africa.” This fruit is not only
an edible fruit, it is also used as a natural supplement in health diets.

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 Like the other
tropical fruits such as watermelon, banana and jackfruit, durian is rich in
energy, vitamins and minerals offering us water, protein, phytonutrients and
beneficial fats, while very low in cholesterol and sodium. A balanced intake of
durian is said to positively improve digestion, cardiovascular health,
insomnia, sexual dysfunction, and anemia. Durian, a great source of magnesium,
potassium, manganese, and copper, is very helpful in enhancing bone health;
also, its antioxidant properties is a good way to regulate aging. A study
conducted as described in a European Journal of Integrative Medicine done in
2011 in rats concluded that at different stages of ripening, a durian can
constitute a level of excellence as a source of effective natural compounds
with antioxidants and health-protective activity in general, as a proof
polyphenols and flavonoids were found with significantly higher percentage in
overripe varieties. While most of the said health benefits mostly relies mostly
in its flesh as a source, studies also see the ability of its shell to contain
healing properties when processed into an extract. As described by A Journal of
Southern Medical University in 2010, durian shell extract could serve as an
excellent source of natural alternative to drugs like acetaminophen and

two thousand years ago, nearly two million metric tons of fuel wood and
charcoal are consumed daily in the developing countries, about one kilogram
each day for every man, woman, and child. Some of the woods are converted into
charcoal but most is burned directly. Although the energy obtained represents
only about 10% of the energy consumed worldwide, nearly half of the world’s
people absolutely depend on it to cook their food, heat their homes and water,
and produce marketable goods. Fuel wood and charcoal derived from wood, along
with animal dung and agricultural residues provide over half of the total
energy consumed in some sixty to seventy developing nations. This fuel supplies
as much as 95% of the domestic energy in these countries, as well as making a
significant contribution to commercial and industrial needs. Davao city is
known for its agricultural resources particularly durian. The demand of durian
among locals and tourist is such that the city is left with trucks of durian
wastes. One remedy to this problem is the establishment of a community-based
project involving charcoal production out of durian wastes. Charcoal production
is not only a timely practical project for people living in Davao, but it is
also a push for environment.

Most of us know that the Philippines is one of the
underprivileged countries in this world. But most of Filipinos use expensive
technology like gas stove and electric stove for cooking. And most of us know
that using technology have disadvantages to our lives. “Exposure in gas can
lead to intolerance and adverse reactions both to it and other substances in
our environment.” (Malouf and Wimberly, 2011).

To lessen these cases, the researchers, are also
interested in a certain property of the durian’s shell, though it’s a little
bit of a simpler one – it’s capability of being an alternative source of
charcoal. In the Philippines, a country with a still developing economy, using
charcoal for cooking is something that is not new to everyone, it still quite
an active industry despite the blossoming of the Petrol gas technology.