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Family Sapotaceae
Pouteria caimito (Ruiz & Pav.) Radik.

Scientific names Common names
Achras caimito Ruiz & Pav. Abiu (Tag.)
Achras guapeda Casar. Caimo (Engl.)
Caleatia caimito (Ruiz & Pav.) Mart.ex Steud   [Invalid] Egg fruit (Engl.)
Guapeba caimito (Ruiz & Pav.) Pierre Yellow star apple (Engl.)
Guapeba lasiocarpa (Mart.) Pierre  
Guapeba laurifolia Gomes  
Guapebeira brasilinesis Steud.  
Guapebeira laurifolia Steud.  
Labatia caimito (Ruiz & Pav.) Mart.  
Labatia lasiocarpa Mart.  
Labatia reticulata Mart.  
Lucuma caimito (Ruiz & Pav.) Roem. & Schult.  
Lucuma lasiocarpa (Mart.) A.DC.  
Lucuma laurifolia Gomes) A.DC.  
Lucuma temare Kunth  
Lucuma ternata Kunth  
Pouteria caimito (Ruiz & Pav.) Radlk.  
Pouteria lasiocarpa (Mart.) Radlk.  
Pouteria laurifolia (Gomes.) Radlk.  
Pouteria leucophaea Baehni.  
Pouteria temare (Kunth) Aubrev.  
Richardella temare (Kunth) Pierre  
Pouteria caimito (Ruiz & Pav.) Radlk. is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
ECUADOR: Luma, Cauje.
GHANA: Alasa.
PORTUGUESE: Abi, Abieiro, Abiu, Abiurana, Camiteiro.
SPANISH: Caimito, Caimo, Cauje, Madura verde.
TRINIDAD: Caimitt.

Abiu is an evergreen tree with a dense crown that grows to a height of 6 to 24 meters; in favorable conditions, as high as 35 meters. Leaves are elliptic to oblong, varying in size from 10 to 20 centimeters in length, 3.5 to 65 centimeters in width. Fruits vary in shape, from spherical to oval; vivid yellow when ripe, containing one to four ovate seeds. Seeds are covered by a thin layer of pulp. Flesh of the fruit is transluscent, with a creamy or custard-like texture, with a flavor hinting of rambutan. Not fully ripe fruits yield a latex that stick to lips. Flowers are hermaphroditic, arising singly or in clusters from leaf axils, borne by slender, elongated shoots. Petals are small, four to five, cylindrical, white to greenish in color. Flowers blossom in the morning and staying open for about two days.

- Recently introduced.
- Widely distributed throughout Latin America.

- Nutrition analysis per 100 g of edible portion yielded: energy 140 cal (588 kJ), protein 1.8 g, fat 0.4 g, carbohydrate 36.3 g, fiber 0.9 g, ash 0.9 g, calcium 22 mg, iron 1 mg, niacin 34 mg, phosphorus 41 mg, riboflavin 0.02 mg, thiamin 0.02 mg, niacin 3.4 mg, vitamin C 43 mg, vitamin A 130 mg, lysine 316 mg, methionine 178 mg, threonine 219 mg, tryptophan 57 mg. (7)
- Oil components of fruit yielded α-copaene (27.7%) as dominant component, with hexadecy acetate (19.0%), and palmitic acid (12.4%). (7)
- Bark extract yielded taraxerol and ß-sitosterol. (7)
- Benzoic extract of fruit revealed the presence of lupeol, a-amyrin, erythrodiol and the rare tetracyclic triterpene Dammaremdiol II. (5)

- Latex hardens on exposure to air.
- Considered antidiarrheal, febrifuge, anti-inflammatory.
- Studies suggest antioxidant and antidiabetic properties.

Parts used
Fruit, latex, leaves.


- The fruit has limited commercial value as it is commonly damaged by small insects (bichos in Spanish and Portuguese). In Brazil, the chief pests are fruit flies. (Fruits are picked while underripe and firm for transport in markets.) (8)
- In Columbia, people who eat the fruit raw and out of hand are advised to grease their lips to prevent the gummy latex from sticking to them. (8)
- Fruit used in ice cream, sherbets, and fruit salads.
- No reported medicinal use in the Philippines.
- In Brazil, fruit used for treating coughs, colds, bronchitis, and various pulmonary disorders.
- Latex used for diarrhea and fever; applied to abscesses. (7) Also used as vermifuge. (8)
- Used as astringent, anti-inflammatory, anti-anemic, febrifuge, and anti-diarrheal.
- Wood: Wood is durable and straight-grained; used for construction.

Radical Scavenging Activity / Leaves:
Study evaluated various extracts of leaves of Pouteria caimito for radical scavenging activity. The aqueous extract showed the highest total phenol and proanthocyanidin contents (173.6 µg/mL) and highest radical scavenging activity (ED50=38.1 µg/mL. A hexane extract yielded spinasterol. There was a high correlation between total phenolic and proantocyanidin content and radical scavenging activity. (1)
α-Amylase and α-Glucosidase Inhibitory Activity / Antidiabetic Potential: In a study of several Brazilian plant cerrado species. Pouteria caimito was one of five plant extracts that showed strong α-amylase (IC50=13.6 µg/mL) and α-glucosidase in (IC50=2.50 µg/mL) inhibitory activity. (6)
Antimicrobial / Antidiarrheal / Fruit Peel: Study evaluated the antimicrobial and antidiarrheal activity of fruit peel extract of Pouteria caimito. In a mice using modulation models of defecation, cathartic agent induced diarrhea and stimulated intestinal transit. The crude extract and ethyl acetate fraction showed satisfactory action against most of the strains evaluated except for Streptotoccus faecalis and Salmonella typhi. The extract did not present any measurable antidiarrheal activity but more possible a laxative effect. (9)
Cytotoxicity Against Prostate Cancer Cell Lines / Leaves: Study evaluated crude ethanolic extract of P. caimito leases and hexane extract of P. ramiflora i PC3 and LNCap human prostate adenocarcinoma cells. The ethanolic extract of P. caimito showed dose-dependent cytotoxic effect in PC3 cells (>50%) with a statistically significant inhibitory effect on the cell cycle. (10)


Updated May 2020
October 2017

                                                  PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Potential radical - scavenging activity of Pouteria caimito leaves extracts / Cecilia Vilela França, João Paulo Silvério Perfeito, Inês Sabioni Resck , Sueli Maria Gomes, Christopher William Fagg, Carlos Frederico Souza Castro, Luiz Alberto Simeoni, Dâmaris Silveira / Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science, July 2016 ; 6(07). pp 184-188 / DOI: 10.7324//JJAPS..22016.60727
Sorting Pouteria names / /Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 - 2020 / A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The University of Melbourne. Australia.
Pouteria caimito / Useful Tropical Plants
Pouteria caimito / Synonyms / The Plant List
TRITERPENES FROM POUTERIA CAIMITO / R. Pellicciari, A. Ardon, V. Bellavita / Planta Med 1972; 22(6): pp 196-200 / DOI: 10.1055/s-0028-1099603
Inhibitory activity of α-amylase and α-glucosidase by plant extracts from the Brazilian cerrado. / Luiz Alberto Simeoni, Elton Clementino Silva, Damaris Silveira / Planta Med 2012 Mar 1;78(4):393-9
Edible Medicinal and Non-Medicinal Plants: Vol 6, Fruits / T K Lim / Google Books
Abiu-Pouteria caimito / Morton, J. 1987. Abiu. p. 406–408. In: Fruits of warm climates. Julia F. Morton, Miami, FL. / Hort.Purdue.Edu
Antimicrobial and Antidiarrheal Activities of Methanolic Fruit Peel Extract of Pouteria caimito / Abreu M M, Nobrega P De A, Sales P F, Oliveira F R De, Nascimento A A / Pharmacognosy Journal, 2019; 11(5): pp 944-950 / DOI:10.5530/pj.2019.11.150
Cytotoxic activity of plant extracts from Brazilian biome in prostate cancer cell lines / Sarah Cardoso, Matheus Andrade, Vinicius Cunha, Cristian Silva, Patrícia Rodrigues, Mayra Leão, Christopher Fagg, Eliete Guerra, Francisco Neves, Luiz Simeoni, Dâmaris Silveira & Adriana Lofrano-Porto / / Endocrine Abstracts, 2017; 49: EP807 / DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.49.EP807

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants

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