The King Of Fruits

Being the oldest cultivated fruit tree in the world, Mango (Mangifera Indica/आंबा) is one of the best known fruits of India and is being cultivated since more than 4,000 years. It's greatness can be revealed by the fact that the tree is not only the State Tree of Maharashtra, but also is the National Fruit of India.

Mango are long-lived evergreen trees. The fruit being the most used part, it has many other uses also. The Mango plays an important part in the diet and cuisine of many diverse cultures. There are over 1000 named mango varieties throughout the world, which is a testament to their value to humankind. It is a handsome & impressive tree. Mango have long been recognized as more than just edible ripe fruit. The fruit is eaten even green or unripe, can be processed into pickles, pulps, jams, and chutneys.

The kidney-shaped fruit is very tasty & delicious. But it is best known for its nutritious values, its medicinal values and for its pleasant flavor. When ripe, this delicious dessert fruit is particularly high in vitamin A and fibres. It also contains carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, Beta carotene, vitamin B1, B2 and vitamin C. The mango and its flavor are added to many products such as fruit juices, ice creams, wines, teas, breakfast cereals, bars and biscuits.

Mango tree is used as shelter & shade trees in villages and home gardens in urban societies. The fruit is also an important source of sustenance for birds, bats, insects, and mammals. So it attract a range of wildlife (birds & other fruit-eating creatures). Bees visit the flowers, but most pollination is done by flies.

The tree is well known tree in ancient medicines. It gives a gum which is used in medicine. It has astringent, homeostatic, anti-rheumatic, anti-asthmatic, antiseptic, antiviral, cardiotonic, emetic, expectorant, hypotensive and laxative properties. Various parts of the tree are used to stop bleeding and also prescribed in cases of snake-bite and scorpion-sting. The ripe fruit is claimed to be good for the liver. Other uses include an excellent charcoal species and a source of yellowish-brown dye used for silk.

Mango can grow in poor soils and does not need a lot of maintenance or water. It is a drought tolerant tree with a long taproot. They are tolerant of a range of soils from alkaline, calcareous soils to heavy clay soils. Mango is relatively wind resistant and is sometimes used in windbreaks. Mango is easily propagated by seed and various vegetative methods.

Mango is a important tree which is a valued component of the traditional home garden agroforestry system. Its leaves are occasionally fed to cattle, but in small quantities. Seed kernels which are a byproduct of processing; can be used as feed for cattle & poultry. It is also an important honey plant, secreting large quantities of nectar. The tree is known to improve soil fertility when leaves used as mulch for crops.

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