Claim: Snot apple (goron tula) can be used to treat infection, diabetes, infertility, cough, ulcer and other illnesses.
Snot apple (goron tula) has medicinal functions used to cure some illnesses but there is no research to affirm it cures all the listed illnesses.
In Africa a lot of illnesses are treated with herbs and fruits believed to cure them. While some may be true, others are not.
A Facebook user posted that goron tula could be used to cure infection, ulcer, diabetes, cough, infertility and other illnesses.
Screenshot of the Facebook claim.
This multipurpose cure seemed too good to be true, prompting us to look into the claim.
But first, we looked at what an infection is. An infection occurs when a microorganism enters a person’s body and causes harm.
The microorganism uses that person’s body to sustain itself, reproduce, and colonize. These infectious microscopic organisms are known as pathogens; they can multiply quickly. Examples of pathogens include bacteria,viruses, and fungi.
Diabetes on the other hand is a “chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar.
Dubawa researched this Snot apple and it’s properties to find out why it is believed to be a miracle fruit.
Snot apple (goron tula)
Snot apple (goron tula), although relatively unknown by many, is considered a ‘miracle fruit’ by those who know it for its many health benefits.
It is known by different names; tree hibiscus, Azanza, snot apple in English language, goron tula in Hausa etc. It is found in the northern part of Nigeria.
It is sweet and chewy as well; hence it is also called “African Chewing Gum” fruit.”
The fruit is widely cultivated in Gombe State and Adamawa State in Nigeria. Its botanical name is azanza garckeana.
Properties of snot apple (goron tula)
Phytochemical composition of Azanza garckeana (goron tula) shows that it comprises Tannin 0.22%,Saponin 1.72%, Alkaloids 3.7%, Flavonoids 1.0%, Phenol 2.60%, Cyanogenic glucosides 0.33ug/g and Carotenoids 3.40%.
These nutrient are important due to their medicinal,nutritional, and genetic functions and have been linked to be involved with anti bacterial and antiviral activities.
Dubawa also went ahead to find studies related to this fruit and its potency.
One study titled- effects of chemicals extracted from Azanza garckeana Mansonone E, C, G and H displayed antifungal activity against P. parasitica, with Mansonone E showing the highest activity. Also, the study suggests potential Mansonone E as a new natural pesticide for agricultural plant pathogen management.
“The plant has antifertility/contraceptive properties: Antioxidant properties, Antiparasitic properties, Antivirus properties, Antimicrobial properties, Plasma cholesterol reduction”.
The study noted that different pharmacological activities of the chemicals from the plant justify the use of snot apple (goron tula) to treat various diseases and health conditions, especially sexually related problems, as exposed by different researchers. It also added that the use of the plant for further research may help to lead even to new drug discovery.
Dubawa spoke to doctor Jemimah Abner, who said fruits are very helpful in treating illnesses.
“There are a lot of publications that give us a picture of some of the chemical substances available in the snot apple. It appears to have good medicinal functions that include antibacterial, antifungal, antihyperglycemic, antimalarial, antioxidant and iron absorption activities.
Abner added that,” the fruit has been recommended by nutritionists because of their health benefits as they are considered to be responsible for positive health outcomes.”
Generally, intake of natural foods and fruits is strongly encouraged compared to intake of some drugs.
Even drugs cannot substitute for endowed foods and fruits, she said.
Abner further added, “However, deeper research would need to be conducted. There should be experimental animal studies, randomized clinical trials, and target-organ toxicity studies involving snot apple and its derivatives. It will be important to investigate the isolation of the bioactive compounds, mechanisms of action and safety of such bioactive compounds.”
Speaking to Dr Jerry Agim, a gynecologist, he said “One fruit cannot possibly help with all the diseases and illnesses named here. Certainly not. But research should be carried out.”
Although the plant has been said to have medicinal functions, the claim calls for further research to be able to ascertain all the illnesses it works for.