Wood apple, is a whitish spherical fruit, with a hard WI pericarp and aromatic pulp. The tree is spiny with feather leaves and reddish flowers. The surface of the fruit!, branches is very rough and covered with a white bloom.
Wood apple is indigenous to South India. It is also cultivated in. tropical Asia.Wood apple consists of moisture 64.2 per cent, protein 7.1 per cent, fat 3.7 per cent, minerals 1.9 per cent, fibre 5.0 per cent and carbohydrates 18.1 per cent per 100 grams. Its mineral and vitamin contents are calcium, phosphorus, iron, carotene, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin. Its calorific value is 134. Wood apple is rich in oxalic, malic citric acid and a concentrated tannic acid. The leaves yield an essential oil.
The pulp of the raw fruit is useful in arresting secretion or bleeding. The ripe fruit is refreshing, aromatic, digestive and a tonic. It is useful in preventing and curing scurvy and in relieving flatulence. Its leaves are not only aromatic but also possess some astringent and carminative properties. The gum that the stem exudes has a soothing effect on the skin and mucous membranes.
Mashed seedless pulp of the raw fruit is beneficial in the treatment of dysentery, diarrhoea and piles. The pulp of the ripe fruit, mixed with cardamom, honey and cumin seeds, is effective for; indigestion, diarrhoea and piles. The gum is also useful in diarrhoea and dysentery. The transparent gummy substance oozing from the stem when cut or broken can be beneficially used in bowel affections. It also relieves tenesmus, that is, powerful straining to relieve the bowels.
A mixture of the ripe pulp of the fruit, cardamom, honey and cumin seeds, taken regularly in the morning tones up sagging breasts. It is also useful in preventing cancer of the breast and uterus and helps cure sterility due to a deficiency of the harmone progesterone. About 90 grams of the sap of the fresh bark, 2 corns of pepper, a few drops of pure cow's ghee and a dessertspoon of honey, prevents any post-partum complications. It is taken twice daily immediately after childbirth.
Juice of the tender leaves, given with milk and sugar, is very useful in bowel complaints of children. A powder of the leaves can also be taken in 2 to 4 gram doses for the same complain~. The pulp of the ripe fruit can also be used beneficially in the treatment of stomach disorders of children. It should be given in 30 to 60 grams doses.
About 30 ml of fresh leaf juice, mixed with cumin, is useful in the treatment of urtecaria--an allergic disease marked by painful red round weals on the skin. It should be taken twice daily.
The bark of the tree is good for biliousness. It can be taken either in the powdered or decoction form. The juice of the leaves can also be applied to the skin eruptions caused by biliousness.
Hiccups: Wood apple in the form of chutney or sherbet isuseful in treating hiccups. It is made with salt and tamarind.
Aphrodisiac: Powder of the leaves, dried in shade, with an equal quantity of sugar candy is useful in spermatorrhoea, or involuntary ejaculation, premature ejaculation and functional impotency. One teaspoon of this powder is taken with cold water thrice daily in these disorders. About 20 grams of gum, dissolved in cow's milk and mixed with sugar, is also effective in spermatorrhoea and premature ejaculation. It can be taken thrice daily.