Few things are more refreshing on a hot summer day than a slice of cold watermelon. In addition to being thirst-quenching, watermelon contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other beneficial phytonutrients good for one's health. Watermelon's history dates back 5000 years to southern Africa where the tough, drought-tolerant ancestor of watermelon thrived. Although we don't know the exact identity of this plant, we do know it was prized for its ability to store water and was used by indigenous people in the Kalahari Desert region. Soon thereafter, watermelon found its way to Egypt where it was first improved. The Greeks and Romans considered watermelon to have medicinal properties. Notable Greek physicians Hippocrates and Dioscorides praised its healing properties and used it as a diuretic as well as a treatment for children who suffered a heatstroke. Watermelon was being cultivated in India by the 7th century, and by the 10th century it had found its way to China. The Moors introduced watermelon into the Iberian Peninsula in the 13th century and, from there, it spread throughout southern Europe. By the 17th century watermelon was widely planted throughout Europe and had become a familiar garden crop in warmer parts of the continent.
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Cautions: Keep out of reach of children. If you are pregnant, nursing or under doctor’s care, consult your physician. Avoid eyes, nose, ears and other sensitive areas. Keep out of sunlight.