Santol – Another Delicious Southeast-Asian Fruit

santolNot long ago, I discovered a new fruit at the local fresh market here in Phuket. Thai people call this fruit gra thon, but worldwide the fruit is more common under the name santol, the Filipino word for the fruit. The santol (Sandoricum koetjape) belongs to the same family as the Langsat and is  native to Thailand, Indochina and the Peninsular Malaysia, though it was brought early to India, Indonesia, the Philippines, as well as Moluccas and Mauritius. Later it spread to Latin America and allover the tropical world. With a pretty sour taste and a low flesh to waste ratio, this fruit is seldom seen in supermarkets, though it can be found at almost every local fresh market here in Southernsantol Thailand. The santol trees are magnificent trees which can grow up to 50 meters and produce unbelievable 20’000 fruits per year. Beside there huge fruit produce, those trees are ideal shade provider, as they have an extensive canopy. The fruits contains a high amount of ascorbic acid, as well as plenty of iron and vitamins, especially vitamin C. The flesh of the fruit tastes really delicious, like a mixture between apple, lemon plus sugar. The roots of the santol trees are used in traditional medicine as an astringent and a tonic. The leaves are used as a stomachic and the powdered bark is used to cure ringworm and rushes. Several parts of the tree are believed to have anti-inflammatory properties. Recent studies showed that the extract of the tree’s bark even have strong anti-cancer properties.

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