Elephant apple (Dillenia indica) is commonly known as Elephant apple has been used traditionally to cure various ailments. Traditionally the juices of leaves, bark, and leaves are mixed, and given orally for the treatment of cancer and diarrhea in the tribal areas of Mizoram, India.13 The leaves and bark are used as a laxative and astringent. The leaves extract has also shown antioxidant activity in vitro.14 Chemical investigation of the plant evolved pentacyclic triterpene lactone,15 dihydro-isorhamnetin, dillenetin,16lupeol, betulinaldehyde, betulinic acid and Stigmasterol.17 Kaur et al, 2016 isolated a new chromane (3,5,7-trihydroxy-2-(4-hydroxybenzyl)-chroman-4-one) moiety from alcoholic extract of D. indica and evaluated its antioxidant and antidiabetic potential.18 D. indica is a medicinal plant used for treating diabetes mellitus and related symptoms.19 The present study aims to explore beneficial effects of alcohol and hydro-alcohol extract of D. indica in DN along with the examination of AGEs expression in kidneys. Also keeping in mind the importance of betulinic acid, its quantification in the plant extract has also been carried out using HPLC, as betulinic acid has manifested large number of biological activities including anti-inflammatory,20 anti-leukemic activities, antioxidant and antidiabetic activity etc.21
Nutritional Value of Elephant Apple
The nutritional value per 100g of edible elephant apple flesh is:
- Protein – 8 %
- Fat – 2-2.5%
- Fiber – 2.1-2.5%
- Ash – 3.54%
- Calcium – 16 mg
- Phosphorous -26 mg
- Ascorbic Acid – 4 mg
Chemical constituents of Elephant Apple
- Chief contents of the fleshy sepals are tannins, malic acid, arabinogalactan and glucose. They also contain an arabinogalactan, betulin, betulinic acid and flavonoids.
- Bark and wood contain flavonoids, betulin, betulinic acid, betulinaldehyde, lupeol, β-sitosterol, myricetinhydroxy-lactone, dihydroisorhamneti, dillentin and glucosides.
- Leaves contain flavones, cycloartenone, betulinic acid, n-hentriacontanol and β-sitosterol.
- Stem bark contains betulinaldehyde, betulin, lupeol, β-sitosterol, myricetin, a new hydroxylactone, dihydro-isorrhamnetin, dillentin and glucosides.
Constituents of Elephant Apple
- Fruit is very watery, 86.4% water, with 10% insoluble matter, and very little of that is nutritious.
- Calyces of the fresh ripe fruit yields: moisture 86.40%, alcohlic extract 3.0 %, water extract 0.37%, and insolubles 10.23%.
- Composition of an alcoholic extract was: Moisture 8.20, tannin 1.40, glucose 12.15, mallic acid 2.21, petroleum ether solubles (fats, etc.) 0.72, albuminoids 0.85, ash 12.63, and pectous matter etc., 61.84.
- Kernel of D. indica yielded antioxidant compounds 1-Dotriacontano and BHT
Health Benefits of Elephant Apple
- Lower Blood Pressure – In case you are tired of eating bananas just to keep your blood pressure in normal range due to its potassium content, Elephant apple is one of the best alternatives. With these exotic treats, it can be easier to keep high blood pressure at bay.
- Good for Eye Health – Elephant apples are good sources of vitamin A, nutrient known to keep the eyes healthy. Eye experts say that there are a number of eye issues that can actually lead to vision loss, and, most of them can be cured by outstanding diet that’s rich in vitamin A. Regular used of Elephant apple is considered quite beneficial for taking good care of your eyes.
- Fights Infections – Elephant apples consist of good amount of vitamin C. We all know that vitamin C is very important for maintaining a strong immune system. If you are susceptible to have flu, cold or any other type of infection, then frequent use of vitamin C-rich fruits like elephant apples can work to your utmost advantage. Use it frequently.
- Delayed Aging – Vitamin C is also extremely beneficial for people who want to look young. It is the fact that Vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen, which is a type of protein that helps to make skin firm so that it can become less vulnerable to wrinkling. Furthermore, vitamin C is an antioxidant that fights off free radicals that quicken skin aging.
- Constant Energy Levels – Elephant apples contain abundant amounts of B vitamins. If you feel weak quite easily, then consuming these fruits can help you in making you more energetic. Similarly, B vitamins are not only energy generators. They are also significant for keeping your brain and nerve cells in an excellent condition.
- Improved RBC Count – Iron can also be found abundantly in Elephant apples. Thus it is recommended to consume elephant apple on a regular basis by those who are suffering from iron-deficiency anemia. Regular use of Elephant apples can also help in flushing out impurities and toxic substances in the bloodstream.
- Protects Kidney – Elephant Apple is remarkably exclusive in stimulant and safe framework. This organic product helps to secure the kidneys reliably. Antiquated Indian researchers make use of elephant apple as the best typical medicine to expel kidney issues. It is likewise lucrative for liver and heart.
- Cure stomach related problems – As we all know that tannin-containing substances are quite beneficial for endless loose bowels and stomach torment. Elephant Apple blends the bark of the tree along with nectar and plays an important role for such stomach issues. This natural product extracts fills in as a preventive prescription for cholera and many more.
- Elephant apple is broadly used because of its medicinal values. Its barks and leaves are used as a laxative and astringent. Fruit juice is also used as a cough mixture and a cooling beverage for toning up the nervous system.
- In Ayurveda, Elephant apple is considered as a ‘vat’ suppressant, ‘pitta’ supplementing drug.
- Fruit juice, when mixed with sugar and water, can be used as a cooling beverage for fevers and cough mixture.
- Leaf, fruit, and bark of the plant are used in the indigenous system of medicine.
- It helps to relieve abdominal pain and controls the heat in the body.
- Fruit also helps to tone up the nervous system and take out fatigue.
- Fruit juice is commonly used as a cardiotonic.
- The bruised bark can also be used as a cataplasm for patients with arthritis.
- Alcoholic extract of the Elephant apple leaves is considered to have a central nervous system (CNS) depressant activity.
- The plant is aphrodisiac and normally promotes virility.
- Fruit is sweet, acidic, astringent, removes bile, phlegm, fetid and flatulence.
- Green fruit is acidic, pungent, hot, removes wind, phlegm, but the ripe fruit is sweet, sour, appetizing and beneficial in colic associated with mucus.
- A decoction of the plant can also be used as a widespread antidote for poison.
- Juice from fruit can also be consumed as a treatment of heart-related diseases.
- In the tribal areas of Mizoram, juices from leaves bark and fruits are combined and given orally for the treatment of cancer and diarrhea.
- Fruit is kept beneath the bed for prevention of smallpox and cholera in Assam.
- Assamese people use the fruit as a natural pesticide during paddy farming.
- Boda’s people use the fruit to cure stomach related disorders.
- Fruits are used for curing hair fall and dandruff by Manipuri people.
- Rajbongshis applied mucilage on wounds and burns.
- Fruits are consumed to combat weakness by Mikir people.
- A decoction of fruit is used as anti-dandruff and applied on head to check frequent hair fall. Fruit is also eaten to combat weakness.
- Decoction of fruit is used to remove dandruff.
- Small piece of leaf is consumed in the treatment of dysentery.
- Root is used as prophylactic for cholera.
- Roots are also one of the main ingredients of a paste used in the treatment of burning sensation in the chest.
- Its bark is used therapeutically to treat the infection of the mouth.