Pulasan, a fruit which is similar to and sometimes confused with the closely related rambutan, is an attractive, medium-sized tree, sometimes used as an ornamental.
The fruit is oval, 5 to 7.5 cm long, with a thick, leathery rind covered with tubercles (warty protuberances) tipped with thick, fleshy spines. Pulasan fruits are generally eaten fresh or may be made into jam.
The seeds, which contain edible oils, are sometimes roasted and boiled to make a cocoa-like beverage, a tropical evergreen tree in the Sapindaceae (soapberry family) native to and long cultivated in West Malaysia.
The flesh is less juicy than that of the rambutan. It is translucent, white, and one variety is said to be seedless.
The skin is thicker and rougher than rambutan. Other fruits in the same family are Fijian Longan, Longan and Lychee.
Pulasan can be frozen or dried and used to flavour ice cream and puddings. It can also be made into preserves, jellies and sauces.
The leaves and roots of the Pulasan tree are employed in poultices. There are two varieties in this fruit. One is dark red in colour and the other one is light red. It is sweeter than rambutan.
The Latin name is Nephelium Mutabile, but there are at least 30 other wild species of Nephelium with edible fruits.
The root decoction is administered as a febrifuge and vermifuge. The roots are boiled with Gleichenia linearis, and the decoction is used for bathing fever patients. A cocoa like beverage is prepared from boiled or roasted seeds.
It reduces the body fat, so it is good for people who are obese and for those people who are trying to lose weight and maintain a healthy body. The vitamin C content gives a great boost to the immune system.
It is needed for healing wounds, and for repairing and maintaining bones and teeth. Traditionally, the leaves and roots of the Pulasan tree are employed in poultices.