It was introduced in the Philippines by the Spanish during the colonial era. The atis (sugar apple) tree will grow easily in any tropical setting. After about a year's time, it will begin to bear fruit three times a year; the sweetest are those borne during the summer months.
Atis has scaly skin, while the taste of the fruit itself is slightly sweet and soft. Some claim its taste bears similarity to guyabano.
As for its curative properties, the seed contains a yellow, non-drying oil which is an irritant that can be used against lice. The unripe fruit is astringent and can be used for diarrhea, dysentery and dyspepsia, while the roots can be used as a potent laxative. The bark of its tree is astringent and tonic; whereas, crushing and smelling its fresh leaves help those who suffer from fainting spells.
The atis’ other health benefits according to Bureau of Plant Industry are:
1) The leaves are applied as a poultice to children with dyspepsia.
2) Crushed seeds with coconut oil are applied on the scalp to rid it of lice.
3) A decoction of the seeds is used as an enema for the children with dyspepsia.
4) The roots are considered a drastic purgative
5) The crushed seeds, in a paste with water, are applied to the scalp to destroy lice.
6) The unripe fruit is astringent, and is given in diarrhea, dysentery and atonic dyspepsia.
7) The bark, according to Nadkarni, is considered a powerful astringent and tonic.
8) Externally the leaves, the unripe fruit, and the seeds (which contain acrid principle) possess vermicidal and insecticidal properties.
Read more about atis here.
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