Poha is also known as golden berry in many English-speaking countries and is native to Brazil. Cape gooseberry as it is also known is a berry which looks like a marble with a small round shape. The fruit consists of numerous small yellow seeds.
The fruit looks orange or yellowish in colour and becomes bright yellow and sweet when ripe. It is enriched in vitamins A, C and B-complex namely (thiamine, niacin, and vitamin B12).
The fruit also contains higher amount of vitamin C than the orange, the riper the fruit, the higher the concentration of beta carotene.
The Cape gooseberry plant is usually about 2 to 3 feet tall but can grow up to 6 feet in height. The branches are ribbed, have a purplish tinge to them and are covered with fine hairs.
The berries are enclosed in individual paper thin bladder like coverings and appear like tiny lanterns hanging from the stems. The fruit tastes sweet but has a slight tart taste to it too.
A fruit that has anti-asthmatic, anti-spasmodic, anti-septic, anti-helmintic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti ulcer therapeutic properties.
The Vitamin A keeps the vision strong, prevents the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration and maintains skin health.
The leaf decoction is used as a diuretic and anti-asthmatic. It reduces cholesterol, regulates blood pressure levels, and treats throat infections.
The ripe Cape gooseberry fruits are extremely nutritious and delicious, but the unripe Cape gooseberry fruits are poisonous, and can even cause death.
The fruit is very low in calorie content, the husk of cape gooseberries and the leaves are also used in cooking.
Reports say that consumption of unripe cape gooseberries have resulted in many diseases among the local people of the areas where cape gooseberries are cultivated.
It is advisable to avoid consumption of Cape gooseberry if someone is allergic to cherries or berries.