The Sugar Apple…Yum Yum

I am from the beautiful island of Grenada where Sugar Apple (as we call it) grows.   Just yesterday, I enjoyed the goodness of one of our Sugar Apples.  Some of my friends say, it is too sweet.   Well, It is sugar apple and it is filled with sugar goodness.

I got curious though and went digging and found out some really cool facts about the Sugar Apple.  I discovered that it is the most widely grown species of Annona Squamosa.

I found out much more after bouncing up on this book, or ratherImage result extracts of it on the internet, I may just purchase the book if I can.
It is the work of Julia F. Morton an economic botanist.  It is described as an “important resource for every agricultural, research and science library.”
OK, let’s get to it.   Here are the cool facts I found out from Julia.
1.  The origin of the sugar apple appears to be unknown.  Tropical South America, Southern Mexico, the West Indies, Bahamas and Bermuda, are some of the places they are frequently cultivated. 2.  The suitable climate for these trees to grow is the tropical to near tropical climate.  It strives best in areas that are dry and has high tolerance for drought conditions.  3. The seeds can live up to 3-4 years and they germinate better 1 week after they are removed from the fruit; very interesting don’t you think? 4. Germination may take 30 days or more, it can be quicker if the seeds are soaked for three days.  This other fact caught me by surprise, something I just never knew.  5.  The seeds are actually acrid and poisonous. Wow!  You may be wondering what the word “acrid” means, it means “having an irritatingly strong and unpleasant taste or smell.” I must’ve swallowed a few seeds in my childhood, oops!
I love eating sugar apples, the fruit is nearly round about 6-10 cm long, with outer knobby segments; pale-green in colour.   It is creamy white inside, sweet and juicy to the taste.
Now, I am sure you are wondering about its medicinal uses; no. 6.  Crushed leaves can be sniffed to overcome hysteria and fainting spells;  they can also be applied to ulcers and wounds and a leaf decoction is taken in cases of dysentery (infection of the intestines/diarrhea) .  It is said that in the tropical parts of America a decoction of the leaves either alone or with other plants, is absorbed or drank as an emmenagogue (a substance that stimulates or increases menstrual flow).  It is also said to be used as a tonic and a cold remedy.  There is more; the leaf decoction is also applied in baths to relieve affected persons from rheumatic pain; a decoction of the bark can also be used as a tonic and to stop diarrhea.
There is so much information on the sugar apple in this book but I must wrap up sharing the exert that had the greatest impression on my mind.  I learnt that the poisonous seeds can be grounded to a powder and made into a paste and applied to the scalp to get rid of lice. Wow!!
I do hope you will get the opportunity to taste it, if you never did.  It is an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese and also a very good source of Vitamin B6.

Coping with Loneliness

We all get Lonely….

Loneliness can cripple you, dry up your substance, your joy and your vigor.  I have found that people experience loneliness all the time; it is no respecter of persons.  What you do when you are feeling lonely is what matters.   Some find comfort in food, sex, their favorite television show and social media.   Interestingly however, these temporary fixes are just that, temporary fixes and can lead to destructive habits, regrets and more loneliness.

Loneliness is attached to a reason, there is a story, there is a history that can explain it all and we can discover it.

Reasons why people feel lonely:

Being able to adjust to life as you never knew it could be quite a challenge.  This normally arise when a loved one dies or there is a separation of some kind; family members caught in a feud or friends becoming separated through migration, husbands and wives splitting up because of divorce, sibling rivalry that builds a seemingly wedge between a brother and a sister or two sisters, and the reasons extend to numerous situations and circumstances.  Loneliness is real, it’s undeniable and it can be painful.

There are other reasons that I choose to describe as self-inflicted; loneliness can emerge from an unfulfilled dream or desire.  A glaring one is that you are lonely because you are seeking for fulfillment through your dream lover, the one you are still waiting for.

I think it is important to understand that loneliness is nothing to be ashamed of, it is important however to acknowledge and seek to identify the source of your loneliness.   This brings me to the realization that our loneliness can be short or long lived.   I think it makes more sense focusing on long-term loneliness, I would define “long-term” as a consistent state of loneliness for three months or more.

A single parent losing their only child can experience loneliness.  It can be very debilitating especially if their relationship was healthy; they enjoyed each other’s company.   Before the loss of the child life was life, it was real and everything was just right.  No one or nothing can compensate for such a terrible loss.   It creates a sink-hole in your heart, in your soul and in your mind.  Loneliness steps in as that emotional turmoil that creates a vacuum, a gap and a dark hole.

You may be experiencing loneliness and might be comforted to know that it’s all right, there is hope. We can grow to cope better with loneliness.

I wish to offer some possible solutions to dealing with long-term loneliness:

  1. As mentioned before, you should acknowledge your loneliness and identify the source. Eg: “I am feeling lonely because Sinatra by best friend has migrated; we did almost everything together.”
  2. Secondly, look for the positives that can come out of your loneliness. Eg: “This is an opportunity for me to search myself, spend time with me and rediscover me” or “We had great times together and I am grateful, I would keep in touch with her on Facebook” or “I am happy for Sinatra she is making the best of an opportunity”. Such positive affirmations should make you feel good inside and present that hopeful feeling.
  3. Thirdly, be determined not to allow thoughts of self-pity and hopelessness to resonate within you, chase them away the moment they appear. “I would never be happy again.”  Don’t believe the lies about yourself.
  4. Fourthly, take your eyes of your circumstances and reach out to others, do something special for someone, start living for others instead of moping about your loneliness.
  5. Finally, do a google search on bible verses to help you deal with loneliness. Read them over and over, meditate, digest and apply.    Don’t let loneliness cripple you.

Below are a few verses you can start with.  Please do not take these verses for granted. God’s power to change you lies within the words you are about to read.

Revelations 3:20 “Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come into him and will sup with him and he with me.” – KJV

John 14:18 “I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.” – KJV

Psalm 147:3 “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” – KJV

Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”- KJV

Enjoy your journey out of loneliness into genuine joy and when you are there be an inspiration of hope to someone else.