Carissa carandas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Carissa carandas
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Apocynaceae
Genus: Carissa
C. carandas
Binomial name
Carissa carandas
  • Arduina carandas (L.) Baill.
  • Arduina carandas (L.) K. Schum.
  • Capparis carandas (L.) Burm.f.
  • Carissa salicina Lam. Echites spinosus
  • Burm.f. Jasminonerium carandas
  • (L.) Kuntze Jasminonerium salicinum (Lam.) Kuntze

Carissa carandas is a species of flowering shrub in the family Apocynaceae. It produces berry-sized fruits that are commonly used as a condiment in Indian pickles and spices. It is a hardy, drought-tolerant plant that thrives well in a wide range of soils. Common names in English include Bengal currant, Christ's thorn,[1] Carandas plum, Karonda, Karanda and Kanna .[2][3]

The supposed varieties congesta and paucinervia refer to the related conkerberry (C. spinarum).



The plant flourishes in regions with high temperatures, and it is abundant in the Western Ghats of Konkan in the western coastal states of Maharashtra and Goa in India. It is also grown naturally in the temperate conditions of the Himalayan Siwalik Hills of India and Nepal at elevations of 30 to 1,800 metres (98 to 5,906 ft). In other parts of India, it is grown on a limited scale in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bihar, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. It is also found in other South Asian countries like in the lowland rain forests of Sri Lanka and in Pakistan, Nepal, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.


The plant is grown from seed sown in August and September. The first monsoon shower is planting time. Plants raised from seed start bearing two years after planting. Vegetative propagation is practiced in the form of budding and inarching. Cuttings may also succeed. Flowering starts in March and in Northern India the fruit ripens from July to September.[1]


Isolation of many terpenoids has been reported.[4] In particular mixture of sesquiterpenes namely carissone [5] and carindone as a novel type of C31 terpenoid have been reported.[6] Another ingredient is pentacyclic triterpenoid carissin.[7]


Fruit ready for consumption

Medicine and food[edit]

Mixed pickle supplied by Bedekar with 11% karonda
Karonda (11%) in mixed pickle

Carissa carandas is rich in iron,[8] vitamin C,[8] vitamins A,[9] calcium[9] and phosphorus.[9]

Its fruit is used in the ancient Indian herbal system of medicine, Ayurvedic, to treat acidity, indigestion, fresh and infected wounds, skin diseases, urinary disorders and diabetic ulcer,[8] as well as biliousness, stomach pain, constipation, anemia, skin conditions, anorexia and insanity.[9] Leaf decoction is used to treat fever, diarrhea, and earache.[9] The roots serve as a stomachic, an anthelmintic medicine for itches and also as insect repellents.[9]

In India, the mature fruit is harvested for Indian pickles. It contains pectin and accordingly is a useful ingredient in chutney. Ripe fruits exude a white latex when severed from the branch.

The biggest use of this fruit is as a faux cherry in cakes, puddings and other preparations. It is easily available in the market in bottled form as pitted cherries after processing it like traditional candied murabba.

Colonial British in India also made jelly, jams and syrups from it.[10]

Other uses[edit]

It was used in the Great Hedge of India (1803-1879 CE) because it is easy to grow, drought resistant, is a sturdy shrub that grows in a variety of soils, and also ideal for hedges as it grows rapidly, densely and needs little attention.[10]


  1. ^ a b <Khare CP. Indian Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated Dictionary Springer Berlin; 2007 pg. 123.
  2. ^ Lim TK. Edible Medicinal and Non-Medicinal Plants; Volume 1, Fruits Springer Berlin; 2012. p. 240–245
  3. ^ "Carissa carandas". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  4. ^ V Devmurari, P Shivanand, MB Goyani, S Vaghani, NP Jivani. Carissa Congesta: Phytochemical constituents, traditional use and pharmacological properties 2009; 3: 375-377.
  5. ^ J. Reisch, R. Hussain, B. Krebs, M. Dartmann. The structure of carissone. Monatshefte fuer Chemie 121(11): 941-4 (1990).
  6. ^ B. Singh, R.P. Rastogi . The structure of carindone. Phytochemistry, 11(5):1797-801 (1972).
  7. ^ Siddiqui BS, Ghani U, Ali ST, Usmani SB, Begum S. Triterpenoidal constituents of the leaves of Carissa carandas. Natural Product Research. 2003; 17:153-8.
  8. ^ a b c benefits, research, side effects[permanent dead link], Easy Ayurveda.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Benefits of Carvanda,
  10. ^ a b Summer brings astringently delicious karonda, a fruit that's ripe for pickling, Economic Times, June 2012.

External links[edit]