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Karonda (Carissa carandas)

  Common Name
  Karonda tree
  Chemical Constituents
  Karonda tree
  Karonda other uses
  Karonda Benefits
  Recent research


    Karonda (Carissa carandas)

  Karonda or Carissa carandas (करोंदा) is found in throughout India mainly in the semi-arid regions. Karonda tree is widely cultivated in the home gardens, farmer’s fields and orchards as hedge plant. Karonda tree produces berry sized fruits commonly used as a condiment or additive to Indian pickles and spices. It is a very hardy, drought-tolerant plant that thrives well in a wide range of soils.

  Common Name

  Hindi -             Karonda (करोंदा)
  English -         Karonda, Cranberry
  Latin  -            Carissa carandas
  Family Name- Apocynaceae
  Sanskrit -        Karonda,  Karmard
  Tamil    -         Kalakai
  Telgu       -      Vakkay, Peddakalavi 
  Malayalam-     Karakka  
  Kannada    -     Karjige
   Gujarati     -    Karamdaa
  Marathi    -   : Karvinda
  Bengali    -     Karamcha


  Karonda tree

  Karonda (Carissa carandas)  is an evergreen deciduous  small to big shrub usually 2-4 m tall . The stem is rich in white latex and the branches contain sharp spines . Flowers are small, measuring 3-5 cm in diameter, with white colour. The fruit is a berry, which is formed in clusters of 3-10 fruits. The fruit is globose to broad ovoid in shape and contains many seeds. Young fruits are pinkish white and become red to dark purple when ripe. Ripe fruit color vary from white, green and pinkish red depending on the genotype. Flowering starts in the month of January-February and fruits mature in May-June. Fruits are generally harvested at immature stage for vegetable purpose, fully ripen fruits are consumed fresh or processed.     

  Leaves:  The leaves are oblong and conical, 4-6 inch long and 2-3 inch wide, green on the top and brown below.

  Flowers : White or yellowish flowers are found in groups.

  Fruit: The are avoid with 5-1 hard angles curving upwards, glabrous with five to seven wings, woody and fibrous.

  Bark: The bark is smooth gray. The bark is thick, soft and of red color from inside

  Chemical Constituents

  The karonda fruit is a rich source of iron and contains a fair amount of Vitamin C.  Many terpenoids , a mixture of sesquiterpenes namely carissone and carindone as a novel type of C31 terpenoid have been reported. Other products include pentacyclic triterpenoid carissin


  Karaunda is a very hardly and drought tolerant plant, it thrives well throughout the tropical and subtropical climates. Heavy rainfall and waterlogged conditions are not desirable. It can be grown on a wide range of soils including saline and sodic soils.
  Karaunda is commonly grown from seeds. Vegetative methods—air-layering and stem (hard wood) cuttings are feasible but not very common. Fresh seeds are sown in nursery during august –September. One- year old seedlings are transplanted. Air- layering is very successful in karaunda. It can be performed in the beginning of the monsoon. Rooted layers can be separated 3 months after layering.
  Manuring and fertilization: Karaunda plants grown as protective hedge are hardly manured or fertilized. Manuring, however used as 10-15 kg well-rotten farmyard manure or compost/plant  and should be applied before flowering.
  Irrigation:  Water requirement of Karonda is very low. Irrigation after planting and manuring is essential. Plantation once established does not need much water.
  Storage:   The fruits ripen from July to September in north India. Karaunda fruits mature 100-110 days after fruit set. At this stage fruits develop their natural colour. Fruits ripen after this stage, taking about 120 days (after fruit set) when they become soft and attain dark purple/maroon/ red colour. After packing of fruits, they are kept in shade. Fruits harvested at maturity, can be stored for a weak at room temperature.Fruits can be preserved / stored for 6 months in SO2 solution (2,000ppm).

    Karonda (Carissa carandas) fruit

    Karaunda fruit

Nutritional Value of Karonda
A nutritional study published by the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources provides the following nutritional information per 100g of edible fruit:
0.39-1.1g Protein (negligible)
2.5-4.63g Fat
0.51-2.9g Carbs
0.62-1.81g Fiber
21mg Calcium
28mg Phosphorous
1619IU Vitamin A
9-11mg Ascorbic Acid


  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.

  Karonda as Medicinal tree

  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 other uses

  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.

Karonda Benefits

  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 dying. 
  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.

Recent research

  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 abilities.
 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"
  5.  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

Karaunde  chutney

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.

  Karonda recipe
 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. 
  Karonad Aachar
 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.

Karonda Sorbet
Ingredients: 1. Karonda 200 gm, 2. sugar 200 gm, 3. Water 300 ml, 4. some crushed black pepper, 5.Himalayan salt, 6. 1 tsp roasted cumin seeds powder 7. Liquid glucose 50 ml

Preparation: 1 Cut the karonda into half and remove the seeds. 2 Boil in a pot with water and sugar together and add karonda to it .3. Blend it and make a smooth puree and fiter. 4 Mix in crushed black peppercorn, roasted cumin powder and liquid glucose to it and stir well to dissolves in the karonda puree.5 Churn the mixture in a sorbet machine and serve sprinkled with Himalayan salt.



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