Origin: The pomelo fruit is originated from southeastern Asia and Malaysia. Later, it spread to the United States. It is believed to have reached the United States by the 17th century. Pomelos grow mostly in tropical and subtropical areas. A small crop of pomelos are grown in California and Florida but is also commercially cultivated in Asia and Israel.
Pomelos basically belong to the stretch between Malaysia through Indonesia to Papua New Guinea. One of the famous variety of pomelo called limau bali was imported by Sir Hugh Low in 1884 and was cultivated in Penang and Perak. Pomelo also has a unique variety called the limau wangkang which was found in the Dutch East Indies. This variety has a small fruit enclosed within a larger fruit. This fruit also holds a great significance in China and is a good luck charm for them. Pomelos cultivated in Thailand are known for their pink flesh and juicy tart sweetness.
Scientifically: The pomelo is one of the largest variety of citrus fruit and belongs to the Rutaceae family. The pomelo is also known by different names like Chinese grapefruit, shaddock, pulemo, or pompelmous. The pomelo tree has low spreading branches that grow to around five to 15 m in height. It is usually thorny and has many branches and fruits all year round. Its leaves grow to about 15 cm wide.
The fruit is round in shape and is 10 to 30 cm in diameter. It has rough skin on the outside and is in light green to yellow and is also dotted with oil glands. The peel of the pomelo is very thick and fibrous but can be easily removed. The thick peel helps to protect the fruit, therefore, pomelos keep for a longer time. Each fruit comprises nine to 14 segments or slices that are covered with paper-thin skin. The flesh of the fruit can vary in sweetness, juiciness as well as color, ranging from white, light yellow to pink. The fruit is sweet and tangy and can also have a bitter aftertaste. Some of the varieties are with seed and some are seedless.
Usage: Pomelos are a great source of vitamins A and C, fiber, potassium, iron, and calcium. The peel of the fruit is often used to make marmalade, chocolates, or to add flavor to meat dishes. Pomelo is eaten as a fruit itself or is added to salads, desserts, jams, marmalades, etc. the pomelo leaves are often used in aromatherapy, bath oils, essential oil, and perfumes.
Apart from multiple commercial and culinary uses, pomelo is also used to treat cough, indigestion and motion sickness. It is often used to treat urinary tract infections. It promotes healing of wounds and cuts and also helps in reducing acne. The antioxidants in pomelo also help in fighting free radicals and prevent cancer. It also helps in keeping a common cough and cold at bay. It promotes heart health and facilitates the weight loss process. Pomelo also helps in improving skin by combating wrinkles and skin aging and making it look youthful, fair and soft.
Below are some DIYs with pomelo:
- Take half a pomelo, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 2 teaspoons of grapeseed oil. Extract the juice and add all other ingredients together. Gently mix the ingredients in a folding motion. Use this scrub on any part of the body and massage. This helps in removing dead skin and give soft supple skin.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of pomelo juice with a teaspoon of honey and a tablespoon of gram flour. Mix them together and apply on the face. This remedy helps in controlling sebum production on the face.
- Take 1 egg white, 1 tablespoon of pomelo juice and a teaspoon of fresh cream. Mix all the ingredients together and apply on the face for 15 minutes. This helps in tightening and brightening of the skin.
- Take 2 tablespoons of pomelo juice, mix a tablespoon of oatmeal to it. Add a teaspoon of honey. Apply this mixture on the face for 10 minutes. This helps in smoothening the skin.
- Take 2 tablespoons of pomelo pulp and add 2 tablespoons of fresh aloe vera gel and one tablespoon of coconut oil to it. Mix and apply on the scalp and hair length. Keep it on for 30 minutes. This helps in promoting hair growth and makes hair shine.