Origin: Cashew is the seed of a tropical evergreen shrub related to mango, pistachio, and poison ivy. Cashew natively belongs to Central and South America. It is most importantly believed to have originated in Brazil. In Brazil, it was popularly called by Portuguese name Caju (Cashew). The tree was called Cajueiro. It is now widely cultivated in Asia and Africa.
Cashew spread to different countries from Brazil to India and East Africa in the 16th century. It is believed that the Portuguese sailors were responsible for spreading Cashew in the world.
The commercial cultivation of Cashew began in the 21st century across the world. India, Southeast Asian countries, Brazil, Nigeria are the leading cultivators of the Cashew. Cashew is considered to be one of the most favorite nuts in the world.
Scientifically: The cashew is botanically known as Anacardium occidentale. The cashew tree is a short tree. It is a heavy evergreen tropical tree. Cashew is basically the Seed, which is found in the lower portion of the cashew apple. Cashew is a soft, mildly sweet, white, meaty kernel with thick outer covering. Cashew is in the shape of a kidney bean and is bigger in size. This large evergreen tree has leaves spirally arranged and the fruit is like an accessory also called false fruit, because the actual fruit grows at the end of the cashew apple.
Usage: Cashew is processed for consumption and to be sold in the market. Cashews are eaten as a dry fruit and are also used in making an array of foods like sweets, curries, ice-creams and so on. Cashews are generally eaten dry, roasted or fried. These are also available as salted, coated with flavors like chocolate, honey, spices, etc. Cashews are also processed to make butter and cashew milk.
Cashew milk is a great dairy-free option and is preferred by vegans and people who are lactose intolerant. Cashews are rich in vitamins and minerals. It is loaded with magnesium, zinc, iron, phosphorus, and selenium. It is loaded with proteins which are good for skin and hair. Cashews are also considered very beneficial for heart health, liver and digestion. Applying cashew nut oil on skin and hair has proven to give excellent results. Cashews are also important for strong bones.
Below are some DIYs with cashew:
- Take 4 cashews, 2 walnuts, 2 teaspoons of oats, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon of fresh milk cream. Blend all the ingredients together into a fine paste. Apply this paste on face and neck for 15- 20 minutes. Wash it off later in massaging motion. This remedy is a great deep moisturizer and helps in reversing the signs of aging.
- Take 4-5 cashews and soak them in a tablespoon of milk for 20 minutes. Blend the soaked cashews with a tablespoon of milk powder and a teaspoon of honey. Add some lemon juice to this mixture and apply on the face. Keep it on for 15 minutes and then rinse it off. This remedy works in lightening and brightening of the skin.
- Cashew oil is a great oil for the skin. Take a few drops of cashew oil and massage it on the skin. Leave it overnight for soft and supple skin.
- Take fresh cashew paste, a teaspoon of geranium oil, half a teaspoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of raw milk. Blend all the ingredients together and store in a glass jar. Apply this home-made cream all over the body before taking a shower. Massage it thoroughly for 5-10 minutes and then rinse it off. This remedy helps in giving a moisturized clear skin.
- Soak some cashews in a medium-sized jar of water. Blend it with water and extract all the juice/milk. Apply and massage this cashew water all over the scalp and hair. This pack helps in accelerating hair growth and also make the roots stronger.