Fruits, bark, seeds, roots.
The fruits are known to have many health benefits. Among others, they can restore skin health, increase blood circulation, prevent diabetes or stop its further development, improve vision health, strengthen and improve the quality of hair, increase the strength of bones, stop eye cataracts and even prevent a number of types of cancer. The book Hawaiian Herbs of Medicinal Value translated by Akana attests that the Malay apple tree bark was widely used in the traditional medicine of the islands. The bark was crushed after mixing with salt, using coconut fiber to filter the juice. The liquid was mainly used to treat deep wounds. In the Spice Islands of Indonesia, also known as the Moluccas, thrush is cured with a decoction prepared from the bark of Malay apple. In Malaysia, dried leaves are made into a powder used in the treatment of dry tongues. Itching can be relieved with a product made from the roots, which are also known to be diuretic and effective against edema. Other known effects of the bark root are as an emmenagogue and abortifacient, as well as a cure for dysentery. Fever is treated in Cambodia with a decoction made from the leaves, seeds or fruit, while crushing the leaves allows the extraction of a juice that can be applied on the skin as a cosmetic product. The plant is also employed in Brazil, against various diseases such as coughs, pulmonary catarrh, headache, constipation or diabetes. According to other accounts, several parts of the plant including the bark, leaves, fruits and seeds can regulate blood pressure or respiration and have an antibiotic effect. The most potent part of the Malay apple seems to be the roots. They have been used for a long time to start menstruation and to relieve itching and cure dysentery. They are also known to be diuretic, carminative, antiseptic and capable to reduce inflammation and high blood pressure. The herb also has strong antihyperglycaemic properties, while also being useful in the treatment of diabetes. It also reduces inflammation, due to the rich amount of polyphenols and antioxidants.
The Malay apple fruit can be eaten raw as soon as it becomes ripe but it's not very sweet and some people consider it tasteless. The usual way to consume Malay apple is by flavouring with cloves or other aromas, then stewing it and adding cream for a tasty dessert. In the Guyana cuisine, the skin is prepared separately into a syrup that is added later in order to boost the taste of the cooked fruit. Malayans might add hibiscus for a more vivid color. Because of their rather insipid taste, the Malay apples can be cooked with acid fruits in order to balance them. Unripe fruits can be prepared as jellies and pickles, while the ripe ones are tuned into preserve or sauce. The flesh can be prepared as a jam, combined with raw sugar and ginger. It is also possible to make either red or white wine from the fruits, both types being very popular in Puerto Rico. The Malay apples must be harvested as soon as they ripe, before falling from the tree, and submerged in hot water in order to kill all of the fungi and bacteria on their skin. After removing the seeds, the fruits go through a meat grinder and the resulting pulp and juice is used to make red wine. Double the amount of water is added, as well as 680 g of white sugar in every gallon of liquid. The mixture is stored in barrels, with the mouth closed with some cloth, adding yeast for fermentation and a coil to keep water moving inside. After storage in a cold place for 6 to 12 months, the wine can be filtered and consumed. It is not actually red but faintly rose, the usual practice is to make it red by adding artificial colors. White wine is made from the peeled fruits, discarding the pulp and using only the juice. It requires a lower amount of sugar, 565 g per gallon. Since the fermentation period is only 3 to 6 months, the wine will have a lower alcohol content than the red one. Flowers are also edible and can be stored in syrup, while Indonesians add them to salads. Immature shoots and leaves can also be consumed as vegetables, either cooked or as a raw ingredient in rice dishes.
The Malay apple fruit is very rich in vitamins, minerals and bioactive organic compounds, with both the edible skin and pulp providing important health benefits. Chemical analysis of Malay apples has identified a significant number of antioxidants, including some carotenoids, sequiterpenes, flavonols and phenolic compounds. In addition, they are rich in dietary fibers like all fruits and also provide some vegetal proteins. Since the fruits are a major source of iron, phosphorous and calcium, they are especially useful for people who want to restore their mineral levels or suffer from a deficiency. The Malay apple is also very rich in vitamins and provides niacin, vitamin C and vitamin A.
The skin of the fruit is sensitive and can be bruised with ease, so picking it by hand is advised. They are sometimes wrapped in plastic film as a protection against birds and insects. If the crop is thinned and the trees are given plenty of water, it is possible to produce fruits that are larger than normal.