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Cocoplum (Chrysobalanus icaco)


Abortive, astringent, hypoglycemic, hemostatic, anti-angiogenic, anticancer, antioxidant, antileukemic, antitumor

Areas of application:

Arteriosclerosis, prevents weight gain, strengthens the immune system, night blindness, leukemia, diarrhea, blenorrhea, bleeding, urinary bladder infections, genital infections, dysentery, hyperglycemia, leucorrhea, nephrosis, warts, cancer, diabetes mellitus, tumors

Plant parts used:

fruits, leaves

Collection time:

Spring, late autumn

To find:

In coastal regions, in thickets on dunes, stony headlands up to an altitude of 500 meters above sea level.


Beta-carotene, vitamins A, C, K, pomolic acid


The cocoplum grows as a shrub 1.20 to 2.40 meters high and sometimes as a tree, which can then reach 6 to 9 meters high. There are three main types of cocoplum. One with red tips and one with green tips that grow inland and the "horizontal type" that grows on the coast and is salt tolerant. All three varieties have similar medicinal uses. The coastal horizontal type sprouts roots from the branches creeping on the ground or in the sand. The leaves are alternate and ovate with a small indentation at the tip. Each is about 1.5 to 3 inches long and has a tough, leathery texture and shiny appearance. The new leaves can be yellow-green to reddish, the older leaves are light green. Small white flowers appear in clusters at the end of the stem. The thick-skinned fruits can be white, yellow, red or purple. They usually bear another fruit in spring and late autumn. The fruits are egg-shaped and about 2.5 cm long. The bark is gray to reddish brown with white spots.

In 2007, the FDA listed two papers in its FDA Poisonous Plant Database that pointed out the toxicity of this species.

In the kitchen you can eat the cocoplum raw and process it into jam, jelly and syrup. The seed is also edible raw or cooked after the hard shell has been removed. They taste like roasted almonds. The seeds can also be pressed and used like almond oil.

There is scientific evidence in the areas of tumors and leukemia, but no use in folk medicine.

The cocoplum was used as a torch back then. The seeds inside the fruit are so oily that they can be used as a source of light or heat.

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