Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Calabash Tree "Miracle Fruit"
We had this plant they call "miracle fruit" at home and some people told us that its fruit is used to treat some cancer illnesses.
I had asked a friend of mine what is this fruit and she said it's called a grenadillo or "miracle fruit". I browsed the Internet for pictures labelled as miracle fruit and the result showed a picture of these berry plant. They looked almost the same but they differ on the fruit. The one we had at home has a light green color that's as big as a basketball.
Does anybody know what is the real name of this plant?
March 26, 2012 UPDATE:
After a long wait, I finally got the name of this tree from a blogger who commented that this tree plant is called a Calabash Tree. Thanks to him... According to some sources, the fruit, bark and the leaves of this plant is widely used.
Small tree growing to a height of 4 to 5 meters with arching branches and close-set clusters of leaves. Leaves are alternate, often fascicled at the nodes, oblanceolate, 5 - 17 cm long, glossy at the upper surface, blunt at the tip and narrowed at the base. Flowers develop from the buds that grow from the main trunk, yellowish and sometimes veined with purple, with a slightly foetid odor, occuring singly or in pairs at the leaf axils, stalked and about 6 cm long, and opens in the evening. The fruit is short-stemmed, rounded, oval or oblong, green or purplish, 15 to 20 cm in diameter.
• In India, used as a pectoral, the poulticed pulp applied to the chest.
• In the West Indies, syrup prepared from the pulp used for dysentery and as pectoral.
• In Rio de Janeiro, the alcoholic extract of the not-quite ripe fruit used to relieve constipation
• For erysipelas, the fresh pulp is boiled in water to form a black paste, mixed and boiled with vinegar, spread on linen for dermatologic application.
• The bark is used for mucoid diarrhea.
• Fruit pulp used as laxative and expectorant.
• In the Antilles and Western Africa, fruit pulp macerated in water is considered depurative, cooling and febrifuge, and applied to burns and headaches.
• In West Africa, fruit roasted in ashes is purgative and diuretic.
• In Sumatra, bark decoction used to clean wounds and pounded leaves used as poultice for headaches.
• Internally, leaves used as diuretic.
• In the Antilles, fresh tops and leaves are ground and used as topicals for wounds and as cicatrizant.
• In Venezuela, decoction of bark used for diarrhea. Also, used to treat hematomas and tumors.
• In Costa Rica, used as purgative.
• In Cote-d'Ivoire, used for hypertension because of its diuretic effect.
• In Columbia, used for respiratory afflictions.
• In Vietnam, used as expectorant, antitussive, laxative and stomachic.
• In Haiti, the fruit of Crescentia cujete is part of the herbal mixtures reported in its traditional medicine. In the province of Camaguey in Cuba, is considered a panacea.
• In Panama, where it is called totumo, the fruit is used for diarrhea and stomachaches. Also for respiratory ailments, bronchitis, cough, colds, toothaches. headaches, menstrual irregularities; as laxative, antiinflammatory, febrifuge. The leaves are used for hypertension.
• In some countries, the dried shell of the fruit is used to make bowls and fruit containers, decorated with paintings or carvings.
• Used in making maracas or musical rattle.
• In Brazil, the fibrous lining of the fruit is sometimes used as a substitute for cigarette paper.
• A favorite perch for orchids.