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Custard Apple – Benefits, Nutritive Values, Anti-Cancer Properties and Medicinal Uses

custard apple benefits cancerThe Scientific name of Custard Apple is Annona squamosa, Annona reticulata belonging to the family Annonaceae. Annonaceae is also known as “soursop” family.

Cultivation of Custard Apples:

The Custard Apple tree is a sub-tropical deciduous tree that grows to a height of  ten to twenty metres. The tree is cultivated in many tropical countries and in many parts of the world like Southeast Asia, Taiwan, India, Australia, and Africa.

The plant is widely cultivated in India. The custard apple trees are native to South America and West Indies.

The fruits are oblong or irregular in shape and are yellowish in colour (ripened fruits) with a pleasant and sweet flavour.

Custard Apple is also known by other names (Synonyms) like

  • Bullock’s heart
  • Bull’s heart
  • Cherimoya – Annona cherimola
  • Sugar AppleAnnona squamosa
  • Sweetsop – Annona squamosa
  • Sharifa – Hindi
  • Sitaphal – Sanskrit
  • Custard Apple – English
  • Ata – Bengali
  • Seetaphalamu – Telugu

Useful Parts of Custard Apple Tree:

Leaves, bark, root, fruits and seeds are the useful parts of the custard apple plant. Custard Apple can be used as fruit, decoction or root powder.

Dose of Fruit – 24 to 48 g

Dose of Root Powder – 0.2 to 0.5 g

Phytochemicals in Custard Apple:

Phytochemicals such as alkaloids, sugars, ascorbic acid, oil and acrid principles are present in the custard apple.

Medicinal Properties of the Custard Apple:

There are many medicinal properties from custard apple. They possess useful properties like

  • Anti-cancerous – Helps in treating Cancer
  • Astringent – Coagulates the protein and contracts the tissues
  • Anthelmintic – Used for expelling worms like helminths
  • Diuretic – To remove excess water from the body by urination
  • Purgative – For Constipation
  • Tonic – For staying healthy

Health and Medical Benefits of Custard Apple:

Custard Apple has many benefits like:

  • It maintains optimum health.
  • Vitamin A present in this fruit is good for the health of skin, hair and eyes.
  • As the custard apple is rich in dietary fibre, it aids in digestion process by regulating the bowel movements.
  • It acts as a coolant, expectorant and stimulant.
  • It helps in healing process when flesh is applied to boils, abscesses and ulcers.
  • Custard Apple protects the heart from cardiac diseases as it has high amount of magnesium.
  • Custard apple has the property of relaxing the muscles. It also helps in fighting with muscle weakness as it also contains potassium.
  • Custard apples are used in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery.
  • Custard apples are beneficial to anaemic people.
  • Custard apple maintains the water balance in the body and removes acids from the joints.
  • It is useful for patients suffering from arthritis and rheumatism.

Nutritional Values of Custard Apple:

Custard Apples are high in nutritive values and are rich in iron, calcium, niacin and provides high calories. They also contain many other vitamins like ascorbic acid and vitamin B etc.

Custard Apple

Custard Apple (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They are good for the people with hyperthyroidism and who want to gain weight. They contain copper which helps in the formation of haemoglobin.

Anti Cancerous Properties in Custard Apple:

  • Custard Apple has anti-cancerous properties against Human Epidermal Carcinoma of the Nasopharynx in tissue culture.
  • When a bruised ripe fruit is mixed with salt and when it is applied to malignant tumours, it hastens the formation of pus, which is known as suppuration and thus helps in healing the tumour.

Medicinal and Other Uses of Custard Apple:

  • When these fruits are dried and powdered, they can be used for treating lice.
  • When leaves are ground to paste without adding water and are applied to ulcers, they get healed quickly.
  • When the seeds powder is made into paste and applied on uterus, it causes abortion.
  • When the fresh leaves are crushed and applied on nostrils, they cut short the fits of fainting and hysteria.
  • When flesh is applied on burns, they will be healed.
  • Thick paste of flesh can be applied for treating skin infections.
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