Plant name: Karamarda, Carissa carandas
Location at TDU: Lawn near Vyasa block, TDU
Author: Jeevitha P
Karonda, also known as Kavali Hannu in the common tongue, is a fruit-bearing woody shrub or small tree with great medicinal importance. It originated in India and Sri Lanka, however, now it is common in other warm-climate countries.
Karonda plants can be easily cultivated and free of serious pests. It produces small, berry-sized, reddish-black fruits which are generally sour with a subtle sweetness, and rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Its fruit serves as a common ingredient in culinary preparations such as curries, pickles, and beverages. Karonda is used by tribes throughout India and is also popular in various indigenous systems of medicine including Ayurveda, where it is used in several formulations.
The fruit can be used to treat anemic patients, as it is a rich source of iron. The Vitamin C present is known to help with growth and repair of tissues. It is also used to treat fever, inflammation, and ulcers. The berry’s antibacterial and antifungal properties are utilized to treat infected wounds and skin diseases, and is favorable to maintain healthy skin.
The paste of the roots can be used to treat diabetic ulcers. The antioxidants present in the fruit reduce the risk of cancer and alleviate the effects of lung and ovarian cancer. The important bioactive compounds such as terpenoids, steroids, saponins, phenolic acids, and flavonoids in the plant protect and promote health, whether delivered from raw or processed forms.
In conclusion, Karonda, a cheaper alternative to blueberries, when consumed regularly as a part of the diet is advantageous for maintaining good health and diminishing the risk of many diseases.