The Juicy Persimmon


I recently moved across town in Weehawken, NJ. After decompressing from packing up my life and reconfiguring my stuff in my new sanctuary, I’m appreciating the unexpected natural beauty around my new home – gorgeous azaleas bushes; emerging rose bushes, preparing to bloom next month; a vegetable garden; and, most of all, a pretty persimmon tree in my cozy backyard.

During a friendly chat with a neighbor, I was intrigued to learn that my pretty backyard tree bears persimmons, which are considered a berry. A popular fruit in China and Japan, they also grow in the South, in the United States (and in my yard!). I spoke about my new place (and my tree) with my graphic designer, tarot-card-reading friend, Sharon Lewis, who then sent an email to me. Her mail contained several insights about persimmons, and sparked my interest to check out more research.

I vaguely remember tasting a persimmon a long time ago with my mom. I didn’t like the taste because it was bitter and the texture felt tough in my mouth. Back then, I didn’t realize that timing plays a critical role in experiencing a persimmon’s optimal sweet taste and jelly-like consistency. I’ve since learned that unripe persimmons are high in tannins, which counter their health benefits, and can make your mouth feel dry and numb.

This unique berry is a helpful reminder not to expect instantaneous gratification when biting into whatever you’re creating in life. Divine timing is an essential ingredient for feeling joy and savoring the sweetness of achieving your goal.

Here are some interesting tidbits of information about persimmons – also known as date-palms or Chinese figs (botanical name is Calyx Kaki Diospyros).

Health benefits:

  • Rich in Vitamin A and C, magnesium, and potassium
  • High in phytonutrients and antioxidants – catechins (flavonoids that help protect you from free radicals)
  • Good source of fiber, and also protein, although a small amount (note: if you’re watching your sugar intake—persimmons are high in sugar, so you don’t want too many)
  • Contain betulinic acid, which is known to help prevent the growth of cancer cells

 Cultural background:

  • In China, this fruit is used to regulate one’s ch’i (personal energy) and is symbolic of joy. The Pinyin word for persimmon is “shi,” which also translates as “affairs or matters.”
  • Chinese medicine uses this fruit to treat hot and dry conditions; it is known to moisten the lungs and resolve phlegm issues.
  • The combination of a persimmon (shi 柿) joined with an apple (pingguo 苹果) represents “may your matters (shi 事) be safe (pingan 平安).”
  • To the Japanese, the persimmon is a symbol of triumph.
  • The skin of the fruit is used to balance qi of the stomach; unripe fruit is made into a syrup to treat diarrhea, chronic dysentery, and hemorrhage of the womb.
  • In Buddhism, persimmons symbolize transformation, and six of them signify enlightenment. The symbolism reveals that an unripe persimmon’s sharp and bitter taste represents ignorance. As the fruit matures, it becomes sweet and indicates wisdom that follows transformation.

At a time when we’re bombarded with messages of instant possibilities of XYZ, this fruit is a helpful reminder that to appreciate the rich sweetness in life, we don’t need to rush, but to consider time a friend—wherever we are on our path to optimal ripeness.

I look forward to seeing the transformation of my persimmon tree, and will patiently await the fruit it bears in the fall! Stay tuned!



Sacral chakra link: Going with the flow

Lorraine Giordano
Inspired To Health