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Herb Profile: Xi Gua (Watermelon Fruit)

By Margarita Gonzalez

Xi Gua, known to most of us simply as watermelon, is a delicious fruit both adults and children love to eat. It is not coincidental that it is commonly eaten during the summer as it has great cooling properties.

In Chinese Medicine, the watermelon fruit clears heat, relieving both thirst and irritability. It is one of the few with the ability to help relieve heat exhaustion, also known as “summerheat”. To relieve heat exhaustion, the outermost layer of the rind is used as opposed to the sweet, juicy part of the fruit. In addition to clearing heat, watermelon promotes urination and reduces jaundice. In fact, it is currently being used as an assistant in the treatment of icteric hepatitis. 

Those with weakened digestive systems should be careful not to eat too much watermelon as it can create more damage since it is cold.

With so many great medicinal properties and a delicious taste, what’s not to love about watermelon? So, next time you find that it is too hot outside, cool yourself off simply by cutting open some Xi Gua and snacking on it.