Lanzones – Exotic Fruit with Big Health Benefits
Lanzones or Lansium domesticum is a famous fruit commonly grown in Southeast Asia. In the Philippines, Lanzones is popularly grown in Southern Tagalog (Laguna, Batangas, and Quezon), Camiguin, Sulu, Davao del Norte, and Zamboanga del Norte.The fruit can be elliptical, oval, or round, measuring 2 to 7 centimetres (0.79 to 2.8 in) by 1.5 to 5 centimetres (0.59 to 2.0 in) in size. Fruits look much like small potatoes and are borne in clusters similar to grapes. The larger fruits are on the variety known as duku. It is covered by thin, yellow hair giving a slightly fuzzy aspect. The skin thickness varies with the varieties, from 2 millimetres (0.079 in) to approximately 6 millimetres (0.24 in).
The fruit contains 1 to 3 seeds, flat, and bitter tasting, the seeds are covered with a thick, clear-white aril that tastes sweet and sour. The taste has been likened to a combination of grape and grapefruit and is considered excellent by most. The sweet juicy flesh contains sucrose, fructose, and glucose. For consumption, cultivars with small or undeveloped seeds and thick aril are preferred.
Lanzones a natural antioxidant for its carotene content which helps in protecting cells from free radicals, associated with numerous medical disorders. It is rich in vitamins Vitamins A, B1 or thiamine and B2 or Riboflavin. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin including retinol carotenoids, which helps in keeping healthy and softer skin, stronger teeth. Vitamin B1 or thiamine helps in breaking down of sugar in the body. On other hand, Riboflavin helps the body release energy from carbohydrates and promotes red blood cell production.
Moreover, Lanzones also contains Vitamin C which is helpful for boosting immune system and Vitamin E for prevent premature aging of the skin. Other minerals contained by Lanzones included Moisture, Protein, Carbohydrates, Fiber, Calcium, Phosphorus, Ascorbic Acid and Phytin.
Apart from its health benefits of the meat of the fruit, the Lanzones plants also have other important medicinal uses. This included driving away mosquitos when burning its dried peels, using the bark as astringent and for treatment of dysentery, powdered bark for stings, its powdered seed for treating intestinal worms, serving as natural antipyretic and resin is used for treating gastro-intestinal tract.
Langsat has slender trees with upright branches, a scrappy habit and dark green foliage. The fruit spikes are long, carrying 15-25 ovoid thin-skinned fruits that exude latex until fully ripe. Included under this category are the Paete and Camiguin of the Philippines.
Duku is a spreading tree, with dense dome-shaped canopy of bright-green leaves, bearing shorter spikes, usually with few fruits. The fruits are normally larger and more rounded than the langsat fruit with a thick skin (up to 6 mm) and relatively free from latex. Duku fruits are generally sweet and aromatic. Due to thick skin, the shelf life of duku is generally sweet and aromatic. Due to the thick skin, the shelf life of duku is generally four to seven days longer than the langsat fruits.
Duku-langsat is intermediate between duku and the langsat. The best type under this group is the longkong.
Lanzones has also the following medicinal uses:
The dried peel is burned to produce an aromatic smells which drives away mosquitoes.
The bark is astringent and that its decoction is used for treatment of dysentery.
Bark powder is used to relieve scorpion sting.
The mixture of powdered seeds and water are used for treatment of intestinal worms.
Febrifuge – Any medicine that lowers body temperature to prevent or alleviate fever.
The resin from bark was prescribed for flatulence (a state of excessive gas in the alimentary canal), for swellings and as an antispasmodic (a drug used to relieve or prevent spasms).
The resin may be useful in the treatment of inflammation and colic (acute abdominal pain) of the gastro-intestinal tract.