Herbs & Plants

Spondias purpurea

Botanical Name : Spondias purpurea
Family: Anacardiaceae
Subfamily: Spondiadoideae
Genus: Spondias
Species: S. purpurea
Kingdom: Plantae
clade: Angiosperms
clade: Eudicots
clade: Rosids
Order: Sapindales

Synonyms: S. cirouela, S. myrobalanus, S. mombin, S. dulcis, Warmingia pauciflora.

Common Names: Red Mombin, Purple Mombin, Hog Plum, Sineguela, and Siriguela, Cajote, Ciruela de hueso, Spanish plum, Spanish prune, Ciruela, Xocotl, Purple mombin, Jocote, Mombin rouge, Prunier d’Espagne, Prune d’Espagne, Prune cafe, Prune des Antilles, Jamaica plum, Scarlet plum, Cirguelo, Ciruela colorada, Ciruela comun, Ciruela del pais, Ciruela roja, Hobo, Hobo colorado, Jobillo, Jobito, Jacote comun, Ubo, Yocote, Caja, Ciriguela, Cirouela, Siniguelas, Sirihuelas, Sirigulas, Ateyaxocotl, Kedondong cocok.

Habitat : Spondias purpurea is native to tropical regions of the Americas. It is now widely cultivated in tropical regions throughout the world for its edible fruit, and is also naturalised in some areas, including the Philippines and Nigeria. Numerous cultivars have been selected for fruit quality. It is also abundant in Central America.

Spondias purpurea is a  small to medium-sized tree up to 25 feet tall. The leaves are deciduous in the short dry season, but only fall shortly before the new leaves develop; they are pinnate, with 7-23 leaflets, each leaflet 3-5 cm long and 1.5-2 cm broad. The flowers are small, reddish-purple, produced in large panicles. The fruit is an edible oval drupe, 3-5 cm long and 2-3.5 cm broad, ripening red (occasionally yellow) and containing a single large seed.

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Propagation is by seeds or by setting large woody cuttings in the desired location. Fenceposts cut from the red mombin tree usually continue to grow.

Edible Uses:
The fruits are often eaten ripe, with or without the skin. It is sometimes eaten unripe with salt and vinegar or lime juice.

In Haiti, it is known under the name of ‘siwèl’ and spread throughout the mountainous areas of the country, mostly in the northern and southern mountain ranges.

One typical dish in Salvadoran cuisine consists of a syrup made of panela, jocote and mango.

The single large seed, which takes up most of the fruit, is not eaten.

Medicinal Uses:

Spondias purpurea is used as a traditional medicine in Latin America for different illness.Brazilians use the bark to make a decoction for the treatment of diarrhea, while a decoction from the flowers and leaves is reportedly used to  releve constipation and stomacache.The Tikunas Indians of the Amazon area use decoction of the bark to relieve pain and prevent excessive bleeding during  manstruation. Thay also use treat stomach pain and diarrhea as well as use it as a wash for wounds.Cubans have traditionally eaten large amounts of fruit as an emetic, while haitians take the fruit syrup as a remedy for angina. Dominicans have used it as laxative.

The fruits are regarded as diuretic  and antispasmodic. Its bark also has a reputation in folk medicine for being useful in treating minor skin ulcers. The fruit decoction is used to bathe wounds and heal sores in the mouth. A syrup prepared from fruit  is taken to overcome  chronic diarrhea. The astringent bark decoction is  a remedy to mange,ulcers,dysentery  and  for bloating caused by intestinal gas of infants. In the Philippines the sap of the bark is used to treat stomatitis  in infants.

The juice of the fresh leaves is a remedy for thrush. A decoction of the leaves  and bark is  employed as a febrifuge.  In Southwestern Nigeria , an infusion of shredded leaves is valued for washing cuts, sores, and burns. Researchers at the University of life have found that an aqueous  extract is even more effective. The gum resin of the tree  is blended with pineapple  or soursop juice for treating jaundice. Amazon Indians believe that permanent  sterility  would result from drinking  of one cup  a day of a decoction of jacote following childbirth. Colombians believe the fruit is bad for the throat and that the leaves and bark  contains tanin and thus are astringent.

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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