The author asserts that apart from the traditional use, there are a number of additional health benefits that have been proven by research. The flowers of the plant can improve benign prostatic hyperplasia symptoms whereas fruits can assist in lipid abnormalities and hangovers prevention. Some researchers have also suggested its role as a diuretic. Improved glycemic control is achieved if plants products are consumed along with oral hypoglycemic agents. Regarding the rising incidence of cancer, the author claims that Prickly pears can prevent carcinogenesis of certain origins.
Like all medication, the use of this plant is also associated with a number of adverse effects. These are in the form of gastric disturbances and dermatitis like rash on the skin if plant products are applied topically. The dermatological manifestations of this dermatitis are similar to the rash of scabies which is primarily found on fingers, wrists, buttocks and genital area.
Overall, the author has attempted to convince the readers about the potential benefits of the plant and to avoid bias. he has put forward a number of both beneficial and detrimental aspects of the plant before the readers, leaving it up to the readers to decide about the pros and cons themselves.
The survival of plants on various regions of the earth is largely dependent upon the ranges of temperatures that persist in those areas. Interestingly, different parts of plants have varying sensitivities to the surrounding temperatures. Freezing temperatures can lead to disruption of cell structure due to ice crystal formation while exceedingly high temperatures may cause cell membrane disruption and denaturation of proteins. Gradual increase or decrease in ambient day/night temperatures can provide a plant the opportunity to adjust to new temperature ranges by developing tolerance due to the formation of certain cryoprotectants and proteins.