English/ Common name- Sapodilla, Chiku

Local name- ಸಪೋಟ

Botanical name- Manilkara zapota

Appearance- Sapodilla is a slow-growing evergreen tree belonging to the Sapotaceae family that goes with the scientific name Manilkara zapota. The bark of the plant is rich in a white, gummy latex called chicle and leaves are alternate, elliptic to ovate, long green and glossy, bearing white blossoms that are bell-like with a six-lobed corolla. Chikoo has brown fuzzy skin and is more oval-shaped than its Central American cousins, though some develop pointed ends. The skin is inedible but serves a purpose as a kind of bowl for the sweet flesh. The flesh is off-white to a yellowish-brown color and has a soft and juicy texture. The sweet flavor of the Chikoo flesh is due to the presence of high levels of fructose and sucrose. Its texture and flavor have been compared to that of pear. Within the flesh of the Chikoo is a cavity with two to three large black seeds. The seeds are inedible and should be discarded.

Origin- Chikoo is the fruit of an evergreen tree native to Central America and grown since ancient times. Most modern cultivation of the Chikoo tree is for the purpose of harvesting ‘chicle’, a sap from its bark. In India, the tree is cultivated mainly for its fruits. Chikoo, as it is called in India, is also known as a Sapodilla in English or Zapote in Spanish. In the West Indies, it is known as the Naseberry.

Conditions required for growth- The tree usually grows to a height of more than 30m and prefers a warm and moist environment, the fruit tree is tolerant of most conditions but prefers a sunny, warm, and frost-free location in most any type of soil with good drainage.

Uses- Sapodilla is an amazing fruit blessed with skin-friendly nutrients for improving skin health and beauty. The richness of essential vitamins A, C, and B sapota rejuvenates new skin cells and locks the skin moisture from deep within. A huge array of polyphenols, flavonoids, and antioxidants averts detrimental toxins from damaging healthy skin cells, fades away wrinkles, fine lines, slows down aging, and enhances skin complexion and radiance naturally. Sapota loaded with iron and copper helps to improve iron levels and treats anemia.

Common remedies-

  • To eliminate dandruff (Part of the tree used - Fruit and its seeds, Stem ), the seeds of sapota are washed, sun-dried, and grounded into a fine powder, applied to the scalp, and wrapped over with a shower cap for 1-2 hours. Rinsed and washed well to get rid of dandruff and head lice. The concoction of the stem of sapodilla possesses potent antimicrobial properties that are also used to obliterate dandruff.


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