Currants rank next in quality, and those, particularly the black, bare a much stronger principle of astringency than any of the preceding fruits; consequently, though they contain sugar and mucilage, they prove less Laxative than strawberries or gooseberries. The seeds and skin being ly indigestible should not be swallowed, or if so eaten, with great moderation, and the black are considered the most wholesome.
Grapes can only be classed to a certain ree as a native fruit; for although vast quantities are grown against walls, they do not always ripen sufficiently for use in a raw state The grape contains the same chemical principles as the fruits enumerated, with the addition of super-tartrate of potass, the substance which, according to Maculloch, makes the chief difference between grape wine and all others. It has also less of the malic acid than our native fruits, while it ses a pleasant and wholesome aromatic flavour, and most sorts have also a principle of astringency which counteracts in some let the laxative tendency. For this reason, ripe grapes may be eaten without reserve even by the sick and convalescent; for although the stones or seeds possess a very strong astringent principle, so long as they are unbroken it is not brought into action, and they pass through the bowels without producing any injurious effects. The large portion of sugar in grapes renders them nutritive, while the acidity facilitates their digestion ; and for bilious complaints or dry temperaments they are found to have a very beneficial effect.
Cherries differ exceedingly in quality, some sorts containing much water and sugar, which, from being easily fermented, occasion colic and flatulence. Others contain a huge portion of water and acid, which slightly stimulating the stomach, proves digestible and wholesome - but the most nutritive are the pulpy mucilaginous sorts. "When cherries are quite ripe they may be eaten freely without danger, but care should be taken not to swallow the stones, which sometimes lodge in the bowels, and produce obstructions. The kernel yields a portion of that deadly poison prussic acid.
Plums, Nectarines, And Apricots. These stone-fruits contain the elements of sugar, water, mucilage, acids and woody fibre, varying in proportion according to their kind and quality. They are all highly injurious to the Stomach in an unripe state, in consequence of their acid juices acting as astringents, and producing gripes and colic, therefore they should never be ventured on until the pulp can be easily separated from the stone. When quite ripe, they are wholesome and easy of digestion, acting on the bowels as a mild laxative, it sometimes happens that one-half the fruit - the sunny side - is ripe, the other not, in which case the unripe part should be rejected. It has been generally remarked that a plentiful year for plums is rife of fevers and dysenteries, which proceed doubtless from incautious indulgence. Heat, however applied, renders the fruit wholesome and digestible. Ripe apricots are considered refreshing and laxative, and peaches are best raw and stewed with sugar; or, for cold heavy stomachs, stewed peaches are found to be gratifying.