Eating cashew nuts has always been a treat for me. I like it roasted, toasted, sugared, buttered and all the works.
Mildly sweet yet crunchy, this delicious nut is unbelievably packed with energy, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins that are essential for robust health. It contains soluble dietary fibers, vitamins, minerals and numerous health-promoting phyto-chemicals that help protect our bodies from diseases and cancers. It has minerals such as manganese, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium. Cashew nuts are also rich in many essential vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin, and thiamin (vitamin B-1). It also contains small amounts of Zea-xanthin, an antioxidant that helps prevent age related macular degeneration.
All those nutrients packed in about an inch in length and 1/2 in diameter, kidney or bean-shaped nut divided into two equal halves. The nuts come in a cream white color with firm, yet delicate texture and smooth surface. With its buttery texture and sweet, fruity aroma, who wouldn’t consider it a treat (well, except for those who are allergic to it)?
But have you ever wondered where the nut comes from and what happen to the other parts of it? The nut is enclosed by a double shell which, when processed, is also very beneficial, healthwise. It contains anacardic acid, which in its raw form can be very allergenic and its toxin is comparable to that of a poison ivy’s. When processed, it results to a potent dermatologic substance called cashew shell oil. In 1970’s, it was discovered that the cashew nuts oil have anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. It can be used to removed unsightly facial warts, moles and keloids painlessly without any scars.
Extracting cashew shell oil from the shell is a very painful and itchy experience and has to be processed very carefully. Much of the work is still done manually, and cashew workers often suffer from burning rashes and eye irritation. It involves a tedious process of roasting, burning, boiling, soaking, cracking and peeling. The toxins in anacardic acid can only be destroyed by roasting and the toxin is so potent that it can irritate the lungs when done indoors.
In December 1997, a Filipino scientist named Rolando dela Cruz obtained a license from the Bureau of Food and Drugs to manufacture herbal creams made from cashew nuts oil. This cashew based product has won him several domestic and international awards since. The cream works as an over-the counter solution for “de-warting and de-moling.”
It used to be that the cashew nuts oil were sold for industrial purposes, or that you have to buy it in tons of quantity. Gone are those days. Though it is rare that you can buy CSOs in local health stores, you can definitely buy just a bottle online. Once you’ve gotten your hands on one, then you can make your own cream.
Mix cashew nut oils, fig, papaya extracts, lime, deionized water and talc and you got yourself a natural cauterizing concoction. Cleanse the affected area with alcohol, then apply a small amount of this mixture on the mole or wart. It will cauterize the wart without harming the skin underneath. When the wart or mole has dried up after about 30 minutes, gently scrape it off by using a slightly pointed sterile instrument. Keep the treated area dry for 12 hours. Within 2-3 weeks, the scab falls off by itself without any scar.
If you don’t like creams, then you can use the oil directly. Dip the tip of rounded toothpick in a small amount of cashew shell oil and prick it. Do it with great caution to the affected area of the skin. Ensure that the oil was absorbed by the affected skin for best results.