Common name: Quince
Latin name: Cydonia oblonga
Other names: Cydonian Apple, Elephant Apple, Pineapple Quince
Habitat: The plant is native to Caucasia and northern Iran.
Description: Quince is a small, deciduous tree. Grows to 8 meters in height. Leaves are alternate and simple, covered with white hairs. They are dark green above, pale green below. Flowers are pink to white, produced at the end of short twig. Flowering occurs from May to June. Fruits are golden yellow and pear shaped, with a fragrant, firm pulp.
Parts used: Fruit, seeds.
Useful components: Proteins, carbohydrate, calcium, phosphorous, potassium, water, iron, sodium and vitamins A, B1, B2 and C.
Medicinal use: Juice made from the fruit is said to have antiseptic, analeptic, astringent, diuretic and tonic properties. High concentration of dietary fiber is beneficial in weight loss programs. Consumption of Quince fruit on a daily basis shows excellent results in people afflicted with tuberculosis, hepatic insufficiency, diarrhea, dysentery, gastric ulcer, liver and eye diseases. Quince juice is helpful in cases of anemia, cardiovascular, respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders. Its antioxidant properties could prove to be beneficial in reducing risk of cancer appearance. In Iran and Afghanistan, the Quince seed was used as an ancient remedy for pneumonia.
Safety: The seeds contain toxin, hydrogen cyanide, which in smaller amounts stimulate respiration, but in excessive amounts could cause respiratory failure and death.