Bignay scientifically known as Antidesma bunius is a medium sized evergreen tree which is mostly found in Malaysia and Singapore. The tree is dark in colour and looks very attractive. Bignay fruit is known for its health benefits and are eaten like berries: with the skin, often a handful at a time. Bignay fruit is sweet when fully ripened, although it can very acidic and tart when unripe, similar to cranberries. Bignay, in the form of fruit and leaves, has the potential to keep the levels of blood pressure under control. Thus, it could be consumed by people suffering from hypertension to thwart off various hypertension-induced cardiovascular issues. It is rich in anti-oxidants and anti-carcinogenic properties. They can also help protect us against cardiovascular diseases.
It can be used for jam, although it may be necessary to combine bignay with another fruit that contains higher pectin content. Otherwise pectin should be added to thicken the jam. In the Philippines and Indonesia the leaves are used to add an aromatic flavour to rice and fish dishes. They are often stewed or can be eaten raw, although the leaves of this tree have a slightly leathery texture. The bignay berries are also used to make sweet and savoury sauces. It is also fermented into vinegar, wine and brandy.
Young leaves are boiled and taken as treatment for syphilitic affections. Syphilis is a common venereal disease caused by the treponema pallidum spirochete; symptoms change through progressive stages; can be congenital (transmitted through the placenta).
This small fruit has some side effects as well. Other than the fruit other parts are mostly not edible. The leaves are needed for treating Syphilis but other than that the roots can be poisonous. Even if the fruit is eaten in large quantities, it can have a laxative effect.