Fruits & Vegetables


Botanical Name:Spondias purpurea
Family: Anacardiaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Genus: Spondias
Species:S. purpurea

Common Names: Jocoto, Red mombin, Plum, Purple mombin, Brazilian Plum, Chile Plum, Ciruela, Hog Plum, Jamaica Plum, Jocote, Ovo, Purple Jobo, Purple Mombin, Purple Plum, Red Mombin, Scarlet Plum, Spanish Plum and Wild Plum.

Habitat: Jocoto is native to the tropical Americas, including the West Indies. The tree has been naturalized in parts of Africa, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, The Bahamas, Indonesia, and other Caribbean islands. It is rarely cultivated except in parts of the Brazilian Northeast. Spanish Plum fruit is easily found in the homes of Brazilians, especially those who live in the South and Southeast regions.

Jocote (Spanish Plum) is a small to medium-sized fast growing deciduous tree that grows about 7 m (23 ft.) tall with a spreading crown. The plant is found abundant in thickets or open forest, often in second growth, common in fencerows, pastures, and many other situations, ascending from sea level. It is adaptable to a wide range of soils from sand, gravel, heavy clay loam, loams to calcareous soils. Trunk is 30 – 80 cm in diameter. Barks are thick, corky, deeply fissured, grey and usually smooth. Cuts and bruises in the bark produce a thick and transparent exudate. The main branches tend to grow horizontally and all branches are fairly brittle………CLICK & SEE

Leaves:….CLICK & SEE
Leaves are alternate, pinnately compound, bronze-red or purplish when young, with 5–12 pairs of elliptical-ovate, sub-sessile leaflets, 2-6 cm long by 1.25 cm wide, oblique base, and shallowly toothed towards the acute apex, green, and fall before the flowering period.

Flowers:…....CLICK & SEE
Axillary inflorescences come in 1-10 cm long panicles with a few flowers that usually appear at the older and defoliated nodes. Each panicle has male, female and bisexual flowers. The flowers have 4-5 sepals and 4-5 tiny red to purple petals that are usually 2.5-3.5 mm long at anthesis. Pollen is normally not formed because the mother cells of the micro-sporangia do not develop

Fruit:……CLICK & SEE
Fruit are parthenocarpic. It is an oblong to obovoid, sub-globose or even pear-shaped drupe, measuring 2.5-5.0 by 1.0-3.5 cm, with a smooth and glossy peel. The fruit appear solitary or in groups of two or three. The ripe fruit is normally dark or bright red but can be purple, orange, red-and-yellow, and sometimes even yellow, and can be confused with the yellow mombin. Mesocarp is fleshy and juicy, 5-7 mm thick, acid in flavor, very aromatic, yellow, and fibrous, and is attached to a fibrous and hard endocarp that can be 1.25-2.5 cm long and normally has no seeds but the vestiges of unfertilized ovules.

Edible Uses:
The fruits are most often enjoyed as-is, raw and fully ripe. Ripe fruits will be soft to the touch and are very sweet. They are eaten much like a plum or mango, with the pulp eaten and the stone discarded. The pulp can be used to make beverages, mashed and mixed with water and a sweetener. Whole fruits are boiled in water with sugar and sometimes other fruits to make a syrup or “honey”. This is eaten with ice cream or alone as a dessert. The fruits are cooked whole to make preserves, the seeds strained from the liquid. Boiling and drying S. purpurea fruits will preserve them for several months.

Health Benefits:
Strengthens the Immune System:
Jocote (Spanish Plum) consists of iron and other nutrients, such as vitamins A, B and C, calcium and phosphorus which make it an excellent ally for strengthening the immune system in general. It is so good for this purpose that it is even used to treat debilitating diseases such as dengue.

Improves Digestion:
Spanish Plum consists of good amount of fibers, so it helps in proper bowel functioning, preventing and aiding in the treatment of problems such as diarrhea, dysentery, and gas thus improves digestion.

Helps in Weight Loss:
As mentioned before, the fruit consists of large amount of fibers, it is essential to encourage a sensation of satiety, therefore spacing the time the body returns to hunger. Additionally, every 100 grams of seriguela consists of only 76 calories, and it is rich in vitamins and many other essential nutrients.

Combats anemia:
Since it is rich in iron, Jocote (Spanish Plum) helps fight anemia, as it benefits the process of oxygenation of the cells, strengthening the whole organism.

Relieves Spasms:
Great amount of vitamins, potassium, and calcium found in seriguela provides to the body nutrients essential to diminish spasms, involuntary contractions of the muscles that commonly occur by a deficiency of such mineral salts.

Traditional uses and benefits of Jocote:

*Fruits are regarded as diuretic and antispasmodic in Mexico.
*Fruit decoction is used to bathe wounds and heal sores in the mouth in folk medicine.
*Syrup prepared from the fruit is used to treat chronic diarrhea.
*Cubans used the fruit as emetic; Haitians use the fruit syrup for angina and the Dominicans use it as laxative.
*Fruit has been used as ingredient in laxative marmalade and shoots are considered astringent in French Guiana.
*Astringent bark decoction is used as a remedy for mange, ulcers, dysentery and for bloating caused by intestinal gas in infants in Mexico.
*Decoction of the fruit used for diarrhea, dysentery and gonorrhea in Philippines.
*Sap of the bark is used to treat stomatitis in infants and a decoction of the bark used for dysentery and infantile tympanites.
*Tikunas Indians used the decoction of bark for pain and excessive menstrual bleeding, for stomach pains, diarrhea, and for washing wounds in Amazon.
*Bark has been used for minor skin ulcers.
*Juice of the fresh leaves has been stated as a therapy for thrush.
*Decoction of the leaves and bark is used as a febrifuge.
*Gum-resin of the tree is combined with pineapple or soursop juice for treating jaundice.
*Amazonian Indians use a daily cup of decoction for permanent sterility.
*An infusion of shredded leaves is used for washing cuts, sores and burns in South western Nigeria.
*Researchers at the University of Ife have found that an aqueous extract of the leaves has antibacterial action, and an alcoholic extract is even more effective.
*It can be made into juice and used as treatment of swollen glands and trauma.
*Leaves can also be crushed and used as poultice for headaches.
*Other plant parts are used for dysentery, diarrhea, and sore throat.
*High fever can be reduced using a decoction prepared from either the bark or the leaves.

Other Uses:

*Fruits, leaves and bark are fairly rich in tannin.
*Fruit has been used to remove stains from clothing and for washing hands.
*Cattle eat the leaves.
*Large stumps are used as fence posts.
*Soft and light wood is suitable for pulp.
*Wood ashes are used in soap making.
*Wood is soft, light in weight, and not durable but can be used for paper pulp production.
*Seeds have a thick gum coating commonly used in chilli stews.
*The easily cut and brittle branches are potential fuel wood.
*Tree exudes a gum that has served in Central America as glue.
*Leaves are readily grazed by cattle and the fruits are fed to hogs.

Known Hazards:

*Avoid use if allergic to aspirin and pregnant.
*Sap and fruit contain urushiol, oil that causes an allergic rash upon contact with skin.
*It is said that eating a large quantity of the fruits on an empty stomach may cause stomachache in Philippines.

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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