Virtually unknown on the produce shelves in western countries, this delectable fruit is popular across Southeast Asia. The langsat tree bears an enchanting bloom that is the official flower adopted by Indonesia’s province of South Sumatra.
WHAT DOES IT DO?
Langsat is grown mainly for its fruit, but it provides medicine and other useful products as well. The seeds are pounded and mixed with water to make an effective medication that is used for ulcers and also to dispel worms. Malaria and dysentery respond well to an herbal concoction rendered from the bark of the tree, and this same “green” medicine is commonly applied to scorpion stings. Flexing its therapeutic muscles even more, the langsat offers relief from diarrhea with a treatment using the skin of its fruit. The skin is also dried and burned as incense in sick rooms and it is also used as a mosquito repellent. In this latter capacity, the langsat goes full circle by repelling the mosquitoes that can bring malaria at the same time that its bark is used to treat this scourge.
ABOUT THE HERB
Originally native to Southeast Asia, langsat is presently grown from southern India to the Philippines. It has also adapted well to the growing conditions offered by Hawaii — and closer at hand — Costa Rica. The langsat tree towers a full 100 feet above ground, often producing over 300 pounds of fruit annually. People living near the forested abode of the langsat climb the tree to shake loose the 15 to 25 egg-shaped fruits that grow closely together in each bunch on the larger limbs. Flowers of both genders (bisexual) grace the lansgsat tree. The sturdy wood is used in construction projects.
As langsat fruit is commonly preserved in syrup, it can be enjoyed as an exotic after-dinner dessert. Including more orchard crops in our diet enhances the ecology of the planet by increasing the oxygen levels best provided by trees. The langsat tree is currently being used in reforestation projects in the Philippines.
The opinions expressed are solely the writer’s. NOTE: Visit herbalastrology.com to read Ted PanDeva Zagar’s other articles and columns that discuss the benefits of herbs and natural foods. DISCLAIMER: The author’s comments are not intended to serve as medical advice, and he urges his readers to seek qualified wellness professionals to resolve matters of health.