Herbs & Plants

Brosimum alicastrum

Botanical Name :Brosimum alicastrum
Family: Moraceae
Tribe: Dorstenieae
Genus: Brosimum
Species: B. alicastrum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Names:Ramon Nut , Maya nut, breadnut (names in indigenous Mesoamerican and other languages, including but not limited to: ramon,ojoche, ojite, ojushte, ujushte, ujuxte, capomo, mojo, ox, iximche, masica in Honduras, uje in Michoacan, and mojote in Jalisco.)

Habitat :Brosimum alicastrum grows in the west coast of central Mexico, southern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, the Caribbean, and the Amazon. Large stands in moist lowland tropical forests 300–2000 m elevation (especially 125–800 m), in humid areas where rainfall of 600–2000 mm, and average temperature 24 C / 75 F.

Brosimum alicastrum is a fast-growing, evergreen,monoecious tree with latex, of up to 40 m in height and 150cm d.b.h. The trunk is straight, cylindrical, and grooved withwell-developed spurs and a pyramidal crown made up of rising,and then hanging, branches with a dense foliage. The leaves are simple, alternate, ovate-lanceolate, elliptic to ovate,and 4 to 18 cm long by 2 to 7.5 cm wide. In the Yucatan Peninsula,the tree grows in calcareous soils with outcropping rocks,forming part of the tropical forest. The regions where the treeis found have an average annual temperature of 26 °C, with amaximum temperature of 36.7 °C and a minimum of 14.9 °C.The maximum temperatures correspond to the months ofApril and May, the minimum ones to the months of Decemberand January. Average annual precipitation is approximately1288 mm, ranging between 900 and 1800 mm. The tree grows from sea level to 1000 m.

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The tree begins to yield flowers and fruits at 4 or 5 yearsof age. Because its geographic distribution is extensive, B. alicastrumblooms at different times, but especially January to June. Its fruits ripen between April and September, dependingon geographic locations (Chavelas and Duvall 1988b).Insoutheastern Mexico, the plant blooms precociously and abundantly from April to July, and fruits from June to October (Juárez and others 1989). The flowers are cream in color and arranged in a capitula. In July through August the abundant fruits ripen and begin to fall to the ground. The fruits are globose berries, 2 to 2.5 cm in diameter, pulpy, sweet, and yellow or orange when ripe. Each fruit contains one seed (Cabrera and others 1982, Pennington and Sarukhan 1968). Seeds range in shape from globose to subglobose, are slightly depressed, and are 1 to 2 cm in diameter. The seedcoat is yellowishbrown, smooth, opaque, and membranous-papyritious. A vascularized thickening in the hilar region is strongly attached to the embryo in fresh seeds, but is brittle and easily released in old seeds.

Edible & Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used  :   :nuts & nutpower

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Constituents:  fiber, calcium, potassium, folic acid, iron, zinc, protein and vitamins a, e, c and b

The nuts are rich in starch, proteins,and vitamins A and C. In some places, they are eaten boiled and are said to taste like chestnuts. Toasted and ground, they are used as a coffee substitute.

Brosimum alicastrum nut powder is a highly nutritious food that has been used as a famine food and crop since the time of the Mayans. Today the chocolate like taste is enjoyed as a healthy, non-caffeine coffee substitute.

Other Uses:
Brosimum alicastrum has multiple uses, although its potential is unknown outside its perimeter of natural distribution. Anthropological research indicates that B. alicastrum was one of the main means of support of the ancient Mayas, who cultivated it intensely. One of the most outstanding characteristics of this plant is that it remains green during the dry season, thus being the only existing source of forage in many places. The branches, leaves, fruits, and seeds are used to feed cattle. They also serve as a nutritional supplement for pigs and chickens. From 7 to 8 tons of fruits and from 35 to 40 tons of foliage can be harvested from 125 trees per hectare .

Specific gravity of the wood is 0.69.The wood is white or yellowish, and it is used for firewood, railroad ties, veneer, floors, tool handles, packing boxes, inexpensive furniture and cabinets, and bee honeycombs, as well as rural construction and handicrafts. The tree is cultivated in numerous backyards, and it is planted as a shade and ornamental tree in streets, parks, and gardens .

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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