17 September 2006

Wood Apple

Many of the fruits, foliage and herbs found around Arunachala, have medicinal and ayurvedic properties. In spite of what large drug Companies would like us to believe, most major life saving medicines are in fact derived from common and organic substances. Arunachala is replete with a profusion of such natural life enhancing fruit and foliage.

A tasty favourite with monkeys is the Wood apple, or Elephant apple (because the fruit resembles the skin of an elephant) commonly found on Arunachala Hill. The unripe fruit is considered to be a useful astringent in diarrhoea and dysentery, and the ripe fruit (which is edible) is prescribed for afflictions of the gums or throat. The fruit is called Dadhiphala in Sanskrit, as its taste is compared with that of Dadhi or coagulated milk. The leaves are aromatic and carminative.

The fruit is cold, dry, refreshing, astringent, cardiacal and tonic, and is a useful remedy in salivation and sore throat, strengthening gums and acting as an astringent. Sherbet made from the fruit increases appetite and has antidote properties.

The pulp applied externally is a remedy for bites of venomous insects; if the pulp is not available then the powdered rind of the fruit may be used. It is also prescribed to relieve bowel afflictions. The fruit when cultivated, reaches a diameter of approximately four inches. Rural folk pound the leaves with curds and apply the mixture to the whole body as a remedy for heat of blood supposed to be caused by bile.

Thus the Wood Apple is multi functional and effective, and this is but one small item of the many indigenous ones that are prevalent around the Hill. What a pity so much is being forgotten so quickly! More info on fruits and herbs to come.


Divyakka said...

How about a photo of a wood apple? I don't think I ever had one. Have you ever tasted a wood apple? (I found a good photo at http://www.chennaionline.com/columns/chennaitrees/2004/trees29.asp)

Arunachala Living said...

Thanks for the info Divyakka. I checked out the link you recommended and there is great info and pics on the wood apple. I will post them on the site itself as lots of interesting new info.