Botanical Name :Garcinia cowa
Synonyms: Garcinia kydia
Other names: Bhava, chenhek.
Bengali/vernacular names: Kau, Cowa, Kaglichu; Kao-gola (Chittagong)
English name: Cow Tree
Habitat: Bhava is a lesser known edible fruit found in the states of East India (Assam, Mizoram, Bengal, Bihar and Orissa). It is also found in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It occurs wild frequently in evergreen and semi evergreen forests or along streams in deep valleys,
Bhava is a decidious Trees 8-12 m tall, 15-20 cm in diam; bark dark brown; branches many, borne toward top of trunk, horizontal but usually distally pendulous, slender; twigs dark brown, striate.
Petiole 0.8-1.5(-2) cm; leaf blade lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, 6-14 × 2-5 cm, papery, midvein raised abaxially, impressed adaxially; secondary veins 12-18 pairs, near margin joining together; tertiary veins conspicuous on both surfaces, base cuneate, sometimes slightly decurrent, margin cartilaginous, involute, apex acuminate or long acuminate, rarely acute or obtuse.
Dioecious; male flowers 3-8, terminal or axillary, in an umbel; umbel shortly pedunculate or rarely sessile, 4-bracteate at base; bracts subulate; pedicels 4-8 mm, slender; petals yellow, ca. 2 × as long as sepals; stamen fascicles 4, connate, forming a central capitate 4-sided mass of 40-50 anthers; filaments ± absent, at most short, anthers 4-celled, cells longitudinally dehiscent; pistillode absent; female flowers usually solitary, axillary, larger than male; pedicels robust, 2-3 mm; staminodes united in lower half and enveloping ovary base; filaments long or short, usually shorter than ovary; ovary ovoid, 4-8-loculed; stigma radiately 4-8-lobed, papillate, 6-7 mm high.
Fruit opaquely yellow-brown, ovoid-globose, oblique, 5-6 × 4-5 cm in diam., 4-8-sulcate, usually apiculate, pinkish red, looking similar to tomato...click & see
Seeds 2-4, narrow, fusiform, slightly curved, ca. 2.5 cm, rough...click & see
Cultivation: New trees are raised from seed. These are planted at a distance of 8 m from each other the bearing starts in 4-5 years.
The fruits are edible. In spite of their being slightly sour in taste, these are fondly eaten by local people especially in Mizoram. The fruits are also made into jam and preserve. The young leaves are cooked and eaten as a vegetable.
Fruit pericarp is composed of a fat and the seeds yield a wax-like fat consisting of glycerides of stearic, oleic, palmitic, linoleic and myristic acids. Bark contains a gum resin (Ghani, 2003). A new compound 1,3,6-Trihydroxy-7-methoxy-8-(3,7-dimethyl-2,6-octadienyl)-xanthone has been isolated from stems (Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1993).
In East India, the sun dried slices of this fruit are used to treat dysentery.Bark is astringent; used in spasm. Fruits are given in headache. Gum resin is drastic cathartic, may produce nausea and vomiting.
Ethanolic extract of the leaf may possesses antibacterial properties too.
The bark is used for dying clothes yellow.Bhava tree also produces a yellow gum resin which resembles gamboge.
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.