|African star Apple (Agbalumo)|
African star apple also
known as Agbalumo or Udara in Nigeria, is associated with the dry season and
has been enjoyed over the years by Nigerians as a fruit. But more studies are
supporting its folklore use for treating diseases such as diabetes, heart
diseases and drug resistant bacteria. African
star apple also known as Agbalumo in Nigeria.Botanically called Chrysophyllum
albidum, white star apple belongs to the Sapotaceae family.
particular Lagosians are familiar with the indigenous fruit known as
‘agbalumo’ in Yoruba and ‘Udara’ in Igbo. It is a round, orangish fruit, about
the size of a tennis ball -at times bigger. But interestingly, other than the
local name, little or nothing is known about this fruit by most of its
consumers. By the time you finished reading through this article, it will amaze
you what interesting and educative information you will
inner flesh which is also dark red/orange in colour again depending on stage of
ripeness. The fruit also possesses a cluster of about 5 large seeds stuck
together in the shape of a star. The seeds have a shiny hard brown casing which
feels like plastic and are covered with a cream-ish white fibrous sweet
Agbalumo is a seasonal fruit and in Nigeria, you find them at
every market in urban and rural towns particularity in the months of December
to April when they are in season. Traditionally, the fruits are not harvested
from the trees, but left to drop naturally to the ground before they are picked.
They are rarely used in cooking but rather, when ripe, they are eaten raw as
The star apple tree secretes a whitish sap/latex
which gives the pulp/flesh a chewing-gum like texture!
diameter, usually 5-celled and contain an edible, sweet fruit-pulp.
source of vitamins, irons, flavours to diets
for sore-throat, tooth-ache, constipation, and much more.
by researchers at the Department of Biological Sciences, College of Science and
Technology, Covenant University Ogun State in Nigeria showed that the local
cherry fruit, African star apple (Agbalumo, Udara) lowered blood sugar and
cholesterol, and could be useful in preventing and treating heart diseases.
Previous studies indicate that the roots, barks
and leaves of agbalumo or udara have been employed in folk medicine for the
treatment of diseases.
- Bark: Used for the treatment of
yellow fever and malaria.
- Leaf: Used as an emollient and
for the treatment of skin eruption, stomachache and diarrhea.
- The cotyledons: The cotyledons from the seeds of agbalumo are used as ointments in the
treatment of vaginal and dermatological.
So when next you see agbalumo in the market, do
yourself a world of good by buying some. And if you’re already a fan, now you
have more reasons to eat more.
Star apples are a rich source of calcium, with
each serving providing up to 10% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA). This
fruit also contains good amounts of vitamins A and C (higher, in fact than
levels found in oranges or guava). Star apples are also quite rich in iron (a
mineral the body needs daily).
According to a report published by the African
Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, the leaves of the star apple tree and to
some extent the flesh of the fruit itself, possess some chemical nutrients
which have similar properties to insulin found in the body, and believed to
effectively reduce blood sugar levels. This property makes the leaves/fruits
useful medically, for the treatment of type two diabetes though further
research is being carried out.
Some other traditional uses/remedies of the
star apples (including fruits, leaves and bark) includes:
- Reduction of
inflammation associated with laryngitis (sore throat) and pneumonia
- Treatment for
hypertension & heart problems
properties useful in the relief of tooth abscesses, intestinal/stomach upset,
skin infection and diarrhoea.
Star apples are rich in dietary fibre. Eating up
to 3-5 fruits can give a feeling of being full and keep dieters from
over-eating and consequently controlling calorie/food intake thereby helping to
Nutritional Data (100g of pulp/flesh only)
Calorie – 61 kcal
Carbohydrate of which sugars) – 11g
Protein – 2g
Fat – 0g
Fibre – 3g
Vitamins: – A, C
Minerals: – Iron, Calcium
‘English name’ o! (or maybe two). And it is the African Star Apple or White
Star Apple. I used to think it was a cherry of sort; thanks to research, I know
Ever heard of African Star Apple? What about
White Star Apple? Maybe not! Okay, here’s another name that may ring a
And if you are still wondering what it is,
Agbalumo, is that round, sharp tasting, orange- coloured (sometimes red) fruit
about the size of a table-tennis ball. Commonly known as Agbalumo by the
Yorubas’ in South-West Nigeria, Udara in the South Eastern part of the country
and Uda in the Niger-Delta region of Nigeria, the fruit is widely loved by both
adults and children alike in Nigeria; its sharp taste notwithstanding. Let’s
settle for its most predominant name in the South Western part of Nigeria –
Agbalumo – at least for the purpose of this article.
Its popularity is not the only unique thing
about it. Agbalumo also happens to be a very nutritious fruit. It is an
excellent source of vitamins and irons. It can be used as a good remedy for
sore throat, toothache and constipation.
But that’s not all. Agbalumo lowers the blood
sugar and cholesterol level in the body and it helps in preventing and treating
heart diseases. Its seeds are used as ointments in the treatment of vaginal and
dermatological infections. They are also an excellent source of calcium,
potassium, phosphorous, magnesium and many more. And just in case you
don’t know, the fruit contains more vitamin C than guava or orange.
Its nutritional value does not end there. Its
outer skin is also very medicinal as it is used for the treatment of yellow
fever and malaria. The leaf is also used as an emollient and for the treatment
of skin eruption, stomach ache and diarrhea.
you pick up Agbalumo, remember that you are not only satisfying your craving
for the delicious fruit, you are also providing your body with vital nutrition.
And if you haven’t had your Agbalumo today, what are you waiting for? The raining
season is here and it is Agbalumo time!
So, now you
have more reasons to eat African star apple