Miracle Fruit

Synsepalum dulcificum

Sapotaceae

Location in our garden

Section A (Principal)

Habitus

Shrubs. A bushy, evergreen perennial shrub, grows up to 4 m high 

Part Used

  • Leaves
  • Seeds

Growing Requirements

  • Need Shade

Habitat

  • Forest

Overview

Miraculous berry is a fruit native to tropical western central Africa and western Africa that has a modified sour and bitter taste sensation, making acidic and bitter fruits taste sweet. If stored in the tongue, strong sweetness is felt for up to two hours every time a sour solution is tasted. These remarkable sweetening properties are due to a glycoprotein called "miraculin" It has been used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and food.
 

Vernacular Names

Bian wei guo (Chinese), Mirakelbes (Dutch), Fruit miraculaix (French),
Wunderbeere (German), Mirakuru furuutsu (Japanese), Buah ajaib (Malay), Cay than ky
(Vietnamese), Frutto dei miracoli (Italian), Abayunkun (Afrikaan), Magicheskij frukt (Russian)
 

Agroecology

A mild to hot, muddy, tropical lowland species. Plants are frost intolerant. It can grow in full sun, but on well-drained, acidic soil with a pH of 4.5 to 5.8 under partial shade, it thrives best in light shade. For water-logging and alkaline environments, it is intolerant
 

Morphology

  • Leaves are alternate, clustered at the branch tip, on short petioles.
  • Flowers are unisexual, white, small, solitary or in small clusters of 2–4 on slender pedicels in leaf axils.
  • Fruit is an ovoid to oblong berry, 2–2.5 cm long, 1 cm wide, finely pubescent, with a persistent protruding style, green turning bright red when ripe.
  • Seed is a single dark brown ellipsoid enclosed by the white fleshy translucent, insipid pulp.

Chemical Constituents

Miraculin, Essential amino acids (leucine,methionine) and Non essential amino acids (glutamic acid, glycine), Lupeol, Lupenone, Lupeol acetate, Anthocyanin, Flavonoids, Tannins, Saponins, Steroids, and Cardiac glycosides
 

Traditional Medicinal Uses

  • This reveals positive health effects, such as antioxidants(rich of vitamins C), anti-inflammatory, anti-hyperglycemic, and antidiabetic medicines.
  • It is used in cancer treatment (chemotherapy) and radiation therapy because of its anti-neurotic properties. When going through anti-neurotic drugs and radiation therapy, cancer patients have a side effect that is bitter, metallic tastes in the mouth, and this is the reason for their health degeneration due to their inability to taste food.
  • In West Africa, traditional treatments use leaves, roots, and bark for diabetes, enuresis, kidney, hyperthermia, coughing, and stomach problems.
  • Leaves were used for heartburn, weak appetite, indigestion, diabetes and high blood pressure.
  • It is prevalent among diabetic patients and dieters in Japan.
  • In India, plant poultice was applied to the stomach, erysipelas, for abdominal complaints.
     

Cultivation

  • Propagated by cuttings and seeds.
  • When about 4 - 5 years old, seedling plants will begin fruiting.
     

Snapshot of Part Used

Reference Sources

  1. Han, Y.C., Wu, Ju-Yu, Wang, Cing-Kung. (2019). Modulatory effects of miracle fruit ethanolic extracts on glucose uptake through the insulin signaling pathway in C2C12 mouse myotubes cells. Food Science and Nutrition. https://doi.org/10.1002/fsn3.935 on 25-11-2020.
  2. HealthBenefitsTimes.com. Miracle fruit facts and health benefits https://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/miracle-fruit/ on 22-09-2020.
  3. Fern, Ken. (2014). Useful Tropical Plants: Synsepalum dulciferum.http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Synsepalum+dulciferum on 25-11-2020.
  4. Lim, T.K. (2013). Edible Medicinal and Non-Medicinal Plants: Vol. 6, Fruits. Springer. DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-5628-1_26 (pp.146-150).
  5. Philippines Medicinal Plants. Synsepalum dulcificum (Schumach. & Thonn.) Daniell.http://www.stuartxchange.com/MiracleFruit on 29-07-2020.
  6. Tchokponhoué, D.A., N'Danikou,S., Hale, I., Van Deynze, A., and Achigan-Dako, E.G.. (2017). Early fruiting inSynsepalum dulcificum (Schumach. & Thonn.) Daniell juveniles induced by water and inorganic nutrient management. Version 1. Journal list F1000 Research. 2017; 6: 399. PMID: 28620457. doi:10.12688/f1000research.11091.1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5461899/ on 29-07-2020.