April 1, 2021


Day 91 of 2021 - Biglang may tumubong Aratilis sa bakanteng paso. Maybe the young generation is not familiar with aratilis since it is rarely seen in the metro nowadays.  We used to have artilis tree when I was young. I had many happy memories climbing it when the fruits ripened. And sarap kainin ng bunga lalo na pag malamig or frozen!           

Muntingia calabura, commonly known as aratilis or aratiles in the Philippines, has other local names such as datiles in Bicolano and manzanitas and cereza in Ilocano. Other international names of aratilis include Jamaican Cherry, Panma Berry and Strawberry Tree in English; bolania, yamanza and memizo in Spanish; kersen in Indonesian; and trungca in Vietnamese. 

According to studies, Aratilis fruit has 82 percent edible portion which contains (per 100g) 75.0 water, 100 kcal energy, 2.0g protein, 0.6g fat, 21.6g carbohydrates, 2.4g crude fiber, 104mg calcium, 52mg phosphorus, 0.3mg iron, 0.03mg thiamine, 0.04mg riboflavin, 0.5mg niacin, and 150mg ascorbic acid. 

Common Uses and Health Benefits:

Leaves can be boiled to make a tea while its bark can be used to make ropes and fiber for bark skirts. Fruits can be eaten as it is or can be processed into jams and juice. Its timber can also be used for light carpentry and as firewood. Even the flowers can be utilized as an antiseptic and to treat abdominal cramps. aratilis is on its anti-cancer properties with the finding of new cytotoxic flavonoids in Muntingia calabura roots. Another one is the in-vitro anti- bacterial activity of aratilis extracts. Another study claimed that aratilis leaves possess antinociceptive (reducing sensitivity to pain), anti-inflammatory and antipyretic properties, justifying the Peruvian folkloric medicinal use. 

Environmental Benefits:

One of the distinct characteristics of the aratilis tree is its ability to grow in poor soil and to tolerate acidic and alkaline conditions as well as drought making it a good “pioneer” plant. In addition, aratilis is also a fast-growing fruit tree and is very prolific. Once the berries ripen and harvested the tree flowers again to be pollinated a new by birds and insects such as bees and butterflies and these make for a lot of seeds to be spread by man and animals as the next generation of aratilis trees. Aratilis trees can shed much leaf and branch litter and therefore they can be used for reforestation projects in underdeveloped areas as these contribute to the improvement of the soil resulting to better adaptation by other trees.

(Source: businessdiary.com.ph)

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