In different parts of the world, fruits play a vital role in helping improve an individual’s health and well-being. While there have been some fruits that have been imported to different countries, there are some that have been disregarded and left for the locals to enjoy. It is only through small discoveries that these types of fruits are able to make themselves known to the rest of the world. And if you’re lucky, you can just be one of the small number to be able to taste them for yourself.
If you’ve never been to countries like Haiti, South America, India, Japan, Caribbean, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Cuba, and the Philippines; there is a huge chance you’ve never heard of the Jamaican Cherry. Don’t worry! Plenty of other people share the same disappointment of never having an idea just how beneficial this small fruit could be. Thankfully, you have us to give you an idea on what this fruit is and what it can do for your health.
What is the Jamaican Cherry?
Depending on where you are situated, the Jamaican Cherry actually comes in a number of names and nationalities. Its English names include the Jamaican cherry, Singapore cherry, Panama berry, Bajelly tree, Sabah cherry, or the Strawberry tree. In Spain, it is referred to as the capulin, cacaniqua, yamanaza, memizo, niguito, nigua, blanco, or bolania. In Indonesia, it is called as the Kerson fruit or talok. In Vietnamese, it is known as Trứng cá. In the Philippines, it is referred to as the aratilis or sarisa fruit.
With so many names, what exactly is this fruit?
Scientifically, the Jamaican Cherry is referred to as the Muntingia calabura. It is a sole specie of the Muntingia genus and is considered as a flowering plant native to the countries mentioned. The fruit is a small one, highly resembling the size of a blueberry. It comes in a green color that turns to red when it has ripened and is ready for consumption. Biting into it and you will discover a juicy, tart taste with an aroma somewhat similar to cotton candy. Its texture, however, feels like there are thousands of minute rice crispy crunchies attached to it.
When does it ripen?
As mentioned, the fruit turns red when it has already ripened. And when this happens, more flowers grow from the tree. The main reason why it grows in warm countries is that it is able to produce fruit during this weather. In the cold, the tree takes a rest and takes time to rejuvenate for the next season.
Health Benefits of the Jamaican Cherry
If you want to enjoy eating this fruit, you’ll be surprised that it actually comes with a number of health benefits. Despite its small size, it is able to provide a ton of antibacterial compounds and vitamins needed by the human body. Here are just some of the benefits you can get from eating Jamaican cherries:
They are a great pain blocker.
The leaves from the Jamaican tree can be turned into tea. Once consumed, it turns into an anti-nociceptive agent that helps block pain receptors from contracting and leading to discomfort.
They can lower blood pressure.
Apart from being a great pain blocker, drinking the leaves of the fruit as tea can help lower blood pressure. This is because it contains nitric oxide that manages to relax the blood vessels. As a result of this, the flow of blood in the body gets improved greatly.
They protect against heart attacks.
Another use for the tea leaves is to drink them to help protect the hear against heart attacks. This is because the leaves contain properties that prevent inflammation, which could potentially lead to myocardial infarction.
It treats abdominal cramps.
On the other hand, you can boil the flowers of the tree and drink it as a tea. With its antiseptic properties, it works great as a treatment for abdominal cramps.
It lowers blood sugar.
Consuming the Jamaican cherry fruit can help in lowering the blood sugar levels of the body.
It cures headaches.
Both the fruit and tea leaves of the Jamaican cherry are great for treating migraines and headaches.
It can treat inflammation and reduce swelling.
When drank as a tea, the leaves of the Jamaican cherry can be a great treatment for swelling and for treating inflammation. It also helps in lowering fevers.
It contains vitamins and minerals.
The Jamaican cherry has been known to contain fiber and plenty of other vitamins and minerals. Through these vitamins and minerals, the individual who consumes the fruit gets to improve the strength of his bones, provide iron for his body, and improve his mood.
It treats gout.
Over the years, the consumption of Jamaican cherry has been known to help minimize the pain often associated with gout. This is why individuals who have gout have been recommended to consume about 9-12 pieces of the fruit at least three times a day.
It is a great anti-oxidant.
Because the Jamaican cherry is rich in Vitamin C, the fruit has been discovered as a potent anti-oxidant to fight of flue, colds, and other cardiovascular diseases. Just 100g of the fruit already contains 150mgs of vitamin C.
It is a powerful anti-bacterial ingredient.
Consuming the fruit can help improve an individual’s health to keep out certain diseases and infections. Because of the many anti-bacterial properties it contains, the fruit has been used to treat Staph infections, P. vulgaris, C. Diptheriae, K. Rhizophil, S. Epidemidis, and other bacteria.
It contains anti-cancer properties.
Studies show that the leaves of the Jamaican cherry contain anti-cancer abilities. Because of this, they are being extensively studied as a possible cure for treating cancer.
Who would have ever thought that this roadside tree could actually contain a number of benefits for individuals who consume its fruits and drink its leaves for tea? Now that there is reason to believe it is good for the health, it definitely deserves the attention and further study to see it as a viable cure for certain treatments. And with this, the future of the Jamaican cherry can only get exciting.