Fruits & Vegetables

Star apple

Botanical Name: Chrysophyllum cainito
Family: Sapotaceae
Genus: Chrysophyllum
Species:C. cainito
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Synonym : Achras cainito.

Common Names: Cainito, Caimito, tar apple, star apple, purple star apple, golden leaf tree, abiaba, pomme de lait, estrella, milk fruit and aguay.

Other names: Star apple is known in Vietnam Vú S?a (literally: milky breast/nipples). In Malayalam it is called “Swarnapathry” meaning ‘[the tree with] golden leaves’. In Cambodia, this fruit is called “Plae Teuk Dos” which means milk fruit due to its milky juices inside.

Habitat: Star apple is native to the Greater Antilles and the West Indies. It has spread to the lowlands of Central America and is now grown throughout the tropics.

Star apple is a tropical tree. It grows rapidly and reaches 20 m in height.The leaves are evergreen, alternate, simple oval, entire, 5–15 cm long; the underside shines with a golden color when seen from a distance. Its trunk is usually straight, cylindrical, but often fluted or spurred at the base; buttresses are small or absent; bark surface is rough, irregularly fissured, and brown and exude white gummy latex. Young twigs are reddish-brown and pubescent.The tree is also hermaphroditic (self-fertile). It produces a strong odor.


The tiny flowers are purplish white and have a sweet fragrant smell. Flowers are bisexual, fasciculate with 5–35 clustered, small and inconspicuous, yellowish-white flowers. Calyx is 5-lobed; lobes are ovate with obtuse to rounded apex and hairy within. Corolla is 5-lobed with ovate and glabrous lobes. Stamens are 5 along with deltoid filaments and ovoid anthers.

The fruit is globose and typically measures from 2 to 3 inches in diameter. When ripe, it usually has purple-skinned with a faint green area appearing around the calyx. A radiating star pattern is visible in the pulp. Greenish-white and yellow-fruited cultivars are sometimes available. The skin is rich in latex, and both it and the rind are not edible. The flattened seeds are light brown and hard. It is a seasonal fruit bearing tree.The fruit also exists in three colors, dark purple, greenish brown and yellow. The purple fruit has a denser skin and texture while the greenish brown fruit has a thin skin and a more liquid pulp; the yellow variety is less common and difficult to find.

Edible Uses:
The fruits are used as a fresh dessert fruit; it is sweet and often served chilled.

Medicinal Uses:
Infusions of the leaves have been used against diabetes and articular rheumatism. The fruit has antioxidant properties. The bark is considered a tonic and stimulant, and a bark decoction is used as an antitussive.

Star Apple offers 5 percent of the daily recommended values of important vitamins, such as vitamin C and vitamin A. It is a wonderful source of calcium, providing you with 10 percent of the daily recommended value of the mineral. The consumption of calcium-rich foods, such as star apple, helps strengthen bones and teeth and also reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome such as abdominal bloating and cramps. Apple star is rich in phosphorus, another mineral bone healthy. So now check out few health benefits of Apple Star for Health.

Star apple is a wonderful source of dietary fiber and thus the fruit is able to keep your digestive system in good health.Another important benefit of star apple is that it helps control sugar levels in the blood and thus is an ideal food for people suffering from diabetes. It was found that the star apple fiber helps keep the blood sugar under control.

Star apple is a fruit having low fat and calories, the star apple is one of the best food choices to include in a weight loss diet.

In fruit, other plant parts such as seeds, leaves and bark are also used as natural remedies for the treatment of various diseases. The cooking of the leaves or bark is used in the Philippines to treat dysentery and diarrhea. According to a survey, the shell of the star apple tree has traditionally been used to treat malaria and yellow fever. The leaves have emollient properties and are used for the treatment of stomach pain, diarrhea and skin rash. In Western Nigeria, the cotyledons of the star apple seeds are used for the preparation of ointments for treatment of vaginal and skin infections.

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


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