What is Breadnut?
Commonly known as Breadnut, the Brosimum alicastrum is a species of trees that belong in the Moraceae family of flowering plants. Although it is native to Papua New Guinea, the tree is common in South America, specifically in Central Mexico’s west coast and parts of southern Mexico. The plant can also be found in El Salvador, the Caribbean, Guatemala as well as the Amazon. It might have also originated from the Philippines and the Moluccas (Indonesia). The tree is believed to have been planted by the Maya civilization around 2 millennia ago with some historians speculating that it might have been a staple food in their diet. Breadnut thrives in humid lowland tropical forests that receive heavy rainfall.
The breadnut is an evergreen tropical tree that is considerably large and grows to a height of about 20-25 meters. The trunk grows to 50-90 cm DBH. A fully-grown breadnut can go to heights of about 35-40m and have a trunk DBH of 150cm. The trunk of the tree is typically straight with characteristic well-developed buttresses. The rough bark of the tree is blackish-grey colored and often has large square scales. The leaves are large and span a length of between 40 and 60 cm.
Medicinal Value of Breadnut
While ancient civilizations may have used Breadnut as a staple food, the plant is currently popular due to its unlimited medicinal value. Breadnut is used by people from different corners of the world to treat and control various health and medical conditions. Some of the health and medicinal uses of the plant include:
- Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis: Studies indicate that Breadnut is rich in Histidine, an amino acid that is popularly used as a medicine for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis among other diseases. The fact that this amino acid possesses pain-relieving properties makes it an ideal treatment for the condition. Research indicates that it mainly achieves this through minimizing allergic symptoms from the prophylaxis of low Hemoglobin and RBC levels in the blood.
- Improved Resistance Against Infections: Another notable benefit of Breadnut is its action against infections. Having an abundant amount of antioxidants, the bark of the plant can be used to boost the body’s action against infectious viruses. The harmful free radicals that are released by the body are also destroyed by the plant’s extracts. This helps slow down the aging process and minimizes age-related diseases.
- Other Medicinal Uses: Some of the other popular medicinal uses of Breadnut include used in enhancing dental hygiene, prevention of bone loss, improving cardiac health and control of diabetes. The plant can also be effectively used to aid in digestion, heal skin conditions, improve blood clotting, prevent anemia and as an aphrodisiac.
How to Use Breadnut
The Breadnut bark are often dried and ground into powder which can then be used as a spice or used to brew tea, the bark can also be boil and drink as a tea.
NOTE: We highly recommend that before using any herbal medications you should consult your health care provider or medical doctor for professional advice.
Disclaimer: All herbs and spices listed on http://www.islandherbsandspices.com/ or sold for medical and household use only, again we advice that before using any HERBS for medical purposes, please consult your physician.