Guapinol, is a leafy tree that grows to 15 meters in height, its fruit resembles a woody vegetable that is long, flat and oblong with reddish brown colour and is indigenous to the Amazon rainforest and parts of tropical Central America. The fruit is brown with the shape of a large toe.
The shell is hard and not easy to break. The fruit is considered edible although hardly tasty; one of its common names, “stinking toe,” is used to describe the smell and taste of the fruit! In the Peruvian Amazon the tree is called azucar huayo and, in Brazil, jatobá. The bark of the tree is macerated by the Karaja Indians in Peru and Creole people in Guyana to treat diarrhoea.
The pulp can be mixed with water for a drink. In the children’s game ‘cock’ the locust seeds are fixed with a string and used to strike against one another. The durable wood of this handsome tree is used for furniture, shipbuilding, crossties and posts.
The Tree exudes a useful gum resin. A boiled liquid of the leaves and bark applied externally is useful for burns, ulcerations of the skin and to stimulate the growth of badly mistreated hair and also for treating ulcers of the mouth and womb.
A diet rich in fruits can even lower blood pressure, reduce risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar which can help keep appetite in check.
The higher the average daily intake of fruits, the lower the chances of developing cardiovascular disease. Compared with those in the lowest category of fruit and vegetable intake (less than 1.5 servings a day), those who averaged 8 or more servings a day were 30 percent less likely to have had a heart attack or stroke.