16 February, 2012

Crescencia Fruit

The best part about traveling on a tricycle is that one can vividly see whatever it is that lies ahead.

As Noel drove along, I did a double take when I saw this tree with a very big round fruit.

I asked Noel what it was.  He also did not know and said it was only in this house that he saw it so he brought us back to the house and the owner was kind enough to explain that it's a fruit named Crescencia.  He added that the tree's medicinal and the fruit's edible.

As we got close to the tree, I was amazed at how big the fruits were and how they could even sprout from the tree's trunk.  They even seemed to be arranged by size, with the biggest being on the upper branches.

When I got home, I did further research on it and found out that it is commonly known as the Calabash Tree, a species of flowering plant that is native to Central and South America.  It is also known as Ayale (English), Calabacero (Spain), Totumo (Panama and Venezuela), Cujete (Spain, Philippines) and Miracle Fruit (Philippines).

Panama seems to have the most use for this tree  medically as it uses its fruit for diarrhea and stomachaches and also for respiratory ailments, bronchitis, cough, colds, toothaches, headaches and menstrual irregularities.  It is also used as a laxative and an anti-inflammatory.  The leaves are also used for hypertension. 

Other uses include it being a favorite perch for orchids or making bowls and fruit containers decorated with paintings or carvings using its dried shell.  It can also be used to make maracas or musical rattles.  For more information about this wonder tree, click HERE.

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