Star Apple Leaves
Star apple (Chrysophyllum cainito) is widely grown in the West Indies. As a child, there was a tree grown in my yard and there was another in my neighbor's yard. They are still very much there. So I grew up eating star apple in abundance. I love star apples, excepting for the stain, which is prominent in the fruit. The fruits can be purple or green.
Star apple tree, which loves the tropics, is native to the West Indies and Greater Antilles, and it is from the Sapotaceae family.
Although, attention is mainly given to the fruits and the leaves, the
entire plant can be used as natural remedies, including the flowers. Each part has its own
nutritional benefits for a wholesome diet as well as medicinal benefits. However, we will concentrate on the leaves.
Some of its constituents are Carbohydrate, Iron, Niacin, and Amino acids. The common names are Star apple, Apple Star, Purple Star Apple, Cainito, Kayimit, Stingy Tree, Golden Leaf Tree, and Milk Fruit.
Traditionally, Jamaican folks referred to it as the mean tree or the stingy tree. The fruits for some reason beyond our comprehension and unlike other fruits, prefers to stay on the tree and rot, instead of falling to the ground. Therefore, to get the fruit to eat, one must climb the tree or use a stick to take the fruit down.
A tea made from the leaves, also referred to as the golden leaves, may be consumed to treat diarrhea, high blood pressure, diabetes, dysentery, pneumonia, arthritis, and hypoglycemia.
Many diabetic persons often request the leaves to make tea. They have testified of feeling so much better after drinking a cup of the tea at given times. So many herbal remedies, but lack of interest in the herbal Kingdom by skeptics can stunt its growth. Some persons are surprised when they are told that golden leaves can indeed treat diabetes.
Make a cup of tea or drink by steeping the leaves in hot water. A cup of tea may be consumed and if by chance you prefer it cold, after cooling, it can be placed in the refrigerator for further use.
The elderly folks would always warn us not to eat the belly of the fruit because it promotes constipation. I am yet to experience that, but I love to follow their advice. Therefore, at the moment, I will stick with the star apple fruits, purple or green, and star apple leaves for tea.
Submitted August 4, 2017