The Santol Fruit or Cotton Fruit (scientific name: Sandoricum koetjape) is a tropical fruit common in Southeast Asia. Consume it as it is or includes it any dish, the Santol Fruits will never fail to amaze you with its combine sweet and sour tastes. Growing up from an Asian culture, Santol Fruit has been used by people in a multitude ways. With its dynamic taste, comes a long list of health perks and benefits.
Santol fruit is widely known for its many health benefits from its leaves, fruit skin, and barks. People from Indochina, Malaysia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka use the plant as traditional medicine. Let’s take a closer look of health benefits of santol fruits.
■ Health Benefits of Santol Fruit
● Reduce Bad Cholesterol (LDL)
Santol fruit consists of pectins, a soluble fiber. Pectin, along with good cholesterol (HDL) will bind with bad cholesterol (LDL) in intestine, preventing the fats to be absorbed into our circulatory system. High levels of LDL contributes to hypertension, stroke, and heart disease.
● prevent Diabetes
Santol fruit is good for diabetic people. Santol fruits are rich in fiber and have a low glycemic index. Fiber slows down foods digestion, therefore decreasing the absorption of sugar into blood. This effect will controls blood sugar level. This is good for controlling body weight.
● Prevent Cancers
As stated earlier, santol fruit consist of plenty of antioxidants that help to prevent growth of cancer cells. In one research, rats with mammary tumors were given extracts from whole santol fruits every day, and after some time, the number and size of the tumors were much reduced. More recent study was able to separate a new ring-A secotriterpene and koetjapic acid. The 2 compounds exhibited cytotoxic activity against cancer cells.
● Control Body Weight
Santol fruits consist of both soluble and insoluble fibers. Foods that are rich in fiber can fill us up and help us feel full longer. It makes our food cravings lower, while improving our overall health with all nutritional compounds. Many health problems are associated to obesity, such as cardiomyopathy, stroke, hypertension, diabetes hormonal disorders and sleep disorder.
● Prevent Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are vascular structures in the anal canal, they help controlling the stool. It become disease when they are swollen, inflamed, bleed and thrombosis. Vitamin C in santol fruits helps promoting healthy endothel in blood vessels. Fibers help keep the stool in soft consistency. When the stool is soft, we don’t need to strain in defecating process. Constant straining during defecating process is known to make thrombosis hemorrhoids. The increase of abdomen pressure during defecating process will make the blood can’t circulate normally around the lower abdomen, and then thrombosis will be formed.
● immune System Booster
Santol fruits contain quercetin, an antioxidant that can help boost our immune system. Quercetin is a flavonoid that can be found in most of vegetables and fruits. It is supposed to promote prevention and treatment of cancer, but it still needs more research about relationship between quercetin and cancer.
Since antioxidants are needed in our body, it doesn’t hurt to consume quercetin, including the one that is contrained in santol fruits. Our body needs antioxidant to prevent cell damage and to keep the cells grows normally. Vitamin C contained in these fruits also boost our stamina.
● treatment of Diarrhea and Constipation
Fiber contained in Santol fruits can help defecation process. Fiber can either pull water from out of the colon or absorb excess water from our stool to keep our stoo, in soft consistency. This makes defecati g process much easier.
● Maintain Healthy Teeth
Just like apples, biting and chewing santol fruits stimulate salivary glands to produce more saliva, thus reducing dental caries by lowering the number of mouth bacteria.
● Bone Health
Calcium and phosphorus in this fruits help maintain density of bone and teeth, thus preventing osteoporosis and maintaining strong enamel in teeth.
● Prevent Anemia
Anemia is a condition of lacking healthy red blood cells. Santol fruits consist of iron, a very important mineral for producing red blood cells. These fruits also contain vitamin C. Vitamin C is known to help the intestine absorb iron effectively.
Santol is also fortified with iron, making it ideal for those people who have a low level of hemoglobin in the body. For other conditions such as heavy menstruation, the iron content of Santol could also help.
● Prevent Alzheimer’s
Recent research reported that drinking santol juice regularly can keep Alzheimer’s away. Due to high antioxidants contained in this fruit. The antioxidants can fight the aging process of the brain.
● Delay Aging Process
High production of collagen makes our skin look youthful and tight. Vitamin C is also known as antioxidants along with carotenes and quercetin contained in the fruits. Routine consumption can heal minor inflammations that make our skin wrinkle. Vitamin C also prevent scurvy.
Santol fruits consists of Sandorinic acid and Bryonotic acid. Both of these compounds are good agents for preventing and treating allergies. If you have allergies, you can eat some santol fruit regularly.
● Treating Leucorrhea and Other Vaginal Infections
For vagina infection, the bark is boiled, and then the water is used to wash the vulva and vigina daily.
● Tonic After Childbirth
People in Malaysia use the water of boiled santol bark as a tonic after childbirth, to restore system of the body.
● Termite Repellent and Insecticide
Bark extract of santol tree can be used to repel termites; the quality is the same as commercial products. But the killing effect is not quick, we need to apply the extract daily for a few day. Since it is a natural insecticide, it is environmentally friendly, organic, no unpleasant odors, and doesn’t contain dangerous chemicals.
● Mosquito Repellent
There was a study in the Philippines about how to convert santol stalks into mosquito coils. The study was successful to make santol mosquito coils. The product has no side effects to human and animals. Santol mosquito coils effectively repel the mosquitoes, thus reducing the number of malaria, denque fever, and any mosquito diseases that happen frequently in tropical countries.
■ Traditional uses and Benefits of Santol Fruit
● Fruit, leaves, bark, roots, sap of the santol tree is variously used medicinally in traditional medicine.
● Preserved fruit pulp is used medicinally as an astringent.
● Seed consists of an amorphous bitter principle.
● Pounded leaves are sudorific when applied to the skin for skin infections or rashes.
● Leaves are used to make a decoction against diarrhea, fever and as a tonic after childbirth.
● Fresh leaves are placed on the body to cause sweating and a patient is bathed in a santol herbal tea to bring down fevers in Philippines.
● Poultice of powdered bark is used to treat ring worm.
● Bark consists of traces of a bitter principle, a toxic alkaloids and the bitter sandoricum acid.
● Aromatic roots are used as an anti-diarrheic, anti-spasmodic, carminative, antiseptic, astringent, and stomachic and are prescribed as a general tonic after childbirth.
● Bitter roots, bruised with vinegar and water, is a carminative; used for diarrhea and dysentery.
● Fresh or recently dried roots are swallowed for colic.
● Traditionally, a decoction of the bark is used by Malays as a tonic after childbirth in Malaysia.
● It maintains muscle nerve movement and strengthens the muscles.
● It prevents disease like Alzheimer disease and slow down the process of cell degeneration.
● It improves the blood flow to the heart.
● It helps in eliminating excess cholesterol from the body.
● The antibacterial properties of Santol fruit reduce bad breath and cavities in the mouth.
● Santol fruit has phytonutrient content which prevent the multiplication of cancerous cells.
● Santol fruit prevents the body from allergies. It flushes the allergens and toxins out of the body.
● Santol fruit is rich in fiber and has a low glycemic index. It prevents in sudden rise and fall of sugar levels in the blood.
● Santol fruit is also considered good for diarrhea.
● Pounded leaves are sudorific when applied to the skin and are used to make a decoction against diarrhea and fever.
● Powdered bark is an effective treatment for ringworm, and contains triterpenes with anti-cancer activity.
● Santol tree makes an excellent shade tree.
Reference: healthBenefitstimes.com / practicalhealthand wellness