Monday, June 22, 2009

Custard Apple - has poisonous seed

Scientific Synonym - Annona Squamosa

Also known as -
Custard apple, Bullock's heart, Bull's heart, Wild sweetsop, Ox heart, Sweet apple, Cherimoya, supporta

Native to - West Indies, Central america to south mexico, Southeast Asia, Taiwan, India, Australia, and Africa
In India the tree is cultivated, especially around Calcutta, and runs wild in many areas. It has become fairly common on the east coast of Malaya, and more or less throughout southeast Asia and the Philippines though nowhere particularly esteemed. Eighty years ago it was reported as thoroughly naturalized in Guam.

Rich Source of - minerals like iron, phosphorous, calcium and riboflavin

Tastes like -

Propagation -
Seed is the usual means of propagation. Nevertheless, the tree can be multiplied by inarching, or by budding or grafting onto its own seedlings

Interesting Facts-
  • The seeds(kernels) are not consumed as they are slightly poisonous
  • Fatty-acid methyl ester of the seed oil meets all of the major biodiesel requirements in the USA
  • Actual seed counts have been 55, 60 and 76
  • The leaves also provide ingredients used to make dyes, stains, inks, tattoos and mordants
  • The leaf juice kills lice
  • The fruits should be plucked before they are ripe and stored for ripening
  • Its juice can be used as a milk substitute
  • Used in tanning and they yield a blue or black dye

Sought by Birds - None

Availability - March to July

Health Benefits -

  • Custard apple promotes digestion
  • Fruit can be used as a cure for vomiting, diarrhoea, dysentery and vertigo(Giddiness)
  • Fruit serves as an expectorant, stimulant, coolant and is useful in treating anemia
  • Increases heamoglobin content of the blood - haematinic
  • Paste of flesh of this plant or crushed leaves of the plant can be used for local application on ulcers, abscesses and boils
  • The decoction made out the leaves of this plant serve as vermifuge (evacuation of parasitic intestinal worms)
  • The root bark of the tree is used for relief from toothache
  • The seeds of the plant have insecticidal and abortifacient(drug that cause abortion) properties
  • The decoction extracted from the root serve as febrifuge
  • The leaves are believed to have healing properties and have been used against tumors and cancers

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