Botany lesson of the day.
I posted a short article on this miracle fruit on my other blog sometime ago, that time I was’nt so sure yet about the true identity of this plant. There were lots of inquiries so I was forced to research on the significance and healing powers of this living.
Locals call this plant – Miracle fruit tree, in English its named Ayale, Calabash Tree or Cujete. Its scientific name is Crescentia cuneiflora Gardn.
This particular tree grew about 20 ft. high, I lost count of the fruits that were picked here, but for sure it wasn’t me who harvested them, and don’t you ever dare ask one from me, I’m not in civil terms with the owners of this, although we live in the same compound. Hahaha.
This plant claims to heal various human ailments; here are the folkloric uses of Cujete as noted around the world:
• 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. (Source: http://www.stuartxchange.org/Cujete.html)