Sunday, April 22, 2012

Miracle Fruit or Calabash Tree (Cujete)


Around the year 2007, my Dad who was formerly working in North Cotabato, brought to our home in Aklan,this Calabash Tree or commonly called here Miracle Fruit.  I don't exactly know the reason why they call it Miracle Fruit.  I guess, it is because of its healing wonders that most people who religiously taking this as a herbal supplement have many great news about this tree.

CALABASH TREE
Common name : Krabasi, kalebas, huingo are some of the common names of calabash tree.
Ethnic names : jicara(Spanish), luch in Maya.
Scientific Name : Crescentia cujete
Origin : It belongs to the family of Bignoniaceae (Bignonia family) and also it is known to originate from Central America.
Appearance : Calabash Tree is a small evergreen tropical tree which can grow up to a height of 25 feet and produce fruits up to 25 cm in diameter. It has simple leaves and the bark of the tree is rough. The fruit is large, hard and green in color and takes about six months to ripen. They cannot be eaten but can be used for various ornamental purposes. The fruits are pollinated by bats and they develop from the trunk of the tree. The seeds of the fruit are flat, small and are embedded in the pulp.


My Dad planted three seedlings at our backyard.  Those trees of Miracle Fruit grew and bear fruits all the time.  Actually, we don't really mind this tree even the fruit, because it is kinda' far from our house.  Many passers by in that part of our area, in which is still not walled, are harvesting the fruits.  We even saw some broken branches.  We guess that some of the people there, already knew what they can get from it.  Because, my Dad, been telling many people there about its popularity in Mindanao.  What it can do to their illnesses and the other miraculous healing properties you can get.  As to many testimonies from his colleagues also were telling him in Kidapawan.

In those two photos, the person in it, is my dad.  I accompanied him to harvest some of the fruits.  We planned to make a concoction of Miracle fruit that day.  Actually, my dad is into naturopathic medicine and an organic food fanatic.

Uses
Folkloric
• 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.
Others
• 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.                                                                                                                              
                                                                                             

How to prepare a concoction of Miracle Fruit:
1.  Saw the shell of the fruit on opening it because it is really hard.
2.  Scrape the inside contents (white pulpy texture).
3.  Squeeze all what you got from it.  While squeezing, its juices are coming out.
4.  When you think all of it had been squeezed out and the pulps became refined, cook it under low heat.
5.  Stir it continuously and after a few minutes you will see that it is becoming color black.
6.  When it boils, wait for another 15minutes.  Stir continuously.
7.  When the cooking time is finished, set it aside to cool down.
8.  Use a clean white cloth in separating the solid sediments from the liquid. (Don't throw the solid sediments)
9.  Put the concocted juice in a container and another container for the solid sediments, keep it both cool in the fridge.

The taste of the concoction is bitter-sweet, you can play with the taste by mixing another juices or just plainly honey.  For a better taste, gather the mature fruits because it is more tastier, its sweetness is more palpable.  The younger the fruits are, the more bitter taste you can get!  

The solid sediments can be used as lotion when you have some skin problems or irritations.  Just be aware of its smell.  It has a foul smell effect when been dried in your skin.  So, just apply it at bedtime or when you are just at home.

Only me and my Dad is taking this concoction as a herbal supplement.  Whenever there's an available matured fruit, we make sure that we can make another concoction out from it.  My Dad drink it every after meals for 30cc each and I only take it before bedtime of 60cc, using a 30cc medical measuring cup.  It doesn't matter when and how much you can take a day but, of course, be cautious.  There's no harm yet recorded and it's only a fruit.  

Self-testimony

When I tried it for the 1st time, it has a cleansing effect on me.  Good thing, I take it before bedtime.  So, everything went out in the morning when I woke up.  Since then, I see to it whenever this concoction is available, I can have it.  




References:
   - http://www.fruitsinfo.com/calabash-tree-tropical-fruits.php
   - http://www.stuartxchange.org/Cujete.html
   - http://www.pharmasi-instrument.com/images/30ml%20cups(2).jpg

2 comments:

Librado,Jr Flores said...

It is better to cook it with the pulp together, to have a good and better taste.

Librado,Jr Flores said...

I taste like honey..use the matured one , or shall I say..ripe one