Santol (Sandoricum koetjape) is a tropical fruit grown in Southeast Asia. There are two varieties of santol fruit, previously considered two different species, the yellow variety and the red. The difference is in the colour that the older leaves turn before falling. The red appears to be more common and the reddish leaves mixed with the green ones add to the distinction and attractiveness of the tree. Several parts of the santol plant have anti-inflammatory properties. They are used for the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery.
Like most other tropical fruit, santol contains vitamins and minerals that boost our body’s immunity. It is rich in Vitamins B and C, which, respectively, promotes proper cell metabolism, and strengthens and protects the immune system against cardiovascular diseases. It also contains fair amounts of carbohydrates, iron, fiber, and phosphorus.
The fruit is usually consumed raw without peeling. In India, it is eaten with spices. With the seeds removed, it is made into jam or jelly. The very important thing to remember here is to never eat the seed of it. It is not edible and may be dangerous to the intestines. Santol fruit is packed with a number of health benefits, it won’t replace your toothbrush, but biting and chewing on this lovely fruit stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth, reducing tooth decay by lowering the levels of bacteria. Whether you can’t go to the bathroom or you just can’t stop, fiber found in santols can help. Fiber can either pull water out of your colon to keep things moving along when you’re backed up, or absorb excess water from your stool to slow your bowels down.
The bitter bark of the santol tree which contains a slightly toxic alkaloid and a steroidal sapogenin, has a good reputation for the treatment of ringworm, a common fungal infection of the skin. The bark is powdered and applied to the affected skin. This might be considered traditional especially in the Philippines rural cultures but it has scientific backing.