Fruits of several species belonging to the Annonaceae family contain notable amounts of valuable nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins and lipids. Some such species include sugar apple seeds, cherimoya and soursop. As a result, they can be used in various foods as well as feeds. Besides, they offer and are responsible for various other important antioxidant actions of phenolic compounds. Seeds of fruits of these species contain oils that are excellent source of some unsaturated fatty acids, particularly linoleic and oleic acids. In addition, plants in the genera Annona are vital sources of various essential minerals like calcium, potassium and phosphorus. They also play important roles in a number of biological functions, for instance they help in protecting our teeth and bones, make our muscles stronger and enhance our general health. However, the main interest in the plants of these species is owing to their potent anti-carcinogenic effects. For remedial purpose, the plants of specific species are obtained. It has been established that various parts of specific species belonging to family Annonaceae possess the potential to treat cancer. In addition, they have wide ranging of anti-microbial actions and are effective for combating both fungal and bacterial infections. It is worth mentioning here that cawesh fruits contain a properly balanced proportion of two vital salts - sodium and potassium, which are useful in controlling as well as regulating the fluctuations of blood pressure in our body. Cawesh fruits contain elevated levels of another vital mineral, magnesium, which helps to relax the heart's smooth muscles and, at the same time, pacifies cramps and jerks. In this way, consumption of cawesh fruits helps to prevent heart attacks and stroke. Cawesh fruits also contain fiber and niacin that are effective in lowering low density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol, while increasing high density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol in the system. Moreover, the nutrients in cawesh also help in putting off the incorporation of cholesterol in our gut. Aside from the health benefits of cawesh discussed above, this fruit also thwarts the detrimental free radicals from assaulting lipids, thereby boosting the health of our heart. Cawesh also contains elevated amounts of vitamin C and riboflavin, which effectively aid in combating free radicals that attack and destroy the healthy cells in our body. In addition, these nutrients also help in promoting exceptional eye-sight. We often suffer from fatigue, but seldom realize that it is caused due to various diseases and ailments. When we are fatigued, we usually find that we suddenly require more rest and also need to have sound sleep. It is worth mentioning here that cawesh is a storehouse of energy and, hence, consuming this fruit helps our body to recuperate as well as reinstate the energy lost due to fighting ailments and diseases. The nutrients present in cawesh help to fight weariness as well as debility. Moreover, it contains potassium, which is useful in preventing as well as overcoming muscle debility. Among the other health benefits offered by cawesh fruits, they are effective in combating common cold as well as influenza. These fruits are rich in vitamin C content and, hence, are useful in boosting our immune system.
Apparently, this species (A. scleroderma) grows wild in a vast area ranging from the Atlantic slope in Campeche right up to Honduras. However, in Guatemala, this species is grown in a relatively small area on the Pacific slope between an altitude of 300 m and 1000 m. This region is known as Bocacosta and the soil here is volcanic and very fertile. Moreover, this region has a very brief dry season and receives an annual rainfall of 4000 mm. Fruits of cawesh trees appear late in the season sometime between December and April. However, the maximum yield of cawesh fruits is during the beginning of February. Different from the seeds of other fruits of plants belonging to the Annona family, cawesh seeds sprout readily when they are fresh. The germination rate is as high as 90 per cent in a month and they also do not require any pre-planting treatment. However, stored cawesh seeds normally take roughly six months to take root, especially the seeds that have been kept aside for two to three months. Cawesh trees propagated from seeds start bearing fruits after four years. By this time, these trees attain a height of anything between 4 m and 6 m. For instance, in Australia this species (A. scleroderma) has an excellent growth, especially when it is grafted on the stocks of Rollinia mucosa and A. muricata.
Even when the cawesh fruit is ripe, its skin remains green. Ideally, the cawesh fruit should be picked when it is properly filled out and the marks on its skin become flattened. After picking the fruits, they need to be stored indoors to allow them some time to ripen completely. The harvesting of cawesh fruits is somewhat similar to that of custard apples.