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Soursop - Annona muricata

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Annona muricata, prickly custard apple, soursop. Soursop trees are bushy and low, only about 7 - 9 m tall. Young branchlets are rusty-hairy. The underside of the leaves is somewhat lighter than the top. Solitary flowers emerge anywhere on the trunk, branches or twigs. The fruit is oval or heart-shaped and fairly variable in size, ranging from 10-30 cm long and up to 15 cm in width. They can weigh as much as 6.8 kg. The skin is dark-green in the immature fruit, becoming slightly yellowish-green before the mature fruit is soft to the touch. The white flesh, which is the edible part of the flesh is fibrous and juicy, and separates easily from the rind. The pulp smells a little like a pineapple, but the sweet, acrid flavor is unique. The fruit is segmented, with some segments containing a single oval, black seed, 1.25-2 cm long.

The soursop is one of the most abundant fruits in the Dominican Republic. Soursops are eaten straight from the tree, can be juiced, are popular as flavorings in ices and popsicles, and are occasionally made into a custard with sugar and milk. The juice from the seeds are poisonous and irritating and should be avoided. The juice of the ripe fruit is said to be diuretic.
Taken when fasting, it is believed to relieve liver ailments and leprosy. Pulverized immature fruits, which are very astringent, are decocted as a dysentery remedy. To draw out chiggers and speed healing, the flesh of an acid soursop is applied as a poultice unchanged for 3 days.

In parts of Carribean the leave are believed to have a relaxing, even sobering effect. In Africa, it is given to children with fever and they are also bathed lightly with it. A decoction of the young shoots or leaves is regarded in the West Indies as a remedy for gall bladder trouble, as well as coughs, catarrh, diarrhea, dysentery and indigestion. Mashed leaves are used as a poultice to alleviate eczema and other skin afflictions and rheumatism, and the sap of young leaves is put on skin eruptions. The roots of the tree are employed as a vermifuge and the root bark as an antidote for poisoning. A tincture of the powdered seeds and bay rum is a strong emetic.

10 seeds
Read 7686 times Last modified on Saturday, 07 March 2020 11:49
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