AfricaHealth & FitnessKenya

Thorny melon/jelly melon

By Susan Njire

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Due to it’s ability to thrive in almost all areas under minimal care and increasing demand as consumers become aware of it’s nutrients and medicinal benefits most farmers are shifting to grow it. African horned melon as many refer to it that way is one of the ten rarest fruits in the world to grow.some of it’s health and medicinal benefits includes-

1.Inhibit cancer and heart diseases

2.Enhance metabolism

3.Relieving stress and anxiety

4.Has anti-aging effect

5.Improves Skin and eye health

6.Its good for persons with diabetes and hypertension management.

It is also referred to as the jelly melon,kiwano, or spiked melon. They are hardy and easy to grow as they need reasonable levels of warmth and a relative humidity.Male and female flowers grow separately on the same plant.

They are grown from seeds which are encouraged to germinate at a faster rate by keeping the seeds under fluctuating temperatures of between 20-30 degrees Celsius. African horned melon has been commercially used as cucumber rootstock because they are pest and disease resistant.Their leaves are also used in medicinal tea to enhance weight loss.

Once planted the fruits are ready for harvesting after 3-4 months when fruits have changed color from green to yellow. Since it does not require big space, anyone can try planting jelly melon in kitchen garden.

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