Santol fruit (Sandoricum koetjape) is an exotic fruit, native to Indochina and Malayan Peninsula. Now it’s widely cultivated in warm tropical countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Phillipines, tropical Africa, Mexico, dan tropical Central and South America. In Indonesia, it’s called wild mangosteen, kecapi, or sentul. The fruit is round, about the size of an apple, with edible sweet-and-sour white pulp inside like mangosteen, but thicker and velvety skin; hence the name “wild mangosteen.”
Meanwhile, there are 2 types of santol fruit, the yellow and red varieties. The fruit from the red variety has the color of a ripe peach.The fruit from yellow variety is much paler with the mix of pale yellow and a bit greenish color. The red variety is more common. The fruits will fall when they are ripe.
Nutritional Value of Santol Fruit
It is wildly known that Santol has many health benefits from it’s leaves, fruit skin, and barks. People from Indochina, Malaysia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka use the plant as traditional medicine.
Let’s take a look of nutrional value for 100 grams of santol fruit below:
Amount per 100 g
% Daily Value
Thiamin (vit B1)
|Niacin (vit B3)|
Daily Value is based on 2000 Calories diet. Your may need more or less calories according to your age, gender, health status, and your daily activities.
Beside the nutritional compounds above, santol fruit also contains high antioxidant. Our body needs plenty of antioxidants to fight free radicals obtained from air, foods, and our body’s waste products. Antioxidants are also known to fight early aging and cancers. Meanwhile, santol fruits are also full of pectin, a dietary fiber that is also found in apples. Pectin gives plenty of health benefits, this is the health benefits of santol fruit.
1. Prevent Cancers
As mentioned above, santol fruit contains plenty of antioxidants that can prevent growth of cancer cells. In one study, rats with mammary tumors were given extracts from whole santol fruits everyday, and after some time, the number and size of the tumors were much reduced. More recent study was able to isolate a new ring-A secotriterpene and koetjapic acid. The 2 compounds exhibited cytotoxic activity against cancer cells.
2. Maintain Healthy Teeth
Just like apples, biting and chewing santol fruits stimulates salivary glands to produce more saliva, thus reducing dental caries by lowering the number of mouth bacteria.
Related: Benefits of Chewing Gums
3. Reduce Bad Cholesterol (LDL)
Santol fruit contain pectins, a soluble fiber. Pectin, along with good cholesterol (HDL) will bind with bad cholesterol (LDL) in intestines, preventing the fats to be absorbed into our circulatory system. High level of LDL contributes to hypertension, stroke, and heart disease.
Related: Foods That Lower Cholesterol Level
4. Control Body Weight
Santol fruits contain both soluble and insoluble fibers. Foods that are rich in fiber can fill us up and help us feel full longer. It makes our food cravings lower, while improving our overall health with all nutritional compounds it has. Many health problems are related to obesity, such as cardiomyopathy, stroke, hypertension, diabetes hormonal disorders and sleep disorder.
5. Immune System Booster
Santol fruits contain quercetin, an antioxidant that can help boost our immune system. Quercetin is a flavonoid that can be found in most of vegetables and fruits. It is believed to promote prevention and treatment of cancer, but it still needs more research about relationship between quercetin and cancer.
Since antioxidants are needed in our body, it dosn’t hurt to consume quercetin, including the one that is contained in santol fruits. Our body needs antioxidant to prevent cell damage and to keep the cells grow normally. Vitamin C contained in these fruits also boosts our stamina.
6. Prevent Anemia
Anemia is a condition of lacking healthy red blood cells. Santol fruits contain iron, a very important mineral for producing red blood cells. These fruits also contain vitamin C. Vitamin C is known to help the instestines absorb iron effectively.
7. Prevent Alzheimer
A new study reported that drinking santol juice regularly can keep Alzheimer away, thanks to high antioxidants contained in this fruit. The antioxidants can fight the aging process of the brain.
Related: Prevent Alzheimer and Dementia
8. Treatment of Diarrhea and Constipation
Santol fruits contain fiber that can help defecation process. Fibers can either pull water from out of our colon or absorb excess water from our stool to keep our stool in soft consistency. This makes defecating process much easier.
Related: How to Prevent Diarrhea
10. Prevent Haemorrhoids
Normally, haemarrhoids are vascular structures in the anal canal, they help controlling the stool. It becomes disease when they are swollen, inflamed, bleed and thrombosis. Vitamin C in santol fruits helps promoting healthy endothel in blood vessels. The fibers help keep the stool in soft consistency. When the stool is soft, we don’t need to strain in defecating process. Constant straining during defecating process is known to make thromboses haemorroids. The increase of abdomen pressure during defecating process will make the blood can’t circulate normally around the lower abdomen, then thromboses will be formed.
11. Prevent Diabetes
This fruit is good for diabetic people. Santol fruits are rich in fiber and have a low gycemic index. The fiber slows down foods digestion, thus reducing the absorpsion of sugar into blood. This effect will regulates blood sugar level. This is good for controlling body weight too.
12. Termite Repellent and Insecticide
We can use the bark extract of santol tree to repel termites, the quality is the same as commercial products. But the killing effect is not quick, we need to apply the extract daily for a few day. Since it is a natural insecticide,it is environmentally friendly, organic, no unpleasant odors, and doesn’t contain dangerous chemicals.
13. Mosquito Repellent
There was a study in the Phillipines about how to convert santol stalks into mosquito coils. The study was successful to make santol mosquito coils. The product has no side effects to human and animals. The santol mosquito coils successfully repel the mosquitoes, thus reducing the number of malaria, dengue fever, and any mosquito diseases that happen frequently in tropical countries.
14. Bone Health
Calcium and phosphorus in this fruit helps maintain density of bones and teeth, thus preventing osteoporosis and maintaining strong enamel in teeth.
Santol Fruit for Beauty Treatment
15. Keep Skin Health
Vitamin C that is also contained in santol fruits promotes production of colagen. Collagen is one of important compounds in connective tissues, including the skin.
16. Delay Aging Process
High production of collagen makes our skin look youthful and tight. Vitamin C is also known as an antioxidants along with carotenes and quercetin contained in the fruits. Routine consumption can heal minor inflamations that make our skin wrinkle. Vitamin C also prevents scurvy.
17. Anti-fungal Activity
The bark of santol tree contains sapogenin, a slightly toxic alkaloid. Sapogenin is also a natural steroid, which is good to treat ringworm and other topical fungal disease. The bark is made into powder, then applied to the affected skin. Santol leaves can also be mashed and then applied to skin rush and irritation.
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Santol Fruit for Female Organs
Santol fruits contains Sandorinic acid and Bryonotic acid. Both of this compounds are good agents for preventing and treating allergies. If you have allergies, you can eat some santol fruits regularly.
19. Treating Leucorrhea and Other Vaginal Infections
For vagina infection, the bark is boiled, then the water is used to wash the vulva and vagina daily.
20. Tonic after childbirth
People in Malaysia use the water of boiled santol bark as a tonic after childbirth, to restore systems of the body.
Santol has many great benefits. It is also safe for diabetic people as it has low glycemic index. The whole santol tree also has many great benefits. The sweet-and-sour taste of santol fruit is very tasty and refreshing. If you live in a tropical country, or you are travelling to a tropical country, try to find this fruit, and start to consume it now, because it makes you healthier. You can enjoy santol fruits in many ways: just enjoy it as a fruit, mix the pulp in a Thai salad, make the pulp into juice or jam, even making alcoholic beverage from fermentation of the pulp.
Santol Tree Facts
Santol tree needs 5 years to start producing its highly nutritious fruits. After the first harvest, the tree will produce plenty of fruits all year round. The tree can grow rapidly into 30 meter high. The quality of santol wood is very good for making furnitures. With the rapid growth, it can be a sustainable wood supply. People from Phillipines use the bark to dye their fishnets. As a result, there are many health benefits of santol fruit.
How to Consume
The easiest way to consume santol fruits are eating the edible fresh white pulps. You can eat them just like that, or mix in in salads like Thai people do. The pulps can also be made into jam, syrups, even liquors. Be careful of the brown seeds though. One thing that should be a concern is the seeds. Since the seeds are poisonous and there are plenty cases of obstruction and perforation of the intestines caused by swallowing the whole seed, make sure you throw away the seeds when you are eating the pulp. Doctors in Thailand and Phillipines always warn people not to swallow the whole seeds, as it often results in obstruction and perforation of the intestines.