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Atis (Anona squamosa L.)
Atis Fruit Information
Atis is the Philippine name for Sweet Sop and Sugar Apple. Atis is a relative to custard apple and belongs to the Annona family. Atis is native to Central America, the Caribbean and northern South America. Atis was introduced to the Philippines during the Spanish times.
Atis is a small tree that grows between 10 to 20 feet high when fully matured with oblong leaves and green heart-shaped fruits with polygonal tubercles. The atis fruit has a white, sweet flesh and black seeds.
The Atis tree is easy to grow. Just plant a seed on almost any soil and atis will grow. However, it requires tropical or near tropical weather. When planted, Atis will begin to bear fruit in about a year's time. It will bear fruit about 3 times a year and the sweetest fruits are those borne during the summer months.
Atis Fruit Nutritional Value (edible portion)
Food Value of Atis Fruit
Vitamins & Minerals
Total dietary fiber
Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
Toxic Properties of the Atis Fruit
All parts of the atis tree have medicinal value. The seeds however are poisonous. The seeds are pounded and made into paste. This can be applied to the scalp of the head to kill hair lice. Care should be taken when applying atis seed paste on the scalp as this is extremely irritating to the eyes and can even cause blindness. The paste when applied into the uterus can cause abortion.
Atis Use as Herbal Medicine
• A decoction (boiling in water) of the leaves induces or hastens menstrual flow and used to treat dysentery, colds and fever. The decoction is also used for bathing to alleviate rheumatic pain.
• Crushed leaves are inhaled for dizziness and fainting.
• The bark of the atis tree is used as a decoction for diarrhoea.
• The root is a strong purgative and used to treat dysentery.
• Infected insect bites can be cured by applying the juice from an unripe atis fruit.
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