Limonia acidissima
Status: Least Concern
Type: Deciduous
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Family: Rutaceae
Names: Wood apple, Zambian Chocolate or Matanta
Appearance: The fruit is a berry 5–9 cm diameter, and may be sweet or sour. It has a very hard rind which can be difficult to crack open, it appears greenish-brown in colour from outside and contains sticky brown pulp and small white seeds.

General Information

Elephant apple pulp has a sour, sweet taste with an acidic flavour. It has hints of sugar in desserts and spices in savoury foods. Overall, it is a refreshing food option.

Limonia acidissima is a large tree growing to 9 m (30 ft) tall, with rough, spiny bark. The leaves are pinnate, with 5-7 leaflets, each leaflet 25–35 mm long and 10–20 mm broad, with a citrus-scent when crushed. The flowers are white and have five petals. It contains considerable amount of protein, carbohydrate, iron, fat, calcium, Vit-B & C etc. 100 g of ripe fruit pulp contains up to 49 KCal.

Fun Facts !

Wood apples help to boost your immunity, treat viral, fungal and bacterial infections. It contains fibre; therefore, it has laxative properties, which helps with digestive issues such as constipation and indigestion.

Uses

This fruit has plenty of uses and from a botanical standpoint, all parts of its plant can be useful.
  • The fruit is used to make a fruit juice with astringent properties. They are equipped with riboflavin and thiamine chemicals, so they effectively detoxify the body. Its juice reduces all kinds of kidney problems while keeping the gut healthy
  • Ripe fruit can be used to make chutneys, jams and pickles (mashed with green chili pepper, sugar and salt only).
  • It is believed to be highly efficient against sunstroke and many more summer-related health issues.
  • It is enriched with antioxidant properties and, therefore, helpful against piles and ulcers. The powdered rind, when mixed with honey, helps to provide relief from diarrhoea and dysentery in children.
  • They are recognized for expectorant properties, and so they are believed to be effective against an array of respiratory health conditions like asthma, bronchitis and sore throat. It is also used to treat sore throat, hiccough, and varied gums related diseases
  • Wood apple prevents the growth of diabetes by managing the flow of sugars in the bloodstream. Besides, it also plays an important role in controlling the life-threatening spikes in sugar levels.
  • Pulp derived from the roots, leaves, fruit and bark of Wood Apple is used against snakebite
  • The gum obtained from branches and trunk of Wood Apple is used in making ink, varnish, dyes and watercolours.
  • It can be used to make very effective ointments for the skin and hair.
  • The potassium in wood apple helps regulate the level of fluid and electrolytes in a pregnant woman’s body and thereby helps keep pregnancy complications at bay. Also, it is competent in relieving constipation that is a common health condition in pregnancy.

Toxicity / Allergies

Excessive consumption of Wood Apple results in abdomen flatulence; hence people with gastric problems must be cautious about the intake quantity.Wood Apple regular consumption without a gap leads to contraction of abdominal muscles while creating pressure in the stomach. Thyroid patients must avoid wood apple juice as it may aggravate the condition.

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