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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Dry Fruit Herbs & Plants


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Botanical Name: Prunus domestica
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Prunus
Subgenus: Prunus
Section: Prunus
Species: P. domestica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonym: Plum Tree.
Part Used: Fruit, dried.
Asia and parts of Europe, best from Bordeaux.

Description: A small tree, 15 to 20 feet high, with numerous spreading branches without spines, young branches smooth, leaves small, alternate on longish petioles, provided with linear, fimbriated, pubescent stipules which are quickly deciduous, blade about 2 inches long, oval, acute at both ends, crenatedentate, smooth above, more or less pubescent underneath, convolute in the bud, flowers appear before leaves. The cultivated plum has been developed from the wild plum, the thorns being lost in the process. Plums were known to the Romans in Cato’s time.


A prune is a dried fruit of various plum species, mostly Prunus domestica. It is wrinkly in shape, unlike its non-dried counterpart. More than 125 cultivars of plums are grown for drying. Four of the most common cultivars are French, Imperial, Italian, and Greengage. In general, prunes are freestone cultivars (the pit is easy to remove), whereas most other plums grown for fresh consumption are cling (the pit is more difficult to remove). Fresh prunes reach the market earlier than fresh plums and are usually smaller in size.


Prune juice is richer in fiber than plum juice and is often marketed as a treatment for constipation, and it helps with kidney stones. One of the largest and best-known prune producers is Sunsweet Growers, headquartered in Yuba City, CA, who control more than 2/3 of the prune market worldwide. In the United States, an effort to rebrand “prunes” as “dried plums” began in 2000, to appeal to a younger market who associated prunes with elderly people. However, only some varieties of plum are usually called prunes when dried; others have usually been called “dried plums” in any case.

Prunes are used in cooking both sweet and savory dishes. Stewed prunes, a compote, are a dessert. Prunes are a frequent ingredient in North African tagines. Perhaps the best-known gastronomic prunes are those of Agen (pruneaux d’Agen).

There has long been an urban myth that prune juice is an ingredient in Dr. Pepper.

Constituents: Prunes have a faint peculiar odour and a sweetish slightly acidulous and viscid taste. The ripe fruit contains sugar, gum, albumen, malic acid, pectin, vegetable fibre, etc.

Medicinal Action and Uses: Dried prunes are mildly laxative and are frequently employed in decoction. They form a pleasant and nourishing diet for invalids when stewed; they enter into the composition of Confection of Senna. A medicinal tincture is prepared from the fresh flower-buds of the Blackthorn. Some 20 per cent of oil is obtainable by crushing the Plum kernel – this is clear, yellow in colour and has an agreeable almond flavour and smell. It is used for alimentary purposes. The residue after pressing is used in the manufacture of a brandy, which is largely consumed in Hungary.

All prunes are plums, but not every plum is choicest to be prune.They are very good source of Potassium the mineral that maintains normal blood pressure, heart function & reduces risk of stroke. It also promotes bone health & slow down mascular degeneration. Prunes also aids in normalizing blood sugar levels, provide an intestinal protection & lower cholesterol. Remember to keep prunes fresh by storing them in airtight containers in cool,dry and dark place.

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.