What is star apple?
Belonging to the family sapotaceae, Chrysophyllum cainito is a tropical tree indigenous to West Indies and Greater Antilles. The tree grows and matures pretty fast giving fruits after only seven years. The fruits are dark purple, greenish brown or yellow in color. The skin of the purple fruit is textured and denser compared to the others. For the greenish brown colored fruit, the skin is thin and a more liquid pulp.
Finding the fruit with the yellow color is quite challenging as they are very rare. The approximate diameter of the fruit is about 2-3 inches. The fruits have a latex rich skin. Both the rind and the skin are not edible. It has got flattened seeds which are hard and are light brown in color.
The plant has been able to spread to the lowlands of Central America. Currently, it is grown throughout the tropics. The growth of the tree can be rated as rapid and it reaches an approximated height of 20 meters. The leaves are evergreen and the underside of the leaf appears shiny with a golden color when visualized from a distance. You may catch a sweet fragrant smell while around the tree, particularly when it flowers. The smell comes from the tiny flowers which are purplish white in color.
How to use the star apple (Chrysophyllum cainito) bark
Besides the nice edible fruit that the plant has to offer, the bark is also a rather useful part of it. The bark of the plant has actually been proven to hold some medicinal value. It has over the years been considered a tonic and a stimulant whose decoction can be used as an antitussive.
To prepare the decoction of the star apple, you will need a chunk of the bark, a source of heat and water. The essence of the bark is concentrated by thorough heating or boiling. After obtaining the bark, it is important that you crush or ground it to ensure maximum utilization of the available ingredients. The bark is hard and the decoction method of brewing tea is the perfect way to prepare it. The taste of the decoction may not be very pleasant, it may however be improved by introducing substances like honey. Even so, the substance should be one that does not worsen the cough.
The decoction should be prepared only when the individual intends to drink it immediately. It is not recommendable that one keeps it as it loses its medicinal properties and may possibly get contaminated.
Health benefits of star apple (Chrysophyllum cainito) bark
The bark of the star apple tree is rather healthy. It can be used as a tonic to give a feeling of vigor and general well-being. For someone suffering from cough the bark of the star apple tree is just the perfect solution. It gets rid of cough with just a few days. It does not only act as a reliever but may be used to prevent inherent cough from attacking an individual.