Karonda is native to the Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Malacca and Sri Lanka, and was introduced to Java where it now
runs wild. Carissa grandiflora is a close relation of Karonda, and this is called the Natal plum and Hedge Thorn.
The karonda fruit is an astringent, antiscorbutic and as a remedy for
biliousness and useful for cure of anaemia. In traditional medicine the fruit is used to improve female libido and to remove worms from the intestinal tract. The fruits has anti-microbial and
antifungal properties and its juice used to clean old wounds which have become infected. The fruit have an analgesic action as well as an anti-
inflammatory one. The juice can be applied to the skin to relieve any skin problems. Traditionally Karonda has been used to treat
anorexia and insanity.
A leaf decoction of Karonda is used against fever, diarrhoea, and earache. The roots serve
as a stomachic, vermifuge, remedy for itches and insect repellent.
Traditional medicinal uses of Karonda
. Traditional healers of Chhattisgarh having expertise in treatment of different types of cancer from Karonda. They use its different plant parts to dress the cancerous
wounds and to kill the maggots. To prepare the Karonda decoction, its roots, flowers, spines, leaves and fruits are mixed in equal proportion
and crushed to make an aqueous paste. This paste is applied at very initial stages. This paste is boiled in water and when half quantity
of water remains, the boiling is stopped and lukewarm decoction is used to wash the cancerous wounds. The healers claim that this decoction is having immense potential to heal the wound and make it
infection free. In many ways, it acts in more promising ways than Neem (Azadirachta indica) plant parts. Many healers boil the aqueous paste in
Sarson (Mustard seed) oil and when all watery contents evaporate, the boiling is stopped and special oil is used for wound dressing.
Side effects: Roots contain cardiac glycosides that can lower (slightly) blood pressure.
Karonda is good appetizer. Its regular in the cropping season, flushes out the intestinal worms. Karonda is used mainly used for making pickle,
for making jelly, jam, squash, syrup and chutney. Ripe fruits exude a white latex when severed from the branch. The fruits have astringent properties and have been used for tanning and dying.
The ripe fruit emits a gummy latex when it is cooked, but yields a rich red juice which clears when it is cooled, so this is used a refreshing
cooling drink in hot weather. It is also sometimes substituted for apples to make an apple tart, with cloves and sugar to flavor the fruit.
Usually the fruit is pickled before it gets ripened. Ripe Karonda fruit contains high amount of pectin therefore it is also used in making jelly, jam, squash, syrup, tarts and chutney.
The sweeter types may be eaten raw out-of-hand but the more acid ones are best stewed with plenty of sugar.
In Rajasthan karonda fruits are commonly cooked with green chillies to make a tasty dish taken with chapattis.
The Karonda tree has many uses as it is used in traditional medicine, and modern medical research has found that it has many beneficial properties.
Its leaves feed the tussar silkworm; the wood is used for making household utensils, such as large cooking
spoons, and the root can be pounded to a paste to make insect repellant. The fruits have astringent properties and have been used for tanning and
The Karonda juice can be applied to the skin to relieve any skin problems. Histamine is emitted from the bruised roots.
Traditionally Karonda has been used to treat anorexia and insanity. The
stem is used to strengthen the tendons and the leaves contain the same triterpene acids as*Lantana camara* or Yellow Sage. It has anti-pyretic activities helpful in reducing fevers.
The global markets of raw or mature Karonda fruits are the most suitable for pickle making, which is liked very much all over the India.
These can also be used for making jelly and candy. Ripe fruits can be processed into a squash, syrup or a ready to serve bottled drink. They can also be dried.
Karonda fruit jelly, jam, squash, syrup and chutney are of great demand in the international market. The commercial preparation of jelly, jam, squash, syrup and chutney are
made for domestic use and export by food processing companies.
A research study was conducted to investigate anticonvulsant effect of root extract
of Karonda (Carissa carandas). The results suggested that ethanolic extract of karanda root helped reduce the duration of
seizures produced by maximal electroshock and delayed the latency of chemically induced seizures.[Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, April 2009]
Modern medical research has shown that eating the fruit can lower cholesterol levels and the new lignans that have been found in the fruit are being investigated. A 2011 study published in the
"Journal of Ethnopharmacology" shows that karonda root extract has potent wound healing
According to another 2011 study published in the "Journal of
Ethnopharmacology", karonda stem has cytotoxic and
pro-apoptotic activities when tested against human leukemia cell lines.
Another 2011 study published in the "Journal of
Ethnopharmacology" affirms the traditional use among Indian healers of using karonda as a
treatment for diabetes.
1. C.S.I.R. Government of India, Wealth of India
2. Cramer. Von.J. 1968 Dictionary of Economic Plants
3. Maheshwari. P and Singh. Umrao. 1965 Dictionary of Economic Plants of India
4. K.L. Noatay (2004), "Karonda, the pickle berry"
Shashi K. Sharma and S.D. Badiyala (2002), "Karonda, fruit plant for marginal lands"
6. Khare CP. Indian Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated Dictionary Springer Berlin
7. Lim TK. Edible Medicinal and Non-Medicinal Plants; Volume 1, Fruits Springer Berlin
8. Morton, J. 1987. Karanda. In: Fruits of warm climates. Julia F. Morton, Miami, FL
9. Siddiqui BS, Ghani U, Ali ST, Usmani SB, Begum S. Triterpenoidal constituents of the leaves of Carissa carandas. Natural Product Research. 2003
To prepare the Karaunde ki chutney, firstly cut the karondas into two halves, split and remove its seeds. Grind the seedless karondas, salt, mirchi (red chilies), jeera (cumin seeds) and dhania (fresh coriander
leaves) together finely. If the consistency of the chutney is too thick, add some water. Finally add lemon juice and mix well.
For recipe use the following ingrediant:
250 gm. karonda fruits, 1 tsp. chilli powder, 1 tsp. turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp. kalonji, 60 gm. salt, 50 gm. green chillies, 1 tbs. large Saunf or
fennel powder, 25 gm crushed rai or mustard seeds, 1/2 cup mustard oil (heated until smoking and then cooled) and 1/2 tsp. Garam Masala.
Procedure - Wash Karonda fruits and slit into half and remove its seeds. Place karondas and green chillies in a bowl and add
the above ingredients. Mix well and fill the mixture in jars. Place the jar in sunlight for 1 week.
The Karonda fruits are washed thoroughly in water. After washing it is cut into small pieces. These pieces are boiled in water. After 5 minutes, water is drained and pieces are kept in sun light for drying upto 10 minutes.
Mix Tel (Oil), Masala (Spices), Namak (Salt) with the pieces and mixture is kept in a glass jar. Add warm oil in the
glass jar. This Aachar can be served with meals. It can be used up to long time.