Fruits have always been the healthiest part of our favourite diets. They are the thread that balances both choices and fitness. Toddlers are especially fond of fruits that are immensely sweet in nature and Custard Apple is one of them. The name Sugar Apple itself reflects its property of sweet taste.
You must be aware of the fruit custard that is in fact a very celebrated dessert dish. The second name of Sitafal traces back to its use in custards. Nevertheless, it is an amazing delicacy in itself.
Sitafal is a spherical conical fruit of bluish-green colour with a tint of pink in its crevices between the shelled segments. The Sugar Apple species is native to the tropical regions of America and West Indies. It is found all over India now.
Did you know?
Sitafal is known to have cousins named Ramphal (Annona reticulata) and Lakshman Phal (Annona muricata).
Sitafal, the super-fruit of 21st century was my favourite fruit in childhood. The pulp was my delicacy and the seeds were in use for my grandmother.
Why are Sitafal seeds beneficial?
The Sugar Apple (Scientific name: Anona Squamosa) is useful to its last layer. One of the benefits of custard apple seeds is to transform it to a paste and this paste is useful in applying on the scalp. The paste of Anona seeds kills lice and prevents them from further replication. Yes, we are talking about the herbal anti-lice treatment!
Sitafal and Ayurveda
Sitafal makes a great combination with food no doubt, but it is also a potent partner of Ayurveda. Ayurvedic properties of Sitafal help us to understand its uses quite well.
Point to be noted: Just by reading about the Ayurvedic properties of herbs and plants one can determine its uses to some extent without pursuing actual knowledge of Ayurveda. Though the advice of a physician is always recommended for confirming.
Isn’t it fun to predict the properties like a tally and play game! Let’s try the same with Sitafal.
Sitafal is a fruit with Madhur Ras. You guessed it right, it stands as a reason for the sweet taste of Custard Apple. The next property of Sitafal is Madhur Vipak. In layman’s language this can be described as the property the fruit exhibits after the digestion process. Vipak is basically an Ayurvedic term for the after digestive effect of any food item we consume. Sitafal gives Madhur Vipak which means the nature of it’s post digestion formation is sweet. Though fruits with Madhur Vipak are helpful in decreasing problems like acidity they also tend to increase Kaphadosha.
Sitafal balances Pittadosha and Vatadosha.
Did you know?
Sitafal is not a complete one fruit but a cluster of tiny fruits which fused eventually with evolution. Its segments are remnants of those. The botanical term for it is Aggregate fruit.
The Sitafal theory
As I said before, Sitafal is useful to its last layer which is actually the truth. The Sitafal theory basically describes the uses of every part of Sitafal. There are three routes to the destination of Sitafal theory which are the Leaves, Seeds and Ripe fruits that can also be considered under the heading the parts used.
The route of leaves
- The paste of leaves acts as Anti-inflammatory and Anti-Bacterial agent. So to get rid of bacterias and inflammations, go searching for Custard Apple leaves.
- The Anti-lice property is also contributed by the paste of its leaves.
- The leaves constitute fibres and hence lessen the absorption of sugar in your body which ultimately leads to keeping blood sugar levels in check.
- Packed with antioxidants, they keep your skin healthy and delay the ageing of skin cells.
- Healthy heart is one of the offering of the Sitafal leaves. The Potassium and Magnesium content in these leaves are said to be high. These ions help in muscle relaxing and hence prevent risks of heart strokes.
- You need not worry about your wounds because Sitafal leaves take care of this problem too. Grind them into a paste and apply it on wounds. The leaves carry Antiseptic properties.
The route of seeds
I remember wondering why my Grandma always preserved the seeds of Custard Apple. The jar of the seeds was my best playtime and every week a handful of them would go into the grind and come back as a paste. The benefits of custard apple seeds is it helped in nourishment of my scalp, preventing dandruff and lice were the responsibilities that Sitafal took care of!
- The paste of Custard Apple seeds is useful in relieving you from dandruff, rough and itchy scalp and most importantly the problem of lice.
- Sitafal seeds also work as insect repellent. The grind of the seeds mixed with water and kept for a day or so plays the role of homemade insect repellent.
- Many a times, abortion pills or medicines contain some amount of Sitafal seed extract.
- Sitafal seeds are also used for biogas production in some countries.
Did you know?
Sugar Apple seeds contain 30 percent oil. So, these find a variety of uses in the soap and paint industry.
The route of ripe fruit
The best and popular use of the ripe fruit is for foodies and fruit lovers.
- Custard Apple fruits are well known to ease the issue of constipation. Its fleshy and slimy nature as well as the fibre constituent help in smooth motions of the bowel.
- The Sugar Apple reduces thirst of the body. It’s fleshy nature can be given the credit for this property of Sitafal.
No wait, the Sitafal theory is not over yet. The last layer of use is the extracts of its leaves and seeds.
- Cures urinary tract infections.
- Reduces burning sensation of arms and legs.
- Improves the quantity and quality of semen.
Dosage of Extract - 3 to 5 grams.
Although Sitafal is the super-fruit of 21st century, there is a thing known as too much Sitafal. Everything is good but only in limits and so is with Sitafal. Overdoses of Sitafal are harmful to some extent and they may cause various health worries.
Why not too much Sitafal?
- Sitafal in excess is harmful to the eyes. It’s over consumption produces eye infection problems.
- Weight gain
- Digestive system problems.
Did you know?
The aromatic flowers of Custard Apple are used as a snuff in Jamaica.
Some easy and quick Custard Apple delights to captivate your taste buds:
- Remove the pulp of Custard Apple and pop the flesh into a blender with ice cream, milk and honey for a super smoothie.
- Mix the pulp Custard Apple with shredded coconut and nuts on top of breakfast cereal for a morning treat.
At Amrutam, we safeguard the benefits of Sitafal in our products. Here is the range of products that contain the benefits of Sitafal.
So now that you know the wonderments of Custard Apple, go and use it!
For more information you can refer to the books Dravyagun Vidnyan and Charak Sanhita.