Fruits shaped like organs, is it true?

* The author is part of the community of readers of La Vanguardia.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
03 March 2024 Sunday 09:42
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Fruits shaped like organs, is it true?

* The author is part of the community of readers of La Vanguardia

Everyday, simple things inspire me, like these pieces of grapefruit fruit that I interpreted for La Vanguardia's Readers' Photos as kidneys.

There is infinite beauty in nature and there is even some theory that, since ancient times, tries to explain why there are those who associate the image of certain fruits with that of the organs and parts of the human body.

An example is ginger, a powerful anti-inflammatory, which some claim has a shape similar to that of the stomach. There are also those who see in a mushroom (it contains vitamin D, important for hearing) cut vertically a shape similar, precisely, to that of our ear.

On the one hand we have the psychological phenomenon of pareidolia, which leads us to mistakenly perceive a recognizable shape by giving it an interpretation in other objects.

But we also find the theory of signatures or theory of the sign. It is a very ancient belief according to which plants, animals or minerals often carry signs that allow us to know their therapeutic or magical virtues. In this doctrine, there is no need for equivalence, homology or identity of function between the organ to be treated and the remedy, but only some indicative visual sign.

During the Renaissance, examples of this theory were applied in botanical pharmacopoeia. Thus, the common clover (Trifolium pratense) looked ideal against cataracts due to the white spot on its leaflets, while dates (fruits of Phoenix dactylifera) were for the heart due to the heart-shaped section of the stone.

More examples: Edelweiss was believed to be good for promoting milk production because of its entirely white color. Or the figure of the seed in the nut was seen as indicative of its usefulness against head conditions.

But, returning to fruits that would resemble human organs in shape, precisely the walnut is associated with the image of the brain (and it turns out that they contain large amounts of Omega 3 that protect brain functions).

There is also a belief that, for example, the avocado fruit (a rich source of folic acid) is shaped like the female reproductive organ.

Another example: Tomatoes are associated with the heart and it turns out that they are a rich source of lycopene that prevents coronary heart disease and neutralizes the harmful effects of bad cholesterol.