Saturday, March 30, 2013

All About Ramphal (Annona reticulate)



Ramphal may connote other types of fruits in the Annona family, such as custard apple and sweetsop. This entry, however, is specific to Annona reticulata, also known as bullock’s heart. An obvious difference between bullock’s heart and sugar apple or soursop is the exterior—while the sugar apple has a green bumpy surface, ramphals tend to have a smoother surface in varying colors. Some fruits are pale yellow while others are a rusty shade of pink.

Origin of Ramphal
Ramphals originate somewhere in the Caribbean—likely the West Indies—but other contenders are Central and South America. According to the 1886 book, “Origin of Cultivated Plants,” bullock’s heart was spotted growing wild in Cuba, Jamaica, St. Vincent, Barbados, and Panama. Today, the fruit’s naturalized in Southeast Asia, India, Taiwan, West Africa and Australia.


Food historian and author KT Achaya elucidates that the first mention of sitaphal—India’s moniker for the fruit—was in 1672: While in India, P. Vincenzo Marie glowingly described the taste of its smooth, custardy flesh.



Availability of Bullock’s Heart in India
Ramphals grow wild throughout India’s tropical regions: Assam in the East, West Bengal, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and throughout the lower southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The trees grow well in elevations up to 1300, but no higher. Though the fruits tolerate cold conditions reasonably well, they thrive in warmth and humidity.

Where to find Ramphal in India
Ramphal’s main fruiting season occurs from March through May, but some regions have the fruits are available year-round. Most people have an easier time finding ramphal’s close cousin, the custard apple, when it arrives the fall. However, it’s still possible to find ramphal when in season.

Ramphals seldom appear in generic produce shops. A few large metro city malls selling specialty produce may have the occasional ramphal, but it’s a greater likelihood finding them in the villages in which they grow.

Checking for Ripeness in Ramphal

In their unripe state, ramphals are hard to the touch and have shiny, pale green skin. As they ripen, the fruits feel heavy for their size and grow soft. The exterior color of ripe ramphals varies considerably: Some are pale yellowish brown, while others are a dusky purple. Others remain yellowish green, while some transform to a lovely crimson color.



Taste of Bullock’s Heart
Ramphal shares its flavor profile with sugar apple on several points: its texture is creamy yet slightly granular, especially nearest to the skin. Ramphals taste mildly sweet, like custardy bananas and vanilla.

However, the taste of bullock’s heart differs from sugar apple in a few distinct ways—first, bullock’s heart is not as sugary. Secondly, ramphal compensates for its lack of sweetness with a smoother, buttery consistency. As an added bonus, ramphals have fewer seeds. Despite these similarities, most would prefer a sugar apple if given the choice.

Ramphal’s status as a wild fruit creates great variability in its exterior color and taste. Some ramphals possess a rich, sweet taste as described above, but others have an unpalatable coarse texture, insipid flavor, and at worst, an off-putting musky taste as it nears over ripening.

Nutritional Value of Bullock’s Heart
According to the USDA nutrient database, 100g of bullock’s heart contains the following values:

101kcal
25.2g Carbohydrates (8% RDI)
2.4g Fiber (10% RDI)
.6g Fat (1% RDI)
.2g Saturated Fat (1% RDI)
1.7g Protein (3% RDI)
33IU Vitamin A (1% RDI)
19.2mg Vitamin C (32% RDI)
.1mg Thiamin (5% RDI)
.1mg Riboflavin (6% RDI)
.5mg Niacin (2% RDI)
.2mg Vitamin B6 (11% RDI)
.1mg Pantothenic Acid (1% RDI)
30mg Calcium (3% RDI)
.7mg Iron (4% RDI)
18mg Magnesium (5% RDI)
21mg Phosphorous (2% RDI)

382mg Potassium (11% RDI)



Health Benefits of Bullock’s Heart
Ramphals contain ample vitamin C, a nutrient that boosts the immune system, keeps skin healthy and assists with repairing wounds and cuts. The fruit also contains a good dose of potassium, which helps the body regulate its electrolyte balance, enhance muscle growth, and improves the body’s ability to process waste.

According to the book, “Indian Medicinal Plants,” ramphals have several traditional health benefits. The leaves act as an insecticide, styptic, antihelmintic, and, when applied externally, as a suppurant (or, aids in the elimination of pus). The ripe and unripe fruits combat dysentery; the bark is a potent astringent and vermifuge. In the Southeast Asian traditional medicine system of Unani, healers use leaves as an aphrodisiac and emmenagogue.

Just as soursop leaves have a host of health benefits, so too does ramphal’s:
--A 2012 study published in the International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences found that the leaf extracts showed potent anti-ulcer activity when tested in rats.
--A 2012 study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine found that leaf and bark extracts have anti-dermatophytic potential, thus having possible skin cosmetics applications.
--According to a 2011 study appearing in the International Journal of Research in Pharmaceutical Sciences, ramphal leaves possess anti-helmintic activities
--A 2008 report published in Food and Chemical Toxicology found that anonaine, a compound in the ramphal plant and other Annona species, possesses anticancer activities and holds great potential as a nutritional supplement for cancer chemoprevention.

--According to a 2013 study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research, Annona reticulata leaves possess a glucose-lowering effect, thus acting as an antidiabetic.

The flesh of some ramphals is tinged with pink 
How to Open/Cut
Ramphals have an uncomplicated structure—simply cut the fruit in half and scoop out the flesh out with a spoon, just as one would with a custard apple or sapota. Spit out the large shiny black seeds burrowed in the flesh. The skin is not edible and should be discarded.

Note: Because the seeds are so large, a fine sieve is not necessary to extricate the pulp. In fact, using a cheesecloth or fine sieve will most likely dilute the pulp unnecessarily.

Storage
Store ramphals at room temperature if they need time to soften. Once soft and ripe, the highly perishable fruits will keep only for a day or two. Storing the fruits in the refrigerator will only prolong its sweet flavor for another couple of days.

Once overripe, ramphals become better suited for the compost pile rather than the kitchen table: Their taste grows insipid and musky, with an unpalatable smell to match. Avoid chilling below 10C, as this will result in blackened, less sweet fruit.


It’s possible to freeze ramphal pulp, but the taste will be subdued and duller than in its fresh state.

Vegan cherimoya ice cream form
shockinglydelicious.com

Bullock’s Heart Recipe Ideas and Uses
--Make a ramphal milkshake by blending the pulp with nutmilk, cinnamon, and vanilla. Add a banana if desiring additional sweetness.
--Make a raw vegan custard pie by blending ramphal with banana and butterfruit. Serve in a crust made of ground almonds and dates.
--Make ramphal ice cream by blending the pulp and frozen bananas.

Note: As is true with sugar apples and soursop, heating destroys ramphal’s taste and texture.

Flavor Complements
Fruits: Custard apple, sugar apple, sweetsop, soursop, mabolo, durian, banana, avocado, breadfruit, banana, date, strawberry

Herbs, Spices, and Oil: coconut oil, sugar, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, vanilla, almond, walnut, cashew, pecan, chocolate

*Note: bullock’s heart is a standalone fruit—do not use too many other ingredients, as this will overwhelm the fruit’s subtle flavor.


Random Facts
Sugar apple (sitaphal), and bullock’s heart (ramphal) derive their name from the legendary Hindu mythology characters, Ram and his wife, Sita. Likewise, Lakshmanphala (Annona muricata) is named after Ram’s brother, Lakshman.

Ramphal’s reputation in the Annona family is that of the ugly duckling, as it’s deemed mediocre in comparison to other fruits in the genus.

Scientific Name
Annona reticulata
Annona humboldtiana
Annona humboldtii

Other Names
Netted custard apple
Bull’s heart
Ramphal (Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Gujarati)
Lavani, Krishnabija (Sanskrit)
Sitaphal (Manipuri)
Ramachita (Tamil)
Manilanilam (Malayalam)
Nona (Bengali)

Ramopholo (Oriya)







39 comments:

  1. Very well written..comprahensive too. Keep going.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As a sign of gratitude for how my husband was saved from dysentery pile, i decided to reach out to those still suffering from this.
      My husband was diagnosed of dysentery pile in 2013 and it was really tough and heartbreaking for me because he was my all and the symptoms were terrible, he had difficulty eating, and he always complain of stomach pain. we tried various therapies prescribed by our neurologist but none could cure him. I searched for a cure and i saw a testimony by someone who was cured and so many other with similar body problem, and he left the contact of the doctor who had the cure to dysentery pile. I never imagined dysentery pile has a cure not until i contacted him and he assured me my husband will be fine. I got the herbal medication he recommended and my husband used it and in one months he was fully okay even up till this moment he is so full of life. dysentery pile has a cure and it is a herbal cure contact the doctor for more info on drwilliams098765@gmail.com on how to get the medication. Thanks for reading my story

      Delete
  2. ditto above, Thank you... I am going to try the mix of the bullock's heart with banana to make an ice cream, will let you know how it turns out.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Took me back into my childhood memory lane. Very rare to find Ramphal in the market.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If u need I can arrange by courier call me 8885112233

      Delete
    2. If u need I can arrange by courier call me 8885112233

      Delete
    3. Pls tel me cost?? In mumbai frm whr I can buy

      Delete
    4. Plz tell me frnds how I will get it...plz tell me I really neend it

      Delete
    5. U can buy from. Vashi, Navi Mumbai fruit market. And in holsale rate.

      Delete
  4. Does any one know when we can find this fruit in and around Bangalore?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you can get it in Shivajinagar as well as in Jayanagar, Bangalore

      Delete
    2. Just bought today in Rajaji Nagar near by Bhashyam Circle

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    3. Star bazaar sells it

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  5. Hi, My aunt is suffering from cancer. I am interested in getting this fruit. Kindly let me know from where it is possible.
    Regards,
    Vinaya Joseph

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. just bought these fruits yesterday morning near lalbag bangalore.didnt know anything about them.first time iam seeing them also.thanks for the comprehensive information.

      Delete
    2. Sad to hear ... you better buy Soursop i.e. Hanuman Fal & its available in Bangalore. Search on Quicker & you will find couple of names

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    3. I am having some two plants/trees. if you are interested I can send fresh ones immediately through parcel or courier contact me at 94482 46210. the season starts now in jan 2015

      Delete
    4. Hi
      Hope your aunt has been cured of cancer. If not and she is still undergoing treatment, pls call me at 08806275448 I have a product which can help.

      Delete
    5. Hi I'm from Delhi.ramphal or hanuman phal, these are same or different? Which one is better for cancer. I would like to order.

      Delete
  6. Can any one tell me as to how to get Ramphal in Gujarat I mean any village or city as it is being produced in Gujarat as per this site.

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  7. I got this at gandi bazar.. in front of roti gar.. banglore..

    ReplyDelete
  8. is ram phal n hanuman phal are different?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Informative article...Thanks for clarifying the difference between Ramphal & sugar apple. Ramphal is used to treat Cancer...I got to know the trees are grown in Oooty in TamilNadu & I'm going to check if it is available in Shops in TamilNadu. Otherwise, I'll give it a try in Bangalore as mentioned by others above. I'll post more information as I soon as I get to know.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Morning visit Previously we would like to thank those of you who have provided very useful info

    Obat Jantung Koroner Herbal
    Kanker Prostat
    Asam Lambung
    Penyakit Jantung

    ReplyDelete
  11. Guys,
    The season is started for Ramapala its available in December & January.
    Best place to find in Bangalore is russel market Shivajinagar.
    Nowadays its also sold in carts.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hey my mother is suffering from cancer..
    Can someone send me these fruits through courier...plz reply fast

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hey my mother is suffering from cancer..
    Can someone send me these fruits through courier...plz reply fast

    ReplyDelete
  14. Can anyone please tell me what are the benefits of Ramphal leaves.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi I want to buy this fruit as soon as, in mumbai whrs available?? pls do help

    ReplyDelete
  16. are they available anywhere in Delhi or NCR? I realy want them asap. Kindly suggest.

    ReplyDelete
  17. hi,

    i just came to find out about this yesterday and this article was great!
    i am in Delhi or NCR also and would love to buy some and start eating them
    as i have breast cancer and have come to india to heal
    kindly suggest
    tania

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi I live in South Africa and I need the leaves or a plant is there any way I can get pleases help my number is 27741209344 or email me vishal.ganpath3@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. In their unripe state, ramphals are hard to the touch and have shiny, pale green skin. As they ripen, the fruits feel heavy for their size and grow soft. The exterior color of ripe ramphals varies considerably: Some are pale yellowish brown, while others are a dusky purple. Others remain yellowish green, while some transform to a lovely crimson color.

    Apple Service Center in Bangalore

    ReplyDelete
  20. Can you please mention the references for watever you have written..
    i can't find food and chemical toxicology 2008 journal..
    help me..
    please.

    ReplyDelete
  21. As a sign of gratitude for how my husband was saved from dysentery pile, i decided to reach out to those still suffering from this.
    My husband was diagnosed of dysentery pile in 2013 and it was really tough and heartbreaking for me because he was my all and the symptoms were terrible, he had difficulty eating, and he always complain of stomach pain. we tried various therapies prescribed by our neurologist but none could cure him. I searched for a cure and i saw a testimony by someone who was cured and so many other with similar body problem, and he left the contact of the doctor who had the cure to dysentery pile. I never imagined dysentery pile has a cure not until i contacted him and he assured me my husband will be fine. I got the herbal medication he recommended and my husband used it and in one months he was fully okay even up till this moment he is so full of life. dysentery pile has a cure and it is a herbal cure contact the doctor for more info on drwilliams098765@gmail.com on how to get the medication. Thanks for reading my story

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Everyone,
    What a shame to know that big medical companies have hidden natural medicines for their big profits. My mother is also suffering of cervical cancer. She is old and have declined chemo, radiation and surgery. We are trying almost everything possible / an alternate treatment. I have also heard a lot about soursop, but have never heard of its benefits and / or cure from a real patient. Today, after searching a lot, I found this fruit (soursop) in Bangalore. If anyone here knows the cure for cancer, I pray to you, please share it with the needy. Thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is an Ashram near to Sri Sri Ravishankar Ashram, ie Art of Living in Kanakapura Road, Bangalore. The Name of the Place is Yogavana Batta. Better visit there. Go by metro till Yelachahalli Station. Then pick any BMTC bus till Kaglipura, get down and hire a Auto and ask them to drop at Yogavana Betta. There they will give you herbal medicines. They charge some 8-10K for one month medicines. Visit with patient if possible or go with all reports. Regards Raj.

      Delete
  23. Hi, was anybody really cured by eating this fruit? I am looking for the feedback.

    With best regards.

    ReplyDelete