You can find this fruit in many Shakespeare’s songs. A fruit that is eaten rotten instead of ripe, known as medlar, or Mespilus germanica. It has been grown for millennia in Europe, often grafted with quince and pear. The tree of this plant can grow up to 7 meters high, and it blooms in late April.


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The harvest of this delicious fruit is in fall, and sometimes even after the first frost. The freshly picked medlar fruits are hard and brittle. Thus, they should stay for a few weeks, to mature and ripe, until they become completely soft, almost rotten. You can also use the other parts of the plant, such as the flowers and leaves, which are best when harvested in spring.

The Health Benefits Of Medlar

Medlar contains a number of nutritional ingredients, such as the B group vitamins, tannins, vitamin C, pectin, resin, ascorbic and tartaric acid.  You can use medlars to make marmalade, liqueur or brandy. The folk medicine claims that they can improve your vision, strengthen the liver and kidneys, improve the blood count and relieve pain felt in the back and knees. They are often recommended for dizziness, diarrhea, infections of the oral cavity, and even for the treatment of impotence.

Given the fact that the unripe medlar fruit tightens the mucous membranes, it can be used to stop bleeding from the gums and to prevent the formation of ulcers in the mouth. Also, it encourages the functioning of the salivary glands and the stomach, which is particularly recommended for elderly people.

The easiest way to eat medlars is to cut them in half, and with the help of a spoon, to scoop out their flesh, when they are fully ripe. Don’t hurry yourself while eating, as each fruit contains five large seeds. Also, don’t exaggerate with the amount you eat, as they can be difficult to digest. Be careful, as a greater amount can cause diarrhea. If you want them to last longer, keep them in the fridge.

Medlar Tea

To make a tea out of medlars, you’ll need one tablespoon of chopped fresh fruits and a half pint of water. Boil the water and then dip the fruits in it. Cover the liquid and leave it to stand for about an hour. When the time passes, strain the tea. It’s preferable to drink two cups of tea during the day. Also, if you have bleeding gums, you should rinse your oral cavity several times a day with this tea.

Healing Medlar Mousse And Jam

To prepare a mousse of medlars, you need to mix the fruit with unsweetened whipped cream. First, wash the medlars and peel off their skin. Scoop out the inner flesh and put it in the unsweetened whipped cream. Mix the ingredients, until they combine nicely. This dessert is an interesting and delicious mousse. Also, you can fry some fruits (bananas, strawberries) and cloves in butter, and add them in the mousse. You’ll get an original treat!

To prepare jam, first you need to wash the soft medlars and to cut them in pieces. Then, put the pieces in a cooking pot and cover them with water, so that they start to wallow. Put the cooking pot on low heat and simmer the mixture for 3 hours. When the time passes, strain the liquid through a thick cloth. You can leave it hanging overnight, above the pot you used for the cooking, so that all juice leaks. Don’s press, so that the jam can remain clear. The liquid will get a jelly-like thick consistency. At voilà, your delicious medlar jam is ready for eating. Enjoy!

Mespilus germanica
What are the health benefits of medlar?