Native to Mexico, in ancient times it spread among the populations of Central America who cultivated and traded it already at the time of the Aztecs, with whom it was considered a sacred plant with strong symbolic values.
It is an arborescent succulent plant that can reach 4-5 meters in height. The stem is made up of cladodes, commonly called shovels. These are modified stems, flattened and oval-shaped, 30 to 40 cm long, 15 to 25 cm wide and 1,5-3,0 cm thick, which, joining together form branches.
The cladodes (or shovels) make up the stem and group together forming branches. They are covered with a waxy film that protects the plant from excessive heat, preventing transpiration and protecting it from a possible attack by predators. After four years of development, the cladodes undergo a lignification, forming a real trunk. Even opuntia, like all cacti, delegates the chlorophyll function to the stem and not to the leaves; these are very small and are found only in young blades. The areoles, at the base of the leaves, develop into thorns or particular roots called glochids, or into flowers.
The fruit of the prickly pear is particularly rich in water, and therefore a moisturizing fruit. In 100 grams, 83 grams are made up of water. The calories, on the other hand, are 53 per 100g and sugars 13%. Thanks to the high water content, the prickly pear has thirst-quenching, diuretic and purifying properties. For these reasons it is often recommended by specialists to expel kidney stones. Prickly pears contain two particular types of dietary fiber, pectin and xylose, which make them suitable for inclusion in the diet of diabetics.
|Fico d'india||Aloe Vera|
|Dangerous substances||None||Hydroxyanthracene in the peel|
|Production of food flour||Yes||No|
|Soluble dietary fiber||39,58 g/100||n.d.|
|Insoluble dietary fiber||14,29 g/100||n.d.|
|Unit of sugars||25||8|
|Antioxidant Power Gel||13%||11%|
|Dry peel antioxidant power||498.32 ± 25.31 μmol TE/g||Toxic|
|Healing effect (active molecules)||Opuntiamannan, Isoramnetina, Piscidic acid||Acemannano|
|U.V. protection (active molecules)||Piscidic acid eucomic acid||n.d.|
|Polyphenols||1446 mg/100g Highly bioavailable||307 mg/100g|
|Vitamins||Riboflavin, Vitamin A, B1. B2, B3, B6, C, E, K||Vitamins A, C, E, Vitamins of group B|
|Fico d'india||Aloe Vera|
|Botanical name||Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill||Aloe vera (L.) Burm. F|
|Synonymous||Aloe barbadensis Mill.|
|Traditionally used part||caulis (cladodium), flos, fructus, radix||folium, succus ex foliis, gelum sine cute|
|Label requirements||None||ADDITIONAL WARNING
succus ex foliis
Do not administer under 12 years. Consult your doctor if you are pregnant and breastfeeding. Do not use for prolonged periods without consulting your doctor.
|Ministerial Lg of reference for physiological effects||Cladodium: Body weight balance. Modulation / limitation of nutrient absorption. Emollient and soothing action (digestive system). Regularity of intestinal transit.
Flos: Functionality of the digestive system. Regularity of intestinal transit. Function of the prostate.
|Succus ex foliis: Regularity of intestinal transit. Digestive function. Hepatic function.
Gel sine cute: Emollient and soothing action (digestive system). Purifying functions of the organism. Well-being of the throat.
|Link document of the ministry||Page 65||Page 9|
Over 2000 hectares of dedicated cultivation. The largest district in all of Europe. Between August and October, the three varieties of fruit color make the countryside surrounding the town kaleidoscopic.
The intensive production of Sanconesi prickly pears began immediately after the Second World War, growing steadily and has now become the leading economic activity of the place.
A very hardworking community, proud of its origins and its territory. The patronal feast is one of the moments most felt by the entire population. An event that with festivals and activities on the prickly pear attracts thousands of tourists from all over Sicily