This tree reaches up to 33 feet in height, and has twisted branches, and leathery, spatulate leaves. Its flowers are white or greenish, with dark purple stripes. The globose fruits, growing to a foot in diameter, have a smooth, fleshy green shell. In the Caribbean and Central America, where it is sometimes known as the calabash tree, it is used to ward off the evil eye.
WHERE IT CAN BE FOUND:
Caribbean, Central America, tropical South America, Florida
PROPERTIES AND USE:
Febrifuge, and used to treat whopping cough, tuberculosis, asthma, bronchitis, cough, flu, lung congestion, abscesses, mumps, earache, vomiting, slow labor, the removal of the placenta after childbirth
For all conditions, make an infusion by boiling a small handful of leaves in 1 gallon water. Strain, and allow to cool. Consume one to three cups per day. For asthma, bronchitis, cough, flu, and lung congestion, boil the inner pith of 1 mature fruit with 2 cups sugar and 2 quarts water for 30 minutes. Strain, and take by the spoonful six times per day.